The Future Shrugs (excerpt)

Marie-Andrée Gill
Translated from the French by Kristen Renee Miller

I touch wood; I close my mouth, but I keep on repeatingto the encompassing silence:if you are looking for me, I am homeor somewhere on Nitassinan;all my doors and windows are open.       I’m heating the outdoors.

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Sophie Gagnon-Bergeron

Marie-Andrée Gill is Pekuakamishkueu (Ilnu du Lac-St-Jean, community of Mashteuiatsh, Quebec). Author, poet, and host of podcasts that aim at decolonizing (Laisser nous raconter: l’histoire crochie, Les mots de Joséphine). She is also a doctoral student in literature at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. She has completed a master’s thesis on decolonization through intimate writing. Her work and artistic stance earned her the title of Artist of the Year for the entire Saguenay Lac-St-Jean region in 2020.She has published three collections of poetry with La Peuplade.

Kristen Renee Miller is the director and editor-in-chief at Sarabande Books. A poet and translator, she is a 2023 NEA Fellow and the translator of two books of poetry from the French by Ilnu Nation poet Marie-Andrée Gill. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, AIGA, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Gulf Coast Prize in Translation, and the American Literary Translators Association. Her work can be found widely, including in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best New Poets. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

“These poems live in a bachelor apartment over the corner store. They’re on the bus looking out at the muddy hangtime between winter and spring, in a too-warm jacket. These poems will make you a cup of tar-coffee and tell you about the ache of desire in the language of crunching snow. You’ll come back to them over and over again to listen.”
—Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings

“Marie-Andrée Gill’s spare, luminous micropoems are endlessly surprising, twisting out, into, and unto themselves like complicated lovers. Defiantly fragmentary, these are stunning shards of tongues, embodied vernaculars slowly, steadily unsettling grammars. Kristen Renee Miller’s translations retain the elegance and shimmer of the originals while wondrously conveying their knottedness, their syntax of skin. When at last we reach Nitassinan, we are reminded of the worlds poetry documents, but also of the worlds it creates. This is poetry that claims the power to ‘gnaw the meat off each day and spit out the pin bones’ through a language as unresolved as our decolonial dreams and as necessary as our sovereign desires.”
—Urayoán Noel, author of Transversal

Heating the Outdoors is a stunning collection exploring heartbreak, and the awkward dance between exes from the positionality of an Ilnu and Québécoise woman whose poetic ‘gasoline-soaked heart’ yearns deeply for love. Translated by Kristen Renee Miller from French into English, Gill’s Heating the Outdoors re-wilds the ritualistic humdrum of domestic life while honouring the land and her ‘crème-soda ancestral spirit.’”
—Shannon Webb-Campbell, author of Lunar Tides and I Am a Body of Land

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