Michael Gravel’s passions are poetry and web design. He believes that art, design, and poetry strive for the same ideal: to say the most with the least. His poetry chapbooks include The Fast Places (2008), Corduroy Forecast (2010), and We Need You (2014). He runs a small web communication consultancy called MG Creative where he exercises his passion for simplicity and order. He was one of the founding founders – and the front man – of the Raving Poets, an open mic poetry series that concluded its 10 year run in 2010. Gravel is a gifted public speaker whose skills include poetic performance, event emceeing, lecturing, and teaching. His poetic influences include Carl Sagan, Jack Kerouac, and Dylan Thomas. His holy musical trinity consists of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Bruce Springsteen. When not swearing at a text editor or cursing Photoshop, he can be found reading poetry and taking photos. He lives in Edmonton with his poet wife, Kerry Mulholland, stepdaughter, and an incorrigible hound (an Alternate biography is available).
Michael Gravel was born in a bloodshot barn in Chaplin, Saskatchewan in 1951. His mother slapped his ass and sent him to live with a pack of prairie gypsies. He spent his formative years on the road, never staying in one place for more than a month or two. His adopted family traveled widely, and by age seven he had seen both Canadian coasts. He had his first brush with death at age nine, in which he survived an attack from a moose in Newfoundland. He cut his teeth playing rhythm guitar with The New Shylocks in 1966 and went on to form The Stung Bastards in 1968. He spent the 70’s in various stages of intoxication and emerged in 1982 to find himself in Montreal. After bumming around several flophouses and poetry cafes, he made his way back to the prairie. His body has ceased to be restless, creating tension with his heart, which still pines and wanders.