Michel Pleau is a Canadian poet, who was appointed Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate in January 2014.
Originally from the Saint-Sauveur district of Quebec City, he was educated at Université Laval and the Université du Québec à Montréal.
The author of numerous books of poetry and literary criticism, he won the Governor General’s Award for French-language poetry at the 2008 Governor General’s Awards for his collection La lenteur du monde. An English translation, Eternity Taking Its Time, was published by Bookland Press in 2012.
He won Quebec’s Prix Alphonse-Piché, Prix Octave-Crémazie and Prix Félix-Antoine-Savard for earlier collections. In 1997, the Commission de toponymie du Québec named an unnamed island in the province’s Caniapiscau Reservoir for his collection La traversée de la nuit, as part of a program honouring writers to mark the 20th anniversary of the Charter of the French Language.
In addition to his career as a writer and poet, Pleau has taught creative writing for more than 20 years. He is a lecturer in the continuing education department of Laval University, speaks at CEGEPs, and offers poetry workshops for young people through the Quebec government’s cultural education program. Pleau also shares his talents with the general public by teaching introductory and advanced poetry courses through the Fédération du Loisir Littéraire du Québec and the Camp littéraire Félix, respectively. In recent years, he has led writing workshops during the 10-day Trois-Rivières International Poetry Festival.
It is often said that Pleau’s passion and eloquence help others view the world through a poet’s eyes, and he has inspired a new generation of poets by being a resource for them through the Programme de parrainage at the Union des écrivaines et écrivains du Québec and the Programme Première Ovation at the Institut Canadien de Québec.
His most recent collection, Ciel de la basse-ville, was published in 2014.