It's been almost a decade since I first saw Kinnie Starr perform. Her resume now includes five albums, a Juno nomination, acting, Cirque du Soleil and The L Word soundtrack. Her latest creative endeavour, How I Learned to Run, is a patchwork of photography, illustration and poetry.
To encounter Starr on the page is polarizing. Without Starr's signature dialect and delivery, her language lags behind. Starr's poet strength is her colloquial diction. In a moment of internal struggle, "One Easy Step," she beautifully describes the process of unravelling. Arms became "busted roots," her centre "fell out," her heart too "weakly bound."
Starr embraces all aspects of her personhood, character and heritage. "Take Flight" combats aboriginal stereotypes and the struggle to persevere. She combines eroticism and rationalism in "Every Inch." At moments, her narratives are haphazard and clunky, but achingly human.
Family photographs, hand-scrawled drawings and text create a scrapbook. Starr seems conscious of her creative process. There are flickers of vulnerability, resilience and hope. How I Learned To Run is proof of a writer finding her voice off-stage and translating it to print.