Denise Desautels published by Gallimard

More than twenty years after Gaston Miron, it is Denise Desautels’ turn to make her entry into the prestigious Poetry collection of Gallimard editions. She thus becomes the second Quebec poet, but above all the first female poet from here to be published.

“When I received the phone call a few months ago to tell me that it was my turn, I was really happy, but also very surprised, because there are many poets in Quebec who deserve this honor” , tells the 75-year-old author, in an interview with The duty.

Two of his collections, united in one, will be found in February in this essential collection from the famous French publishing house. It is The dark angle of joy – initially published in co-edition with Le Noroît (in Quebec) and Arfuyen (in France) in 2011 – followed From where sometimes arises an arm of the horizon, published by Le Noroît in 2017. Gallimard chose the first, Denise Desautels the second. “Because there are links between the two, that choice was obvious,” she says.

Finding herself alongside the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, Federico García Lorca or even Jack Kerouac makes the Quebec poet “very proud” and “moves her”. “This collection is so rich! There are great French classics there, but also many books in translation. They come from Russia, China, Japan, South America. We find there the whole history of poetry and that is what makes it precious. It’s an honor to be part of it, ”she insists.

Note that it is his great friend, the poet Louise Dupré, who signs his preface. “Louise is someone who has given a lot of attention to women’s writing, in Quebec and abroad. In addition, she knows me personally and knows my work so well. He was the perfect person to write this preface ”, underlines Mme Desautels.


“It’s a very nice recognition for Denise Desautels, it’s great news for the sustainability of her work”, rejoices Mélissa Labonté, co-director of Noroît, the publishing house that has published the poet since its inception. forty years ago. “Not only is it pleasing to see that after such a long radio silence from Gallimard – the entry into Gaston Miron’s collection dates back to the end of the 1990s – Denise was chosen as the second Quebec poet, but it is all the more important that this time a woman is chosen. “

“I find it very symbolic that we choose a woman after Gaston Miron, also believes the author and anthologist Vanessa Bell. It sends a beautiful message and it is a step forward in the representation of women in the community. “

She also finds it “amazing” to see that Denise Desautels entered Gallimard’s Poetry collection while she is still alive. “Praise will often come after a death,” argues the one who recently co-wrote theAnthology of contemporary women’s poetry in Quebec.

Place in Quebec

One thing is certain, his place is “deserved”, believes Vanessa Bell. “With her poetry and her personality, Denise Desautels knows how to transcend generations. She is always present in the community, she rereads manuscripts, accompanies emerging poets, she is a generous person who shares a lot of her time and knowledge. And what makes the exception of her work is that she writes with just as much generosity, intelligence and benevolence as what she offers to her environment ”, underlines Vanessa Bell, not hesitating to describe her as “a rock star of poetry in Quebec”.

For her part, Denise Desautels especially hopes that her entry into the prestigious Gallimard collection will open the door to other Quebec poets in the coming years.

“It’s been several years since I found it unfortunate that no other Quebecker could be seen there than Gaston Miron. We were then forgotten that Quebec is recognized for its very rich poetry in the Francophonie. “

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