Carleton University today conferred a Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, on Daniel Poliquin in recognition of his brilliant work as novelist, short story writer, translator, interpreter and thought leader through political essays and non-fiction works.
Poliquin was honoured during Carleton’s Spring Convocation. Approximately 3,580 students received their degrees during ceremonies this week.
“With the rigorous training I had acquired here, when I went elsewhere to do my doctorate, boy, that was a real walk in the park,” said Poliquin. “Not that the other university was second-rate, it was just that I was Carleton-trained. And by then, I had finally understood what makes a fine university.”
Born in Ottawa in 1953, Poliquin is a prolific Franco-Ontarian novelist, essayist and literary translator. He won the Trillium Book Award in 1998 with his novel The Straw Man and his novel A Secret Between Us was short-listed for the 2007 Giller Prize.
Poliquin has translated many writers into French, including Jack Kerouac, Mordecai Richler, Douglas Glover, Thomas King and John R. Saul. He received the Governor General’s Award for translation in 2014 for T. King’s The Inconvenient Indian.
Poliquin’s book on Quebec nationalism, In the Name of the Father, earned the 2002 Shaugnessy Cohen Award for best political writing in Canada.
He is an officer of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et lettres of France.
“The unique literary voice Daniel Poliquin brings to French speaking lives and communities across Canada, but specifically in Ontario, clearly stands out,” said Pascal Gin, professor in the Department of French. “Innovation, most certainly a core value of what we do across faculties at Carleton, equally applies to the realm of the arts. Writing with a new voice about places, lives and issues too seldom represented, effaced or even self-effaced in our cultural repertoire is precisely what pulses at the core of Daniel Poliquin’s work as a novelist and short story writer.”
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