Monette, Hélène

 Hélène Monette, poet and novelist (b at Saint-Philippe de Laprairie, Qc 11 Jun 1960). Following studies in art, art history and literature at the Université de Montréal and Concordia, Hélène Monette turned to publishing and was cofounder of the magazine Ciel variable, which then became CV Photo.

Hélène Monette was very involved in the cultural scene through poetry, and often appeared on stage sometimes accompanied by musicians, for poetry readings. She travelled in France, Mexico and Portugal performing in various festivals and meeting students and authors. Under Mistook Miller's direction, she recorded the committed poems La vache enragée, and Manifeste pour contrer la violence faite aux femmes. She can also be seen in a number of video clips and in films: Seule dans mon putain d'univers.

She further published her poems in a number of literary reviews including Moebius. Her collection, Lettres insolites (1991), received a nomination for the prix ÉMILE-NELLIGAN. Then her collection of stories, Crimes et Chatouillements appeared, and in 1993 a novel Le goudron et les plumes, that won the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal.

Her collection of tales and poems, Plaisirs et paysages kitsch (1997) was nominated for a Governor General's Award. The poetry collection Le blanc des yeux was published in 1999, followed in 2001 by Le jardin de la nuit that won a Governor General's Literary Award nomination.

Hélène Monette's world with its cruelty and realism is coarse, indeed frightening. Exaggerating the cynicism that surrounds today's violence, Hélène Monette wants, through her writing, to be both committed and a survivor.