From Québec City UNESCO City of Literature

Jacques Poulin

Jacques Poulin

"La liberté, messieurs, c’est une chose qu’il faut choisir aussi grande qu’on est capable de le supporter!"

– Jacques Poulin, Un cheval pour mon royaume


"Freedom, Messieurs, is something you must choose; and you must make it as vast as you can stand it!"

– Jacques Poulin, My Horse for a Kingdom. Translated by Sheila Fischman.

Jacques Poulin is most associated with his native Québec City, but also spent many years in Paris. His award-winning oeuvre is characterized by an understated, intimate style and gentle, feline musicality. Poulin has published fourteen novels, many of which have been translated into English by Sheila Fischman, including the “Jimmy” trilogy, Volkswagen Blues, and Translation is a Love Affair.

Over the course of a prolific career Jacques Poulin has won leading national and international awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award (1978), the Prix France-Québec (1991), the Prix Littéraire des Collégiens (2003), the government of Québec’s Althanse-David lifetime achievement award (1995), and the City of Québec’s literary award, the Prix de création littéraire (2003).

Québec UNESCO City of Literature's website

Read the World


Read the World is an exhibition of texts from nineteen UNESCO Cities of Literature around the world. It opens at the Reykjavík City Hall on October 10, 2018 and lasts until October 31st.  The exhibition honours Iceland‘s centenary as a sovereign nation and the texts all ponder on the topics of freedom – whether of thought, mind or speach –, independence or rebellion.

The Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature hopes that the exhibition encourages people to think about these important issues and their meaning for us as individuals and nations. The event also highlights the importance of intercultural dialogue and the invaluable contribution of foreign artists and cultural currents for Icelandic culture, sovereignty and developement, past and present.

The UNESCO Cities of Literature are part of the wider UNESCO Creative Cities Network