Short Fuse Podcast #61: Joshua Whitehead — Reflections from Turtle Island

By Elizabeth Howard



Episode Summary

Joshua Whitehead, a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1), is a poet, author, and essayist. His prose has been described as evocative and sensual, unabashedly queer and visceral, raw and autobiographical. In this episode Elizabeth Howard talks to Whitehead about his essays in Making Love With the Land (University of Minnesota Press, 2022) as he reflects on the current moment, when both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are rediscovering old ways and creating new ones, particularly regarding responsibility toward each other and the land. He writes of his devotion to the world in which we live and brilliantly — even joyfully — maps his experience on areas that have shaped stories and histories from time immemorial.

Episode Notes

Joshua Whitehead is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary where he teaches Indigenous literatures and cultures with a focus on gender and sexuality. His book of poetry, full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017), was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. Whitehead’s novel Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press 2018), established him as an exciting and important new literary voice: it was long-listed for the Giller Prize, short-listed for the Indigenous Voices Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. It won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction and the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction.

Whitehead’s essay collection Making Love With the Land (University of Minnesota, 2022) is filled with prose that is evocative and sensual, unabashedly queer and visceral, raw, autobiographical, and emotionally compelling. He shares his devotion to the world in which we live and brilliantly — even joyfully — maps his experiences. His work has been published widely, including such venues as Prairie Fire, CV2, EVENT, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Fiddlehead, Grain, CNQ, Write, and Red Rising Magazine.

Links of interest:

Robin Wall Kimmerer

University of Minnesota Press

The Short Fuse Podcast is hosted and produced by Elizabeth Howard. Learn more at Elizabeth Howard.

The Arts Fuse was established in June 2007 as a curated, independent online arts magazine dedicated to publishing in-depth criticism, along with high quality previews, interviews, and commentaries. The publication’s over 60 freelance critics (many of them with decades of experience) cover dance, film, food, literature, music, television, theater, video games, and visual arts. Our core belief: that there is a robust readership for arts coverage that believes that culture matters.

Alex Waters is the technical producer, audio editor, and engineer for the Short Fuse Podcast. He is a music producer and a student at Berklee College of Music. He has written and produced music and edited for podcasts including The Faith and Chai Podcast and Con Confianza. He writes, produces and records music for independent artists, including The Living. He lives in Brooklyn and can be reached at with inquiries.

1 Comment

  1. Leslie Absher on August 3, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    This was mind expanding and stirring for me. I found so much permission given by the author/thinker/human for us all to bloom outward and to see the interconnectedness of our lives and of living. A liberating listen. Thank you.

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