Dominique Bernier-Cormier (he/him) is a Québécois/Acadian poet writing in both French and English. His first book, Correspondent, was published by Goose Lane Editions in 2018 and was longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award. He is at work on a second book of poetry.
"According to family lore, if my ancestor hadn’t escaped the Deportation of the Acadians by sneaking out of his jail cell dressed as a woman, we’d be living in Louisiana. In May, 2019, my father and I spent two weeks travelling across that state, exploring this parallel Cajun reality.
'Fatherland' is based on an artwork I encountered there, 'Young Life' by Bo Bartlett. Everything in the painting seemed so confident to me, so still and permanent and elemental. I felt a strong contrast between this defiant — borderline arrogant — stillness and the speed at which Louisiana landscapes and lifestyles are changing due to rising sea-levels.
The museum label mentioned that Barnett had hidden a dandelion seed and deer fur in the paint. That painter, that painting, and everyone in it seemed to have control over nature, as material and space, and I wondered how that might be changing."