Gisèle Villeneuve is a Calgary-based bilingual writer working in multiple genres and publishing original works in French and in English.
As a kid educated exclusively in French in her native Montréal, she was a master of the monthly school composition, challenging herself to avoid the easy verbs “to be” and “to have” in favour of verbs of action.
As a young adult honing her adopted tongue, English, while living in London, England, she delighted in experimenting with the infinite possibilities of a linguistic merger that would be novel and exciting.
And so slowly over the years, she has developed what she now calls bi-langue, a “tongue print” that, not only celebrates her two languages’ shared complementarity, but also allows French and English to play off each other in the same text.
After working in the separate genres of the novel, short story, essay and poetry, she became weary of the strict labelling system. It started to feel like a straitjacket, just as she wished to spread her wings and write as she pleased.
Hence, the flow of the two interacting languages caused a natural shift in the creative process, giving her the freedom to merge prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, as the need arises.
Before choosing to concentrate exclusively on the creative writing life, she has also worked as a voice coach, narrator, editor, translator, radio journalist and documentarian (for Radio-Canada and Access Alberta), scriptwriter (for BBC Radio and Access Alberta), researcher, magazine writer and playwright.
Originally from Montréal, she has lived in London, England, Ottawa, and Mountain View, California. She has also travelled five continents before landing firmly in Calgary. When not at her desk, she can be found roaming the Rockies