House of Literature Writers

Tiphaine Gantheil

A native of southwest France, illustrator Tiphaine Gantheil, traveled to Québec City with designer Timothée Morisse for a co-residency sponsored by the Maison de la littérature and ALCA Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Tiphaine and Timothée spent two months at the Maison creating a book titled, Juliette n’est pas normale (Juliette is not normal). The following are excerpts from a recorded interview for the Celebrate Libraries Podcast.

“In Québec I worked with Timothée on this book, which is a book for teenagers. It’s about this girl of 10 or 11 years old, Juliette, who is a little bit different and I think she is looking for a kind of home. She has a home. She is living with her family. But she is looking, I think, for people or a place where she feels like she belongs to this place and to this group of people. And for me this is a big subject in my life, to find a safe place. Like a home for me is really a safe place. Where you can be yourself without judgement. Juliette is a bit different in the way that she, and I don’t like this word, but she is “gifted” or “high potential.” It’s not that she is more intelligent. It’s that her brain is working a bit differently, faster sometimes and slower at other times. She has a feeling of not being connected to these kids (classmates). Probably more connected to animals and nature. She has a high sensitivity to noises and people and she needs to have a quiet space around her.”

“It was a work of…just creation…creating a book…and it was totally free. It was really a pleasant residency.”

Tiphaine Gantheil

Marie-Célie Agnant

The novel A Knife in the Sky by Haitian-born author Marie-Célie Agnant of Montréal has been issued by Inanna Publications of Toronto. The book is an English translation of Agnant’s Femmes au temps des carnassiers from 2015. Translated by Katia Grubisic, the novel is the result of a residency collaboration between LTAC (Literary Translators’ Association of Canada) and the Maison de la littérature. For more information:

Mireille Gagné

Mireille Gagné, Canadienne poet and author of Le lièvre d’amérique (Snowshoe Hare), reflects on public support for French-language literature in the following excerpt from an audio interview with Jon and Robin Voils for the Celebrate Libraries Podcast.

“What is really interesting in Québec City is that there’s a lot of people that are interested by the literature and they go to see show(s), you know? I remember when I participate(d) two years ago at the Nuit de la poésie–Night of Poetry. The place was completely full for like three and four hours. It was like almost 500 people that were listening about poetry. I think that it’s marvelous for a writer. But you know, it’s good to have the door open with the public. It’s not happening all the time, you know? And when you have it you need to cherish it.”

Mireille Gagné

Christiane Vadnais

Award-winning author Christiane Vadnais of Québec City was interviewed for the Celebrate Libraries Podcast. She talks about her novel Fauna and support for literature in Québec. An excerpt of the interview follows.

“I feel we are in a very welcoming place to write. Because of our story as French-speaking people in an English environment, we as a society invested a lot in culture, in artists, and so we have a great support here in Québec and in Canada to write…to create. I feel very lucky.”

Christiane Vadnais


Cities located along the Great Lakes have a tradition of installing outdoor sculpture in public places to commemorate important events or memorialize individuals who have had an impact on the community.

Both abstract and figural in nature, and often large-scale, the monuments grace parkland and town square alike. They often attain an iconic visual distinction and come to represent, to the world, a specific urban area.

Examples include Detroit’s “Monument to Joe Louis” aka “The Fist” by Robert Graham in Hart Plaza or Anish Kapoor’s reflective “Cloud Gate” (The Bean) in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

The Great Lakes provide a backdrop for sculpture located in smaller cities as well. “Spirit of the Rivers,” by R. T. “Skip” Wallen is situated beside Mariners Trail on the lake road connecting Manitowoc and Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Zachary Oxman’s “Fantastical Traveler” depicts Waukegan-born American author Ray Bradbury astride a rocket ship. The statue is installed on the entrance plaza of Waukegan Public Library near the Lake Michigan shore in Northeastern Illinois.

The artwork by Wallen and Oxman are featured in Celebrate Libraries® videos which developed from projects spotlighting public libraries in Two Rivers and Waukegan.

Thanks to Lester Public Library Director Jeff Dawson in Two Rivers for sharing his knowledge of the origins of the “Spirit of the Rivers” project.

For more information:


With the upcoming Québec City project, Celebrate Libraries® builds upon the work we began in 2015 and accepts the challenge to form the essence of a new vision.

More Than Bridging A Frontier – LIMITLESS!

Explore exceptional learning centers in the Great Lakes Basin with Celebrate Libraries®

Featuring poets and novelists of Québec such as Christiane Vadnais and Mireille Gagné. More info coming soon.

January Update

New Ways To Dream Podcast

Current project: Audio interviews of two Canadian authors associated with Maison de la littérature (House of Literature) in Québec City are being edited. Two additional interviews will be recorded in coming weeks. The four interviews are expected to be published on the Celebrate Libraries Website soon and distributed to US and Canadian media groups.

Moving Forward with Celebrate Libraries®

The planned March 2022 trip to Québec City has been rescheduled due to the recent upsurge of COVID-19 illness in North America. Please check back for further updates.


“to explore, then come on home and listen to what you’ve found”

Maison de la littérature, Québec City

The Age of Exploration will never truly close as long as humanity remains curious and takes risks to learn new things. Today’s explorers investigate deep sea waters and a limitless expanding universe. They live in pressurized submarines and orbiting spacecraft high above the Earth. They also look inward and inquire about their own kind. Who are we and why we do we choose to live where and as we do?

With the voice and vision of select writers, poets and artists who have a connection with the Maison, we believe we can present a portrait of this moment in time and share it with an engaged audience.

The Maison project considers the concept of “home.” Questions are posed such as what is “home” and how is it defined? How may this change? How does a person leave home, explore a new place or an idea and then return with what has been found or experienced?

We invite you to explore with us. Let’s see what we can discover.

March 2021

As libraries gradually begin to reopen in response to COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, Celebrate Libraries® is reaching out with thanks to the librarians, business associates and other individuals who have joined with CL® in this marvelous journey.

It has been nearly six years since Celebrate Libraries® started collecting images in Edgerton, Wisconsin for the first library video. Since then CL® has produced over 55 videos and recorded about 30 audio interviews. In 2018, the company expanded the initiative into northern Illinois.

To date CL® has worked in communities from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Downers Grove, Illinois and west to La Crosse County, Wisconsin. As Celebrate Libraries® moves forward we will be exploring libraries of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway System.

Celebrate Libraries® will be working in 2021-22 with a literacy center in Québec and plans to feature the organization with a podcast and video. This is an amazing opportunity and CL® looks forward to sharing the experience with viewers and listeners.

According to the Michigan Sea Grant organization, approximately 34 million people in the United Sates and Canada live in the Great Lakes Basin. Thank you again for your support and please return often. Celebrate Libraries® will provide regular updates on the project.

Sincerely yours,

Robin Voils Celebrate Libraries®

Jon Voils New Ways To Dream Podasts®