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Seul le ciel nous le permet : soirée littéraire








Type of activity



In Person


Wednesday February 28, 2024 at 07:00 pm

Inspired by the exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe and Henry Moore: Giants of Modern Art, six artists perform a reading of original texts.

Event curator and host
Vanessa Bell

Catherine Lalonde, Nana and Judy Quinn, Émilie Monnet

With musical accompaniment by Eric Quach



Major patron: Fondation Michel de la Chenelière
Public partners: Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts de Montréal, and Government of Quebec.


About the event
It takes time, a lot of time, for the bones of what was once alive to emerge. It takes time, a lot of time, before they are gathered by hands and reclaimed to create a painting, a sculpture, the work of a lifetime. The beat of time carries within it the beat of translation. What has been collected is transformed, forging a new language, embarking on a new cycle of existence, like a vow spoken aloud. Here, we draw out that which is essential in the union of human and nature; here, we are both witnesses to and actors in what it means to “live.”

Vanessa Bell is a poet, performer, artist, curator and literary activist. She is also director of the poetry collection at Éditions du Quartz. Her literary and artistic practice has led her to perform in America and Europe. She is the author of the collections De rivières (2019, La Peuplade) and MONUMENTS (2022, Le Noroît), as well as the book Fendre les eaux (2023, Les Éditions de l’Homme). She also co-edited Anthologie de la poésie actuelle des femmes au Québec 2000 | 2020 (2021, Remue-ménage). Her lively and sharp writing is a whirlwind of audacity whose central themes are sisterhood, filiation, and real and fantasized territories. She has won a number of grants and awards, including the Félix-Antoine-Savard Prize for poetry (2021, FIPTR), and was a finalist for the Prix de l’Institut canadien de Québec (2021) and the Prix du CALQ – Artiste de l’année dans la Capitale-Nationale (2023). Under the mentorship of Nicole Brossard, Vanessa Bell was the first francophone Canadian to be supported by the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Rising Stars program (2022).

Catherine Lalonde is a poet. Under Quartanier, she published La dévoration des fées (2018 Alain-Grandbois Prize and finalist for a Grand Prix du livre de Montréal and a Governor General’s Literary Award) and Cassandre et Corps étranger (winner of an Émile-Nelligan Award). Harking from a dance background, she likes to explore the physical dimension in her public readings, and is striving to revive the traditions of author interview, with Parler d’écrire (2023), and of live events, with Une autre rencontre d’auteur (in progress). Lalonde is a culture writer for Le Devoir and won the 2022 Judith-Jasmin Prize for her work at the daily. Born in 1974, she is the mother of two children, aged four and ten. Her upcoming book of poems will be titled Trous.

Nana Quinn is a Quebec-based multidisciplinary artist. Their most recent work in visual and literary arts explores interpersonal relationships, extimacy and poetry as a means of fostering sensitivity to others. They have written two books: Mauve est un verbe pour ma gorge (Poètes de brousses) and Le reste grandit (Noroît), an artist’s book on love and loss. Nana Quinn’s work has been presented at a number of events and exhibitions, including at Lieu, La Centrale galerie Powerhouse, the Festival Art Souterrain and Festival Triste.

In her novels as in her poetry, Judy Quinn is interested in memory and the ties we nurture with our environment. Her published works include Pas de tombeau pour les lieux, a tragicomedy on the barrenness of suburbs (translated by Donald Winkler under Véhicule Press) and, more recently, Tout est caché, about a fiery journey into the land of the dead. She has won numerous awards for her writing, such as the Robert-Cliche Prize for a first novel and a Radio-Canada award. Her next work of fiction, titled L’Étoile de la Montagne (Leméac), is set to come out in early March and talks about the need to maintain hope.

At the intersection of theatre, performance and media arts, Émilie Monnet’s work is often presented as a form of multidisciplinary theatre or performance installation. In her artistic practice, she favours a collaborative and multilingual approach. As an author, actress and director who is committed to her craft, she founded Onishka Productions in 2011. She is a graduate of the Indigenous Artists in Residence program of the National Theatre School of Canada and is in the process of completing a theatre residency at Espace Go. Her written works Okinum and Marguerite : le feu are published by Herbes rouges. Of Anishinaabe and French heritage, Monnet divides her time between Outaouais and Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang.

Eric Quach is a Montreal-based artist and musician better known as Thisquietarmy. Specializing in improvisational music, he sculpts dreamlike soundscapes in his electronic experimentations on the electric guitar. Since 2005, he has published over 50 works on labels like Consouling Sounds, Midira and Denovali Records. Quach has given some 800 performances in 40 countries, including at the MUTEK, FIMAV, Suoni Per Il Popolo, Red Bull Music Academy and The Guess Who? festivals as well as at the Némo – International Biennial of Digital Arts. His main collaborators are the members of Voïvod, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Nadja.


Reservation terms: Free admission. No reservation required.

Access: Maxwell Cummings Auditorium, 1379-A Sherbrooke Street West

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