In this stunning long poem, Chantal Neveu draws from the lexicons of science, art, revolution, and corporeal movement to forge intense and extended rhythms that invoke the elements and spaces making up our world. This is poetry capable of holding life and death, solidarity, and love. Renewal. Breathing.
In its brevity and persistence, This Radiant Life is a material call for action: it asks us to let go, even just a little bit, of our individuality in favour of mutuality, to arrive separately yet in unison at a radiance in which all living beings can thrive.
Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation Jury Citation:
“Moure has crafted a spectacular English poem in conversation with the French—a work channelling science, art, revolution and corporeal movement balanced in stillness and space. It is a thrilling space where meanings are amplified, beauty reverberates and the reader’s expectations are exceeded again and again. Moure advances new possibilities for both Neveu’s poem and translation itself.”
Praise for This Radiant Life:
“This Radiant Life strikes a resonant chord with its sparse minimalism. This indexical poetry records private activities, travels, daily living, details the body’s nervous system alongside sudden explosions of brutal events and media frameworks. A capacity for complexity through elliptical building blocks. Violence side by side with train journeys. Collective brutality side by side with personal intimacy or physiological flow.
Very few words are hosted on each of these aerated pages. Turning the page in itself confirms the implicit need for breathing space, or for trying to make some sense of it all, while being carried along the currents of one’s own time. Everything intermingled. Inescapable as the butterfly effect. Words work like knots of awareness down the rope of lines.” —Caroline Bergvall
“As Chantal Neveu and Erín Moure mine the mono-dimensional sediment of language they liberate a vocabulary of synaesthetic perception. This Radiant Life crushes narrative and reference, not into parts of speech but into illuminated particles, “words as such.” In this trans-collaboration, words reciprocate the speed and spaces on the perimeter of public sensibility. Gangues of language like “eye to eye” “word flow” in the face of the Arab Springs, “the sound of paper,” “coffee/ reheated/ on the hob,” “zig…zag” float by as radiant flecks and syllables on a perceptual horizon. Each turn of the page carries an echo of isolate light, the answer to what happens next.” —Fred Wah
“Oscillating between various subatomic particles, spaces, and word matter that make life life—i.e. the stuff and messiness of being, the macro and the micro, the chemistry, biology, geology, language of experience/experiment—This Radiant Life entreats us to slow down, attend to, and cherish the elemental. In so doing, we will have access to an inexhaustible force for resistance and resilience; we will be able to truly see and be seen by others. Powerfully embodied and chiselled by Chantal Neveu and deftly and intricately translated by Erín Moure, This Radiant Life is urgent, alive, and absolutely present.” —Oana Avasilichioaei
37 Canadian poetry collections to watch for in fall 2020 —CBC Books
Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Poetry Preview —49th Shelf
Conjuring Merlín with an ‘í’: Shannon Maguire Interviews Erín Moure —Cordite Poetry Review
“Insatiable, yet needs to be savoured. I suggest multiple readings.” —@shelf-ishly_lit (Instagram)
“In a book which is as much about physics as it is about the pressing conflicts of our current age, This Radiant Life seeks to find the light that emerges not just from the collisions of particles but also the actions and interactions of people.” —Lily Nilipour, ZZYZYVA
Anna Kaye on This Radiant Life —CBC North by Northwest with Sheryl MacKay
Erín Moure bridges worlds as poet and translator: The Montrealer won her second Governor General’s Literary Award this week, for her translation of Chantal Neveu’s La vie radieuse as This Radiant Life. —Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette
GGBooks Special: The Chat with Erín Moure —Trevor Corkum, 49th Shelf
Chantal Neveu is the author of five books of poetry, including La vie radieuse (This Radiant Life, Book*hug); coït (Coït, Book*hug); mentale, Une spectaculaire influence (A Spectacular Influence, Book*hug), and èdres (É=É). She has created numerous interdisciplinary literary works, presented in Canada and abroad. Her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies: Cyclages/Grupmuv, Espaces de savoir, Laboratoire parcellaire. She has held residencies at Maison de la poésie de Nantes (France), Passa Porta and Villa Hellebosch (Belgium), and Villa Waldberta (Germany). Neveu lives in Montreal.
Erín Moure has published over forty books, including poetry, essays, memoir, and translations/co-translations from French, Spanish, Galician, Portuguese, Portunhol, and Ukrainian. Recent translations: In Leaf by Rosalía de Castro, The Uplands: Book of the Courel by Uxío Novoneyra, and Sleepless Nights Under Capitalism by Juan Gelman. Moure holds two honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and Spain, was a 2017 Creative Fellow at Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room, and the 2019 International Translator in Residence at Queen’s College, Oxford. Moure lives in Montreal.