House of Anansi Press Imprint Logo

The Unmemntioable

Written by Erin Moure

  • 136 Pages
  • 9781770891784
  • POETRY / Canadian



Publication Date April 07, 2012

Shortlisted for the Kobzar Literary Award.

The Unmemntioable joins letters that should not be joined. There is, in this word, an act of force. Of devastation. The unmentionable is love, of course. But in Moure’s poems, love is bound to a duty: to comprehend what it was that the immigrants would not speak of. Now they are dead; their children and grandchildren know but an anecdotal pastiche of Ukrainian history. On Saskatoon Mountain in Alberta where they settled, only the chatter of the leaves remains of their presence. What was not spoken is sealed over, unmemntioable. There is no one left to contact in the Old Country. Can the unmemntioable retain its silence, yet be eased into words? Can experience still be spoken?

Short-listed for the Kobzar Literary Award 2014


Erin Moure
Erín Moure is one of Canada's most eminent and respected poets, and a translator from French, Spanish, Galician, and Portuguese. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry and a book of essays, and has received the Governor General's Literary Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A. M. Klein Prize, and has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Her recent works include the book-length poem The Unmemntioable and Insecession, a memoir and poetics that is a companion text to her translation of Chus Pato's biopoetics, Secession. Her twelve books of poetry in translation include Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person by Alberto Caeiro/Fernando Pessoa, Nicole Brossard's White Piano (co-translated with Robert Majzels), Rosalia de Castro's Galician Songs, and Galician poet Chus Pato's acclaimed m-Talá, Charenton, and Hordes of Writing.


"... a stunning book ..." Winnipeg Free Press

"[Moure] understands spaces and the art of language's fickle and fleeting ways. Her strength as a poet is simple diction, she toys with layout; how the words also act as visuals on the page ... Consider The Unmemntioable a lease on humanity; the tenants are love and loss." Telegraph Journal

"... ambitious and laudable ..." Quill and Quire

"The Unmemntioable has much of value to share on family, history, memory, and above all, experience." Arc Poetry Magazine

"Pushing language against its point of endurance, Moure makes each reader a witness to the unspeakable." Arc Poetry Magazine