Choquette, Robert

Robert Choquette, poet, novelist, playwright (b at Manchester, NH 22 Apr 1905; d 22 Jan 1991). His family moved to Montréal in 1914, where he did his classical studies at Collège Saint-Laurent (1917-21) and Loyola College (1921-26). At 20, he published his first poetry collection, À travers les vents, winning the Prix David (1926). His first novel, La Pension Leblanc, appeared in 1927. After working a few months on the newspaper the Montreal Gazette, he became literary director of La Revue moderne (1928). Two years later, he became secretary-librarian for the École des beaux-arts de Montréal. The appearance of Metropolitan Museum (1931) won critical approval.

That same year the poet began a career as a radio novelist, scriptwriter and producer which lasted more than 30 years. His greatest successes, Le Curé de village (1935-38), La Pension Velder (1938-42) and Métropole (1943-56), place him among Québec's most prolific radio writers. Several of his TV pieces (Quatuor, La Pension Velder and some TV plays) aired on the French channel of Radio-Canada (1955-75).

But he kept on writing: Poésies nouvelles (1933), Suite marine (1953) and Oeuvres poétiques (1956) won him the title (1961) "prince of poets" from the Société des poètes canadiens-français. In 1963, he became assistant commissioner of the Commission du centenaire canadien. The next year he was named Canadian consul-general to Bordeaux, then ambassador to Argentina (1968). Member of several literary societies, including the Académie canadienne-française from its founding, he won many awards for his poetry and novels, including 3 Prix David (1926, 1932, 1956), the poetry prize of the Académie française (1954), the Prix Duvernay (1954), the Prix Edgar Poe (1956) and the Prix international des amitiés françaises (1962).