Talking Vrouz is the second collection by the prize-winning French poet Valérie Rouzeau to be published by Arc, and it sees the return of her formidable poetic voice. Selected from Rouzeau's most recent collections, Quand Je Me Deux (2009) and Vrouz (2012), these poems present a language that is a hybrid of liberties and constraints - omissions, grammatical contractions, colloquialisms and archaisms, wordplay, puns, childspeak, exploded cliché and the heightened awareness of a poetic tradition - a language that Susan Wicks recreates in all its richness and quirkiness in her brilliant translation.
No subject is taboo, and each is treated with a degree of humour that results in the reader looking at a familiar world from a new perspective. The tone and poetic procedures are sometimes reminiscent of Rimbaud, Apollinaire and Desnos, and the book has a seemingly casual innocence that foams with the odd splinter of glass.
Rouzeau's first collection from Arc, Cold Spring in Winter, also translated by Susan Wicks, was short-listed for a number of prizes including the 2010 International Griffin Prize for Poetry, and Susan Wicks won the prestigious Scott Moncrieff Prize in 2010 for her translation of this work.
PBS Recommended Translation Winter 2013
Published November 2013