"By My Heart": Gerald Vizenor's Almost Ashore and Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point


  • Molly S. McGlennen




Native American, Poetry, Transnationalism


Gerald Vizenor's 2006 publications Almost Ashore and Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point illuminate Anishinaabe nationhood, citizenship, and self-determiniation through an ironic transnational framework constituted from a particular landscape, set of stories, relationships, and memory.  Through the apparatus of poetry, and specifically through the lens of "by my heart" (a phrase that echoes through Vizenor's collections), Vizenor reveals Anishinaabeg determining the locales and ideals of the nation, despite discourses of dominance that would preordain and reduce Anishinaabe experience to an urban/reservation dichotomy and normalize colonial conquest.

Author Biography

Molly S. McGlennen

Molly McGlennen was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is of Anishinaabe and European descent.  Currently, she is an Associate Professor of English and Native American Studies at Vassar College.  She earned a PhD in Native American Studies from University of California, Davis and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College.

Her creative writing and scholarship have been published widely.  She is the author of a collection of poetry Fried Fish and Flour Biscuits, published by Salt’s award-winning “Earthworks Series” of Indigenous writers, and a critical monograph Creative Alliances: The Transnational Designs of Indigenous Women’s Poetry from University of Oklahoma Press, which earned the Beatrice Medicine Award for outstanding scholarship in American Indian Literature.




How to Cite

McGlennen, M. S. (2015). "By My Heart": Gerald Vizenor’s Almost Ashore and Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point. Transmotion, 1(2), 1. https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/tm.124