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Poetry Canadian

Entre Rive and Shore

by (author) Dominique Bernier-Cormier

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Canadian, Family
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

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“I used to think this was a book about a disguise,
but now I know that it’s a book about translation.”

According to Cormier family lore, Pierrot Cormier escaped a British prison the night before the Acadian Deportation by disguising himself in a dress. In the invigorating, transliterative Entre Rive and Shore, Dominique Bernier-Cormier uses his ancestor’s escape to ponder what it means to live between two languages. Writing in a blend of English and French that evokes Chiac, “a living thing, growing gills, a voice from the future, prophetic and clear,” Bernier-Cormier probes the mutability of language and of translation.

A heady mix of English renderings of a single French poem, a Franco-fusion mélange of reflections on Acadian history and identity, and meditations on the evolution of language and the rapper Young Thug, Entre Rive and Shore exhibits “an eloquence we aren’t attuned to.” The result is protean, an exhilarating collection that reassesses what it means to live between two identities, two worlds, two languages.

About the author

Dominique Bernier-Cormier was born in Quebec and spent the summers of his childhood on New Brunswick's Acadian coast. But he grew up in Moscow, Paris, and Beijing, where his father worked as a foreign Correspondent for CBC/Radio Canada television. Bernier-Cormier won the Fiddlehead's Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem in 2017 for "Fabric." His poems have also been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, Arc's Poem of the Year Award, CV2's Young Buck Poetry Prize, and a National Magazine Award. His chapbook, Englishing, was published by Frog Hollow Press in spring 2017. He is currently a poetry editor for Rahila's Ghost Press. Correspondent is his first book.

Dominique Bernier-Cormier's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Throughout this recueil of reflections, Dominique Bernier-Cormier redefines and brings a certain justice to the internal bilingual battles that torment Acadians and Cajuns alike. Bernier-Cormier’s stunning mix of history, outer space, and pop culture is seductive. His words are refreshing, vivid, and sometimes surreal — making it difficult to put Entre Rive and Shore down before finishing it in its entirety.”

Vivianne Roy, Les Hay Babies

“With turns of language both striking and gentle, Entre Rive and Shore invites us into the tender and haunted space between English and French. Translation ‘weaves itself into a dress of wind’ as we are swept up in its violence and distorted offerings of home. Bernier-Cormier’s use of metaphor and imagery is ‘bone-bright’ and will fill you with awe.”

Selina Boan, author of <i>Undoing Hours</i>

“From poetry to essay to diary entry, and with lucidity and frankness, Bernier-Cormier addresses the ever-delicate issues of language and history that are so crucial to Acadian identity. Blending legend with family history and a series of fantasist self-portraits, Entre Rive and Shore offers a mooring point between two cultures and two realities. Brilliant in its form and content, Entre Rive and Shore offers a refreshing and innovative view on our future as Acadians.”

Herménégilde Chiasson, author of <i>To Live and Die in Scoudouc</i>

“The poems and texts of Entre Rive and Shore unravel family memory and history to create a book of the future, inhabiting the fissure between languages that in fact joins and nourishes them. Bernier-Cormier opens a world of possibilities to us, where poetry’s act of thinking crosses linguistic borders to give us a newly liveable world.”

Erín Moure, author of <i>The Elements</i>

Other titles by Dominique Bernier-Cormier