Publisher: Caitlin Press
Francine Cunningham lives with constant reminders that she doesn’t fit the desired expectations of the world: she is a white-passing, city-raised Indigenous woman with mental illness who has lost her mother. In her debut poetry collection ON/ME, Cunningham explores, with keen attention and poise, what it means to be forced to exist within the margins. Cunningham does not hold back: she holds a lens to residential schools, intergenerational trauma, Indigenous Peoples forcibly sent to sanatoriums, systemic racism and mental illness, and translates these topics into lived experiences that are nuanced, emotional, funny and heartbreaking all at once. ON/ME is an encyclopedia of Cunningham, who shares some of her most sacred moments with the hope to spark a conversation that needs to be had.
Francine Cunningham is a Canadian Indigenous writer, artist and educator. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review, the anthologies Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press) and Best Canadian Essays 2017 (Tightrope Books), and was longlisted for the 2018 Edna Staebler Personal Essay. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Grain as the winner of the Short Grain Writing Contest in 2018, The Puritan, Joyland, Echolocation, The Maynard and more. She is a graduate of the UBC Creative Writing MFA program, winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award for unpublished prose, winner of The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, and a recipient of Telus’ 2017 STORYHIVE web series grant. On/Me is her first book.