The Canadian Poetry of Marie Uguay

Ben Libman at Poetry Magazine:

The 1980 reading—one of the few scenes etched in the history of Québécois literature—also marked the public debut of Marie Uguay, a 25-year-old poet with two published collections. Her brief appearance, halfway through the night’s program, proved the apex of her meteoric streak as a writer. It took all of four minutes—and it was audible. The third of four poems she recited, which begins “And yet oranges and apples do exist” and ends “Gently Cézanne claims his kinship with the earth’s suffering / with its structures / and all of summer’s vitality comes to wake me / comes gently passionately to bequeath its every fruit to me,” gave way to thunderous applause. It was as if a switch had been flipped, the suddenness with which a public epiphany descended palpably upon the room: This is a poet.

Yet, Uguay was not to enjoy the rites of a major artist. She did not have a long career punctuated by award ceremonies, readings, and frequent publications. The year after her reading at La nuit de la poésie, at age 26, she died of cancer, having just put together her third collection.

more here.