Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Paul Michel (Seattle) started writing fiction seriously in the early 1990s. In 1996 he enrolled in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and received his degree in 1998. He wrote exclusively short stories for the next several years and published his first novel, Houdini Pie, in 2010. Michel recently completed a novel called The Gem of Egypt, about both an 1860s murder and the tragedy of 1970s strip mining in Eastern Ohio. He also continues to write some short fiction.

Michel received a 2011 GAP for a new novel based on the life of Edward Boyce, a high-profile (and indeed notorious) union leader who was a central figure in labor uprisings at the Bunker Hill mine in Kellogg, Idaho, in the 1890s. He was involved in several violent episodes (including bombing of the mine and attacks on non-union “scabs”), and was imprisoned and vilified by the management and state government. In a peculiar and mysterious twist he fell in love with and married Eleanor Day, the daughter of a wealthy mining family that owned the nearby Hercules Mine, and with a simple kiss and the slip of a ring in 1902 became a mine owner and a very rich man.  He turned his back on his past politics, refusing to discuss or acknowledge his leftist past, and moved from the area to Portland where he became a successful hotel owner. The novel will focus on Boyce’s cataclysmic life change and the inner tortures that led him to “change sides” and renounce—or perhaps merely suppress—his passions and beliefs in favor of his new bride and the comforts of wealth and success.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.