Is writing in English in Quebec these days a political act? An act of survival? An act of defiance? An act of futility? An act of celebration? In this book, some of the best and most innovative English-language poets of Canada -- rising stars and award-winning authors -- reflect on questions of politics and poetics. What's it like to be a minority within a minority, to write in the dominant language of North America -- English -- in a province where official " language police" patrol the highways and byways looking for missing accents, illegal apostrophes and on/off switches in the wrong language? A place where (sign) size matters and people have to mind their P's and Q's when greeting strangers in their "langue seconde."
Those interviewed include Erin Moure and Stephanie Bolster (winners, Governor General's Award); GG nominee David McGimpsey; Trillium Prize nominee Mary di Michele; Susan Gillis and Gabe Foreman (winners, A.M. Klein Poetry Prize), Carolyn Marie Souaid and Endre Farkas (winners, Zebra International Poetry Film Festival, Berlin); performance poets Catherine Kidd, Moe Clark and kaie kellough; and Rhodes scholar Mark Abley -- all contemplating the work they do against the backdrop of this interesting place and time.
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About the Author
Carolyn Marie Souaid has been writing and publishing poetry for over 20 years. The author of six books and the winner of the David McKeen Award for her first collection, Swimming into the Light, she has also been shortlisted for the A.M. Klein Prize and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Much of her work deals with the bridging of worlds; the difficulty, perhaps the impossibility of it, but the necessity of the struggle. She has toured her work across Canada and in France. Since the 1990s, she has been a key figure on the Montreal literary scene, having co-produced two major local events, Poetry in Motion (the poetry-on-the-buses project) and the Circus of Words / Cirque des mots, a multidisciplinary, multilingual cabaret focusing on the "theatre" of poetry. Souaid is a founding member and editor of Poetry Quebec, an online magazine focusing on the English language poets and poetry of Quebec.
Endre Farkas was born in Hungary and is a child of Holocaust survivors. He and his parents escaped during the 1956 uprising and settled in Montreal. His work has always had a political consciousness and has always pushed the boundaries of poetry. Since the 1970s, he has collaborated with dancers, musicians and actors to move the poem from page to stage. Still at the forefront of the Quebec English language literary scene -- writing, editing, publishing and performing -- Farkas is the author of eleven books, including Quotidian Fever: New and Selected Poems (1974-2007). He is the two-time regional winner of the CBC Poetry "Face Off" Competition. His play, Haunted House, based on the life and work of the poet A.M. Klein, was produced in Montreal in 2009. Farkas has given readings throughout Canada, USA, Europe and Latin America. His poems have been translated into French and Spanish, Hungarian, Italian, Slovenian and Turkish.