At Geronimo's Grave

At Geronimo's Grave

Armand Garnet Ruffo
  • $14.95

160 pages | 978-1-550501-76-3

From the author of the brilliant poetic biography Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney comes this follow-up collection of powerful, touching poems about indigenous realities and consciousness.

Geronimo is probably the second-best-known Native American name, after Pocahontas. But the reality of the great Apache warrior's ulitmate fate is little remembered. In At Geronimo's Grave, Amand Ruffo uses the Apache warrior's life as a metaphor for the lives of many of the abandoned indigenous people on this continent.

Feared for his once-great prowess, the warrior horseman was reduced, as the cover shows, to wearing a top hat and riding in an early Ford Model T car, a grim caricature of assimilation into the dominant culture. The bitter irony of this fate echoes through the personal poems in At Geronimo's Grave as well. With affection and concern, Armand Ruffo uses blunt, direct, language to examine the lives and experiences of people who struggle to make their way in a world that has no place for them. Or who have already given up that struggle. At Geronimo's Grave is a love letter to a people trapped in the slow-moving vehicle of another culture which is taking them nowhere.


Armand Garnet Ruffo was born and raised in northern Ontario and draws upon his Ojibwe heritage for much of his writing. A multi-genre writer, he is the author of Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney and Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird, a finalist for the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His latest collection of poetry is The Thunderbird Poems. Other projects include “Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow,” a musical drama that premiered in the summer of 2018, and “On the Day the World Begins Again,” a short film about Indigenous incarceration that will premiere in October 2018. His writing most recently appeared in ARC Poetry, GRANTA's Canada issue, EVENT and 150, Canada’s History in Poetry (Nimbus Publishing). Ruffo is the recipient of a Honourary Life Member Award from the League of Canadian Poets and an inaugural Mayor’s Arts Award from the City of Kingston. He is currently the Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Literature at Queen’s University in Kingston. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Other Titles by This Author

TREATY # (2019)

Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney (1996)

We Also Recommend