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    ISBN: 9780889227880 | Paperback

    288 pages | Pub. Date: 20130915
    9 W × 6 H × 1 D inches
    Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
    Rights: WORLD

    Or find The Place of Scraps in your local bookstore

George Ryga Award for Social Award: Jordan Abel, The Place of Scraps (Finalist)
BC Book Prize, Poetry: Jordan Abel, The Place of Scraps (Winner)

The Place of Scraps revolves around Marius Barbeau, an early-twentieth-century ethnographer, who studied many of the First Nations cultures in the Pacific Northwest, including Jordan Abel’s ancestral Nisg̱a’a Nation. Barbeau, in keeping with the popular thinking of the time, believed First Nations cultures were about to disappear completely, and that it was up to him to preserve what was left of these dying cultures while he could. Unfortunately, his methods of preserving First Nations cultures included purchasing totem poles and potlatch items from struggling communities in order to sell them to museums. While Barbeau strove to protect First Nations cultures from vanishing, he ended up playing an active role in dismantling the very same cultures he tried to save.

Drawing inspiration from Barbeau’s canonical book Totem Poles, Jordan Abel explores the complicated relationship between First Nations cultures and ethnography. His poems simultaneously illuminate Barbeau’s intentions and navigate the repercussions of the anthropologist’s actions.

Through the use of erasure techniques, Abel carves out new understandings of Barbeau’s writing – each layer reveals a fresh perspective, each word takes on a different connotation, each letter plays a different role, and each punctuation mark rises to the surface in an unexpected way. As Abel writes his way ever deeper into Barbeau’s words, he begins to understand that he is much more connected to Barbeau than he originally suspected.

Winner 2014 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (B.C. Book Prizes)

Short-listed 2014 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award

“With his breakout collection of visual poetry, … Abel conjures the near impossible: a heartbreaking history lesson, both personal and public, mixed with lyricism, intelligence, humour, and cold-eyed facts. This narrative of the misguided, good-hearted Marius Barbeau and what he did with First Nations cultural icons will be a revelation for many. What Abel takes from language is what gives it form and strength: a more apt use of plunder verse I cannot imagine.”
– Carolyn Smart

“English litters the sky, its typed letters eventually demolished into illegible insects that flit above archival photo-testimony to land/people. […] A surprising and necessary book of poetry, The Place of Scraps is as humbly unstoppable as the next breath you take in and release back out to the world.”
– Rita Wong

"Abel subverts the museological gaze that steals, deadens, and imprisons totem poles, thereby disappearing the Indigenous peoples who consider totem poles an integral part of their knowledge systems and cultures"—Lindsay Nixon, All Lit Up

“This is art of the concept, used to unmake language so that language may live.” – Wayde Compton

“… astonishingly inventive […] Abel’s writing constantly dazzles and rewards with its linguistic playfulness and conceptual sophistication.” – Adam Dickinson

“With sustained attention, serious criticism, and generous respect, Jordan Abel has latched onto the extraordinary luck of lack.” – Craig Dworkin

“an anthropology of anthropology[,] done as only a[n Aboriginal/Indigenous] poet could do.” – Ray Hsu

By Jordan Abel

Jordan Abel is a Nisg̱a’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize).

Read more about Jordan Abel

news | 2015-01-28
CBC’s “15 poetry collections to watch for in 2015”

…second book, following upon his award-winning The Place of Scraps, and is co-published by Project Space and …

news | 2015-01-21
Announcement: New Books for Spring 2015!

…the sequel to his award-winning first collection, The Place of Scraps, Un/inhabited maps the terrain of the public …

news | 2014-10-01
Sneak a Peek: Un/Inhabited by Jordan Abel at the Vancouver Art Book Fair

…Jordan Abel, whose first collection of poetry, The Place of Scraps , won the Dorothy Livesay Prize, will debut his …

news | 2014-06-23
Books for National Aboriginal Month

…Talon favourites and award winners have included The Place of Scraps by Jordan Abel and They Called Me Number One by …

news | 2014-05-05
The Place of Scraps Wins Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

…to Jordan Abel, whose first book of poetry, The Place of Scraps , has just won the Dorothy Livesay poetry prize! … were announced on Saturday evening in Vancouver. The Place of Scraps is Abel’s first book of poetry. Through erasure …

news | 2014-04-14
rob mclennan Interviews Jordan Abel

…he conducted with Jordan Abel, author of The Place of Scraps – which has recently been shortlisted for the … Here is a little taste of the interview: rm: the place of scraps is your first trade collection of poetry. What …

news | 2014-04-03
The Place of Scraps Shortlisted for 2014 Gerald Lampert Award!

…Congratulations to Jordan Abel, author of The Place of Scraps , which has this week been shortlisted for the … a $1,000 prize. This year’s shortlist includes: The Place of Scraps by Jordan Abel (Talonbooks) Rove by Laurie D. … in downtown Toronto on June 7, 2014. We wish The Place of Scraps the best of luck! …

news | 2014-04-01
It’s Poetry Month!

…awards shortlists (which include Jordan Abel’s The Place of Scraps) and its winners (one of whom is our very own … Award; and the B.C. Book Prizes have included The Place of Scraps on their shortlist for the Dorothy Livesay Award. …

news | 2014-03-12
BC Book Prizes 2014 Shortlists Announced!

…non-fiction); and poet Jordan Abel, whose book, The Place of Scraps , has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay … Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize: Jordan Abel, The Place of Scraps (Talonbooks) Jennica Harper, Wood (Anvil Press) …

news | 2014-03-03
Essay: Arc Poetry Magazine on The Place of Scraps

…on Jordan Abel’s remarkable book of poetry, The Place of Scraps (Talon, 2013). Brief extracts give a sense of … and Riffle: Jordan Abel’s Exuberant Excisions in _The Place of Scraps_”. …