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ISBN: 9781772012552 | Paperback

88 pages | Pub. Date: 20200315
5 W × 7.25 H × 0.24 D inches
featured | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
Rights: WORLD

In the follow-up to her BC Book Prize-winning book of poetry, Prison Industrial Complex Explodes, Mercedes Eng continues her poetic investigation of racism and colonialism in Canada, weaponizing the language of the nation-state against itself in the service of social justice. my yt mama is a collection of poems that considers historic and contemporary colonial violence in the Canadian prairies, a settler geography and state of mind that irrevocably shaped Eng’s understanding of race as person of colour born and raised in Treaty 7 Territory in Medicine Hat, Alberta.


These poems document an education in white supremacist ideology that began in infancy and occurred everywhere: at home where the author lived with her white mother, 1261 kilometres away from her Chinese migrant father’s family; in public institutions such as the school, the library, and the museum that erase Indigenous peoples’ histories while producing the myth of the “vanishing Indians;” and in the media and entertainment in which white supremacist beauty standards are constructed and reinforced. Keenly attuned to the language of those in power, Eng exposes the violence of the English language in the colonial project, taking on the words of Canadian politician F. W. Gershaw’s history of the city of Medicine Hat as occasioned by Canada’s Centennial, to derail the superficially neutral language of yt history that mythologizes nation and city while simultaneously deriding Indigenous ways of being (ontology) and ways of knowing (epistemology) as “legends” or “myths.” Like the author herself, my yt mama is hybrid: part memoir, part history, part discourse analysis, part love letter to her mother.

"Mercedes Eng emphasizes mythologization’s long history as a colonial tool, and turns its destabilizing logic onto her own personal origin story as the 'non-yt' daughter of a 'yt mama' born in Medicine Hat."
—Carolyn Nakagawa, ARC

"Eng’s poetry ... makes room for us to grapple with our thorniest idiosyncrasies.”
—Rebecca Peng, Rungh Magazine

By Mercedes Eng

Mercedes Eng teaches and writes in Vancouver, on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. She is the author of Mercenary English and Prison Industrial Complex Explodes.

Read more about Mercedes Eng


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news | 2020-09-22
Oana Avasilichioaei, Sophie Bienvenu, Mercedes Eng, Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny at the Winnipeg Thin Air Festival

…View Mercedes Eng reading from my yt mama at https://youtu.be/Cg2jGCjOhuU. View Anne-Marie …


news | 2020-03-25
An excerpt from Mercedes Eng's new book, my yt mama

…Book Prize–winner Mercedes Eng’s new book, my yt mama , has arrived in-house. my yt mama is a … and Mail, the Paper Hound bookstore recommended my yt mama, writing, “[h]er books Mercenary English and … poignant/personal long poems; her latest title my yt mama just came out and is, predictably, quite … Here, we are sharing a three-poem sequence from my yt mama . how my father saw my yt mama unlike my dad’s … the foreground the vanishing point a ballerina, my yt mama, pirouetting at the base of a castle-topped …


news | 2020-03-16
Talonbooks' Spring 2020 Launch: Postponed

…Charger . Laiwan: TENDER . Mercedes Eng: my yt mama . …


news | 2020-03-02
Mercedes Eng's my yt mama has arrived!

…Eng’s wonderful new book of poetry, my yt mama is fresh in-house from the printer! In the … against itself in the service of social justice. my yt mama is a collection of poems that considers historic … Medicine Hat, Alberta. Like the author herself, my yt mama is hybrid: part memoir, part history, part … love letter to her mother. Pick up your copy of my yt mama today! …