Biography of Michele Vassal
Michèle Vassal is French, but writes mostly in English. She moved to Ireland at the age of seventeen. She remained in the country for another 30 years. She currently lives in the South-West of France with her 5 cats, an enormous dog called Dougal and « him indoors » Brendan Ring, her harping, piping, yogi of a husband. She divides her time between writing and creating an environmentally friendly homestead.
She has two collections, Sandgames and A Taste for Hemlock, both published by Salmon.
Her poems have been awarded 1st prize at Listowel's Writers Week and short listed for the Hennessy /Tribune Awards in Ireland as well as appearing in various international literary reviews.
What they said:
A Taste for Hemlock, is a mystical journey of transmutation birthed in the crucible of cultural dychotomy. Grounded in myths and storytelling, Michèle Vassal’s vision is uncompromising, incisive, and laden with a rich painterly sensuality. In this book, she unravels, with honesty and sensitivity, the golden thread that runs through personal and collective memory, honouring both the frailties and beauty of our humanity.
Michele Vassal has the rare gift of turning poetry into music. Each elegant, spare, melodic verse lingers in the mind like a beautiful song. Once read, never forgotten.
By far the best and most challenging collection of poems by a poet issued in 2011 is Michele Vassal's 'A Taste For Hemlock, ' (Salmon Poetry) with a cover by the author. Here is a European sensibility charging through the conventional staidness of much Irish contemporary work. It is richly to be hoped that this book receives the critical attention and promotion that it deserves; a book without decent promotion behind it by its publisher can often sadly wither and die. Ask for this book in bookshops or chase it up online.
by: Western Writers' Centre
...There’s a Baudelairean sensibility and aesthetic at work in A Taste for Hemlock, a delight in and of the senses, a savouring and appreciation of all that the wide world has to offer, and the bitter flavour attendant on wisdom. There’s also an understanding that the brightest moment of an object’s life, whether that be an animal, plant or fruit, or even a human, is just before the turning point of decay or a bruise; but that this is cyclical and to be anticipated is one of our consolations for loss...
Alan Garvey- Gloomcupboard
Michele Vassal's Works:
Sandgames - Salmon Publishing, Ireland
A Taste for Hemlock- Salmon Publishing, Ireland
Michele Vassal Poems
in the corner of the window there is a fly, paper dry and a small web that swaddles
Dublin 75 Nineteen seventy five and Mary worked Fitzwilliam square
Drunk As Brendan Behan
Lovers lovers their empty skins hang limp in opiate closets pulsing between insinuations
The Rape Of Tara
Time hinged on indifference myths patterned time myths circling land myths kernels of
in the corner of the window
there is a fly, paper dry
and a small web
only flakes of paint
white flecks in its weft