Becoming a Matriarch by Helen Knott with Jónína Kirton

On Friday, October 6th at 6:00pm, join Massy Arts Society, Massy Books, the Museum of Vancouver, and Knopf Canada for the launch of Helen Knott’s Becoming a Matriarch with host Jónína Kirton.

Becoming a Matriarch is a feast of remarkable, colourful, deep and profoundly raw storytelling. Helen Knott is one of the greatest Indigenous literary artists of our time.” —Brandi Morin, author of Our Voice of Fire: A Memoir of a Warrior Rising.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

Registration is free/by donation, open to all and required for entrance.

Purchase Becoming a Matriarch at Massy Books in advance or in person at the event.

About The Book:

Becoming a Matriarch (Knopf Canada, 2023)

When matriarchs begin to disappear, there is a choice to either step into the places they left behind, or to craft a new space.

Helen Knott’s debut memoir, In My Own Moccasins, wowed reviewers, award juries, and readers alike with its profoundly honest and moving account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, resilience, and survival. Now, in her highly anticipated second book, Knott returns with a chronicle of grief, love, and legacy.

Having lost both her mom and grandmother in just over six months, forced to navigate the fine lines between matriarchy, martyrdom, and codependency, Knott realizes she must let go, not just of the women who raised her, but of the woman she thought she was.

Woven into the pages are themes of mourning, sobriety through loss, and generational dreaming. Becoming a Matriarch is charted with poetic insights, sass, humour, and heart, taking the reader over the rivers and mountains of Dane Zaa territory in Northeastern British Columbia, along the cobbled streets of Antigua, Guatemala, and straight to the heart of what matriarchy truly means. This is a journey through pain, on the way to becoming.

About the author:

Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Cree, Metis and mixed Euro-descent woman from Prophet River First Nations living in Fort St. John, B.C. She is the author of the nationally best-selling book, In My Own Moccasins. Her second book, Becoming a Matriarch, has been released through Knopf Doubleday Publishing. Helen has a bachelor’s degree in social work and has worked in advocacy and wellness with Indigenous communities for almost a decade. Helen has pieces published ranging from poetry to academic articles that focus on the connection between violence against Indigenous lands and violence against Indigenous bodies. She is currently taking time to work on her third book, a fiction, whose story will be rooted in her peoples territory.

About the host:

Jónína Kirton, an Icelandic and Red River Métis poet was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Treaty 1, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene peoples and the homeland of the Métis. She graduated from the Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007. She released her first book, page as bone ~ ink as blood, in 2015 and was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her third book, Standing in a River of Time, released in 2022, merges poetry and lyrical memoir to take us on a journey exposing the intergenerational effects of colonization on her Métis family.