Awards and Honours:

Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas

Sometimes I’m certain those who are happy
know one thing more than us... or one thing
— The Weight of Oranges

Published in 1986, The Weight of Oranges created a sensation, garnering the kind of praise rarely accorded a first book of poems.

Praise for The Weight of Oranges:

"These are poems that go way beyond games or fashion or politics ... they represent the human being entire." - Michael Ondaatje

"Michaels negotiates the universal in poems which are at once dance and revelation ... They are filled with ferocious strength and a primal, candid intelligence. The Weight of Oranges is incandescent with a 'human light.'" - Christopher Dewdney

"... these moving and original poems are shaped with painter-like delicacy and the vividness of an impressionist." - Earle Birney

"A fall into light ... the writing is richly sensuous." - Quill & Quire

“All is gentleness, tenderness and grace in The Weight of Oranges … [M]elody and image blend effortlessly. As into a pellucid spring, one can dip a pail almost anywhere and come up with something delicious.” - Globe and Mail