Praise for her poetry

"Irene Marques by her deft redefinition of reader-audience relationships may have 'stooped to conquer' the modern condition by reconciling the individual 'Self' (through the myriad worlds of her poet-personae) with an 'Othered' public domain."

- CN Nkemdirim, African Journal of New Poetry

"The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit ties the secular rituals of everyday to sacred rites of passage, binding language to love and longing, and to the livelihoods that are Irene Marques’ birthright. These poems bring new and old worlds into dialogue, and poetry into the presence of timeless, generous spirits."  

- J. Edward Chamberlin, If This is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories? 

“What impresses most in Irene Marques’s first book of poetry (Wearing Glasses of Water), are the expansive situations she creates. Rarely does small abide over large, or unadorned show instead of ornate, for this Portuguese-born Canadian writer revels in abundance and lush coloring. Call this fat poetry, not thin. At its best it reminds me of the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez: everything writ large and interconnected.”

- ARC: Canada's National Poetry Magazine

My House is a Mansion is a spiritual and sexual coming of age story explores issues of personal and collective identity, mythical and mystical understandings of self, world and universe, gender, race and class. Amélia, the protagonist, embarks on a quest of self-discovery, travelling between continents in real and symbolic terms finding personal growth and enlightened awakening in the process. Marques' Comparative Literature background, her transcultural references, poetic lyrical prose, ecstatic visions, and profound philosophical investigations on what it means to be a woman (and a person) create an emotionally powerful journey of self-exploration.

My House is a Mansion is a daring, poetic novel ‘in different tongues.’ The protagonist, Amélia, leaves her Portuguese village to travel the world and in each new place finds a lover and has wild, ecstatic dreams, full of bodily delights, bursting with feats of terrifying and awesome reproduction, and brimming with the disturbing proximities of primal desire and looming violence. But for Amélia, travel also carries with it the mighty nautical past of her Iberian homeland, where the pure desire to experience foreign lands is also smeared in the blood of empire like the mattress of her first lover’s bed. We have ‘to face many monsters, who not unlike Adamastor, were hiding under the water and trying to lure [us] to the bottom of their lives,’ but, in the end, we return home as we must, wet and exhausted but with a few more of the missing links connected.” — Carlo Matos, author of The Secret Correspondence of Loon & Fiasco

My House is a Mansion is a moving portrayal of life which takes root in the intimate quests of Amélia, the protagonist, and is packed with insights that transcend time and space. Her travels intersect in ways that carry her through an emotional performance fusing themes of restlessness, moral stances, identity construction, memory, social and cultural positionings and the search for meaning. The complexity of this girl’s soul is explored with a rich and colorful imagination. In a beautifully crafted prose, Irene Marques’s novel keeps the reader enthralled with the superbly deft story of a girl of Portuguese descent.”— Professor Irene Maria F. Blayer, Brock University

 Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo 

“Chamo-me Lúcia. Lúcia Lucrécia. Do Carmo. Pereira. Dos Santos. Lúcia Lucrécia do Carmo Pereira dos Santos. Nome longo e de história. Como bica de água que leva ao Parque Mayer onde abundarão rosas de adro. Abertas à flor de Deus, ao pão dos famintos. À alma das borboletas. À passagem secreta do vento que leva e traz mensagens das mourarias e das sagas de amores violentos, roubados à sombra da noite e conquistados das mãos dos inimigos que nos invadiram a terra, durante séculos e séculos, anunciando outras preces e catedrais. Estou a fugir da minha história, mas nem tanto, é que sempre é preciso prelúdio para adoçar a fruta verde ou seca que vem depois, desvendada no meio da vida e contada com as metáforas que se pode. Que nos chegam em dias cansados e já tão distantes da ideia que tínhamos quando éramos novas e andantes na plena seiva da vida, caminhando com passos decididos porque a verdade seria encontrada no fundo da linha – depois da última passada.” --Do conto Lamento de uma mulher infértil 

“In a disciplinary field still largely dominated by the primacy of area studies, Irene Marques’s critical engagement with a range of narratives from across the Lusophone and Anglophone world is refreshingly innovative and represents an important contribution to comparative literary study.Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender, and Cultural Identity will be of special relevance to those working on Couto, Saramago, Lispector, and Coetzee, as well as to those with an interest in issues of language, postcolonialism, identity, gender studies, and the interplay between the aesthetics of literature and expressions of social and political concern.”
— David Brookshaw, University of Bristol
“This exploration of class, feminism, and cultural identity (including issues of race, nation, colonialism, and economic imperialism) focuses on the work of four writers: the Mozambican Mia Couto, the Portuguese José Saramago, the Brazilian Clarice Lispector, and the South African J. M. Coetzee.”
— Purdue University Press

"The task of literary criticism at present is to imagine a politics that fits the globe and transcends nations. If it is still too early to achieve that, at least we must put political visions from distant places in dialogue. Irene Marques accomplishes this important task by bringing together four authors from both sides of the Atlantic, both sides of the equator, and both sides of Africa—Couto, Saramago, Lispector, and Coetzee. The novels she considers are not all explicitly political, but what Marques discovers is that implicit politics are not less political. All the authors Marques considers are white by one measure, but she shows the different meanings of white and the varying potential of white to become other in South Africa, Mozambique, Portugal, and Brazil. Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender, and Cultural Identity has crucial things to say about race and nation, politics, and aesthetics today." —Neil ten Kortenaar, University of Toronto

“Chin Ce’s poetry is intrinsically animistic and romantic in a manner reminiscent of both William Wordsworth and Léopold S. Senghor, one of the finest African poets of the Négritude movement. […] Ce’s poetry is profoundly beautiful and easy to the eye and to the mind. His language is generally not obscure; it possesses a pristine transparency that aligns itself with the poet’s need to merge with the larger self. And furthermore, because of its foremost levity, it permits the reader to also share in the pleasure of the extra-terrestrial voyage that is the mind of the poet and enjoy, enjoy… As Wordsworth would say himself: “The Poet, singing a song in which all human beings join with him, rejoices in the presence of truth as our visible friend and hourly companion (259).” Ce’s poetry, like all powerful poetry, is a divine call, a profound yearning for wholeness in a world that has become too acquainted with the smallness of dissected disconnected particles. Ce’s poetry is circular and round like the Moon when it is FULL. It is the revolving call of the wolf, who in his desperate and lonely night calls the ‘lover’ that he has lost and misses dearly. If the characters of Children of Koloko speak the language of loss, confusion and spiritual decadence, the shamanistic speaker of Full Moon utters the language of discoveries, enlightenment and transcendence.”