Erín Moure
(Canada, 1955)   
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Erín Moure

Although Erín Moure was born in Calgary, she is known as a Montréal poet. The cultural distance between birthplace and homeplace foregrounds an underlying but productive tension in her work. She writes in English, but this writing is informed by French, Galician, Portuguese and Spanish.

Moure’s multilingual approach to poetry reveals an engagement with language(s) that moves beyond diction and syntax to function as a kind of method or philosophy. This commitment is also reflected in her prose writings, in which she develops a theory of poetics that extends an individual or lyric vision into what one might call a worlding of literature. Responding to her recent collection of essays, My Beloved Wager (2009), American poet Rachel Blau Duplessis has stated that Moure offers a “responsive, penetrating, and alert justification for the arts of poetry and translation as radical practices of from, content, sound, ideology—and being. Erín Moure, Canadian, also carries the passport of a dazzling country: the Democratic Network of Languages.”

In addition to publishing more than fifteen books of poetry, including O Resplandor (2010), Expeditions of a Chimæra (2009; written in collaboration with Oana Avasilichioaei), O Cidadán (2002) and Furious (1988), Moure has translated work by French writers Nicole Brossard and Louise Dupré, Galacian writer Chus Pato and the renowned Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. She has also received a number of awards, including Canada’s Governor General’s Award, the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and the Pat Lowther Award.

What sets Moure’s work apart is its often uncanny juxtaposition of poststructuralist philosophy and lived experience. In recognition of what she identifies as the high stakes of poetry, her work is a potent mix of the linguistic, the intellectual and the political. It is also, as she asserts in her essay ‘Shaggy Mammal Intervenção’, intensely visceral: “To me it is the most beautiful thing to put language into my mouth. It assuages what burns there.”

© Melissa Jacques

Of the poems published here on PIW, Erín Moure writes: “[they are] purporting to be translations by Elisa Sampedrín – who doesn’t exist – and who translates from a language she does not even know: simply because she sees the poems and wants to read them, and can’t, in their original language.”

Select bibliography

Poetry collections

The Unmemntioable, Anansi, Toronto, forthcoming April 2012
O Resplandor, Anansi, Toronto, 2010
Expeditions of a Chimæra (co-written w. Oana Avasilichioaei), BookThug, Toronto, 2009
12 Elegies from the Romanian of Nichita Stănescu by Elisa Sampedrín, Zat-So, Montreal, 2007
O Cadoiro, Anansi, Toronto, 2007
Little Theatres, Anansi, Toronto, 2005
O Cidadán, Anansi, Toronto, 2002
Pillage Laud, Moveable Type Books, Toronto, 1999; reissued by BookThug, Toronto, 2011
A Frame of the Book or The Frame of a Book, Anansi / Sun & Moon, Toronto / Los Angeles, 1999
Search Procedures, Anansi, Toronto, 1996
The Green Word: Selected Poems 1973–1992, Oxford UP, Toronto, 1994
Sheepish Beauty, Civilian Love, Véhicule Press, Montreal, 1992
WSW (West South West), Véhicule Press, Montreal, 1989
Furious, Anansi, Toronto, 1988; reprinted 1992, 2006, 2010
Domestic Fuel, Toronto, Anansi, 1985
Wanted Alive, Anansi, Toronto, 1983
Empire, York Street, Anansi, Toronto, 1979


My Beloved Wager, NeWest Press, Edmonton, 2009


Primera historia del latín, Pen Press, New York, 2008 (Spanish translations by M. López-Luaces & M. Roffé)
Befallen, belladonna, New York, 2005
À Adan. Poèmes de Emma M., housepress, Calgary, 2001 (original in French)
At a Log o, Zat-So Productions, Montréal, 2000 (poems with cover collage)
Astro’s House of Ripey Lyric, Zat-So Productions, Montréal, 1997
Search Procedures, or Lake This, DisOrientation Books, Calgary, 1994 (poems)
Excess, Pocket Edition, Montréal, 1988 (2” x 2”, stapled, clear plastic covers)
The Whisky Vigil, Harbour, Madeira Park, 1981 (poems and drawings)

Translations of poetry from Galician (G), Spanish (S), French (F), Portuguese (P)

Just Like Her, by Louise Dupré, Wolsak & Wynn, Hamilton, forthcoming 2011 (F)
Hordes of Writing, by Chus Pato, Shearsman, Exeter, UK / Buschek, Ottawa, forthcoming 2011 (G)
m-Talá, by Chus Pato, Shearsman, Exeter, UK / BuschekBooks, Ottawa, 2009 (G)
Charenton, by Chus Pato, Shearsman, Exeter, UK / BuschekBooks, Ottawa, 2007 (G)
Notebook of Roses and Civilization, by Nicole Brossard, Coach House, Toronto, 2007 (translated with Robert Majzels) (F)
Museum of Bone and Water, by Nicole Brossard, Anansi, Toronto, 2003 (translated with Robert Majzels) (F)
Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person, by Fernando Pessoa, Anansi, Toronto, 2001, 2004, 2010 (P)
Quase Flanders, Quase Extremadura, by Andrés Ajens, Mano Izquierda, Victoria, 1998 (S)
Installations, by Nicole Brossard, Muses’ Company, Winnipeg, 2000 (translated with Robert Majzels) (F)


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