Volume 1 (2019)
Our First Issue
Welcome to the first issue of Résonance, our new Franco-American literary e-journal. In it, you’ll find a variety of perspectives and creative takes on what it means to be Franco-American today.
Such variety aligns with our intention, and with our Drama Editor Grégoire Chabot’s original vision for Résonance. We want this journal to be an opening-up, in which we air out musty trunks in our attics that may be full of self-serving myths, and instead look within and around ourselves in 2019, during this tumultuous period in our nation’s political history. How do we understand ourselves, deeply and honestly? What do we as creative writers and artists want to explore, claim, revoke, reveal, unpack?
How can we contemplate our heritage without considering the treatment of Native Americans and the exploitation of a continent’s rich natural resources (think of the forests in Annie Proulx’ novel Barkskin), of the furrowed brows of the Huguenots or the non-Christians or our forebears’ African or Carib slaves? How to we understand ourselves alongside Haitian-Americans and their relationship with French history, language, and culture; or Latin Americans and their border to the south? The editors of Résonance also hope to include voices of Americans who descended from those were colonized or enslaved by French colonists worldwide, and have something important to say about their relationship to our people.
To me, the focus of Résonance is not limiting. There are so many possible threads to follow, so many paths to explore. What is our particular relationship with whiteness? With capitalism? With the history of assimilation? With Canada? With France? With the French and English languages? With religious institutions? With other immigrant groups? How can such topics be explored in fresh and compelling literary works and insightful reviews?
My hope is that this e-journal will help to build and foster a virtual community of writers and artists. We are just beginning this process, and it is exciting to participate in it with other members of the editorial board and with our contributors. Together we can create something about which we can feel a growing fierté.
Steven Riel, Editor-in-Chief
Review Essay: GOSNELL, JONATHAN. Franco-America in the Making: The Creole Nation Within. (France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization.) Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018. Pp. 347. ISBN-10: 978-0803285279 VERMETTE, DAVID. A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans. Industrialization, Immigration, Religious Strife. Montréal: Baraka Books, 2018. Pp. 388. ISBN-13: 978-1771861496
"What if this were the only way to clothe your family?": An Interview with Erica Vermette
Jacob Albert and Erica Vermette
Jacob Albert is a librarian, writer, and teacher with publications in education and Franco American studies. He lives in Maine.
Peter A. Albert is the third son of Paul André Albert, a native of Van Buren, Maine and proud Franco-American, who was an IBM scientist–he is retired and still engaged with computers at age 92, even if it’s primarily playing solitaire–but his passion for his heritage has passed down to his eight children, even if they were transferred around the country multiple times as IBM (“I’ve Been Moved”) was famous for doing. Peter A. Albert is retired himself, a city planner who now lectures a UC Berkeley.
Mary Elizabeth Aubé has taught French language, literature, and culture courses in colleges and universities. She has also worked as a senior instructional designer in the financial services industry. Elle contribue des articles sur les arts visuels et les livres pour enfants à L'Express, un journal de langue française à Toronto, où elle vit. Elle écrit en anglais un roman historique sur une femme dans la traite des fourrures dans la région des Grands Lacs.
Norman Beaupré was born in Maine of Franco-American parents. He attended local schools and later on went to Saint Francis College in Biddeford where he majored in English and French. He obtained his Masters Degree and his Doctorate in French Literature from Brown University. He has traveled extensively and had two sabbaticals in Paris. He taught French, French literature, Literature in translation, Transcultural Health Care as well as a course on Impressionist painting. He is presently Professor Emeritus at the University of New England. In 2008 he received the medal of “L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres” from the French government for his outstanding contributions to French culture.
Tobby Bragdon is a professional photographer and the owner of Bragdon Photography in Bangor, Maine. He loves pizza, cats, photography, adventures, and office supplies. He is happy to contribute to the meaningful work done by so many to honor, remember, and preserve our Franco-American roots.
Leslie Choquette is professor of history and director of the French Institute at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is the author of Frenchmen into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French Canada (Harvard University Press, 1997), awarded the Alfred Heggoy Book Prize of the French Colonial Historical Society. Professor Choquette also writes about the francophone presence in North America from the fall of New France to the present day.
As a native of Biddeford, Maine, and a product of St. Joseph’s parochial schools up to the eighth grade, Marc A. Collard’s high school years were in Our Lady of Lourdes Minor Seminary, Cassadaga, New York; and Assumption Prep School in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, with a BA in sociology in 1973, and earned an MS in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington, D.C., in 1996. Two years of work at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital were followed by four years in the U.S. Army and a career with the National Security Agency.
Peggy L. DuBlois grew up as a second-generation French-Canadian in a Catholic parish in Lewiston, Maine. She graduated with honors from Bowdoin College and received numerous public relations and teaching awards when in those respective professions. She recently completed her first novel, The Toll Road North, an exploration of the impact of past conflicts, family secrets, intergenerational patterns, and class divisions, set in Lewiston. She was a finalist in the 2016 Bridging the Gap competition at the Slice Literary Conference. www.peggyldeblois.com
Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry is Scald (Pittsburgh, 2017). Blowout (Pittsburgh, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009); Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005); Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orhisis, 1997). She is a professor in the MFA creative writing program at Florida International University.
A native Californian, Meredith Escudier has lived in France for over 35 years, teaching, translating and raising a family. Her work has appeared in Imitation Fruit, Writers Workshop Review, Persimmon Tree, International Herald Tribune, and others. She is the author of three books: Scene in France, Frenchisms for Francophiles, and most recently a food memoir, The Taste of Forever, an affectionate examination of home cooks that features an American mother and a French husband.
Ellen LaFleche is the author of three chapbooks, including Worker's Rites and Beatrice, a lyric narrative about a French Canadian nun. She won the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, New Millennium Prize, Tor House Poetry Prize, Philbrick Poetry Prize,and the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Prize, among others. She is a judge of the North Street Book Prize at https://winningwriters.com
Beverly Matherne’s sixth bilingual book, Bayou des Acadiens / Blind River is from Éditions Perce-Neige. Professor emerita of English at Northern Michigan University, she served as director of the MFA program in creative writing and poetry editor of Passages North literary magazine. She has received seven first-place prizes, including the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry, and four Pushcart nominations. She has done over 350 readings in the U.S., Canada, France, Wales, Belgium, Germany, and Spain.
Jonathan « rat de bois farouche » Mayers est artiste et écrivain créole louisianais de Bâton-Rouge en Louisiane. Il crée des œuvres, adorné avec de la boue d’endroits spécifiques, qui présentent des images de bêtes mythologiques dans des paysages familiers. Mr. Mayers est représenté par Arthur Roger Gallery. Il a terminé son baccalauréat de beaux-arts à LSU et son maîtrise de beaux-arts à UNO.
Abby Paige was born and raised in northern Vermont, USA, and now lives in New Brunswick, Canada. Her poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in publications in both countries, including Room Magazine, Arc Poetry Magazine, Bitch Magazine, The Montreal Review of Books, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Her solo shows, “Piecework: When We Were French” and “Les filles du quoi?,” are currently being translated in preparation for publication.
Steven Riel is the author of one full-length collection of poetry (Fellow Odd Fellow), as well as three chapbooks, the most recent being Postcard from P-town, which was published as runner-up for the inaugural Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. His poems have appeared in several anthologies and numerous periodicals. He received an MFA in Poetry from New England College. www.stevenriel.com
Colin W. Sargent, Ph.D., is the founding editor and publisher of Portland Monthly Magazine, which features the column “L’Esprit de l’Escalier.” He’s a Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship winner in poetry and the author of three books of poetry as well as the novels Museum of Human Beings and The Boston Castrato. A Maine native, he divides his time between working with his magazine in Maine and teaching writing at The College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Jeri Theriault’s publications include her award-winning In the Museum of Surrender and Radost, my red. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Paterson Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Rattle, and The American Journal of Poetry; her reviews have appeared in Connotation Press: an Online Artifact and The Collagist. A Fulbright recipient and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jeri holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in South Portland, Maine. www.jeritheriault.com
Bill Tremblay is a poet and novelist. His work has appeared in nine full-length volumes, including Second Sun: New & Selected Poems; Duhamel: Ideas of Order in Little Canada; Shooting Script: Door of Fire, which won the Colorado Book Award; and most recently Walks Along the Ditch: Poems. He is also the author of a novel, The June Rise, which received a star review on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Bill has received fellowships and awards from the NEA, the NEH, the Fulbright Commission, and the Corporation at Yaddo. His work has been featured in many anthologies, including Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry. He directed the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University, founded Colorado Review, and served as its chief editor for 15 years.
David Vermette is the author of the book A Distinct Alien Race:The Untold Story of Franco-Americans (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2018). He is a researcher, blogger, and speaker on the subject of New England's Franco-Americans. He was born and raised in Massachusetts.
Erica Vermette is an artist, graphic designer, crafter, and art instructor from the Greater Boston area. Youcan follow her work @ericavee1 on Instagram if you don’t mind wading through endless pictures of house plants.