Joseph Dandurand is a poet from the Kwantlen First Nation in B.C. He has written a poem every day for 30 years, and has published 13 collections. The East Side of It All, which tells his story of survival through poetry, was a finalist for the 2021 Griffin Prize. Dandurand draws on first-hand experience of life as a drug user and single-room occupant in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His autobiographical poems “could easily drown in the brutality and tragedy they capture—but instead they heal,” wrote the Griffin Prize jurors. “Powerful, visionary parables of suffering, redemption and retribution,” Toronto Star wrote of his multi-layered poems, which trace the narrator’s healing journey as he reconnects with family, the natural world and Indigenous storytelling. Dandurand, who is also a playwright and archaeologist, is director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre and lives with his three daughters.



The East Side of it All
Nightwood Editions
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