Hélène Dorion — from Mes forêts — translated by Susanna Lang


Hélène Dorion was born in Québec in 1958. Her first poems appeared in 1981, and since then she has published more than twenty books of poetry and fifteen artists’ books, in addition to works of fiction and memoir and a book-length essay on art and creation. She has earned many of Canada’s and Europe’s most prestigious prizes, including election to the Académie des Lettres du Québec, Chevalière de l’ordre national du Québec, the European Prix Senghor, and the Prix Charles-Vildrac. In 2005, she was the first Canadian to win the Mallarmé Prize, awarded for the entirety of her work. In summer 2022, the Opéra de Montréal and the Opéra de Québec presented an opera that Dorion wrote with her close friend, Marie-Claire Blais, who died in 2021. Yourcenar – Une île de passions (Yourcenar—An Island of Passions) focuses on the world of Marguerite Yourcenar, author of Mémoires d’Hadrian (The Memoirs of Hadrian) and many other works. Dorion’s work has been translated and published in fifteen countries.

Susanna Lang divides her time between Chicago and Uzès, France. Her most recent chapbook, Like This, is available from Unsolicited Books. Her e-chapbook, Among Other Stones: Conversations with Yves Bonnefoy, (Mudlark: An Electronic Journal of Poetry & Poetics) and her translation of Baalbek by Nohad Salameh (Atelier du Grand Tétras) were both published in 2021. Her third full-length collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was published in 2017 by Terrapin Books. Her poems, translations and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as The Common, december magazine, Asymptote, American Life in Poetry, Rhino Reviews, Calyx and The Slowdown. Her translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone and The Origin of Language, and she is now working with Souad Labbize and Hélène Dorion on new translations. More information available at www.susannalang.com.