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The Major Verbs

Pierre Nepveu is unique among French Quebec poets for having forged a voice at once unadorned, sensuous and adventurous. His new collection, The Major Verbs (translated by Donald Winkler), is a masterwork consisting of three sequences: one focusing on an immigrant night cleaner glimpsed on a subway, another, a riff on a group of stones on a table, and the third concerning the poet’s parents and their deaths. The book closes with a long meditative poem written in the American southwest. The Major Verbs (under its original title, Les Verbes Majeur) was nominated for a Governor-General’s Award for Poetry in 2010. Nepveu’s poetry collection, Mirabel won the 2003 Governor General Award for its original French-language edition and the 2004 Governor General Award for Translation (Judith Cowan,translator, Signal Editions).

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