A wild, seductive debut collection that presents a powerful journey of struggle and healing—and a spellbinding brew of folklore, movies, music, and ritual.
“Draw me encircled // in something // other than gasoline.” The poems of Rose Quartz hum with the naked energy of one who has found her way home after a journey rife with difficulty and who has the scars to show for it. In them, Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe moves from intimate scenes of peril—a car accident, an unwelcome advance at a party, a miscarriage—to the salvific, exhilarating punk scene of the Pacific Northwest and the centering shores of her Coast Salish ancestors. Along the way, she peers into the darker corners of her own search for belonging, and finds there glittering stones dense with meaning and the power to move forward.
As game to follow a beckoning Laura Palmer into the burning woods as she is to step into the shoes of Little Red Riding Hood as she lays waste to her wolf, LaPointe explores the sublime space between beauty and danger through lush, almost baroque, use of folktale and color. Red, white, blue, and an amalgam that is none of the above—rose—vie for the speaker’s embrace as a mixed-race woman. Here, poems become offerings, rituals, incantations conjured in the name of healing and power.
Like the stones and cards laid on an altar, Rose Quartz offers a reading at the intersection of identity and myth, trauma and truth, telling the story of past, present, and future.
Like this book? Sign up for occasional updates
Praise and Prizes
“In Rose Quartz—a tapestry of stone and tarot, story and dream—the luxury of fairy-tale is disrupted by the beautiful and scarring velocity of our reality, resulting in poems that sing and haunt, dance and tackle the heart, that glow like fire but at times are the dangerous blaze itself. Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe’s book of protection spells and unfairied-tales is the jewel anyone who knows the turbulent roads of life will want to hold close for the rest of the journey.”
“Rose Quartz is a book about taonga, it is filled with what is precious; the whenua, whanau, and aroha = the land, family, and love.”
“The clarity of the poems in Rose Quartz is like the clarity produced of ‘a fire that eats itself / back to blackness,’ which is to say, this collection brings the reader not to a position of mere interpretation—which necessarily disrupts the grim political arduousness of reading an Indigenous writer through our proximity to (the subjects of) loss (of lands, of safeties, of selves, of time)—but rather to the cusp of transformation. There is no artifice here, but art; no choreographed formula the poet is performing. Instead, ‘now the sky is black / the waves only exist because we can hear them / beyond,’ for LaPointe is a poet whose interests are not the surfaces of words, but their depths. Read Rose Quartz to consider the translucent lyric—for the dream of a woman who tells our dreams—remembering the muddying of sacramental wine with blood. For here is blood: sourced from veins as mammary as they are literary.”
“In this dynamic and deeply moving collection of poems, Sasha LaPointe somehow does the impossible: sharing her own selfhood, self-mythology, and history while also inviting us to make our own vulnerable journey in understanding our own. Here is not only an exploration of history, family, culture, the sacred, and the secular, but a song of love to the world—even when the world might not deserve such a song.”
“From the author of Red Paint, LaPointe’s long-awaited debut poetry collection Rose Quartz pulls no punches. Accompanied by rustic and witchy atmospheres that ooze Pacific Northwest, LaPointe’s poems often center around the hardships she’s survived and growth she has accomplished in relationships, a miscarriage, and her Coast Salish identity. Gorgeous, vulnerable, and shimmering with strength.”
“In a whole other way, in wholly other voices from what Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe did to powerful and beautiful ends in her memoir, Red Paint, she has given the world a debut book of poems telling and incantatory in its patterns and rhythms. There are places where it feels these poems sing, literally, addressing coming into fully realized life, its travails and blessings. Drawing, as well, on ancestral presences here in this place - her ancestors inhabited this part of the world for time immemorial, and they inhabit ever more fully, and with more voice now. Rose Quartz is a gift, a testament, a prayer, come to both wholeness and holiness in its ways.”