Pierre Nepveu
Translated by Judith Cowan

In this powerful and original collection, Pierre Nepveu, one of Quebec's foremost poets, recreates the tragic circumstances surrounding the construction of Montreal's Mirabel airport. In an exceptional English translation that is wrenching in the shifting sadness of its lines, these poems are brilliantly disturbing, ambitious in their moral force, and universal in scope. Mirabel [under its original title, Lignes aériennes] won the Governor-General's Award and the International Poetry Festival's Grand Prize in 2003, and has already been hailed as a contemporary masterpiece of French-Canadian poetry.

Signal Editions
Poetry 2004

Read an excerpt


"An epic poem that acknowledges the dispossessed, this book is a journey into sorrow and compassion, a plaint that strikes universal chords in its evocation of the disaster. This is an exceptional work, exemplary in its engagement and urgency." -from the Governor General's Award jury

"[The English translation of Mirabel is] a book that reads as if it were an original production while remaining faithful in spirit and verbal adroitness to its source. ... This is translation operating at the highest level." -Books in Canada

"An eerie, slanted glimpse into one of [Canada's] most unlikely epic disasters: the birth and death of an airport... Nepveu's elegy is darkly, cleanly worded, forcing us to contend with a past which has left the spacious fabrications of the present rattling empty." -The Dominion

Pierre Nepveu is a Montreal critic, essayist, poet and teacher. He has received the Governor General's Award three times-in 1997 for the collection of poems Romans-fleuves, in 1998 for the essay Intérieurs du Nouveau Monde, and in 2003 for Lignes Aériennes. His many other awards include the Québec-Paris Prize, the Prix Victor-Barbeau de l'Académie des lettres du Québec, and the Canada-Swiss Prize. Pierre Nepveu has taught in the Département d'études françaises at the Université de Montréal since 1978.

Judith Cowan has translated several Quebec poets, including Gérald Godin, Yves Préfontaine and Yves Boisvert. She lives in Trois-Rivières.

Other books by Pierre Nepveu:
The Hardness of Matter and Water
The Four-Doored House
The Major Verbs
Trade paperback
96 pp 8.5" x 5.5"
ISBN13: 9781550651911

CDN $15.95
US & International
US $11.95