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Haiku from Québec: Gaze, Music and Silence



Update as of February 8, 2019

At the Festival Sakura Meguro International Haiku Circle in Tokyo (from 1st to 6th of April 2019), Janick delivers a presentation, on April 5th at 15 h 00.

A scoop: Janick's Foreword. Please, read below.

Haiku from Québec: Gaze, Music, and Silence
© Janick Belleau, 2018 – Greater Montreal Area, Canada

Translation from French to English, except for the poems: Jo-Anne Elder
Translation from French to Japanese: Keiko Tajima-Rossignol

Foreword

My talk today is a tribute not only to the Gaze but also to Music and ultimately to Silence. My inspiration for these three themes comes from three Québec women poets – Anne-Marie Labelle for the gaze, Diane Descôteaux for music, and Luce Pelletier for silence. These three writers work mostly in haiku, although they also make forays into other Japanese forms.

Because haikus are a poetic form that lends itself particularly well to this exercise, I want to share my own interpretation of several of the haikus I’ve selected here. My reading of these poems may be out in left field; I take full ownership of my insights or mistakes. The writers retain full ownership of their work and their intentions.

Before I start, I should say that I used only one reference to develop my talk: Christine Dupouy’s La Question du lieu en poésie (Place in Poetry) focusing on her chapter entitled “Entre regard et chant” (Between the Gaze and the Song).

Let’s jump in to make the best use possible of the short time we have.

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Note written on November 8, 2016 but applicable for all texts.
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Bio-bibliography

Janick Belleau

Janick Belleau was born in Montreal. Graduated from the University of Ottawa in French Literature and Social Communications. Lived 7 years in Winnipeg. Back in Montreal since 1987. Published a sociocultural portrait, Le Manitoba des femmes répond – questionnaire Gabrielle-Roy (1985, Winnipeg); a short poems collection, L’en-dehors du désir (1988, Winnipeg),a haiku and tanka collection, Humeur… Sensibility… Alma… (2003, Montreal) the latter, partially in three languages, a tanka collection in both French and English, D'âmes et d'ailes / of souls and wings (2010; winner of the French section Canada-Japan Literary Award 2010). She coauthored with Micheline Beaudry an erotic haiku and senryu anthology containing 182 previously unpublished poems from 77 contemporary poets, L’Erotique poème court / haiku (2006, Brussels). She authored another anthology composed of 86 haiku women and 283 of their previously unpublished poems, Regards de femmes – haikus francophones (2008, Lyon / Montreal). She was one of the co-editors of the Take Five - 2011 Best contemporary tanka, vol. 4 (2012 U.S.). Her poetry (tanka and haiku) appears in literary journals in French and in English. Her feature articles (Québec and Canada) and talks (France, Canada, Japan) concentrate on the writing of women haiku and tanka poets. She is a member of Association francophone de haiku (France), Haiku Canada, Haiku International Association (Japan), and the Haiku Foundation, USA. On the tanka side, she is a member of Tanka Canada - Gusts, Tanka Society of America and the Japan Tanka Poets Society.