December 10 2021: Pleased that my poem "it was the land" was published in Maclean's Magazine online.
THE YEAR AHEAD ACCORDING TO POET LAUREATES FROM ACROSS CANADA
Poet laureates from across the country wrote about the upcoming year for Maclean's. Here's what they had to say about 2022.
Proud to have been featured in the live International event out of in Torino Italy hosted by Artists United For Animals to promote the protection of animals worldwide The poster reads: Happy 2022 with the wish for a better world for all our non-human brothers.
December 7 2021: Pleased to announce I have two poems published in the New York Literary Parrot Series II Anthology! "dwight" in memory of my late brother and "it was the land" in honour of children who never returned home from residential schools in Canada. amzn.to/3lIGd8O
November 22 2021: I am sickened that thousands of animals have died in the BC floods. They didn't ask to be left in a stall to drown. Fur trapping was once considered an honourable subsistence way of life in Canada but now that the people have moved off the land and science can replicate any fabric or fur no animal should ever have to suffer and die in agony just so someone can strut down a catwalk wearing its pelt.
I am the daughter of a Yukon trapper. I come from a Northern hunter/gathering culture. They don't come more Yukon than me. I am also an animal rights advocate who has never trapped a day in her life. I don't eat meat, I don't believe animals need to die in agony for the sake of human vanity, and I don't believe the Yukon Government should be funding a barbaric event that's killed over 40 sled dogs.
Serving as an animal rights advocate doesn’t exactly make you popular, especially here in the North but I believe in honouring, respecting, and protecting the precious creatures with whom we share this planet. They are living breathing sentient beings who feel love, joy, fear and pain just like we do. We have no right to cause them even a second of pain. As a Northern animal rights advocate I stand alone. I believe we all need to speak out to make this a more humane world. Who will stand with me?
"When you speak for those who have no voice your soul smiles." ~ pj johnson Poet Laureate of the Yukon. https://lnkd.in/edEiQVW
*This post can be shared via this link: https://lnkd.in/gpC2tCpX
#Yukon #AnimalRights #AnimalWelfare #SledDogs #BanFur #AnimalAbuse #BanIditQuest
— at Yukon Territory
November 4 2021: Honoured to have my poem "it was the land" published in the Lothlorien Poetry Journal Volume 4 Anthology out of Leicestershire England. *Special thanks to editor Strider Marcus Jones. #Yukon #England #poetrycommunity #poetry #Canada #EveryChildMatters #ResidentialSchools https://bit.ly/3CLLlQ7
October 26 2021:
Pleased to learn my poem "it was the land" will be published in the upcoming Lothlorien Poetry Journal Anthology Volume 4 out of Leicestershire England. *This is a photograph of me with Grandad Miller and also a special picture that was given to me by Grampa Jeff. This poem is about them too. Many ancestors will be honoured in the sharing.
October 14 2021:My new video featuring the poem "it was the land". Click on the below picture to access.
October 12 2021: My poem "because I am a sled dog" has been translated into several languages including Italian, Polish and Bengali and now translated into colloquial Welsh. *Translation by Patrick Cahill. *View the video at: https://youtu.be/Ym3IFjfiIQQ
September 30 2021 - Today as we celebrate the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
I wrote this poem as I and my fellow Canadians struggled to come to terms with the discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of residential schools in Canada. Today as we celebrate the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation may the healing begin. In honour of those who never returned home this poem is called “it was the land”. #NationalTRW #TruthAndReconciliation #OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters #Yukon #Canada
Join me at CanLitScape Poets & Storytellers JLF LitFest Toronto 2021 showcasing South Asia’s unique literary heritage & Canada’s diverse literary legacy at Jaipur Literature Festival on October 2 & 3 2021! ~~> canlitscape.com/poet/pjjohnson
September 21 2021: My poem "because i am a sled dog" has been published in English, Polish, Bengali, Italian, and soon to be in Arabic & Welsh. Grazie to my friend Maria Tosti for this lovely Italian translation! *You can view the original video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/Ym3IFjfiIQQ
September 19 2021 Best thank you card ever!
Gratitude to the folks at the Royal City Literary Arts Society. It was a pleasure to be a part of it all!
On September 12 2021 I featured at an event called Poetic Justice.
The following post is a review of my performance written by fellow scribe Brenda Damen.
September 15 2021: *When a writer of such caliber gifts you with an amazing review like this one your heart swells with gratitude. Her name is Brenda Damen and I am proud to call her my friend. #Yukon #Calgary #writers Poetic Justice
August 5 2021
"There are many reasons why I write. I write when my life is on fire and I'm on top of the world. I write when I'm on my knees and my heart is broken. I write to transcend adversity and I write about things I feel strongly about. I write because I have to . It's that strong in me. At times it's like a kind of prayer. Other times a kind of therapy."
©pj johnson Yukon August 30 2021
August 30 2021:
My poem "reclaiming" in Farsi (Persian). Translated by Mansour Noorbakhsh.
August 28 2021: My poem "because I am a sled dog" translated into Bengali. *Translation by Mahua Das. *View the video! youtu.be/Ym3IFjfiIQQ
"it's howlin' time!"
In 1995 I was commissioned to write a song to welcome the RCMP Musical Ride to Whitehorse on their first trip to the Yukon. I performed the song I wrote called "Colour Me Canadian" on Canada Day in 1995 and again in 2017 when they returned to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.
"it was the land" Live performance July 19 2021
July 12 2021:
As poet laureate of the Yukon I am honoured to be featured at this online event hosted by Owen Sound's poet laureate Richard-Yves Sitoski on Thursday July 15th. You are cordially invited to join us at https://www.facebook.com/events/994537597963812/
Canada Day 2021: Twenty-seven years ago today I was invested as Canada's first poet laureate. It was a happy day. Canada Day July 1st 2021 is very different. It is the recognition of my country’s 153rd anniversary combined with a day of deep reflection as I and my fellow Canadians struggle to come to terms with the ongoing discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of residential schools in Canada. In honour of those who never returned home I have written a poem called "it was the land".
it was the land
no one knew the evil men could do
behind closed doors
no one spoke of it
no one said sorry
and in the end
it was the land
the very land itself
it was the land
that carried the secrets
that knew the truth
that yielded a million sorrows
that stopped us like a thunderbolt
in the streets.
god forgive us
the whispers were true
it was the land that spoke for thousands
denied a life. denied a family
denied a mother tongue
and as our grief-filled days
stretched out before us
like a blanket of fear
from the land of the Mi’kmaq to Haida Gwaii
we were numb with disbelief
for it was the land
the very land itself
that spoke to us in the darkness
in the sacred smoke of our ancestors
and in the voices of our children
who whispered on the wind
showing us the way
there will be a time
for coming together
as a nation. as a people. and as a family
to celebrate now
and lift our brothers and sisters
as never before
our tears are never far from the surface
it always gets darker before the light comes back
©pj johnsonYukon June 24 2021
June 28 2021: The sudden advent of the Europeans in North America was a shock to the first peoples who had little or no resistance to diseases like tuberculosis or mind-altering substances like alcohol. When you take the people off the land and put them into a residential school you get disaster. The trauma is generational and it affects my family. This poem is an adaptation of an old genocidal nursery rhyme still used in some classrooms as a song to teach children how to count. *From my book "it's howlin' time!" https://amzn.to/2U5fDMm #Yukon #Canada
June 14 2021: I was recently honoured to be featured on the 100th episode of the New York Parrot Literary Corner along with host Dustin Pickering.
From the book "it's howlin' time!" amzn.to/3fW64HS
Remembering Former Yukon Commissioner Doug Bell
I was sad to learn of the recent passing of my good friend former Yukon Commissioner Doug Bell. In 1985 he invited me to sit at his desk and sign a copy of my first little book “I Sing Yukon” and sent it to Her Royal Highness the Princess Anne. Commissioner Bell later received a message from the palace thanking ‘Mr P. Johnson’ for the book. Doug and I had a good laugh. No one gets my name right.
R.I.P. my friend and thank you for your service. #yukon
April 21 2021: Land of the Wolf and Crow
Inspired by well-known and greatly respected Yukon elder Elijah Smith’s long struggle to bring about a Yukon native land claim settlement, I wrote this poem in 1986. I called it “reclaiming” because you cannot claim something that is already yours. You can only reclaim it. The final land claims agreement was signed seven years later in 1993. *Published in Dan Sha Magazine in 1988.
In the Yukon there are two first nations clans – the Wolf Clan and the Crow Clan so the Yukon is sometimes called Land of the Wolf and Crow. Raven (crow) is my spirit guide and I am also known as the Yukon Raven Lady.
Rhymes of the Raven Lady was basically a re-print of my first book "I Sing Yukon" published in 1984. The cover, painted prior to my investiture by William Sinclair hence no official insignia on my Stetson, portrays Wolf & Crow (raven) representing the two Yukon First Nations clans. I'm also known as the Yukon Raven Lady. #yukon #worldpoetrymonth #poetrycommunity
IN HONOUR OF NATIONAL POETRY MONTH
A rare photograph of my investiture in Whitehorse on Canada Day July 1st 1994 when I became the first Canadian poet laureate - standing behind former Yukon Commissioner John Kenneth McKinnon as he reads the official proclamation naming me Poet Laureate of the Yukon. Audrey McLaughlin, former leader of the NDP (seated) also presented me with my personal symbol of office the carved Talking Stick.
Leaving the stage carrying the Talking Stick
I MAY BE THE DAUGHTER OF A YUKON TRAPPER BUT....
Queen Elizabeth set a great example when she quit wearing fur. I am the daughter of a Yukon trapper but I never trapped a day in my life. In today's world no animal should ever have to suffer & die just so someone can walk down a catwalk wearing its pelt.
March 28 2021
When ur dog wants to share his blankie.
He is my comfort. - Sometimes all you really need is a blankie.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH? CENSORSHIP? FACEBOOK?
Anyone wishing to sign the petition opposing the ban on my website please click here ~~>
March 23 2021 Canadian Poets Laureate speak out for the protection of old-growth forests.
I am honoured to be a part of this. There is a better way.
March 21 2021:
In honour of World Poetry Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racism ~ "dwight" a poem by pj johnson Poet Laureate of the Yukon. *Click the pic to hear the poem.
March 13 2021:
*The portrait behind Doc & I was painted by Yukon artist William Sinclair prior to my investiture as Poet Laureate of the Yukon on July 1st 1994 - hence my Stetson bears no official insignia pin. *Today as I celebrate another trip around the sun I ask friends to make a donation to the petition to protect the Northern sled dogs. Thank You. ~~> https://bit.ly/3vie4IW <~~
An interview on CIUT FM featuring pj johnson Poet Laureate of the Yukon.
January 1 2021
Songwriters are some of the most accomplished poets and Canada has some of the finest.
Poetry requires a precision of the written word
while music is a universal expression of spirit.
When put together you get magic.
Let us celebrate the writers of song who bring us light.
the writers of song
today i celebrate the artists
who bring us new hope
and help us to keep hope alive
when we need it the most
the crafters of words and music
that move us to celebrate liberate and venerate
who speak for us when we have no words
and give us words to speak when we need them
who show us how to grieve and share our hearts
and when to speak and when to be silent
how to laugh and when to cry
when to sing and how to fly
these are the makers of the songs that paint our lives
and gift us with sweet memories
that fill our hearts when they are empty
and show us how to fall in love
these are the maestros
the weavers of story the healers of hearts
some of the finest poets who ever dared
to pick up a pen
they are the writers of song
and i salute them
please join me
©pj johnson Poet Laureate of the Yukon
December 31 2020