Ronald Després

Born in Moncton, NB in 1935, Ronald Després is one of the two writers in Acadie who sparked the Acadian Literary Renaissance of the early 1970s. The other writer is Antonine Maillet, and the important year they share is 1958, the year that saw the publication of Després’s first collection of poems, Silences à nourrir de sang, and Maillet’s first novel, Pointe-aux-Coques. After attending Moncton-area colleges, Després studied music and philosophy at the University of Paris, returning to work as a literary journalist for the Acadian newspaper L’Évangéline and then as a government translator in Ottawa. His startlingly original poetry and fiction is characterized by a dark, raw apocalyptic imagery that has received mixed reviews in Acadie. Critics have questioned how representational his work is, his influences and address seeming to touch Europe and Quebec more than Acadie. On the other hand, adherents have drawn connections between his dominant tones and motifs (cynicism, fatigue, fantasy, and love) and the similar tones and motifs of the Éditions d’Acadie poets of the early 1970s. It is generally agreed that his early work laid a foundation for what followed and, as significantly, anticipated the avant-garde post-modernism (impressionistic and otherwise) of contemporary writing in Acadie.

For the full Author Page on Després, click here.


The linked Author Page contains the poems "Hymn to Spring," "My Acadie," and "Poetry Night in Acadie."