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Since 1990, The Word On The Street has proudly hosted some of the finest talent in Canadian literature. Our 27th festival is shaping up to be one of our best yet. Check out all of the authors, performers, and storytellers below!
Irene Marques is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and academic currently teaching in the African Studies Program and the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Marques’ creative writing intersects with her academic interests and explores issues of personal and collective identity, mystical and mythical understandings of self, world and universe, gender, race, empire, class, cultural syncretism, the Portuguese colonial wars in Africa and the Portuguese fascist regime. Her narratives are marked by a universal ethos that crosses geographical and cultural boundaries, bringing to the page existential themes that affect us all.
She is the author of three poetry collections: The Circular Incantation: An Exercise in Loss and Findings (2013, Guernica Editions), The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit (2012, Mawenzi House) and Wearing Glasses of Water (2007, Mawenzi House), as well as the Portuguese language short story collection Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo: Crónicas Desejadas (2009, Edium Editores, Portugal) and the novel My House is a Mansion (2015, Leaping Lyon Books/York University). Her Portuguese language novel Uma casa no mundo (Verso da História, Portugal) will be published in Portugal in 2017 and her English language novel Daria, Tales of a Woman and Other Idealists (Inanna Publications, York University) is scheduled for publication in 2019.
The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit is about memory of being, being in body, spirit and speculation. It unravels the remembrances and cognitions forged in the mind as it recalls life through images that are intensely reflective, transtemporal, sensual, daunting and mournful, sometimes feeling like never-ending, lazy arias.
As we move from poem to poem, we dwell in magnificent displays of sensations, ideas, and moods, happy and sorrowful, pleading and celebratory, allowing ourselves to reconstruct life through the physicality of the body or the world, perceiving their pulsating powers and anchoring ourselves in the house that we sometimes forget we have. The collection is also about
The collection is also about memory of place, of family, of birth, and memory obtained through formal learning, and how that memory, in all its dimensions, is transposed to the page, recreated and reinvented. Deeply philosophic as well as lyrical, the collection interrogates the idea of memory in multiple narratives that juxtapose various modes of expression, argumentation, mood, imagery, tone, and cultural references.