ISBN-10: 1571315438
ISBN-13: 9781571315434
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publish Date: 03/14/2023
Dimensions: 8.40" L, 5.30" W, 0.40" H

Rose Quartz: Poems


Price: $16.00


A wild, seductive debut collection that presents a powerful journey of struggle and healing–and a spellbinding brew of folklore, movies, music, and ritual.

“Draw me encircled // in something // other than gasoline.” The poems of Rose Quartz hum with the naked energy of one who has found her way home after a journey rife with difficulty and who has the scars to show for it. In them, Sasha taqwsəblu LaPointe moves from intimate scenes of peril–a car accident, an unwelcome advance at a party, a miscarriage–to the salvific, exhilarating punk scene of the Pacific Northwest and the centering shores of her Coast Salish ancestors. Along the way, she peers into the darker corners of her own search for belonging, and finds there glittering stones dense with meaning and the power to move forward.

As game to follow a beckoning Laura Palmer into the burning woods as she is to step into the shoes of Little Red Riding Hood as she lays waste to her wolf, LaPointe explores the sublime space between beauty and danger through lush, almost baroque, use of folktale and color. Red, white, blue, and an amalgam that is none of the above–rose–vie for the speaker’s embrace as a mixed-race woman. Here, poems become offerings, rituals, incantations conjured in the name of healing and power.

Like the stones and cards laid on an altar, Rose Quartz offers a reading at the intersection of identity and myth, trauma and truth, telling the story of past, present, and future.

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Praise for Rose Quartz

"LaPointe conveys with dazzling intensity that while our healing is in our own hands, we need not be alone."–Elizabeth Hoover, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"LaPointe writes, drawing inspiration from her Coast Salish heritage and lingering in the liminal spaces between beauty and danger. The poems play with color imagery, act as rituals and incantations, and delve into the poet's interiority in search of self-discovery and belonging."–Autostraddle

"Rose Quartz grapples with the deep wounds inside of us all through evershifting rose-colored glasses."–Em Win, Autostraddle

"From the author of Red Paint, LaPointe's long-awaited debut poetry collection Rose Quartz pulls no punches. Accompanied by rustic and witchy atmospheres that ooze Pacific Northwest, LaPointe's poems often center around the hardships she's survived and growth she has accomplished in relationships, a miscarriage, and her Coast Salish identity. Gorgeous, vulnerable, and shimmering with strength."–Andrew King, Secret Garden, Seattle, WA

"In a whole other way, in wholly other voices from what Sasha taqwsəblu LaPointe did to powerful and beautiful ends in her memoir, Red Paint, she has given the world a debut book of poems telling and incantatory in its patterns and rhythms. There are places where it feels these poems sing, literally, addressing coming into fully realized life, its travails and blessings. Drawing, as well, on ancestral presences here in this place - her ancestors inhabited this part of the world for time immemorial, and they inhabit ever more fully, and with more voice now. Rose Quartz is a gift, a testament, a prayer, come to both wholeness and holiness in its ways."–Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

"In Rose Quartz–a tapestry of stone and tarot, story and dream–the luxury of fairy-tale is disrupted by the beautiful and scarring velocity of our reality, resulting in poems that sing and haunt, dance and tackle the heart, that glow like fire but at times are the dangerous blaze itself. Sasha taqwsəblu LaPointe's book of protection spells and unfairied-tales is the jewel anyone who knows the turbulent roads of life will want to hold close for the rest of the journey."–Danez Smith

"Rose Quartz is a book about taonga, it is filled with what is precious; the whenua, whanau, and aroha = the land, family, and love."–Tayi Tibble

"The clarity of the poems in Rose Quartz is like the clarity produced of 'a fire that eats itself / back to blackness, ' which is to say, this collection brings the reader not to a position of mere interpretation–which necessarily disrupts the grim political arduousness of reading an Indigenous writer through our proximity to (the subjects of) loss (of lands, of safeties, of selves, of time)–but rather to the cusp of transformation. There is no artifice here, but art; no choreographed formula the poet is performing. Instead, 'now the sky is black / the waves only exist because we can hear them / beyond, ' for LaPointe is a poet whose interests are not the surfaces of words, but their depths. Read Rose Quartz to consider the translucent lyric–for the dream of a woman who tells our dreams–remembering the muddying of sacramental wine with blood. For here is blood: sourced from veins as mammary as they are literary."–Joan Naviyuk Kane

"In this dynamic and deeply moving collection of poems, Sasha LaPointe somehow does the impossible: sharing her own selfhood, self-mythology, and history while also inviting us to make our own vulnerable journey in understanding our own. Here is not only an exploration of history, family, culture, the sacred, and the secular, but a song of love to the world–even when the world might not deserve such a song."–Matthew Dickman

Praise for Red Paint

"Absorbing . . . A worthy tribute to Coast Salish women."–Time

"LaPointe recounts the interconnected stories of her life and the lives of some of her ancestors as Coast Salish women living in different time periods on their ancestral lands. These simultaneous threads capture resilience, trauma, love, healing, and connection. . . . Her work is definitely something to be watched."–Shondaland

"The Pacific-Northwest native's story is one of survival. . . . LaPointe reckons with a fraught past by weaving together memoir and poetry to create something that feels raw and unfiltered."–Bust

"[A] poetically punk debut memoir about ancestry, loss, colonialism, rebuilding, power, hope and healing."–Ms.

"Set against a backdrop of of the breathtaking beauty of Coast Salish ancestral land and imbued with the universal spirit of punk, Red Paint is ultimately a story of the ways we learn to find our true selves while fighting for our right to claim a place of our own. Examining what it means to be vulnerable in love and in art, [LaPointe] offers up an unblinking reckoning with persona traumas amplified by the collective personal traumas of colonialism and genocide that continue to haunt native peoples. Red Paint is an intersectional autobiography of lineage, resilience, and, above all, the ability to heal."–Shelf Unbound

"Red Paint offers a poetic narrative of trauma and healing through ancestral rites and punk rock, both of which prove to be potent medicine during LaPointe's excavation of family legacy and matrilineal power. . . . LaPointe's quest to wear the red paint of her ancestors in the context of her own life as a poet and performer integrates the twin strands, past and present, of this stunning memoir. For LaPointe, restoring the self to health is entwined with restoring Native women's voices that have been erased throughout history. She uses her own luminescent voice to tell their stories, wielding language, words, ritual and community as tools of contemporary and ancestral healing."–Bookpage

"In Red Paint, LaPointe delivers a cutting, artful thrashing of settler colonialism and a sensitive exploration of ways of healing and forging space for community and connection through storytelling. . . . LaPointe's intimate prose is introspective, raging and funny. . . . [She] explores her experiences and familial legacies in a wash of rage, beauty, love and reclamation of strength via storytelling."–Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"Throughout [Red Paint], the author deftly navigates multiple timelines, weaving in and out of family history, personal narrative, and a host of other tangential topics. . . . Although the author does not shy away from heartache and sorrow, readers are welcomed on what is ultimately a healing journey that will stick in their memories. An engaging, poetic, educative examination of the search for home and personal and cultural identity."–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] stirring debut . . . LaPointe writes in lucid vignettes that alternate between past and present as she reflects on her ancestors, Salish medicine workers who 'faced violence, disease, and genocide'. . . . LaPointe's fresh and urgent perspective on Indigenous culture is enthralling."–Publishers Weekly

"Red Paint is an ode to healing and to healers, told by someone who intimately knows both. Steeped in punk music and poetry, it is an ode to indigenous inheritance, and to the work and wisdom necessary to recover from the legacies of trauma. It is the truest kind of love story: one in which every lover is a MacGuffin, propelling its narrator toward the person who matters most–herself."–Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood

"Red Paint is a miraculous book. LaPointe walks us through the sites of her evisceration while rebuilding a home within her body using sturdy materials: rose quartz, cedar bark, red clay, and the words of her ancestors. With each potent sentence, she shows us what access to power looks like. She shows us how to become whole."–Elissa Washuta, author of White Magic

"As luminous as the morning sun over the fir forests, Red Paint is a story of where strength takes us. LaPointe goes looking to the past to help heal from terrible traumas, finding inspiration in her ancestors, the Salish people. This is a book destined to be a classic. Read it."–Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder

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ISBN-10: 1571315438
ISBN-13: 9781571315434
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publish Date: 03/14/2023
Dimensions: 8.40" L, 5.30" W, 0.40" H
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