Emerald Wounds: Selected Poems

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Product Details
$22.95  $21.34
City Lights Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.4 X 0.9 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Joyce Mansour (author) was born in England in 1928 to a Jewish family of Syrian descent who moved to Egypt when she was still an infant. Mansour was part of the inner circle of Surrealists, a close friend of André Breton, and the most significant poet to join the group after World War II. She wrote 16 books of poetry, as well as prose, works, and plays. She lived in Paris, France until her death in 1986 at age of 58.

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.

Garrett Caples (editor) is a poet and an editor for City Lights Books, where he curates the Spotlight Poetry Series. He is also the co-editor of the Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia, editor of Preserving Fire: Selected Prose by Philip Lamantia, and author of the poetry collection Lovers of Today (2021). He lives in San Francisco, CA.


"I'm so grateful to Moorhouse for her helping bring this remarkable poet's work to English readers, and help expand our knowledge of women writers throughout the world--helping buck against the historical chauvinism Mansour endured. I know my bookshelf will be better for it."--Diana Arterian, LitHub's The Annotated Nightstand

"Emilie Moorhouse's sharp, steamy translation of Syrian-Jewish poet Joyce Mansour . . . Surreal incarnations of raw female power--erotic, rageful--permeate."--Rebecca Morgan Frank, LitHub

"This is a very welcome translation, one English readers can trust. Mansour should be far more read (in both French and English) than she is. Emilie Moorhouse has performed an invaluable service to her and to French literature in English."--Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno, Cable Street

"Slippery, stained, and gloriously indelicate, Joyce Mansour reveals to us the grisly face of eros."--Elaine Kahn, author of Women in Public

"Fierce, uncompromising, intelligent, weird, assertive, abject--Joyce Mansour's poems are a long cry of female rage and desire. The world is 'a shitting bird, ' the dead 'bloom like Parma hams, ' and the patriarchy subverted, mocked, & challenged at every turn, in personal relationships with men, in the fatuous advice of women's magazines. 'I do not know hell, ' Mansour writes, 'But my body has been burning ever since I was born.' These poems are the searing result of that life."--Kim Addonizio, author of Now We're Getting Somewhere

"It is high time (and way past it!) that someone bring to publishing daylight the truly great range of poems by the English/Egyptian writer artist/entertainer Joyce Patricia Adès, whom we salute as Joyce Mansour. Emilie Moorhouse has just accomplished this feat and we can gladly say, to this bilingual and welcome presentation of a large selection of those texts with City Lights, a very loud hooray!"--Mary Ann Caws, author of Symbolism, Dada, Surrealism: Selected Essays

"Among the many dark pleasures of Emerald Wounds, most marvelous is Joyce Mansour's canny adaptation of the Surrealist impulse towards revolt to subversively femme ends. In Emilie Moorhouse's astonishingly fresh translations, these palm-sized poems are arousing, alarming, and, finally, transformational, offering outlandish anti-psalms, sex tips from the devil, adroit instruction manuals for surviving the eradicating world. Like emeralds held so tightly they bite the flesh, these poems are compressed, brilliant works of maximum refulgence."--Joyelle McSweeney, author of Toxicon and Arachne

"In Joyce Mansour's exuberant, macabre, strange and sexy poems, I find such kinship, such lineage, such permission. It is such a delight to read this collection and meet her. These poems invite me to be brave, to be loud, to cackle and mourn and seduce. I only wish we'd met sooner, that I'd known sooner to place myself in her lineage."--Safia Elhillo, author of Girls That Never Die

"Transgressive delight and terror of the supreme surreal feminist in this remarkable and most original book of dreams. Mansour, 'an animal of the night, ' has been waiting to be reclaimed and counted. She who 'prunes the sky with carnivorous thighs, ' who ruse lies in a chignon is wonderfully abetted in these excellent, luminous translations. A poet who listens to the 'dialect of undressed sexes, ' and 'pierces the stagnant eye of the night' is the aligning, yet jolting force we've all been anticipating. This is her moment."--Anne Waldman, author of Bard, Kinetic

"In the poetry of Joyce Mansour, we feel the churn of the devouring and excreting body and its parts. Each part emits parts: the lover births his sex; the receptive octopus outputs its legs like a burst seedpod. Vicious as childbirth, delicate as the tension in a throat about to speak, Mansour's poems demand we attend to the forbidden maximums of our desires."--Sophia Dahlin, author of Natch

"This legendary Surrealist woman poet with her singular lyric fusion of love and death, phantasies of gleeful and grim inexorability, constructs radical strategies of irrational disjunction. . . .Translated with verve by Emilie Moorhouse."--Norma Cole, author of Fate News

"Emerald Wounds feels like a resuscitation. Joyce Mansour's Arab Jewish consciousness sticks its tongue out in the face of macho Euro mores. Given new breath by translator Emilie Moorhouse, Mansour's work is phantastic, inverted, explicit, full of spells. It seems to predict and override the world's weakening lust, calling out from a past of feverish slits, Sekhmet and the joy of piss."--Tamara Faith Berger, author of Maidenhead

"Sparse and elegant . . . shot through with blood and violence, and a fierce sexuality borne of a life veined with loss and exile."--Susan Norton, Carmichael's Bookstore (Louisville, KY)