The book cover for North End Love Songs by Katherena Vermette.

North End Love Songs

Released in 03/12/2012 by The Muses’ Company
Winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and the Lina Chartrand Award for Activism in Poetry

For Katherena Vermette, Winnipeg’s North End is a neighbourhood of colourful birds, stately elms, and always wily rivers. It is where a brother’s disappearance is trivialized by local media and police because he is young and aboriginal. It is also where young girls share secrets, movies, cigarettes, Big Gulps and stories of love — where a young mother full of both maternal trepidation and joy watches her small daughters as they play in the park.

In spare, minimalist language, North End Love Songs attends to the demands of Indigenous and European poetics, braiding an elegant journey that takes us from Winnipeg’s North End out into the world. We enter the undocumented lives of its citizens and celebrate them through Katherena Vermette’s beautiful poems.

~ GGLA Poetry Judges’ Note 2013


The Toronto Quarterly Literary & Arts Journal | The Walrus

North End Love Songs is a debut collection from an emerging Winnipeg poet, a book that combines elegiac and fiercely ecstatic melodies to sing of a complicated love for a city, a river, and a neighbourhood. It is deep rooted in its location, yet will reach out to readers everywhere with its harsh and beautiful tunings of growing up female in Winnipeg’s North End.

~ Tanis MacDonald, Prairie Fire Magazine