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Yolande Villemaire

Yolande Villemaire is one of Quebec’s most prolific writers, proficient in both poetry and prose. She has given poetry readings and performances around the world. She has lived in New York, Paris, Amsterdam and India. Her novels have been translated in English and in Italian: her poetry has been translated in English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Catalan, Dutch, German, Icelandic and Russian. Her novel La vie en prose won an award from the Journal de Montréal in 1980 and her poems L’armoure received a Radio-Canada award in 2002. She also received a Quebec-Mexico poetry prize in 2008 and the Career Award from Quebec Councitl of the Arts and Letters in 2009. Also in 2009, she was a guest of honor at the Festival de la Poésie de Montréal. She has published more than twenty-five books, five of which are available in English translation from Ekstasis Editions: Midnight Tides of Amsterdam, Poets & Centaurs, India, India, Little Red Berries and The Cygnus Constellation. She has also published a book of poems written in English: Silence is a Healing Cave (Ekstasis Editions, 2013). Her last novel Le rose des temps, was published in 2017 by Druide Editions. Yolande Villemaire lives in Montreal and is the director of TOTEMPOÉSIE.

Translator Antonio D’Alfonso is a writer, filmmaker, and musician.

from Violet Night

Wait, but wait
the Guide of the Lost Ones whispers to me
let the violet night
seep down into you


breathe in the fragrance of fragile flowers
blossoming into softness


The Angel of Intelligence
unfurls its fractal arborescence
over us
and, poet, you listen to him
you listen to him
you feel the magnitude of his subtle presence


Hear the wind of this violet night
its timbre
the precision of its signature vibration


Listen, poet, listen to
this steady undertow, it is the flood of Time
if you pay attention
there is deep within
a rustling
like silk being ripped


If you cross and you do cross over
oh yes, poet, you cross over
and step into the irreversibility of space


There are four walls here
one, two, three, four
it is small, very small indeed
yet it is alive
it breathes
it feeds you
it cradles you


From Night Blues
by Yolande Villemaire & Claude Beausoleil
© 2015 Yolande Villemaire and Éditions Caractères
Translation © 2018 Antonio D'Alfonso
Published by Ekstasis Editions