Rediscover Joyce Mansour, the most significant Surrealist poet to emerge from 1950s Paris.
"You know very well, Joyce, that you are for me--and very objectively too--the greatest poet of our time. Surrealist poetry, that's you."--André Breton
Joyce Mansour, a Syrian Jewish exile from Egypt, was 25 years old when she published her first book in Paris in 1953. Her fierce, macabre, erotically charged works caught the eye of Andr Breton, who welcomed her into his Surrealist group and became her lifelong friend and ally. Despite her success in surrealist circles, her books received scant attention from the literary establishment, which is hardly surprising since Mansour's favorite topics happened to be two of society's greatest fears: death and unfettered female desire.
Now, over half a century later, Mansour's time has come. Emerald Wounds collects her most important work, spanning the entire arc of her career, from the gothic, minimalist fragments of her first published work to the serpentine power of her poems of the 1980s. In fresh new translations, Mansour's voice surges forth uncensored and raw, communicating the frustrations, anger, and sadness of an intelligent, worldly woman who defies the constraints and oppression of a male-dominated society. Mansour is a poet the world needs today.
Emilie Moorhouse (translator & co-editor) holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. Raised in a French-speaking household in Toronto, Canada, she now lives in Montreal where she works as a teacher, writer, translator, and environmentalist.
John McMurtrie is senior editor of the literary journal Zyzzyva. He also edits for McSweeney’s Publishing and the literary travel magazine Stranger’s Guide. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Literary Hub. He is the former San Francisco Chronicle books editor.
Joyelle McSweeney is a co-founder of the international press Action Books, a Guggenheim Fellow, and the author of ten award-winning books of poetry, including Toxicon and Arachne and the forthcoming Death Styles (Nightboat, 2024).