July 11, 2011

Erin Mouré

Erin Mouré [Canada]

Born in Calgary, Albert, Canada on April 17, 1955, Erin Mouré is a noted Canadian poet and translator (among her languages are French, Galician, Portuguese, Spanish, and English).

Her mother was original from Galicia, Poland (now the Ukraine), and her father was born in Ottawa. She has two younger brothers.

In 1975 Mouré moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where continued her education at the University of British Columbia in philosophy, but after only year, she left her studies to work for Via Rail Canada, continuing to write poetry.

Today she lives in Montreal.

Melissa Jacques has written of the poet: "Erin Mouré's poetry is fragmented, meta-critical and explicitly deconstructive. Folding everyday events and ordinary people into complex and often irresolvable philosophical dilemmas, Mouré challenges the standards of accessibility and common sense. Not surprisingly, her work has met with a mixed response. Critics are often troubled by the difficult and therefore alienating nature of the writing; even amongst Mouré's advocates, the issues of accessibility and political efficacy are recurrent themes."

Mouré has won the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry, the Governor General's Award for Poetry (1988) and been nominated for several awards.

The poet has also written essays and serves as contributing editor to The Capilano Review.


Empire, York Street (Vancouver: House of Anansi, 1979); The Whisky Vigil (Madeira Park, British Columbia, Canada: Harbour, 1982); Wanted Alive (Vancouver: House of Anansi, 1983); Domestic Fuel (Vancouver: House of Ansani: 1985); Furious (Vancouver: House of Ansani, 1988); Excess (Pocket Edition, 1988); WSW (Montreal: Véhicule, 1989); Sheepish Beauty, Civilian Love (Montreal: Véhicule, 1992); Visible Spectrum (pomflit, 1992); Search Procedures, or Lake This (disOrientation, 1993); The Green Word: Selected Poems: 1973-1992 (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press Canada, 1994); Search Procedures (Toronto: House on Ansani, 1996); A Frame of the Book (Toronto: House of Ansani/Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1999); Pillage Laud (Toronto: Moveable Type, 1999/2011); O Cidadán (2002); Little theatres (Toronto: House of Ansani, 2005); O Cadoiro (Toronto: House of Ansani, 2007); Expeditions of a Chimæra [with Oana Avasilichioaei] (2009); O Resplandor (Toronto: House of Ansani, 2010)

POURS, or What stills reveal about the human figure

We are beings inhabited by surprise.
When we are still, speech pours out of us.
There is a reason for our hair.

A reason reasons our hair.
Did a little mouse run around "here"?
Or were we truly innocent of tabulation.

When still we are not cadavers.
Our biographies are not synonymous &
not letdowns.

Always chooses a note, & fails to sedate it.
A particular grief is always "being" jettisoned
until the soil, a varnish, lets up.

Because I said so.
Because "located" in inhabited space.
Because arm, ar

Nos oublis sont là, visibles et non pas chimériques

C'est acceptable, on dit
D'où vient ce pain merveilleux, on dit

La question est posée derrière l'écran du corps
La question est serrée entre les doigts

du visible, d'où on vient, d'où vient
ce pain


in a war, who lost an earlobe? who slept "right thru"?


Tomarric an invention of a yellow spice or trill
Her ear still says so, is still
Fabulous with innuendo

in a war, who baked flageolets with lamb? who "furnished"?


There is an impetuous shadowing mirth
or Murph

His beautiful length of fur seen in stills only
Still exists in stills a concocted reverie
But mortal does establish this

A coin or "this"
We inhabit or are spending
Sloughs off the human figure or off the dog

We have not been able to say "dog" up till now
In any poetry

Si jamais on pouvait localiser la voix
Une corde de moins, l'empruntée ou "échec"

Today we are admitting certain consonants
as vowels
ovoid figures in a tested environment

Today we are admitting certain continents
as vow(el)s
Othered figurae in a viridial testament

in a war, who carried forward the plush moniker? who "wised up"?

If an ovation is a lesser form of "triumph"
She came out at last with a feature that wept
against terminology

or spire, spite, danger sputum
Too "is" has been a way this danger does inhabit

we are "up for walks" upon the Mountain
which is to say a feature or designation
Proper to admit or ponder

Proper to concatentate or disinter
Where features project an original form of landscape
what we planted there in still

Heretofore "unavailable"
La comtesse qui boit du café à la lumière du jour
Ils ont écrit : la précieuse lumière du jour dans leur pays

in a war, who came back with curtailment? who "pitched" an arm?

el: Firstly, there is a lot here for which to beg your pardon. The deer
came out of the hill trees to feed at the hot side of the building,
stalking drifts to get there. It means an awful slow motion over time
exposure. It was her house, there were still fallen apples. "Still"
admits to what duration? The palimpsest determines or deters me.
How will I know the answer, when I only saw the photos in which (&
this cannot be changed now) the lower half of her legs was erased by
the dog. A kind of pointing animal or reference out of the framework.
Aside from this, I only want to say: fervid, avid, fervorous, ardour.
These are the mechanisms I am trying to deal with. Yrs, er.

copyright ©2011 by Erin Mouré

For a short biography and futher poems, click below:

For a reading of O resplondor and an interview, click below:

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