Jónína Kirton a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet, author and facilitator was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (Treaty One). She currently lives in the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh. Kirton graduated from the Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007. A late blooming poet she was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category.
Kirton’s first collection of poetry, page as bone ~ink as blood,was released with Talonbooks in 2015. Joanne Arnott described this collection as “restorative, intimate poetry, drawing down ancestral ideas into the current moments breath.” Her second collection, An Honest Woman, was released in 2018 with Talonbooks and was a finalist in the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Betsy Warland had this to say about An Honest Woman; “Kirton picks over how she was raised familially and culturally like a crime scene.”
Her interest in the stories of her Métis and Icelandic ancestors is the common thread throughout much of her writing. In 2018 her poem, untethered, a poem about her mixed ancestry was selected to be a part of the Winnipeg wall to wall mural festival. A picture of the mural can be found at her website: https://joninakirton.wixsite.com/poet.