Photo credit
Aaron Bowerman


Tyler Pennock is an adoptee from a Cree and Métis family around the Slave Lake area of Alberta. They write poetry, theatre, and creative non-fiction, all of which have appeared in collections in Canada, the US and France. Much of their current work looks closely at land, trauma, identity and the nature of memory.  Their first book, Bones was released in April 2020, by Brick Books Publishing.  Their second book, Blood, will be released in Autumn 2022.  Tyler is also an educator, teaching youth, adult learners, college and university students in a variety of topics from sexuality to mathematics. Currently, they are a sessional lecturer at the Centre for Indigenous Studies in the University of Toronto, as well as a Instructor in the Indigenous Studies program at Fleming College. Occasionally, you'll find them teaching poetry for other local schools. They currently live in Toronto.



Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?

The man with the beautiful eyes by Charles Bukowski was the first poem I truly loved. I grabbed "The last  Night of the Earth Poems" as well as Leonard Cohen's "Stranger Songs" from a second hand book store some time when I was 15.  I still have them. 

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?

At around grade 6, when I wrote poetry for an English assignment instead of an essay. 

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?

Poetry is an act of relationship.  And all relationships appear to have one major purpose (among others), and that is to change one's perception of the world. 

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?

I believe that in separating ourselves from nature we lose our humanity. I also feel that the natural world provides us a road map on how to live a good life - we only need to see it, and sit long enough to understand it. 

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?

Dionne Brand - from thirsty


Brick Bones
Publication type
Poem title(s)
Avoided, Averted
Yellow medicine Review
University of Minnesota press
Keff Kenner
2008, fall
Publication type
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