The mind of Michelle Parise is a palace overflowing with “little things”. When I first met her, we were both emotionally spent, each emerging from exhausting trials of love. A fast friendship was born of our mutual dissatisfaction of the heart. Michelle showed me her life, and I was smitten by the granular beauty of the arrangement. I must tell you: little things often have the greatest value.
Michelle’s apartment is a sanctuary for dreams, idols, thoughts and memories. The walls are busy, full of a million little objects which have permanently bonded with the moments of her life. Her endless notebooks are filled with fragments of experiences and savoury quips from friends and passers-by. When she is not busy broadcasting national radio from our kitchen table, Michelle spends her days contemplating and arranging these little things, and through her arrangements she synthesizes life.
Michelle’s story is a curated collection of life. Every page of her book reveals another trinket which holds fond memories, stirring revelations, and prudent contemplations on the nature of love and all the power and weakness that comes along with it.
-Written by her partner, visual artist Joshua Loberg
Which ‘hood are you in?
I live in King West Village. People think of this area as just condos and partiers (which, totally) but it’s also an important historical part of Toronto and there are plenty of quiet, beautiful green corners if you’re willing to explore. I also love the mix of architecture and the juxtaposition of the old with the new.
What do you do?
This year, my book Alone: A Love Story was released. There is also a CBC Podcast of the same name, which I performed, produced and adapted from the unpublished manuscript of my book. But my actual day job is journalism! I’m the Senior Producer of CBC Radio’s Spark with host Nora Young, which is about the cultural impact of technology, innovation and design. We’re in our 14th season (radio and podcast!)
What are you currently working on?
Since May I’ve been promoting my book Alone: A Love Story at literary festivals across Canada, including this Saturday, October 24th at the Toronto International Festival of Authors. This is my first book, but even though it’s all been through video and not in person, I’m still excited to be asked and very proud that my writing has made a mark. I’ve also spent the past year writing a new book which is fiction this time, although some of it is based on true events, so fictional reality then? Reality fiction? I prefer not to worry too much about labels when it comes to creating art. Anyway, all of that is in my spare time, since I’m still doing my day job of running a national radio show and raising a teenager!
Where can we find your work?
You can find everything to do with my writing, audio production and musical collaborations at michelle-parise.com.