Turtle Island Responds

Welcome to Turtle Island Responds, an online library of lived experience, offered in verse.

This news related online poetry series was inspired by Rattle Magazine’s Poets Respond and the many conversations I have had with others who have found themselves on the fringes. So much of the news is offered through the lens of the those in positions of power, but we rarely hear from the communities directly affected. Using the “no stories about us without us” teaching as our guiding principle, all that is offered here comes from those on the inside, those with lived experience. 

It has been such an honour to engage with the poets featured in this series. Please take a moment to read the poems and the author statements—all of which are very compelling. Many authors featured here have felt alone, yet like the solitary flower in this picture they are strong with their words, which ripple out into the world, bringing opportunities or invitations for understanding and change.  I hold my hands up to each of these poets. I give thanks for their willingness to share their stories. ~ All my Relations ~ Jónína Kirton, Curator of Turtle Island Responds

—All my Relations ~ Jónína Kirton

A single plant stem protrudes from rippled water reflecting a pink and purple sky.

Photo © Karen Davis, 2019 


Jenna Kennedy

Ripples of Darkness
by Jenna Kennedy


Jill Talbot

Who am I
by Jill Talbot


Juliane Okot Bitek (photo credit: Seasmin Taylor

10 years to yes
by Juliane Okot Bitek


Maneesa Sotheewaran


Neo-regulated "Ethnophagy"
by Maneesa Sotheewaran


Caroline Many

Thrust Into My Wilderness
by Caroline Many


F.I. Goldhaber

Still Fighting
by F.I. Goldhaber


Mary Barnes

I Mind the Time
by Mary Barnes


Charlene Langfur

Truth Follows Character
by Charlene Langfur


Rachel Batya

by Rachel Batya


Jane Shi

they did
by Jane Shi


Nisa Malli

A Gunman Who Expressed Hatred of Jews Exploited Doors That Were Unlocked for Worship - Associated Press, Oct 27th 2018
by Nisa Malli


Tiffany Morris

My Great-Great Grandmother Was a Dystopian Halloween Costume
by Tiffany Morris


Barâa Arar

My mother asks why I cry
by Barâa Arar


Isabella Wang

by Isabella Wang


Gwen Benaway

letters to the editor
by Gwen Benaway


Christine Taylor

Caped Men
by Christine Taylor


Jude Hayes

my blanket
by Jude Hayes


Charlotte Henay

for my sister
by Charlotte Henay


Zofia Rose MusiejHome Is.
by Zofia Rose Musiej


To All the White People Who Voted for Change but Not to Hurt Me
by Fatima Amarshi

Currently on Newsstands

  • Room 42.1, Magic
    Edited by Arielle Spence

    In this issue:

    Amy Louise Baker, Jenny Boychuk, Jessica Bromley Bartram, Monica Joy Claesson, Kess Costales, Sophie Crocker, Ruth Daniell, Alex Hall, Cody Klippenstein, Suzanne Langlois, Teresa E Lobos, Lynne M MacLean, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Isabelle Nguyen, Gaëlle Planchenault, Melanie Power, Natasha Ramoutar, Nilofar Shidmehr, jaye simpson, Cristalle Smith, Emily Urquhart, Yilin Wang, Hannah V Warren, Christine Wei, Lan Yao