Author Q&A with Dallas Hunt

Author Q&A with Dallas Hunt

Get to know Dallas Hunt through his new collection Teeth, which Quill & Quire called "an intimately written collection of poems dedicated ot the complexity of Cree and Indigenous life".

From where did you write the majority of Teeth?  

I wrote the majority of this book at home, but I also wrote it on the ferry and on a balcony surrounded by my plants in Vancouver (they should be cited more in the collection).  

Do you have any routines or rituals that help you write? 

When I have an idea, I usually sit with it for a little bit. And then at some point, I start writing. This process is usually excruciating, so if I have an idea that comes “fully-formed” I usually try to unspool that thread as much as possible in one sitting. A lot of these poems are gestures, so the unspooling was slow going, like pulling teeth. 

What books did you turn to while writing? 

I wrote this collection while I was teaching, so there’s a lot of affect and literary theorists haunting the margins. I was watching a lot of films at the time, so there’s some David Lowery and Mati Duop in here as well. “Lose Your Kin” [Christina Sharpe] and Landbridge [Y-Dang Troeung] made their way in at the end / during the editing process.  

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

The same thing that I say to myself: “just get started.” I don’t care if you meant to start writing at 10 a.m. and it’s now 10:02 a.m. or 7:38 p.m., just get started. Also, if a thought is ringing around your head for a while, there’s probably a reason why, so pursue it if it’s not too difficult to. Also, if something strikes you as worth writing about (a word, a fully-formed sentence, an idea) write it down immediately—you'll most likely forget it later and will be less likely to write it down if it feels like “an approximation.” Drink 1.5 litres of water a day. 

If your book were a meal, what would it be? 

Moose meat and gruel. 


Teeth is a book about grief, death and longing. It’s about the gristle that lodges itself deep into one’s gums, between incisors and canines.

Teeth details not only the symptoms of colonization, but also the foundational and constitutive asymmetries that allow for it to proliferate and reproduce itself. Dallas Hunt grapples with the material realities and imaginaries Indigenous communities face, as well as the pockets of livability that they inhabit just to survive. Still this collection seeks joy in the everyday, in the flourishing of Indigenous Peoples in the elsewhere, in worlds to come.

Nestling into the place between love and ruin, Teeth traces the collisions of love undone and being undone by love, where “the hope is to find an ocean nested in shoulders—to reside there when the tidal waves come. and then love names the ruin.”

Dallas Hunt is Cree and a member of Wapsewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty Eight territory in northern Alberta. He has had creative works published in Prairie Fire, PRISM international and Arc Poetry. His first children’s book, Awâsis and the World-famous Bannock, was published through Highwater Press in 2018, and was nominated for several awards. His first poetry collection, Creeland, published in 2022, was nominated for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Indigenous Voices Award. Hunt lives in Vancouver, BC.