In her compelling debut poetry collection, shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award, Melissa Bull explores the familial, romantic, and sexual ties that bind lives to cities. Rue takes us through its alleys, parks, and kitchens with a robust lyricism and language that is at once inventive and plainspoken, compassionate and frank.
In English, to rue is to regret; in French, la rue is the street — Rue's poems provide the venue for moments of both recollection and motion. Punctuated withneologisms and the bilingual dialogue of Montreal, the collection explores the author's upbringing in the working-class neighbourhood of St. Henri with her artist mother, follows her travels, friendships, and loves across North America, Europe, and Russia, and recounts her journalist father's struggles with terminal brain cancer.
Inspired by powerful Quebec talents like Nelly Arcan, Marie-Sissy Labrèche, playwright Annick Lefebvre, Canadians poets Elizabeth Bachinsky, Nikki Reimer and David McGimpsey, Melissa Bull brings an unflinching new feminist voice to the Canadian literary scene.
Melissa Bull is a writer, editor and translator based in Montreal. Her writing has been featured in Event, Matrix, Lemon Hound, Broken Pencil, The Montreal Review of Books, Playboy and Maisonneuve. She has translated such authors as Kim Thuy, Évelyne de la Chenlière, Raymond Bock, Alexandre Soublière and Maude Smith Gagnon for various publications, including Maisonneuve, where she is the editor of the Writing from Quebec column. She recently translated a collection of essays and articles by Nelly Arcan, entitled Burqa of Skin (Anvil, 2014). Melissa is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Rue is her debut collection of poetry.