Part II, Colette’s Story

It wasn’t long after meeting her that she shared her extraordinary story. Colette Inez was the love-child of a French/American Catholic priest (a well-known and highly respected Monseignor) and a French scholar (the young researcher assigned to assist him). As an infant, Colette was left at a Belgian orphanage and raised in austere surroundings by strict Catholic nuns, where she lived until the age of eight, when she was brought to the United States to live with a foster family.

The life she had with this family was quite difficult -- even harrowing at times. Only through her own astonishing resilience, intelligence and chutzpa, plus a few kind adults along the way, did she find the means to break out on her own after high school and work her way through college.

Shunned by her parents because of the scandal their illicit relationship - if discovered - would create, the young Colette was hidden away. But the girl grew into a woman who lived to tell the tale and create a beautiful life for herself. Colette Inez became an award-winning poet, going on to publish eleven books on poetry and a memoir. She taught at Columbia University and won numerous prestigious awards including the Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller Grants. Her work was included in hundreds of poetry anthologies and textbooks. She found love with Saul Stadtmauer, her husband for over fifty years, a kind and wonderful man with whom she flourished. Both writers, they lived a meaningful, beautiful life together in New York City, enjoying concerts, readings, the nature of Central Park.