7 January 2007 12am - 12am
Nicole Brossard + Barbara Godard and Sharon Harris (biographical notes below)
Wednesday 7 February, 7:30 p.m.
Montreal-born NICOLE BROSSARD, poet, novelist and essayist, twice
Governor General Award winner for her poetry (1974, 1984), member of
l’Académie des lettres du Québec and of La société royale du Canada, is one of Quebec’s most celebrated authors. For the more than thirty books she has published since 1965, she has received the Prix Athanase-David (1991), the highest prize in Quebec, for her entire body of work, and the Molson Prize of the Canada Council (2006), the most prestigious award in Canada, for her outstanding contribution to the arts and humanities. Her many honours and awards from both francophone and anglophone institutions in Canada include doctorates from the University of Western Ontario (1991) and the Université de Sherbrooke (1997), the bp Nichol Chapbook Award (1986), le Grand Prix de Poésie du Festival international de Trois-Rivières (1989, 1999), the Harbourfront Festival Prize (1991), Prix de la Société des écrivains canadiens (2002) and the W.O. Mitchell Prize (2003). Nicole Brossard emerged as a leading figure of the new literary movement which since the 1960s has revolutionized the forms and language of poetry and fiction in Quebec through her work as founding co-editor of the influential periodical La barre du jour (1965-1975) and of the feminist periodical Les têtes de pioche (1976-9) and through her contribution to feminist culture, confirmed with the film Some American Feminists (1976), the acclaimed Anthologie de la poésie des femmes au Québec (1991, 2003), and her role as President of the Third International Feminist Book Fair (1988). Through her many appearances as speaker or reader at conferences and festivals across Canada and throughout the world, Brossard has significantly influenced contemporary writing internationally, especially through the many translations of her work
into English and Spanish, and those of individual works into German, Italian, Slovenian, Romanian, Japanese and Afrikaans. Titles translated into English include Aerial Letter, Baroque at Dawn, The Blue Books, Intimate Journal, Installations, Lovhers, Mauve Desert, Museum of Bone and Water, These Our Mothers. L’Horizon du fragment (2004, Ed. Trois-Pistoles) and Yesterday at the Hotel Clarendon (2005, Coach House Press, S. de Lotbinière-Harwood, trans) are her most recent books in French and English. Fluid Arguments, a selection of
her recent essays by various translators was edited by Susan Rudy in 2006 (Mercury) as was a new edition of the translation of Picture Theory (Guernica, B. Godard trans.). Nicole Brossard: Essays on her Work (Guernica), edited by Louise Forsyth, appeared in 2005. Nicole Brossard has just completed a new novel in French, and a selection of her poetry in English translation will be
published by the University of California Press in 2007-8.
BARBARA GODARD, Avie Bennett Historica Chair of Canadian Literature and Professor of English, French, Social and Political Thought and Women’s Studies at York University, has published widely on Canadian and Quebec cultures and on feminist and literary theory. Her work in translation theory has been influential in the cultural turn in Translation Studies. As translator, she introduced Quebec women writers Louky Bersianik, YolandeVillemaire and Antonine Maillet to an English readership. Her translations include Nicole Brossard’s These Our Mothers (1983), Lovhers (1986), Picture Theory (1991, revised edition 2006), and Intimate Journal (2004) and France Théoret’s The Tangible Word (1991). In 2004 a revised edition of her translation of Maillet’s The Tale of Don l’Orignal was published and also broadcast on CBC’s Between the Covers. In 1998 she held the Gerstein Award for an advanced research seminar on “Translation Studies in Canada: Institutions, Discourses, Texts.” Among her awards is the Vinay-Darbelnet Prize of the Canadian Association of Translation Studies (2000). Additional information is available at http://www.yorku.ca/bgodard/.
SHARON HARRIS (b.1972) is a writer and artist living in Toronto. Her work has appeared in magazines, literary journals, and newspapers, and on radio and television across Canada. Sharon’s column “Fun With ‘Pataphysics” is part of Word: Canada’s Magazine for Readers + Writers. She has photographed Toronto literary readings for almost five years, and has documented 108 events to date (averaging two events a month posted online). In 2006, her first solo photo exhibition received national media attention, she curated a group show about urban art as part of the Scream Literary festival, she became a Torontoist.com contributor, Geist published her first feature photo essay, and the Mercury Press launched her first book of poetry (which she co-designed with Beverley Daurio), AVATAR. In 2007, Sharon plans to finish an illustrated manuscript that is a six-year-long cultural study of the words “I love you.” More information is available at http://www.iloveyougalleries.com.
Small donations toward the running of the series gratefully accepted at the door.
Nicole Brossard’s participation is made possible by the Comparative Literature Department, University of Toronto and the English Department, York University.
The Test Reading Series is curated by Mark Truscott. For more information, please visit www.testreading.org.