Beothuk Books takes its name from the aboriginal people of Newfoundland, the Beothuk.

During European colonization, the Beothuk refused to ally themselves with the French, English or other Native American tribes and remained isolated. They were subsequently devastated by the effects of that colinization: settlers forced them into Newfoundland's inhospitable interior, other tribes routinely raided their villages, and European diseases were rampant and deadly.

By the mid-1800's, the Beothuk were extinct.

The Beothuk language, itself unrelated to other Native American language groups, as only a few hundred vocabulary words.

If language is the habitat of a people's culture, then poetry is both a preserver of that habitat and a guide through it. Poetry points out and embodies language's fragilities and strengths, its nuances, and its vibrant ecosystem. Poetry reifies the language of the tribe. In choosing the name of a gone language for my press, I hope to remember and honor that connection.

Michael Gushue
Publisher of Beothuk Books


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