“Enfants du lichen is a book of anger and hope that builds bridges between the past and the present, and between human beings and the land. Through crystal-clear, finely crafted imagery, Maya Cousineau Mollen delicately puts words to the pain of a people and invokes light and solidarity. From the city to the tundra, her strong voice springs forth with resolve, to reappropriate history and propose a world that is reimagining itself.”
—Peer assessment committee: Éric Charlebois, Anne-Marie Desmeules and Nadine Ltaif
Innu poet Maya Cousineau Mollen has released a second collection of poetry, Enfants du lichen.
In this collection, her voice melts into the memory of the land, the culture, her roots, the intimate memory the body keeps as well as the atrophied memory history keeps. The first part, Enfants du lichen, underscores, with tenderness and a desire for healing, the urgency of not brushing aside the disappearances of Indigenous children and women, exclusion, dispossession and contempt. In the second part, Une balle en réserve, anger takes over. These two inseparable parts call upon one’s duty of remembrance.
The spiritual granddaughter of Jack Monoloy, Maya Cousineau Mollen is a politically engaged Innu author and poet. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science and Indigenous studies from Université Laval. In 2007, she participated in a writers’ residency in Banff, Alberta, and was named the Mellon Writer-in-Residence at McGill University for winter 2022. She has done community work over 20 years, including with the First Nations youth council of Quebec and Labrador, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Wolfpack Street Patrol. Her first collection of poetry, Bréviaire du Matricule 082, with a preface by Ariane Mnouchkine, was published in 2019. Her meeting and friendship with Ariane Mnouchkine have influenced her understanding of the world and her writing. Maya Cousineau Mollen lives in Longueuil, Quebec.
Photo courtesy of Maya Cousineau Mollen
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