Monday Apr 22

NoodinMargaret Margaret Noodin is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature and Weweni, a collection of bilingual poems in Ojibwe and English. Her poems and essays have been anthologized and published in Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous AmericasPoetry Magazine, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Water Stone Review, Yellow Medicine Review and New Poets of Native Nations. She works with the First Nations Program in the Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee School of Languages, the Milwaukee Indian Community School, the Audubon Center and the Urban Ecology Center. With her daughters, Shannon and Fionna, she is a member of Miskwaasining Nagamojig (the Swamp Singers) a women’s hand drum group whose lyrics are all in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe). To see and hear current projects visit where she and other students and speakers of Ojibwe have created a space for language to be shared by academics and the native community. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she also serves as the Director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education.

Bangan Zoogipook / Silent Snowfall

Epiichi bangan zoogipook
While silently the snow falls

souls are washed new

arriving along the shore

endazhi maaminonendamang
where we pause to consider

ezhi-oshkibaakadawaabiyang waaseyaabang
the way each dawnlight opens our eyes again.

Ishkodensan / Matches

Indagindaas, agindaasoyaan
I am counting, counting

gii zegimiyan
the ways you scare me

with sharp iron words

aandeg dazhwaangenid
a crow spreading wings.

Diba’iganens, diba’igan
a minute, a mile

gaawiin ningii enendamsii
I didn’t think

to notice

ishkodensan gii dakonaman
the matches you were holding.

Giginjiba’in ginjidamaan
I flee you, pounding

negwaakwaajigan indeying
the tap back into my heart

giba’amaan bagonewin
plugging the hole

before my fear leaks.

Baashkide, baashkine
Explosion, expiration

mii bagosendamaan
and now I hope

wii ezhi-meshkwaadoyaan
for a way to trade

without regrets.

Zoongizaagidowin / Fierce Love

Aabitaa-dibiki-wewe animaanimizi
The midnight goose goes away in fear

aazhogebizod aanakwaa-gamig
flying across a sea of clouds

thinking in a goose language of
. . . baashkiziganan
. . . guns
. . . wishkobii-manoomin
. . . sweet wild rice
. . . gaye giimoodag
. . . and secrets

miidash biida’amaazo bizaanabiwan
then arrives singing into the silence

ezhi-zoongide’eyang ishkwaa zegiziyaang
of the strength that comes after being afraid

ezhi-zoongizaagidizoyang ishkwaa bangishimangid.
of the fierce love that comes after loss.