He was the first son of David Nelligan, who arrived in Quebec from Dublin, Ireland at the age of trois poètes québécois PDF. His mother was Émilie Amanda Hudon, from Rimouski, Quebec.
He had two sisters, Béatrice and Gertrude. In 1899, Nelligan began to exhibit odd behavior. He was said to have loudly recited poetry to passing strangers and slept in chapels. He was also experiencing hallucinations and he attempted suicide. He was committed to a mental hospital at the request of his parents. At the time, rumor and speculation suggested that he went insane because of the vast cultural and language differences between his mother and father. In recent years, however, a number of literary critics have postulated that Nelligan was gay.
In 1903, his collected poems were published to great acclaim in Canada. He may not have been aware that he was counted among French Canada’s greatest poets. On his death in 1941, Nelligan was interred in the Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Montreal, Quebec. Following his death, the public became increasingly interested in Nelligan. His incomplete work spawned a kind of romantic legend. He was first translated into English in 1960 by P. Nelligan is considered one of the greatest poets of French Canada.