DeLauné with cousin André Dubus III

DeLauné Michel was raised in south Louisiana in a literary family that includes her uncle André Dubus, and her cousins André Dubus III, James Lee Burke and Alafair Burke.

Ms. Michel was named for Helene DeLauné, the first woman over from France on her mother’s side of the family.  Helene DeLauné was in the court of Marie Antoinette. Her husband, Jules André, fought in the French Revolution. Antoinette gave Helene DeLauné jewels to help her and her husband escape to South Louisiana. Ms. Michel’s father’s family was the eleventh family in New Orleans.

Due to extenuating circumstances around her parent’s divorce, Ms. Michel’s formal education ended at the culmination of her junior year at the all-girl private Catholic high school she attended, and she began supporting herself. Ms. Michel moved to New York City, where, after a brief stint of living in Milan, she studied acting. She then moved to Los Angeles where she worked as an actor in theatre, television, and film.

In 1996, Ms. Michel created Spoken Interludes, a critically-acclaimed reading series where award winning, bestselling, and up-coming writers read their own work. This literary institution has been covered extensively by publications ranging from The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, GQ Magazine, LA Magazine, Westchester Magazine, The LA Weekly, and has been heard on NPR.


DeLauné with David
(top), Mark Doty,
& Kathryn Harrison

Audience before a show
Writers featured in the series include: Karen Russell, Andrew Solomon, Ann Packer, Jennifer Egan, Ben Marcus, Blake Bailey, Gabrielle Hamilton, Sue Miller, Dinaw Mengestu, Julia Glass, Charles Bock, John Burnham Schwartz, Meg Wolitzer, Tad Friend, Frank Bruni, Simon Doonan, and U.S. States Senator Gary Hart.

Since its debut in May of 1996, Spoken Interludes has provided a place where people come together, enjoy great food, and hear stories like their own reflected in the voices of others.

In 2000, Ms. Michel made Spoken Interludes a non-profit arts organization through which she developed, taught in, and continues to run Spoken Interludes Next, an out-reach writing program for at-risk youth. Spoken Interludes Next reaches over 450 children year. In Los Angeles, the program works with youth in inner-city schools and juvenile detention halls, and with the disenfranchised elderly. In New York, Spoken Interludes Next works with critically ill and severely disabled children at Blythedale Children’s Hospital, at two foster homes for displaced youth, at two schools for emotionally disturbed and developmentally disabled youth, and Westchester County Prison and Jail. Through Spoken Interludes, Ms. Michel also runs an on-going book drive to benefit children at a free pediatric clinic in Yonkers, New York.

For more information on all Spoken Interludes events and programs, please visit

The first two short stories that Ms. Michel wrote won recognition in the Thomas Wolf Short Fiction Competition sponsored by Duke University. Her first novel, Aftermath of Dreaming, was published by HarperCollins in 2006, and her second novel, The Safety of Secrets was published by HarperCollins in 2008. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two sons.

DeLauné with the first graduating class
of Spoken Interludes Next

DeLauné with students of
Spoken Interludes Next

Leave a Reply