Contributors' Notes

Claire Alexander-Joly is currently at work on a memoir entitled You’re White Now: A Tale of Class and Race in France and the U.S. She is a humanities professor, originally from France, with an academic background in African-American studies. She teaches storytelling, screenplay writing, and has taught a variety of courses in African-American and multicultural literature. She lives in Seattle with her wife.

Anas Atakora est Canadien-Togolais résidant en Nouvelle-Écosse. Docteur en littératures francophones et auteur de six livres, il est Membre Honoraire de l’Université d’Iowa aux États-Unis où il fut poète en résidence en automne 2015.

Craig Blais’s first collection of poems, About Crows (University of Wisconsin Press 2013), was a Walt Whitman Award and National Poetry Series finalist before being selected by Terrance Hayes for the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. His second book, Moon News (University of Arkansas Press 2021), was named a finalist for the Miller Williams Prize by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. His poems have appeared in publications like Denver Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, The Southern Review, Western Humanities Review, Yale Review, and elsewhere. Craig lives in Massachusetts, where he is associate professor of English at Anna Maria College.

Leslie Choquette is professor of history and director of the French Institute at Assumption University 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.

Denise Duhamel’s most recent books of poetry are Second Story (Pittsburgh, 2021) and Scald (2017). Blowout (2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is a distinguished university professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.

Meredith Escudier, a native Californian, has lived in France for over 35 years, teaching, translating and raising a family. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Imitation Fruit, Writers Workshop Review, Alimentum, New Verse News, Persimmon Tree, 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 where her French husband figures prominently.

Pamela Gemme was born to working class parents and grew up in Gardner, Massachusetts. She went to state universities, is a poet, artist, political activist, and a child protection social work consultant for Massachusetts’s DCF. Recent or forthcoming publications include The American Journal of Poetry, Haiku Journal, The Chicago Quarterly Review, Heliotrope Anthology, J Journal, SoFloPoJo, Ibbetson Street Magazine, Pangyrus, and many others. Pamela co-edited Essential Voices: A Covid-19 Anthology, forthcoming from WVU Press in July 2023.

Patron Henekou est l’auteur de Dovlo, or A Worthless Sweat (2015, théâtre), Souffles d’outre-cœur (2017, poésie), et Souffles & Faces (2018, poésie) parus aux Editions Awoudy; Des cheveux et des ongles (2021) aux Editions Continents; et Vendredi soir sur la 13 (2021) à AGAU Editions au Togo. Ses poèmes sont publiés dans les revues et anthologies comme AFROpoésie, Revue des Citoyens des Lettres, Legs et Littérature, Palmes pour le Togo, Arbolarium, Aquifer : The Florida Review Online, Asymptote Journal, Kreative Diadem, Zócalo, etc. Patron est classé second au Prix International de Poésie « Sur les traces de Léopold Sédar Senghor 2020 » et récipiendaire du Palm Beach Poetry Festival African American Fellowship, édition 2018 en Floride, USA. Il est cofondateur de Nimble Feathers et directeur du Festival International des Lettres et des Arts (, et enseignant à l’Université de Lomé.

Denis Ledoux’s books include Turning Memories Into Memoirs/A Handbook for Writing Lifestories (1992, 1998, 2006); We Were Not Spoiled / A Franco-American Memoir (2014), his mother’s story, which he wrote with her; and A Sugary Frosting (2016), a memoir of his deceased wife’s childhood in a New England parsonage. His fiction has won several Maine Art Commission awards and fellowships. Ledoux lives and works in his native Maine, just a mile from his boyhood home. He serves on the board of Lewiston’s Franco-American Collection. His latest book French Boy: A 1950s Franco-American Memoir  (of which the first chapter appears in this volume) will launch on October 16, 2023, with a program at the Franco-American Collection in Lewiston. 

Thomas Legendre is the author of The Burning (Little, Brown), Keeping Time (Acre Books/University of Cincinnati Press), and Spring Fever (Valley Press). He has also written Half Life, a play performed in conjunction with the National Theatre of Scotland as part of NVA’s art installation of the same name, and a radio drama entitled Dream Repair for BBC4. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham.

Hương Ngô is a Chicago-based multi-disciplinary conceptual artist who works across mediums of printmaking, photography, installation, and performance to understand how the body is shaped by and therefore might resist structures of colonial violence and imperial ideology. Often beginning with primary research materials from national and personal archives, her work turns a lens on the archive itself to understand how knowledge is constructed and histories become erased over time.

Abby Paige is the Drama and Book Review Editor for Résonance. She is a writer and theater artist whose solo shows, Piecework: When We Were French and Les filles du QUOI?, engage with the Franco-American presence in northern New England and porous borders between places, languages, and cultures. Her poems and other writing have appeared in publications in the U.S. and Canada, including the 2020 Best Canadian Poetry Anthology.

Chad Parenteau hosts Boston's long-running Stone Soup Poetry series. His latest collection is The Collapsed Bookshelf. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Molecule, Ibbetson Street, Pocket Lint, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Tell-Tale Inklings, Off The Coast, The Skinny Poetry Journal, The New Verse News, Nixes Mate Review, and the anthology Reimagine America from Vagabond Books. He serves as Associate Editor of the online journal Oddball Magazine.

Emilie-Noelle Provost is the author of two novels: The Blue Bottle, a middle-grade adventure with sea monsters; and The River Is Everywhere, the coming-of-age story of a Franco-American teenager and a 2023 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist. She lives in Lowell, Massachusetts, with her husband and three long-haired rescue cats. See what she's up to at

Suzanne S. Rancourt, of Abenaki/Huron, Quebecois, and Scottish descent, has authored Billboard in the Clouds (NU Press, 2004), winner of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award; murmurs at the gate (Unsolicited Press, 2019); Old Stones, New Roads (MSR Publishing, 2021); and Songs of Archilochus (Unsolicited Press, forthcoming October 2023). Rancourt  has been a participating fellow in Nature Culture’s Writing the Land Project and guest artist at UMI’s New England Literature Program, Sundog Poetry Center, and Solstice MFA. She is a USMC and Army Veteran. 

Mary Rice-DeFosse is professor of French and Francophone Studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She and her students have written on Maine’s Franco-Americans and new groups of French-speaking immigrants from Africa, based in large part on oral histories they have collected. She is the author of The Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn. She also co-produced the documentary film They Came, They Served/Elles sont venues, elles ont servi on the work of the Grey Nuns in the local community, part of a permanent exhibit at the Franco-Center in Lewiston. She is a past president of Women in French and the George Sand Association. She was recently named a Mellon Periclean Faculty Leader and Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Colin W. Sargent, Ph.D., is the founding editor and publisher of Portland Monthly Magazine, known for its 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, The Boston Castrato, and Red Hands (2023). 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.

Megan St. Marie is the president of Modern Memoirs, Inc., a private publishing company based in Amherst, Massachusetts that specializes in memoirs and family histories. A graduate of Smith College and Simmons University, she is a seventh-generation Vermonter of Franco-American and Irish descent. The mother of seven children in a multiracial, foster-adoptive, queer, blended family, Megan is also a children’s book author, reviewer, and scholar publishing under the name Megan Dowd Lambert. Learn more about Megan’s business at and about her career in children’s literature at

David R. Surette is the author of seven collections of poetry including Stable, named an Honor Book at the 2016 Massachusetts Book Awards. His poems have been featured in the anthologies French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets; 3 Nations Anthology: Native, Canadian & New England Writers; and From the Farther Shore: Discovering Cape Cod and the Islands Through Poetry. He lives on Cape Cod.

Jeri Theriault grew up in Waterville, Maine and graduated from Colby College, later earning her MFA from Vermont College. Her poetry collections include Radost, my red, and Self-Portrait as Homestead. Her poems and reviews appear in The Atlanta Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Plume, and many other publications. Recent awards include the 2023 Maine Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, the 2023 Monson Arts Fellowship, and the 2022 NORward Prize. Jeri lives in South Portland.

Though Erin Trahan grew up in Michigan and now lives in Massachusetts, she traces her French ancestry through Québec and has visited often to research and co-author several Frommer’s travel guides to the region. For nearly two decades she has written about and reported on independent film for outlets such as The Boston Globe and WBUR (Boston’s NPR news station), where she is a regular contributor. She also teaches at Emerson College, writes poetry and personal essays, and has a documentary in the works.

David Vermette is an author and an independent researcher. He is the author of the book A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans (Montreal, Baraka Books, 2018) and the blog French North America. His writing has appeared in Smithsonian and Time, and he has authored articles and reviews published by Histoire sociale/Social History, Résonance, and Le Forum (University of Maine). He wrote a chapter in the book French All Around Us (New York, CALEC-TBR, 2022), and also contributed to Franco-Amérique: Nouvelle édition revue et augmentée (Quebec, Septentrion, 2017). He is a frequent speaker on the topic of Franco-American history.

Erica Vermette is a Boston-area visual artist, designer and writer of Filipino and Franco-American heritage. She is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her work has been featured in the dual show CROSSROADS, as well as various other regional shows.