François-Xavier Maigre

France

Born in 1982 in Saintes (Charente Maritime), François-Xavier Maigre grew up in a family of teachers and discovered poetry in his childhood. After studying law, he then obtained a  diploma at the Higher School of Journalism of Paris, and combined them as a journalist in the daily newspaper La Croix (2008-2014) where he covered the religious problematic  in Russia, the Balkans, the Near East ...  His numerous trips shaped  his view of the other and the world. In 2014, he became editor-in-chief of the monthly Panorama (edited by the Bayard Presse group) magazine, founded in 1957, which has 160,000 readers in France and in the francophone countries. This magazine is the bridge between Christian spirituality and culture, with a strong poetical dimension but also social one.


Born in 1982 in Saintes (Charente Maritime), François-Xavier Maigre grew up in a family of teachers and discovered poetry in his childhood. After studying law, he then obtained a  diploma at the Higher School of Journalism of Paris, and combined them as a journalist in the daily newspaper La Croix (2008-2014) where he covered the religious problematic  in Russia, the Balkans, the Near East ... His numerous trips shaped  his view of the other and the world. In 2014, he became editor-in-chief of the monthly Panorama (edited by the Bayard Press group) magazine, which is bridge between Christian spirituality and culture, with a strong poetical dimension but also social one. Member of Travel writers Paths star network.

 

His first book of poetry In the Fist of the Wind, published in 2012 by Editions Bruno Doucey, won in 2012 the UNESCO and Struga Poetry Poetry Evenings award "Bridges of Struga" (published in Macedonian as: Во тупаницата на ветрот) and the PoésYvelines price (funded by the General Council of Yvelines).

 

During the summer of 2011, with his wife and two children he decided to go on foot, with a donkey to Mont Saint-Michel. For over a month, the family lived in hospitality, following in the footsteps of pilgrims in the Middle Ages and the history of France. On the path of the archangel, walking 450 kilometres to the Mont-Saint -Michel, Bayard editions, 2012, is narrative for that journey.

 

With his first book of poetry François-Xavier Maigre announced that this is a poet with unique poeticism, an undertaking which radiates the uniqueness of his personal poetic sensibility. Announcing the first book of poetry by Maigre, his publisher Bruno Doucey very insightfully and precisely writes at the beginning some of the most personal aspects of his poetics: “I was aware of the writings of this poet from the newspaper “La Croix” in regards to spirituality, but I was not aware that behind the name of François-Xavier Maigre stands a poet with such a matrix. What kind of matrix? The one of a young poet – the author of the poetry book was born in 1982- who dares to show his lyricism and his exploration of sense. With his poems, full of musicality and dreamlike images, François-Xavier Maigre undoubtedly walks along the “shore which leads to childhood” and finds joy, pain, and the fierceness which make a man. As if it was about how to extend an arm to the man in the invisible, to trust the night, to connect to “the endless realm inside him…” “In the fist of the wind” is not only his first poetry book; it is the act of birth of a true poet.” (CRITIQUE: "DANS LA POIGNE DU VENT", François-Xavier Maigre, Bruno Doucey, 2012 (in "Diérèse" n°59))

 

Through this support, and rightfully so, Bruno Doucey has enabled the birth of a true poet, who in the 21st century manages to sing in such a poetic language. And that poetic language is the musically-poetic flux which enables this book to carry inside the distant echoes of the holy books, but also that modern search of a new poetic language which will reflect that very search. Choosing a position in the heavenly age of childhood, he begins his poetic search, the quest towards the rediscovery of things in their originality, unspent and untouched, in all their fullness. Therefore, Denis Peiron says: “This is the child who spoke to the child. The one that has not really ceased to be, the one who always accompanies us, quick to speak on our behalf, provided that emotions make it speak up. François-Xavier Maigre looks at his young years through the filter of a lyricism tinged with nostalgia, uninhibited and attractive. Throughout the pages, the author looks, founds and rebuilds sensations and memories, with a permanent attention to nature, objects and beings, always on the lookout for all these small gifts in life which whisper the essential. The title of the book, "In the fist of the wind", expresses well the faith which characterizes François-Xavier Maigre, the ability to rely on existence, the trust placed in a higher breath. But the hand of the wind is also the one which scattered the memories, the one who gets everyone the little time that was given to him. A particularly touching work."

 

That recourse of a child in front of the magnificence of the world enables Maigre through one seemingly simple poetic expression to transpose all those emotions, sensations, and memories into impressive poetic images, free from any bounds, through an expression unburdened with the experiment, or over the top rhetorical décor. But, that is an expression which wins its poetic freedom, its poetic space. The French poet and critic Gwen Garnier-Duguy very laconically and picturesquely points that out, saying that: "His fist and his wind are married in the Rimbaud pockets, puncture the suns of consciousness, and the elementary epic of Saint John Perse. […] The childhood of the poet thus reminds the children of the world, at a time when nothing was closed, at a time when the ruins could only be the fulfillment of old dreams. These ruins are traces, evidence. They always contain the energy that make the unborn live. "Once / I was awaken / by the deaf beauty of footprints." […]

 

This beautiful poetry book starts discreetly with the inner journey of the poet through the reality of a twilight world, with joy as captive in the stomach. Designed in three phases, with the rhythm of walking and the rhythm of the beating heart, in Maigre’s first Creuse à paume nues the inner space is perhaps land, but largely wind. That wind that, beyond its invisibility of nil, it started as a breath, as a free spirit. After this hollowed gallery is brought together with the poet's childhood landscapes of vaulted the serenity of the first fruits. But this child would have little meaning if one only aims to look back."

 

And in the end, one must agree with his words that: We are, like Maigre, in the fist of the wind, like a small part of the spirit.”