Available for the first time in more than fifteen years, this collection from celebrated poet, novelist, and essayist Nicole Brossard is a provocative investigation of the human body — our physical and spiritual museums of identity and desire.
Nicole Brossard’s Museum of Bone and Water delivers sensual and provocative investigations of the human body — our physical and spiritual museums of identity and desire — that pulse and surprise at every turn. In this collection, fingers, lips, fists, cheeks mingle in the palm trees of Dublin and Key West, the heat of Palermo and Madrid. With each dazzling turn and each “crazy” silence, Brossard speeds our breath and quickens our hearts, reminding us that poetry too is both a physical and spiritual reality.
Museum of Bone and Water, a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, is recognized as a major work in the oeuvre of leading Québécoise poet, novelist, and essayist Nicole Brossard — recently honoured with the Lifetime Recognition Award by the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. The collection is now available in a handsome A List edition with a new introduction by Robert Majzels and Erín Moure.
About the authors
Nicole Brossard was born in Montréal in 1943. Twice Governor General’s Award winner for her poetry, she has published more than thirty books since 1965. Many have been translated into English: Mauve Desert, The Aerial Letter, Picture Theory, Lovhers, Baroque at Dawn, The Blue Books, Installations, Museum of Bone and Water, Fluid Arguments, Notebook of Roses and Civilization and White Piano. She has co-founded and co-directed the literary magazine La Barre du Jour (1965-1975), co-directed the film Some American Feminists (1976), and co-edited the acclaimed Anthologie de la poésie des femmes au Québec (1991 and 2003).
She is an officer of the Order of Canada, chevalière of the National Order of Quebec, and a member of l’Académie des lettres du Québec. She has twice won the Trois-Rivières International Poetry Festival Grand Prix Québecor (1989 and 1999). In 1991 she was awarded le Prix Athanase-David (the highest literary recognition in Québec). Her work has been widely translated into English and Spanish and is also available in many other languages, including German, Italian, Japanese, Slovenian, Romanian, Norwegian, Catalan, and Portuguese. Two anthologies of her work in English have appeared: Selections: the poetry of Nicole Brossard (2010) and Mobility of Light (2009), with another planned for publication in 2020.
Nicole has been awarded le Prix international de la littérature francophone Benjamin Fondane, le Prix du CIÉF for International Francophone Studies, the W.O. Mitchell Prize, and the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize. In 2015, she was included in the dictionary Le Petit Robert des noms propres. In 2018, she was the recipient of the first Violet Prize awarded by the Blue Metropolis Festival. Mauve Desert has been presented as a multidisciplinary creation in 2018 and is slated for an opera adaptation in 2020-21.
In 2019, an anthology of her poetry in Portuguese and a translation of Mauve Desert in Catalan will be published. Her most recent book in English is an art chapbook titled A Cappella with illustrations by Mauricio Corteletti, translated by Erín Moure and Robert Majzels.
A central figure in contemporary poetry and one of the most iconoclastic figures in Galician and European literature, Chus Pato's sixth book, m-Tala, broke the poetic mould in 2000. Hordes of Writing, the third text in her projected pentology Method, received the 2008 Spanish Critics' Prize for Galician Poetry, and the Losada Di?guez literary prize in 2009. Pato continues to refashion the way we think of the possibilities of poetic text, of words, bodies, political and literary space, and of the construction of ourselves as individual, community, nation, world. She brings us face to face with the traumas and migrations of Europe, with writing itself, and the possibility (or not) of poetry accounting for our animal selves. Secession is Pato's ninth book and her fourth to be translated into English.
Montreal poet Erín Moure has published seventeen books of poetry in English and Galician/English, and thirteen volumes of poetry translated from French, Spanish, Galician and Portuguese into English, by poets such as Andr's Ajens, Nicole Brossard, Rosala de Castro, Louise Dupr?, and Fernando Pessoa. Her work has received the Governor General's Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A.M. Klein Prize, and has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize. Moure is currently revising the bilingual French/English impossible play Kapusta, a sequel to The Unmemntioable, for publication in 2015, and is translating Chus Pato's Carne de Leviatan into English as Flesh of Leviathan, to appear in 2016. She is also working on a new book of poems called The Elements, and on a translation of Wilson Bueno's Mar Paraguayo.
Robert Majzels, author of Apikoros Sleuth and City of Forgetting (Mercury), is a Montreal-born prose writer, playwright, translator and teacher; his first novel, Hellman’s Scrapbook (Cormorant), was hailed and acclaimed. His play This Night the Kapo won first prize in the Dorothy Silver Competition and the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition. In 1991, his fiction was featured in Coming Attractions (Oberon); his translations include Anne Dandurand’s Small Souls Under Siege (Cormorant) and The Waiting Room (The Mercury Press), and France Daigle’s 1953 (House of Anansi). He has also translated several novels by France Daigle, short stories by Anne Dandurand and, with Erin Mouré, two books of poetry by Nicole Brossard. Robert Majzels lives in Quebec.
Excerpt: Museum of Bone and Water (by (author) Nicole Brossard; translated by Erin Moure & Robert Majzels)
I know this by the words I am missing
my life has gone to sleep
in the contours so precise
of the tip of a long bone
though I still know how to smile
before Roman cloisters and their ossuaries
the value of I love you
[Brossard’s] language moves between sensuality and deconstructionism in a luscious interplay between the abstract and the corporeal … Her lucid use of sound and form are both gracefully captured in translation.
An exquisite translation … Brossard’s work is serious, yet not sombre, and sometimes deeply erotic.
Quill & Quire
Other titles by Nicole Brossard
All the Feels / Tous les sens
Affect and Writing in Canada / Affect et écriture au Canada
A Nicole Brossard Reader
Writers on Writing in Canada
Regenerations / Régénérations
Canadian Women's Writing / Écriture des femmes au Canada
Fences in Breathing
Mobility of Light
The Poetry of Nicole Brossard