Skip to content

Erín Moure is an award-winning poet and translator with more than 15 books to her credit. Originally from Calgary, Moure wrote her first collections of poetry in Vancouver – EmpireYork Street, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in 1979; Wanted Alive; and Domestic Fuel, which won the 1985 Pat Lowther Prize. Her 1988 work Furious won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. She was twice shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize: in 2002 for Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person and in 2006 for Little Theatres. The latter work won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry in 2005. She has also published four chapbooks: The Whisky VigilExcessVisible Spectrum, and Search Procedures, or Lake This. Her most recent collection is O Cadoiro. Erín Moure works as a freelance editor and communications specialist in Montreal.

Notebook of Roses and Civilization

Coach House Books
2008 Shortlist
Canada
Shortlisted in:

Judges’ Citation

Erin Moure’s Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person is wry, clever, playful and lyrical.

Erin Moure’s Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person is wry, clever, playful and lyrical. It is essentially, and beautifully, a love letter to that poet of fluid identities Fernando Pessoa. And it is also a love letter to Toronto, its vanished pastoral. Pessoa’s Tejo river is Moure’s Humber river. Her language, as his, is always doubled. She translates and recreates their shared sensations of nature’s plain existence, its material absolution.

Judges’ Citation

Each of these new poems of Moure’s is a ‘little theatre’ of noun, seizing it in the fact of its quotidian, and meeting it as fresh, necessary and incredulous utterance.

Poetry is doing nothing but using losing and refusing and pleasing and betraying and caressing nouns’ said Gertrude Stein. Each of these new poems of Moure’s is a ‘little theatre’ of noun, seizing it in the fact of its quotidian, and meeting it as fresh, necessary and incredulous utterance. If we say ‘water’, she shows in her limpid cadence, we must reinvent it, not excluding oil spills, endangered aquatic birds, millwheels and all the other economies that inflect perception. Here, poetry is urgently and simply our water, the other language that brings us, with Moure’s characteristically rigorous sensuality, a thinking adequate to the damages, and the delights, of the world. This book includes a useful dictionary that shows other words for electrical monopoly, spontaneous whoops in song, and thanking.

Judges’ Citation

Majzels and Moure are not masters but divine servants of the English words they so carefully bring over to us.

Over her four decades of writing and publishing poems and novels and essays-textes, Nicole Brossard has always shone an investigative light on every word that comes to her, and turned a demanding ear to each item of punctuation or notation. She sees the universe in the word for sand, and knows that it could be sable mouvant. So the translators of Nicole Brossard have to make poems we will love to read the way a carpenter loves a finished table. Majzels and Moure are not masters but divine servants of the English words they so carefully bring over to us. Inventive writers themselves, they are practiced translators who have here taken on a daunting project and succeeded beautifully.