Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet’s Lecture Series

Oct 7, 2016


Celebrated Montreal Poet and Translator Erín Moure Delivers Gustafson Lecture at VIU Oct. 27

 Renowned Canadian poet and translator Erín Moure, the 2016 Ralph Gustafson Chair Poetry, will deliver a free public lecture, Translation: Operations at the Heart(ache) of Meaning, 7pm Thursday October 27th at VIU’s Nanaimo campus. Moure’s lecture will interpret the social and linguistic implications of translation and of her own poetics, particularly how meaning “carried across” from one text to another is never purely a representation of the author’s original art, changing both how we read and what it means to create poetry.

Moure is the author of 19 books of poetry and is one of Canada’s most respected translators. She works in French, Galician, Spanish, and Portuguese and is known for translations of, and collaborations with, French-Canadian poet Nicole Brossard, Galician poet/activist Chus Pato, and Chilean poet Andres Ajens.  Her poetry collections have won the Governor-General’s Award (1988, nominated five times), the Pat Lowther Memorial Award (1985), and the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry twice (1989, 2005). She has also been shortlisted three times for the Griffin Poetry Prize and has served on its judges’ panel.

Her most recent collection is Kapusta (Anansi, 2015), described as an “English and French play-text that tells the story of the character E., living in the smallest of spaces—the bench behind her grandmother’s woodstove—as she struggles to face the Holocaust in Western Ukraine. A collection that explores the relation between place, body, and sorrow.”

Alisa Gordaneer studied Moure’s work for her UVic English Master’s thesis Second Person, Second Sex: Address and Apostrophe in the Poetry of Erin Moure and says, “Moure’s work transcends the boundaries of language, geography, and poetry to create new interpretations and challenge our perceptions of meaning.”

Victoria poet Marilyn Bowering taught the genre at VIU for 15 years and says, “Moure’s work is always intriguing, often brilliant and idiosyncratic and beautiful. Her integrity, her willingness to inhabit spaces and places, both theoretical and lyrical, that no one else has noticed, is courageous.”

“Over the course of her career, Erín Moure’s voice has ranged from the plain-spokenness of working women to the fragmented, hyperintellectual sensualism of French écriture feminine; from a surreal inhabitation of the translational space between languages to the warmth of a mother making cabbage soup,” says Sonnet L’Abbé, , who joined the Creative Writing Department as a poetry professor after Bowering’s  retirement.

The Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry 2-day reading schedule includes the following 4 free events:

  • Moure Student Lecture and Q&A—Oct 26th 2:30-4pm Bldg 355/ 211
  • Poetry & Beer: The Craft of Translation—Oct 26th 7:30-8:30, White Sails Brewing 125 Comox Rd, Erín Mouré reads with poet Gary Geddes
  • Designing Meaning: Translating Text to Type—Bringhurst Workshop Oct 27th 1-3pm, Bldg 200/203
  • Gustafson Distinguished Poet’s Lecture—Oct 27th 7-9pm Bldg 355/203, Courtesy parking Lot N, 9 pm book launch and signing, catered reception, cash bar in Royal Arbutus Room Bldg 300

The reception will also celebrate the release of three new chapbooks from past lectures by Gary Geddes, Dennis Lee, and George Elliott Clarke, each designed by renowned poet and typographer Robert Bringhurst and hand-printed by Gaspereau Press. The Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry was established in 1998 from the estate of the late preeminent Canadian poet Ralph Gustafson and his wife, Betty. Elegant chapbooks in the Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet’s Lecture Series also include those by Jan Zwicky, Don McKay, Daphne Marlatt, Tom Wayman, Dionne Brand, Don Domanski, and Robert Bringhurst.

The 2016 lecture and other events are funded by the Ralph and Betty Gustafson Poetry Trust, the Canada Council for the Arts, Writers on Campus, and VIU’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Interviews with Moure and Bringhurst will appear in Portal 2017, VIU’s full-colour nationally distributed literary magazine.

For more information contact Toni Smith, Chair of the Gustafson Committee, Toni.Smith@VIU.ca. To buy a chapbook in advance order online from the VIU Bookstore.