Rainy River First Nations poet releases 3rd book

Author Al Hunter signs a copy of his new book, Beautiful Razor: Love Poems and Other Lies, for Fay Zoccole following Saturday’s launch in Thunder Bay.
(Sandi Krasowski)
Author Al Hunter signs a copy of his new book, Beautiful Razor: Love Poems and Other Lies, for Fay Zoccole following Saturday’s launch in Thunder Bay. (Sandi Krasowski)

There are some topics everyone can relate to and many gravitate to a medium to find a connection or soothe painful emotions.
Fans of author Al Hunter packed Chapters on Saturday to celebrate his new book of poems, Beautiful Razor: Love Poems and Other Lies.
Hunter entertained his fans with readings from his third book, accompanied by live music performed by J.C. Wilkinson.
Hunter signed copies of Beautiful Razor and previously published books.
He said this is the third unveiling of Beautiful Razor. The earlier two were in Duluth and Vancouver.
He said it is a collection of poems he has written over the last five years and all have a common theme.
“There’s poems about loss, longing, redemption, faith, all those things,” the Rainy River First Nations author said in an interview.
“The inspiration is that everybody has had the common experience of having heartbreak, of difficult times in our lives. I look at the process of creating this book . . . as another pathway to healing.”
He said he often has musicians accompany him because poetry and music are related.
Hunter has been writing for 45 years, and had his first poem published when he was 10 years old.
Being a writer, he said, is a blessing and a curse, because he’s always had a passion to express himself through the written word. Much of that inspiration has come from bad experiences, but he said it’s all part of life and he knows many more people will relate to his experiences and perhaps find comfort in knowing someone else has had a similar experience.
“Many of these poems come from a place of darkness . . . from life,” he said.
“The impetus is a creative energy that I have and needs to be released, and for me, it’s through writing and poetry.”
As the crowd gathered, he said it was great to see so many people appreciate his work, and the art of poetry and song. He said the best way to enjoy poems is to hear them spoken publicly.
Hunter’s other books are The Recklessness of Love: Bawajiganan Gaye Ni-Maanedam (Dreams and Regrets) and Spirit Horses.
Hunter is also an activist for indigenous rights and wellness, and environmental responsibility.