Backed by several literary efforts, including the most recent that have been repeatedly rewarded, recommended and well established in the top charts of Quebec book sales, David Goudreault spends the rest of his time as an author on stage where he performs to sold-out crowds and to repetition. everywhere in the province with his very unique slam-poetry. It is precisely through one of his guest carte blanche on the Canadian radio program Plus on est de fous plus on lit where he will make Abaka underwear rhyme with eco-responsibility [ extract here ] that we decided to contact the author for an exclusive and #ecocomfortable association. Meeting with a giant with the feet of agile stanzas.
David Goudreault imposes. If on stage from the back of the room, you can imagine yourself standing six feet and a few inches tall, when you closely follow the causes he supports day to day ( Aide tes libraires , Mouvement Santé Mentale Québec , in its slams in tribute to essential workers in the climate of a pandemic on La Presse , and in many other spontaneous collaborations), we have the impression of dealing with a new over-involved titan. A poetic Atlas and no less. Wildly committed, knight of the word, with an articulate, uninhibited and sometimes subversive freedom of expression (if we think of the choice of heroes in his novels La Bête and Ta mort à moi ), he lives and expresses himself very much at the height of this artist that he is, darling of critics, and whose bricks sleep on the bedside tables of, among others, Guy A. Lepage and Prime Minister François Legault.
Abaka was to meet Goudreault last March at the Salon du livre in Trois-Rivières, where he is a native. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event, like many others, has been cancelled. Interview, therefore, socially distanced by the internet!
A few months ago, it made headlines that a school had decided to recycle a work by Félix Leclerc, because it was deemed inappropriate for students. On this #ReduceReuseRecycle idea, but from a more positive angle:
Reduce: Despite the thin media space it receives globally, what are we overemphasizing in the broad realm of culture?
DG.: "We can never give too much space to culture, regardless of its manifestation and its medium; from macrame to contemporary poetry through the big pop song, culture builds us, protects us and edifies us."
Reuse: What classic works deserve to be reread or put forward in the times we live in?
DG. : " Love in the Time of Cholera and The Plague is the cliché of the occasion. I rather recommend any Quebec book whose author / author is still living. The chain of the book is fragile, any purchase or donation which allows our literature to survive and flourish is welcome. #AideTesLibraires"
Recycle: Which recent books that have marked you would you recommend or willingly lend to readers?
DG.: "Mmmh, everything François Blais , Hélène Dorion , Yves Boisvert , Naomi Fontaine , Kim Thuy and Patrice Desbiens , to start."
Postponements & departures...
Initially, the author-poet-slammer was to finish and conclude the shows of his third year of touring Au bout de ta langue in December 2020 to focus on writing a new collection. Like everyone, the plans we had for the year are postponed to later undefined dates...
Now that the company's agenda has been cleared up, David Goudreault does not show too much free time: The opportunity is great to work on this collection of poetry to be published in 2021. And also to work on a new album, intended for listening online. Since there are still many strings to his bow, the versatile craftsman of the word has recently also been a lyricist for Florence K, Jipé Dalpé, Luce Dufault, and Louis-Jean Cormier among others. It will soon be his words, and his voice, published independently that we will be able to hear, with a mixture of genres for his fourth musical opus. Still bitter from the way his last album was produced out of his control, the artist now takes all the liberties, risks and powers to ensure a distribution more in line with his vision, of his refined product. A process well in harmony in this era of confectionism or Do it yourself !
In addition to nearly six months of canceled shows, it is also unfortunately the postponement of the Grande Nuit de la Poésie de Saint-Venant-de-Paquette in Estrie, which we will now wait for August 2021. A biennial festival where it is happily involved in the artistic direction. What is this big night ?
DG.: "Several events have in recent years taken the name of "poetry night" without necessarily doing it completely, for real. For us, it starts early and it goes until the next morning!"
Indeed, if we look at the last editions, more than a thousand people attended the sixty events & shows which are presented free of charge. In this festival, we aim to mix genres, from Manu Militari to Normand Baillargeon, from Joséphine Bacon to Yann Perreau, from Richard Séguin to Luce Dufault, through poetry karaoke, slams, open microphones, conferences & workshops .
DG.: "The goal is to make it accessible. Poetic but not boring. To be able to successfully integrate poetry into people's lives, as it was a saving grace for me. To make poetry more interesting to as many people as possible without making it shameless, prostitute her, level her down."
A little guy from home...
Although now established in Sherbrooke for nearly twenty years, the author was born in Trois-Rivières, capital of poetry . It would be completely mad not to underline it, and like good Mauritians, to want to appropriate it a little. The author remembers a tasty anecdote from his past as a young bum where his community work forced him to clean up his graffiti on rue Des Forges. Now, sweet irony, if you pass on the rue Des Forges, it is screwed to the wall that you can read one of his poems near the edge of the river , close to that of his colleague as he calls him, the poet Jean -Paul Daoust.
Help your booksellers, and your bookstores will help you ....
Between the time Abaka had contacted David to design a t-shirt design and the production of this one, a pandemic happened. We collectively decided to redirect the focus, and we offered David to donate the profits from the sale of items with a common design to the cause of his choice. His choice fell on the Help your booksellers project:
DG.: "This present moment of forced introspection reaches the world, it stirs values. People have this desire to be more conscientious, to get closer to nature in some ways. And that happens through what we listen, what we read, what we wear. When we meet again [after the crisis], this desire to meet the other will be more inspired, more appreciated, reinhabited.
And where did the idea for this design come from?
DG.: " For me, this concept is a tribute to Quebec literature; it stretches us upwards, allows us to claim and make our voices resound in the public space while rooting us in our territory, our history and our Literature is an introspective cry, which is heard when carried and distributed by booksellers, hence the interest in giving them the profits and supporting them in this crisis.
For each Abaka x David Goudreault item sold, $10 will be donated to the Aide tes libraires* campaign. You can also donate directly to the campaign through their GoFundMe . [* The “Help your booksellers” campaign was created to give an extra boost to our independent booksellers. The donations collected will be distributed equitably to all the independent bookstores that are part of the ALQ (Association des Librairies du Québec), as well as to all those that are not part of the ALQ and who want to join the GoFundMe list “Help Your Booksellers”. It's a simple and direct way to help our Quebec bookstores, an industry engine. To support and protect this precious contact that the public has with books: bookstores. ]
While waiting for Goudro, as Beckett would say , we can follow him on Instagram where he participates in the #covidpoème , and by obtaining his latest book, finalist for the 2020 France-Quebec Literary Prize, Ta mort à moi .