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The Parliamentary
Poet Laureate


Pauline Michel


Originally from the town of Asbestos, Pauline Michel is an author, playwright, actress, singer and teacher.

She received a bachelor of pedagogy from the Université de Sherbrooke, a Brevet A teacher's certificate from the École normale Marguerite Bourgeois, and a licence ès lettres modernes from Laval University. She has taken courses in dance, singing and theatre for several years.

She has been a secondary school teacher. She taught literature – in particular theatre and poetry – at the Cegep de Sherbrooke for four years and has led writing workshops at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

She was one of the four originators of the television series La maison de Ouimzie, produced by CINAR and sold in one hundred countries. She has written scripts for a number of broadcasts with Radio-Canada, Télé-Métropole, TV Ontario and Télé-Québec, where she also worked as an educational program expert. She has been a lyricist on the young people’s series Hello Moineau, which was broadcast in Quebec, France, Switzerland and North Africa.

She has published a number of books, including novels (Les yeux d’eau, Mirage, reedited by Lanctôt), poetry (L'oeil sauvage), a philosophical allegory (Le papillon de Vénus), songbooks (Hello Moineau, Voyez comme ils s’aiment, Le tour du monde) and children’s tales, including one for the series Passe-Partout. She has taken part in writing textbooks, including three books in the collection Systèmes published by Graficor. Her novellas and poems have also been published in anthologies by Humanitas, Arcade, Triptyque and Brèves littéraires.

Some of her work has been translated:

- L’assiette-à-tourmente : a novella translated into Chinese and published in a Chinese anthology of Québec authors.
- Les héritières d’Esther Blondin : a video with text translated into English and Spanish.
- Le tour du monde : some of the children’s songs have been translated into English by Nigel Spencer.

Winner of the “Québec en chansons” contest, she has gone on a number of “poetry and song” tours in Canada (Rencontre internationale de la francophonie, Les Francofolies de Montréal, Festival international de la littérature), in Africa and in France where she has given a number of recitals (Cirque d’Hiver, Relais Culturel de Wissembourg, cultural centres…) and has participated in a number of events (Quebec weeks, free radio celebrations, literary decades including the Atelier Imaginaire for three years). In 1984, she wrote a musical “Sors de ta cage” with music created by Roger Le Sourd and Philippe Bécaud - the son of Gilbert Bécaud. She presented and performed the musical at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris and in cultural centres throughout Quebec.

For five years, she wrote, produced and performed for children to give them a poetic and philosophical view of life. One journalist, Guylaine Fortin, called her the Ensorceleuse d’enfants (the bewitcher of children).

In the two years before her appointment, she wrote two plays: Au fil de l'autre (Duchesne Éditeur in 2004) and On perd la boule, for actress Angèle Coutu. She thus divided her time between teaching, writing and acting, and tried to break down the barriers between the various ages of life, which she feels are nothing but a shift in time through the various stages of existence.

Fascinated by communication, she has tried to explore many different forms and genres.
She has won a number of prizes and awards:

Grant from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs
for the play: Farfelu ou les sens ensorceleurs.
She wrote the play and the lyrics (and spent two years touring primary schools).

Winner of the Québec en chansons contest.
Show at the Grand Théâtre de Québec with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec.

Adate à Production 89 PRIZE
La poupée abandonnée

Multi-Média Productions Studio André Perry
Text and scenario by Pauline Michel

Bursary from the Canadian embassy in PARIS
For the tour Atelier imaginaire in south western France.

News and Events

  • 27 October 2006
    Pauline Michel Media Tour Toronto, 16 to 23 October 2006

  • 16 October 2006
    CJOK 8:30a.m. - Interview, Meagan McKenny Show : Morning Line 93.1 FM 9:00a.m. interview - Barrie, Ont.; Producer/Host, Ken Day; Show: The New Chay
    Rogers Television 10:30a.m. - Richmond Hill, Ont.; Producer, Jacqueline Betterton; Show: Daytime

  • 17 October 2006
    105.9 JACK FM 9:30a.m. - Orillia, Ont.; Producer: Heather Thompson; Show: Heather & Jack in the morning
    Rogers Television 11:00a.m. - Oshawa, Ont.; Producer, Judi Calow; Show: Daytime Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, 12:00a.m. - Toronto, Ont.; speech and launch

  • 18 October 2006
    98 The Beach FM 10:00 to 10:30a.m. - Port Elgin, Ont.; Host, John Divinski; Show: Sounding Board with John Divinski
    CTV News 12:00a.m. - Kitchener, Ont.; Host, Nancy Richards; Noon News meeting with Honourable James Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and his assistant Nanda Casucci-Byrne - 4:00 to 6:00p.m.

  • 19 October 2006
    Rogers Television 11:00a.m. - Mississauga, Ont.; Host, Jacqueline Paton; Show: Daytime meeting with a group of Arts and Letters Club of Toronto; Margo Hunt, chair of the Poetry Group, Ljerka Susanna Lukic, Hildy Stollery - 1:00p.m.

  • 20 October 2006
    Toronto French school presentation to a group of 150 students - 9:40a.m. - Toronto, Ont. Toronto French school presentation to a group of 350 students - 10:40a.m. - Toronto, Ont.; Kimberly Zanelli English Dean of Student Affairs
    Official meeting with Jane Pitfield, City Councillor and mayoral candidate, Margo Hunt of Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and Caroline Lesley - 1:00 to 3:00p.m. meeting with L. David St. C. Skene-Melvin, Royal Heraldry Society of Canada - 4:00p.m.

  • 21 October 2006
    Meeting with Anne and Carl Laurier, a descendant of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - 1:00 to 5:00p.m.

  • 22 October 2006
    Meeting with George and Nancy Kee, Parent Management Inc. - 10:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.

  • 27, October 2006
    CKLQ FM - Interview - Brandon, Man.; Producer: John Armstrong; Host, Bill Turners; Show, Bill Turners Feedback

  • 16 October 2006
    Random Acts of Poetry (2 to 8 October) Pauline Michel performed on 4 October at Collège Durocher, where she met 36 students; on 6 October at Beaver Lake, where she read poetry to people passing by. In all, she read for 50 people, and gave out 50 copies of Funambule / Tightrope, the book of poems written in the first 10 months of her mandate as Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

  • 18 September 2006
    Pauline Michel participated in the Edmonton Poetry Festival which took place from 18 to 24 September www.edmontonpoetryfestival

  • 21 August 2006
    Eyes of Water, originally published in French as Les yeux d’eau, has now been published in English by Broken Jaw Press. It has been translated by Jonathan Kaplansky.

  • 1 July 2006
    Pauline Michel was invited by the festival organizers to participate in the Canada Day show on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

  • 15 June 2006
    Pauline Michel travelled to Europe to attend the "Marché de la poésie" in Paris and meet the United Kingdom’s Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, in London. During her trip she has promoted Canadian authors and their works.

  • 9 June 2006
    Pauline Michel attended the League of Canadian Poets Annual General Assembly in Ottawa where she introduced Margaret Atwood and participated in a round table about the role of poets laureate in Canada.

  • 29 May 2006
    Pauline Michel composed the poem "A Grove of Words" on the occasion of the reopening of the Library of Parliament heritage building.

  • 4 April 2006
    Pauline Michel attends the International Edible Book Festival (Books2Eat) in Montreal, where her novel Le papillon de Vénus is given a culinary interpretation by chef Yves Petit of the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec.

  • 1 April 2006
    Pauline Michel, accompanied by musicians, presents her poem "Les femmes au milieu, les hommes autour" at the vernissage of the exhibition in Vaudreuil of works by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and Stéphan Daigle entitled Célébrations.

  • 26 March 2006
    "Le credo du mutant," a poem by Pauline Michel, is part of Angèle Coutu’s poetry recital in Montreal, Le pain de chaque jour.

  • 15 March 2006
    Pauline Michel’s bilingual collection of short stories, Frissons d'enfants/Haunted Childhoods, is published by XYZ Éditeur (translation by Nigel Spencer).

  • 9 March 2006
    Pauline Michel is invited to appear in a documentary by Josh Massey on Canada’s poets.

  • 7 February 2006
    On 7 and 8 February, Pauline Michel participated in the 18th Annual Human Rights Consultations between Foreign Affairs Canada and Canadian non-governmental human rights organizations which took place in Gatineau.

  • 5 December 2005
    M’as-tu lu?, Télé-Québec, short clip on the mandate of the Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

  • 23 November 2005
    Pauline Michel presents prizes to Jean-Marc Desgent and Anne Compton during the Governor General’s Awards ceremony held at Rideau Hall.

  • 18 November 2005
    Pauline Michel becomes an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society during a ceremony held at the University of Ottawa, where she read her poetry in French and English.

  • 14 to 17 November 2005
    Series of radio and TV interviews in Toronto

  • 23 October 2005
    Poetry Hour at the Société d'histoire d'Asbestos

  • 13 September 2005
    Pauline Michel participates in an event organized by the Arts & Letters Club

  • 10 September 2005
    Pauline Michel attends Camp Edgewood, Eden Mills, Ont., for the third Annual Saturday Seminar: "Writing the Book & Living the Life"

  • 13 August 2005
    Honouring Pauline Michel during Festiv'Elles - second edition of the Festival international des femmes de Montréal (FIFM)

  • 12 August 2005
    Voici la poète du parlement (CBC Radio annoucement)

  • 25 May 2005
    Participation in a posthumous homage to Janou St-Denis Solovox (Poster)
  • 20 May 2005
    Pauline Michel participates in World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

  • 16 May 2005
    Parole libertaire : Écriture au féminin pluriel (Poster)

  • 28 April 2005
    Pauline Michel visits Algonquin College in Ottawa

  • 12 February 2005
    Pauline Michel at Winterlude

  • 30 January 2005
    All in a Weekend (Interview with Fiona Downey)

  • 25 Januray 2005
    Portes ouvertes (Interview with Raymond Cloutier)

  • 3 January 2005
    Téléjournal Midi (Interview with Mireille Allaire)

  • 16 December 2004
    Interview with on Canada's Political Channel

  • 15 December 2004
    Bound by the beauty: Pauline Michel has many creative and performing talents beyond poetry

  • 7 December 2004
    Sounds Like Canada (Interview with Bernard St-Laurent)
    Panorama(Interview with Pierre Granger and Gisèle Quenneville)

  • 30 November 2004
    Le monde est petit (Interview with Josée Boudrault and Martin Petit)

  • 26 November 2004
    Infoman (Interview with Jean-René Dufort)

  • 24 November 2004
    All in a Day (Interview with Brent Bambury)
  • 23 November 2004
    C'est dans l'air (Interview with Élaine Ayotte)

  • 22 November 2004
    Les arts et les autres (Interview with Line Boily)
    Breakaway (Interview with Jacquie Czernin and Madonna Hamel)

  • 21 November 2004
    Canada's gregarious rose: Forget the image of the melancholy writer.

  • 19 November 2004
    Matin Express Plus (Interview with Michel Viens)
    Estrie Express (Interview with Roger Laroche and Helen Deslauriers)

  • 18 November 2004
    Fréquence (Interview with Daniel Mathieu)
    Michel named poet laureate

  • 17 November 2004
    New Parliamentary Poet Laureate appointed
    Pauline Michel devient la première poète officielle francophone du Parlement

  • 24 March 2004
    Nominations open for Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate
    Poet Laureate News Release 2004

  • Poems

  • "Just as long..."
    Funambule / Tightrope, by Broken Jaw Press, in a bilingual edition
  • "Light You Are, and to Light You Shall Return"
    Funambule / Tightrope, by "Broken Jaw Press, in a bilingual edition
  • "A Grove of Words"
    Poem composed on the occasion of the reopening of the Library of Parliament heritage building
  • "As Far as Dreams"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays, 1988
  • "Ashes and Snow"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays (1988)
  • "La bergerie du temps"
    En marge du calendrier, Triptyque (1994)
  • "Blue Angels"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays, 1988
  • "Le clown blanc"
    L'œil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays (1988)
  • "Diviner"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays, 1988
  • "Les enfants d'Amérique"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays (1988)
  • "Hypnose"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays (1988)
  • "In the Corridor of the Wind"
    Unpublished poem
  • "Narrow Escape"
    Unpublished poem
  • "Noël"
    22 December 2004 - English Text by Nigel Spencer
  • "L'oeil Vert"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays (1988)
  • "A Plea"
    Unpublished poem
  • "Red Gold"
    Unpublished poem
  • "Sisyphus"
    Unpublished poem
  • "Softer"
    Unpublished poem
  • "Speech on 8 March 2005 (International Women's Day)"
    Parliament Hill event
  • "Tightrope"
    Unpublished poem
  • "Voyages"
    L'oeil sauvage, Publications Chant de mon pays, 1988
  • "Winterlude - Tribute to Canadian veterans"
    2 February 2005 - English text by Nigel Spencer
  • "Let Us Forget"
    Unpublished poem
  • Links

    Arts, Literature & Poetry

  • Arts and Entertainment
    CBC Archives
  • Arts et culture
    Archives de Radio-Canada (in French only)
  • The League of Canadian Poets
  • The Canadian Federation of Poets
  • Canadian Poetry
    University of Toronto
  • Canadian Poetry Association
  • Canadian Poetry Archive
    Library and Archives Canada
  • Digital Collections
    Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec (in French only)
  • Festival international de poésie de Trois-Rivières
    (in French only)
  • George Bowering
    University of Toronto
  • L'ÎLE, le Centre de documentation virtuel sur la littérature québécoise
    UNEQ (in French only)
  • Literature
    Library and Archives Canada
  • Maison de la poésie
    (in French only)
  • PEN Canada
  • Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois
    (UNEQ) (in French only)
  • World Poetry Day
  • The Writers' Union of Canada
  • Writing and Publishing
    Canada Council for the Arts

  • Publishing Houses

  • Broken Jaw Press
  • Éditions Vents d'Ouest
    (in French only)
  • Michel Brûlé (Formerly Lanctôt éditeur)
    (in French only)
  • Bibliography

    Pauline Michel