Celebrated Montreal Poet and Translator Erin Moure Delivers Gustafson Lecture at VIU on October 27

October 20, 2016 - 3:00pm

VIU’s Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry lineup of events includes the Gustafson lecture and three other free events

Renowned Canadian poet and translator Erín Mouré, Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) 2016 Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry, will deliver a free public lecture, Translation: Operations at the Heart(ache) of Meaning, on Thursday, October 27 at VIU’s Nanaimo campus.

Mouré’s lecture will interpret the social and linguistic implications of translation and of her own poetics, particularly how meaning “carried across” from one text to another is never purely a representation of the author’s original art, changing both how we read and what it means to create poetry.

Mouré is the author of 19 books of poetry and is one of Canada’s most respected translators. She works in French, Galician, Spanish and Portuguese, and is known for translations of, and collaborations with, French-Canadian poet Nicole Brossard, Galician poet/activist Chus Pato, and Chilean poet Andres Ajens. Her poetry collections have won the Governor-General’s Award (1988, nominated five times), the Pat Lowther Memorial Award (1985), and the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry twice (1989, 2005). She has also been shortlisted three times for the Griffin Poetry Prize and has served on its judges’ panel.

Mouré’s 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.

The Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry two-day reading schedule includes the following four free events:

  • Mouré Student Reading and Q&A – October 26, 2:30 - 4 pm, Bldg 355/ Rm 211

  • Poetry & Beer: The Craft of Translation – October 26, 7:30 - 8:30 pm, White Sails Brewing, 125 Comox Road, during which Erín Mouré reads with poet Gary Geddes

  • Designing Meaning: Translating Text to Type: A workshop with renowned poet and typographer Robert Bringhurst – October 27, 1 - 3 pm, Bldg 200/Rm 203

  • Gustafson Distinguished Poet’s Lecture – October 27, 7 - 9 pm, Bldg 355/203, with courtesy parking in Lot N. There will also be a 9 pm book launch and signing that includes a catered reception and cash bar in the Royal Arbutus Room (Bldg 300).

The reception will also celebrate the release of three new chapbooks from past lectures by Gary Geddes, Dennis Lee and George Elliott Clarke, each designed by renowned poet and typographer Robert Bringhurst and hand-printed by Gaspereau Press.

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.

The 2016 lecture and other events are funded by the Ralph and Betty Gustafson Poetry Trust, the Canada Council for the Arts, Writers on Campus and VIU’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Interviews with Mouré and Bringhurst will appear in Portal 2017, VIU’s full-colour, nationally distributed literary magazine.

For more information, contact Toni Smith, Chair of the Gustafson Committee, at Toni.Smith@viu.ca or visit The Ralph and Betty Gustafson Trust webpage. To buy a chapbook in advance, order online from the VIU Campus Store.



Jenn McGarrigle, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6288 | C: 250.619.6860 | E: jenn.mcgarrigle@viu.ca | T: @VIUNews

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