Secession / Insecession is a homage to the acts of reading, writing and translating poetry. In it, Chus Pato’s Galician biopoetics of poet and nation, Secession – translated by Erín Moure – joins Moure’s Canadian translational biopoetics, Insecession. To Pato, the poem is an insurrection against normalized language; to Moure, translation itself disrupts and reforms poetics and the possibility of the poem. In solidarity with Pato, Moure echoes Barthes: “A readerly text is something I cannot re-produce (today I cannot write like Atwood); a writerly text is one I can read only if I utterly transform my reading regime. I now recognize a third text alongside the readerly and the writerly: let's call it the untranslatable.”
In Secession / Insecession, a major European poet and a known Canadian poet, born on opposite sides of the Atlantic in the mid twentieth century and with vastly different experiences of political life, forge a 21st century relationship of thinking and creation. The result is a major work of memoir, poetics, trans-ethics and history.
Chus Pato’s Secession was chosen 2009 Book of the Year by the Revista das Letras, literary supplement of Galicia Hoxe (Galicia Today).
A central figure in contemporary poetry and one of the most iconoclastic figures in Galician and European literature, Chus Pato’s sixth book, m-Talá, 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 Diéguez 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 Andrés Ajens, Nicole Brossard, Rosalía de Castro, Louise Dupré, 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, and is translating Chus Pato’s Carne de Leviatán into English as Flesh of Leviathan. She is also working on a new book of poems called The Elements, and on a translation of Wilson Bueno’s Mar Paraguayo. Follow her on Twitter: @erinmoure.