Molly Cross-Blanchard is a white and Métis poet, educator, and editor born on Treaty 3 (Fort Frances, ON), raised on Treaty 6 (Prince Albert, SK), and currently living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, cka Vancouver, where she’s working on a novel. She currently teaches creative writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic.
Molly has a BA in English from the University of Winnipeg and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her areas of creative interest are shame, sexuality, body image, anxiety and depression, pop culture, settler-Indigenous relations, and romantic love. Her poetics are plainspoken and confessional.
Not at all! I found poetry a few years later, when I got my heart broken. I started thinking and writing in feelings rather than sentences. And then I had to put in the work to do it well. I was a big fan of Leonard Cohen, Billy Collins, and Kayla Czaga in the early days.
I suppose the first poem would be very early, maybe 1st grade. But I didn't really start thinking of myself as a poet until I published my first poem at 22 years old. I collected my forty bucks and then felt justified to own that title.
To be honest. To connect with themselves. To pay attention.
I was having a hard time and wanted to see a healer to get some perspective. A friend recommended this "shaman" who she claimed was amazing, so I went. It was a bit appropriative, and I felt uncomfortable at times, but I did end up having some visions. Dogs, beavers, and children. But when I came out of the ritual, the shaman told me she found my power animal: a dolphin. I resented this, and then eventually became obsessed with dolphins. Three poems came out of that experience.
It would be "all you can is the best you can" by Selina Boan. The language here is so balanced - equal parts statement and musing, formal and casual, imagistic and voice-forward. And experiencing the emotional journey alongside the speaker just feels like a comforting hug.