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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Pierre Nepveu

translated by Judith Cowan

Vehicule Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2004
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2004
    List Price

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In this powerful and original collection, Pierre Nepveu, one of Quebec's foremost poets, recreates the tragic circumstances surrounding the construction of Montreal's Mirabel airport. In an exceptional English translation that is wrenching in the shifting sadness of its lines, these poems are brilliantly disturbing, ambitious in their moral force, and universal in scope. Mirabel (under its original title, Lignes aériennes) won the Governor-General's Award and the International Poetry Festival's Grand Prize in 2003, and has already been hailed as a contemporary masterpiece of French-Canadian poetry.

About the authors

Pierre Nepveuis a Montreal critic, essayist, poet and teacher. He has received the Governor General’s Award three times—in 1997 for the collection of poems Romans-fleuves, in 1998 for the essay Intérieurs du Nouveau Monde, and in 2003 for Lignes Aériennes. His many other awards include the Québec-Paris Prize, the Prix Victor-Barbeau de l’Académie des lettres du Québec, and the Canada-Swiss Prize. Pierre Nepveu has taught in the Département d’études françaises at the Université de Montréal since 1978.

Donald Winkler is a filmmaker and translator. He won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation and has been a finalist four times. His translation of Daniel Poliquin’s La Kermesse [A Secret Between Us] was a finalist for the 2007 Giller Prize. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.
Writer, playwright, director, actor, journalist, historian, and critic, Jean-Claude Germain is a Quebec icon. He taught at the National Theatre School of Canada and was artistic director of Théâtre d’aujourd’hui (1972-1982). Well-known for his story telling on the radio, he related the year-by-year saga of the history of Montreal from 1642 to 1992 at the morning show CBF-Bonjour, the 350 episodes were ultimately published in three volumes as Le Feuilleton de Montréal/i>.

Pierre Nepveu's profile page

Judith Cowan was born in Nova Scotia, but grew up in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Modern Languages and Literatures. She received an M. A. in French literature from the University of Toronto, followed by an M. A. in English literature from York University. She received a Ph. D. in Canadian Comparative Literature from L’Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, and went on to teach literature in English at L’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivères until the end of the twentieth century.Her stories have appeared in a number of literary magazines, including Quarry Magazine, Queen’s Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, and The Antigonish Review. In French translation, they have also been published in Liberté, XYZ : la revue de la nouvelle, and L’Atelier du Roman (Paris). She was one of the original contributors to Ellipse magazine, where she has published English translations of individual poems by many Québec poets. She is the only English-language writer in Trois-Rivières, Québec.


Judith Cowan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"An epic poem that acknowledges the dispossessed, this book is a journey into sorrow and compassion, a plaint that strikes universal chords in its evocation of the disaster. This is an exceptional work, exemplary in its engagement and urgency." --from the Governor General's Award jury
"[The English translation of Mirabel is] a book that reads as if it were an original production while remaining faithful in spirit and verbal adroitness to its source. ... This is translation operating at the highest level." --Books in Canada
"An eerie, slanted glimpse into one of [Canada's] most unlikely epic disasters: the birth and death of an airport... Nepveu's elegy is darkly, cleanly worded, forcing us to contend with a past which has left the spacious fabrications of the present rattling empty." --The Dominion

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