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Releasing “Apenimonodan” small print by Margaret Noodin


Trust that you know
some people
who will surprise you
with the way they care for the world
and every small spider
the way they care for you
as you open and shut
then open again.
Polish the way they shine.
Recognize yourselves in shared water.

Margaret Noodin


During the final steps of finishing this print — sorting and counting comp copies, archives, inventory — I found myself setting another and yet another aside, into a gift pile that accrues regularly on one corner of my work table.

Each time was on account of being washed with a deep thankful feeling toward a specific individual. A person I trust.

Trust is a word I don't take lightly, one I have struggled to learn how to feel for years and years and years. Of the many gifts this poem has given me since I first read it, this is perhaps the greatest: the recognition that I have SO many people in my life to send it to. To say thank you. Thank you for being someone I trust.

“Apenimonodan” is from What the Chickadee Knows, a bilingual book of poems first written in Anishinaabemowin, then English. From the preface: “They are an attempt to hear and describe the world according to an Anishinaabe worldview. They celebrate the network of relations along the shores of Michigami, the system of lakes also known as the sweetwater sea.” My own worldview feels opened up from reading these poems, and I send a great greeting and thanks to Margaret and the folks at Wayne State University Press for permission to work with them.

The print releasing today is the first of two we agreed to, one in each language. This small one in English is meant to be an access point for non-native speakers and to help the poem travel widely. A broadside in Anishinaabemowin will follow with limited copies available, half of which are going to Margaret and the community of speakers and learners keeping their language alive.

“Apenimonodan” is the title of the poem in Anishinaabemowin; “Trust” is the title of the poem in English on the facing page. We decided to give this small print the title in its first language, to honor it and to send folks looking for more. There is an incredible wealth of language-learning resources at


Subject line and intro text are from the poem “Apenimonodan / Trust,” What the Chickadee Knows, Wayne State University Press. Copyright 2020 Margaret Noodin. Used by permission.

Thanks to Andrea and Marie at Wayne State University Press for their willingness to entertain an unusual permission proposal, and for facilitating the process with professional warmth.

Thanks to Margaret for her openess and clear sense of purpose throughout our dialogue, centering the language and learning community while holding space for all kinds of connecting.

Gratitude to the speakers that carry Anishinaabemowin — past, present, and future — that we all may learn from how their language hears and sees the world.

Links to purchase

Get the book: What the Chickadee Knows and the print: Apenimonodan small print.