Talking Vrouz is the second collection by the prize-winning French poet Valerie Rouzeau to be published by Arc, and it sees the return of her formidable poetic voice. Selected from Rouzeau's most recent collections, Quand Je Me Deux (2009) and Vrouz (2012), these poems present a language that is a hybrid of liberties and constraints - omissions, grammatical contractions, colloquialisms and archaisms, wordplay, puns, childspeak, exploded cliche and the heightened awareness of a poetic tradition - a language that Susan Wicks recreates in all its richness and quirkiness in her brilliant translation. No subject is taboo, and each is treated with a degree of humour that results in the reader looking at a familiar world from a new perspective. The tone and poetic procedures are sometimes reminiscent of Rimbaud, Apollinaire and Dess, and the book has a seemingly casual incence that foams with the odd splinter of glass. Rouzeau's first collection from Arc, Cold Spring in Winter, also translated by Susan Wicks, was short-listed for a number of prizes including the 2010 International Griffin Prize for Poetry, and Susan Wicks won the prestigious Scott Moncrieff Prize in 2010 for her translation of this work.
Valerie Rouzeau was born in 1967 in Burgundy, France and now lives in a small town near Paris, Saint-Ouen. She has published a dozen collections of poems. She has also published volumes translated from Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams, Ted Hughes and the photographer Duane Michals. She is the editor of a little review of poetry for children (from 5 to 117 years old) called 'dans la lune' and lives mainly by her pen through public readings, poetry workshops in schools, radio broadcasts and translation.