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Meet the Team: Michelle Arnett, Coordinator, Operations and Communications

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

Michelle joined the London Arts Council team in 2021, and has been assisting with programming such as London Arts Live, the Poet Laureate projects, and our ARTiculate creative writing series since.

Meet Michelle Arnett

Michelle joined the London Arts Council team in 2021, and has been assisting with programming such as London Arts Live, the Poet Laureate projects, and our ARTiculate creative writing series since.

She holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Western University, and is a co-founder of Rose Garden Press through which she publishes handmade chapbooks featuring work by emerging and rooted Canadian writers.

Some of her favourite things are hanging out with her sweet canine pal buster, london fog ice cream from Haven’s Creamery, and the smell of book pages.


Ask Me Anything - with Michelle Arnett

What is your artistic background?

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was little and became interested in poetry in my teens. I studied English Language and Literature & Philosophy in my undergrad, during which I took some creative writing workshops, and my first published poem was in my school’s literary journal. I really enjoy the process of trying to describe the complexity and nuance of an experience with inventive language; it keeps me in the role of observer, taking in my environment and noticing small details. Poetry is a means for me to process and articulate these observations and experiences for my own understanding, but also to express them in a creative way that resonates outside of myself.

In 2020 my friend Michele and I started a small press called Rose Garden Press, with the goal of creating and publishing handmade chapbooks of poetry, prose, and creative essays written by Canadian authors. It’s been great working within the incredible artistic community of London, collaborating and learning from different insights and practices, and developing as writers in the process.

Name some of your favourite films/books/albums/works of art.

One of the first books I fell in love with was Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues—it’s full of fantastical metaphors and light-hearted philosophical insights that got me hooked on Robbins and his amusement park of a mind. I really appreciate his witty and clever writing, and how he tempers it with a goofiness that shows he doesn’t take life too seriously.

In sharp contrast, I read Simone Weil’s Gravity and Grace during a time underscored by a lot of change. It’s much more reflective and confronting than Robbins’ writing in its discussion of themes like love, evil, the self, violence, and their relation to spirituality. Weil lived a remarkable life as a social and political activist (and mystic!). I greatly admire her selflessness and dedication toward pursuing truth and justice.

More recently, I really enjoyed Tatyana Tolstaya’s book of stories, Aetherial Worlds. In every story she communicates and realizes the supernatural force of emotion and imagination, allowing them to completely transform and transcend ordinary spaces and the ordinary lives of her characters.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

I can be a pretty big homebody at times, and especially in the winter months! I enjoy spending a good amount of time hanging out with my dog Buster, reading, listening to music and podcasts, and trying my hand at different creative projects—writing, as well as working with textiles through processes like weaving and embroidery. In the summertime, I love being outside—going for walks and discovering new places, picnics with friends, exploring trails, going to concerts, hanging out on a patio, and going on spontaneous road trips! Spending the day exploring a small town I’ve never been to before and taking in the atmosphere, learning bits of history, and hunting for treasure in their bookstores and antique shops would also be a solid day in my mind.


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