The Townships in Five Senses

David Goudreault

Since the release of his trilogy La Bête, this Sherbrooke author has created quite a buzz for his style of writing and his words, a powerful and incisive weapon, yet still very moving. Here’s a short, guided tour of his favourite spots in Sherbrooke and elsewhere in the Eastern Townships.

By Julie Roy


Smell. It’s impossible to resist the aromas coming from the creative Café Au Croquis, located at one end of Wellington Street, in Sherbrooke. “I love Sylvie, the owner, very much; she’s a welcoming and generous woman who wants to offer the people of Sherbrooke vegetarian and even vegan alternatives.” You can even decorate ceramic plates here. It’s the perfect place to share a meal as a family.”


Sight. In Sherbrooke it’s still possible to explore one of the two only protected forests in Quebec, the Bois Beckett, in the city’s Vieux-Nord district. “I often come here; the magnificent forest is truly a sight to behold,” he explains. In all, eight walking trails, covering about 6 km, allows us to immerse ourselves in nature, and this, right here in downtown Sherbrooke.


Taste. On Alexander Street, always in downtown Sherbrooke, an organic food store has been welcoming patrons for several years now—À Fleur de Vie—and David enjoys going there to discover new products; it’s his way to encourage businesses to take back their downtown district. “The social worker in me is always looking for lived-in places, with people that I can relate to. Sylvain Bisson, one of the owners, always has great ideas to share,” he adds.


Hearing. The author immediately chooses the P’tit Bonheur, in St-Camille; a place offering a ton of cultural events. “It was there that I received the most generous welcome for my show, Au bout de la langue!” he says. In fact, he encourages people to discover such human-scale places as this one. “The cultural scene is very effervescent here, we feel a close proximity to our public,” he adds.


Touch. Although he gravitates around Sherbrooke, the author has been setting down roots in the St-Venant de Paquette area as well. Notably, by regularly reconnecting with the 11 Quebec poets he encounters when he visits the Sentier Poétique. The 3-km pathway honours such artists as Félix Leclerc, Gaston Miron and Louise Forestier.” Why the sense of touch? Because this is a place where we can feel the poem grabbing on to our calves,” he explains, somewhat mysteriously.

This fall, the trilogy La Bête, published by Stanké, is offered in its original version, grouped inside one book. We can also read his chronicles in La Tribune, each first Friday of the month. You can find more news about David by going to his website, davidgoudreault.com. His next book will come out in the spring of 2019.

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