Vancouver Island University’s Gustafson Distinguished Poetry Chair gives free lecture in Nanaimo

NANAIMO: Poet Erin Moure reads and lectures during a number of events in Nanaimo this week.

Poet Erin Moure

Montreal-based poet Erín Mouré is Vancouver Island University’s 2016 Gustafson Distinguished Poetry Chair.

Mouré reads with poet Gary Geddes during Poetry and Beer: The Craft of Translation Wednesday (Oct. 26) from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at White Sails Brewing, located at 125 Comox Rd.

Earlier on Wednesday Moure leads a student reading and Q-and-A from 2:30-4 p.m. in building 355 room 211.

On Thursday (Oct. 27) there is a workshop Designing Meaning: Translating Text to Type from 1-3 p.m. in building 200 room 203.

Mouré will give a free lecture Translation: Operations at the Heart(ache) of Meaning Oct. 27 from 7-9 p.m. in building 355 room 203.

Mouré’s lecture explores the idea of the social and linguistic implications of translating her work into different languages and how the true meaning is never “purely” represented between the different versions.

A book launch and signing for three chapbooks from past lecturers by Geddes, Dennis Lee and George Elliott Clarke, printed by Gaspereau Press, will be held after Mouré’s lecture at 9 p.m. in the Royal Arbutus Room in building 300.

Mouré, who works in French, Galician, Spanish and Portuguese, has published 19 poetry books and has built a reputation as being one of Canada’s most respected translators of work.

Her most recent collection is Kapusta, 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.”

Victoria poet and former VIU professor Marilyn Bowering calls Mouré’s work “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 Mouré’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 recently joined VIU’s creative writing department as a poetry professor.

Mouré’s poetry collection won the Governor General’s Award in 198 and she has been nominated for the award five times. She was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize three times.

The Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry was established at VIU in 1998 from the estate of the late preeminent Canadian poet Ralph Gustafson and his wife, Betty. Elegant chapbooks in the Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poets Lecture Series also include those by Jan Zwicky, Don McKay, Daphne Marlatt, Tom Wayman, Dionne Brand, Don Domanski and Robert Bringhurst.

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