Michael Geilen was born in Milton, Ontario and has lived in various places throughout Ontario and across Canada. In late 1983, Michael and his family moved to Vancouver, where he now lives. In 1991, Michael left home to embark on his career and enter the workforce. In 1992, as a participant in the Career Start program, Michael was sitting at a computer where he was supposed to be working on his resume. However, as he explains it, “something had to come out,” and so it was that on that day, Michael wrote his first poem entitled “Space”. With the success of his poetry, Michael sought to start his own poetry publishing company – Odds‘n’Ends Publishing.
What is important to understand about Michael as a literary artist and poet is that growing up, he lived through 16 years of abuse. In 1989, Michael noticed what turned out to be the first symptoms of ataxia, which he still lives with today. So, when Michael composes poetry, many of his poems come from his past experiences of pain. As Michael puts it, “I like to feel my poems; I don’t like to force them”. He describes himself as a down-to- earth romantic and has found a tremendous amount of success as a poet: several of his poems have been published in compendiums of the International Library of Poetry. He has also participated in many poetry readings and poetry slams at Café Deux Soleil and at The Grind. Michael continues to grow as an artist and seek new opportunities to learn, enrolling in the Tradeworks Carpentry Program and finding success in the Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants program. For Michael, literary arts and poetry are not merely activities to create beauty, but actually serve as a way of personal growth and healing.