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  • Pierre Coran:Belgium Author

Everything is possible in poetry.

Pierre Coran

Pierre Coran (birth name, Eugène Delaisse) was born in 1934 in Saint-Denis en Brocqueroie, near Mons in Belgium. He began his career as a teacher, then as a director of a school, as well as a professor of history at the Conservatoire royal de Mons. This prolific and award-winning writer of nearly 100 works of poetry, novels, and essays was honored in 1989 with the treasured first prize, The Grand Prix of poetry for youth (Paris), for his beloved and ever popular poetry collection Jaffabules (1990).

An essential element of Coran's writing involves the necessity of putting oneself in the shoes of the characters "to live the action as if one is a part of it." This characterization is clearly demonstrated by the protagonist in his famous trilogy Le commando de Pieces-a-trous (The Commando Parts to Hole). Moreover, we see the influence that growing up in World War II occupied Belgium had on Coran's writing. The three stories in the collection span the years from 1940 to 1945. Through the eyes of eleven-year-old Simon, readers come to know the harsh reality of that time which includes an awareness of cowardice, resistance as well as heroism. This work of historical fiction was also made into a film by director Pierrot De Heusch, in collaboration with comedic actors Michel Galabru, Daniel Prévost, and Philippe Van Kessel.

Coran's awards chronicle a lifetime of achievement and include Prix du Hainaut (littérature), Mons, 1966; Prix Jean de La Fontaine, Château-Thierry (fables inédites), 1979; Prix de la Communauté française pour le Rayonnement de la Littérature de Jeunesse, 2006; and Prix du Ministère de la Communauté française de Belgique, 2007.

His works have been translated into many languages including Braille. In fact, Coran's L'Amour mauve (Purple love), 2005, was chosen to launch the first MP3 audio book in the DAISY format (Digital Accessible Information System) in Belgium. This system offers a user-friendly and interactive audiobook console for the blind and partially sighted.

When Coran was asked why he writes, he tells us that it is for the child in each of us. He said, "Pour la part d'enfance qui vit en chacun de nous, discrète et révélée, au delà des âges et des modes" ('For that part within us where childhood lives, unobtrusive and bare, beyond the passage of time and fashion').

Selected Bibliography

Têtes à puces (Heads with Fleas) Illus. by Philippe Salembier (1988) Tournai, Belgique: Casterman.
Jaffabules: poésie pour enfants (1990) Paris: Hachette Jeunesse.
Les voleurs de bois (The Wooden Thieves) Illus. by Merel (1987) Tournai, Belgique: Casterman.
The Ranger Smokes Too Much. Illus. by Merel (1991) Mankato, MN: Child's World.
Le commando des pièces-à-trous (la trilogie en un volume) (1988, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2007) Toulouse: Éditions Milan, [End Page 5]