On November 13, at Maison Jésus-Marie, Rina Lasnier (1910-1997), one of the first French Quebecois poets to stand out in the world of Quebec literature alongside Saint-Denys Garneau, Alain Grandbois and Anne Hébert, was the subject of a superb conference. Presented by her niece, Marie Lasnier, an author and a professor of literature, this conference made it possible to look back at the poet’s path which was strewn with doubts, while living for the most part in the Montérégie area of Quebec.
The conference was organized as part of the new series of activities entitled "Portrait of Women". It fitted in very well with the objectives of this program, the goal of which is to present the journeys of various women, who have managed to stand out, in spite of adversity. Holding these conferences enables us, at the same time, to inject dynamism, refresh memories and provoke reflection and ... many discussions.
The topic and the method of presenting this conference was well received by the audience. Questions and reactions demonstrated the interest in this subject matter, particularly by a good number of those who had taught French literature. There is no doubt that this was a very successful activity.
Using a slideshow, Marie Lasnier retraced the path of this young girl, born between the apple orchards and the farms in the Richelieu Valley. Raised in a traditional Quebec, at the dawn of the Quiet Revolution, Rina Lasnier searched for her place in the world. She explored several avenues, believing that she did not have "enough talent" to fully embrace the world of writing, into which she was eventually integrated through her poetry.
The correspondence, photos, and testimonials, combined with this great lady’s poems reveal a passionate woman and the similarities of the journeys undertaken by many artists when they started out. The nature of the presentation given by Marie Lasnier has made this conference unique in many ways, one of which was the rich content of Rina Lasnier’s poems.
To learn more about this great woman, you can download the audio guide “Sur les pas de Rina Lasnier” (“In the Footsteps of Rina Lasnier”) produced by the Société de développement du Vieux-Saint-Jean. (in French only)
We must mention that the speaker herself, Marie Lasnier, has also had a wonderful career. Since retiring from teaching, she has shared her delight for words with young and old in the form of facilitation, workshops and conferences. She also fosters collaboration with many artists from several disciplines and from different generations.