Shortlisted, 2022 SK Arts Poetry Award Honouring Anne Szumigalski (Saskatchewan Book Awards)
Parenthood is a journey with no roadmap, and it is the children who most often steer the ship. There are times in a parent’s life when they ask, “Why am I doing this? It’s so hard…” That is, until the moment of magic happen—and they always do. In Essential Ingredients, Carol Rose GoldenEagle recalls when Creator’s blessings have truly been bestowed in a parent’s shared life with their children. These poems examine hardship and struggle, the triumph of spirit and joy, and serve as a reminder to all parents that childhood is fleeting.
“Cree and Dene author Carol Rose GoldenEagle’s collection, Essential Ingredients, carries a womb-filled with wisdom, and is a poetic portrait of motherhood, love, food and family. It’s a humble offering which charts the relationship of a single mother and her three children, featuring recipes for moose stew, bannock, and retraces both the tender and painful memories of life.”
—Shannon Webb-Campbell, author of I Am A Body Of Land
“Looking back at what it means to be a single mother and Cree, Carol Rose Goldeneagle’s poems, recipes and other writings in Essential Ingredients are always heartfelt. A natural speaking rhythm to the snippets of memoir and poems (brought out by anaphora, syncopated end-rhyme or refrain) reminds this reader of the drum (and the heart beat!) We enter an entrancing symbolism and numerology that shapes the entries—favourites are the number 4 (seasons, directions, the four herbs used in a smudge etc.) and 7, for the number of spots on a lady bug, which corresponds to seven Cree virtues that also find their qualities associated with seven prairie animals. Delight and tongue-in-cheek humour are never far from this mother’s writing, as when on Mother’s Day “precious years ago” she is presented with breakfast in bed or when she overhears her children in a serious debate in the backseat while she is driving. Who would be the better “cousin,” Johnny Cash or Michael Jackson, and Cash wins. Essential Ingredients is a page-turner of a memoir, and so enriched by the artwork of Goldeneagle herself.”
—gillian harding-russell, author of In Another Air
“In Essential Ingredients, GoldenEagle shares a burning, yet tender love with all of creation. Here is poetry in tender moments, between relations, between living breathing manifestation of creation. Profoundly personal, these are words to love all the world with. And, as we do, we follow a life, reborn, recast out of essential ingredients. From road trips to bannock, to bedtime stories, we are bathed in the tenderness that can and will be found in spite of what creation puts down before us. An homage to family in its myriad of ways, through the lens of motherhood, this collection illustrates the hope and embrace we find in the little things, the only things that matter.”
—D.A. Lockhart, author of Bearman Descend Upon Gimli and Breaking Right
“I feel like I’ve seen Carol’s heart—there on a page before me. These poems, laced with themes of mother, child and family resonate deeply. Their emotional truth is my emotional truth in the connection of mother and child. I was struck by the wondrous gift of culture and foundation brought forth for GoldenEagles’s ‘three bears.’ The ‘fours’—seasons, directions, sacred medicine and the four hearts around the fire—this not only painted a picture of the strong spiritual truth but also of the bonds interwoven between mother earth and her babies and a Mama Bear and Her Baby Bears.”
—Faye Arcand, author and “Auntie Says” columnist
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