Gilles Hénault

Gilles Hénault, writer (b at St-Majoric, Qué 1 Aug 1920; d at Montréal 6 Oct 1996). After studying at Collège Mont Saint-Louis, he began a program of self-directed reading and writing, and published several poems in the magazines Horizons (1937) and La Nouvelle Relève (1941).

Gilles Hénault

Gilles Hénault, writer (b at St-Majoric, Qué 1 Aug 1920; d at Montréal 6 Oct 1996). After studying at Collège Mont Saint-Louis, he began a program of self-directed reading and writing, and published several poems in the magazines Horizons (1937) and La Nouvelle Relève (1941). Turning to journalism, he became friendly with various literary figures including Jean-Aubert LORANGER and in particular Éloi de GRANDMONT, pseudonym for Grammont. With Grandmont he co-founded the Cahiers de la file indienne (1946), a collection they devoted to experiments in automatic writing and in which he published Théâtre en plein air (1946).

His decision to join the Communist newspaper Combat with Pierre Gélinas (the newspaper was closed down in 1947 by Maurice DUPLESSIS'SPADLOCK ACT) temporarily shut other journalistic doors against him. Hénault then worked as a union organizer in a Sudbury nickel mine and published a number of dissident poems.

Hénault returned to Montréal in 1953 and worked in radio, TV and film as journalist, scriptwriter and host. In 1959 he became literary and artistic editor for LE DEVOIR and was director 1966-71 of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. He was writer-in-residence at U of O in 1975-76 and was in charge of the plastic-art department of UQAM in 1983-84.

He kept writing poetry: Totems, ill by Albert DUMOUCHEL (1953); Voyage au pays de mémoire, ill by Marcelle FERRON (1960); À l'orée de l'oeil, ill by Roland GIGUÈRE (1981); À l'inconnue nue, ill by Léon BELLEFLEUR (1984), Noyade, ill by Monique Charbonneau (1986) and À l'écoute de l'écoumène (1991). He has received important awards, notably the Governor General's Award for Signaux pour les voyants (1972) and Prix David for his works (1993).