Indigenous poet brings textile production to life at Poetic Fibers event


An Indigenous poet will present her work at the Salon du Livre / Blue Metropolis Festival event this weekend with a unique interactive exhibit that will associate her words with the organic textile production process of a Montreal design house at the Palais des Congrès.

The words of Mi’kmaq author Tara McGowan-Ross will animate an exhibition of organic textile production and clothing design by Montreal textile makers Gaude and Garance at this weekend’s Poetic Fibers event.

Gaude and Garance will present their process live on stage, while a text written by McGowan-Ross will accompany the presentation.

“I didn’t know much about textiles in general when I first met them,” said McGowan-Ross. “During their conversation about their process, I was influenced and inspired by their speech. So I transcribed our conversation and grabbed some text I found from there and put it in the text.

Inspired by Gaude and Garance’s use of medieval-style looms and their meticulous process, McGowan-Ross came up with the text that will be read as the tailors do their work on stage as part of a meeting place between emerging, ethical and decolonial artists. process, she said.

“I really wanted to animate the process. I was so fascinated by it that I thought others might be too, ”she said.

The Poetic Fibers event will take place Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The text will be read in person by fellow poet David Bradford, as McGowan-Ross is in New York to attend another literary festival, but McGowan-Ross will appear via Instagram Live on Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – “a living room in your pocket” , she joked – and she stressed the importance of the work done by Gaude and Garance.

“I reacted very strongly to their process, which is very old fashioned,” she said. “I think the way they do their jobs is very relevant to today’s processes. Basically they’re hyper efficient and the way they use every part of the fiber to create is so hyper efficient and creates things quickly and in a way that I think will inspire a lot of people.

McGowan-Ross, originally from Toronto, is also the host of the Drawn and Quarterly Native Literature Book Club and independent and experimental theater critic for Broadwayworld. His poetry has been published in Best Canadian Poetry and in the Girth and Scorpion Season collections. Her first non-fiction collection, Nothing Will be Different, is due out on Dundurn Press.

The Poetic Fibers event is part of the Blue Metropolis Festival and will take place Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit

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