Haitian author Frankétienne named UNESCO Artist for Peace

Haitian author Frankétienne named UNESCO Artist for Peace

Frankétienne, dubbed the “Dean of modern Haitian literature”, is  named UNESCO Arist for peace. My congratulations to you, Frankétienne. May your tribe increase! By the way, Jean Jonassaint, Associate Professor of French at Syracuse University,  has recently written Typo/Topo/Poéthique sur Frankétienne.


“Frankétienne’s designation as UNESCO Artist for Peace recognizes his remarkable contribution to French-language literature, his commitment to safeguarding and promoting Haitian culture, and his efforts to promote the ideals of the Organization.

            Frankétienne, who writes, acts, paints and also teaches, is an emblematic figure of Haitian culture. Author of some 40 works written in French and Creole, including Dezafi (1975) and Ultravocal (1972), he has received numerous literary prizes and distinctions. His latest play Melovivi ou Le Piège will be performed for the first time at UNESCO on 24 March.”


General Authority, Haitian Novel

General Authority


The Author
Lahiny Pierre was born in Jacmel, south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her first public presentations date back to pre-school years at Kindergarten Marie Carline. At the age of fourteen she reunited with her parents in Brooklyn, New York and finished her academic studies. She now resides in Georgia where she is a full time Writer and grassroots community organizer. Her literary works include poetry, literary criticism, screen plays, and two novels, addressing the struggle of migration, loss, and coming to terms with one’s story, which she believes, affects the present in multiple ways.

The Book
Struggles of migration, loss, and coming to terms with one’s history affects one’s present life. When Denis decides to run from Port-au-Prince, he is not sure the fake passport will take him to New York City. For eleven years he has been the leader of the Engagés, a secret society fighting the Militia for the return of the city and a stop to the “Cut Heads Burn Homes” societal renegades. Days before Denis and his troops launch a key attack, one of their top men is assassinated. The Militia commands local thugs after Denis who must flee to save his skin. Denis bounds for the U.S. to escape death and maybe stumble into the American Dream. The problem of adapting to this dizzying new world fades as he suddenly finds himself in the middle of an interracial marital meltdown that could send him straight into the arms of his enemies back in Haiti.

This book illustrates themes of the struggle of migration, loss, and coming to terms with one’s history; exile by choice because of economic circumstances; assimilation – cause and effect; the myth of the American dream, an idea held by people worldwide; cultural alienation; socialization of the immigrant; leaving home; learning new experiences; adapting to a new life; speaking a new language; the reuniting of old friends; friendship; male bonding; spirituality; African Deities; Haitian Culture; Voodoo; facing the past; nationalism; community building; cultural awareness; music and dance in the Haitian culture; political unrest; murder; vengeance; and civic duties.

This book is available on:

There’s a link on Youtube

Haitian-American Author, Edwidge Danticat Won the the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship

Haiti-born writer Edwidge Danticat has won the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship, which comes with $500,000.



Miami writer Edwidge Danticat was holding her 9-month-old daughter, Leila, while trying to read the computer screen when the phone rang.

“Are you sitting down?” the caller asked.

“Yes. I am holding my baby,” she said.

“Put the baby down.”

An award-winning author who was born in Haiti, Danticat, 40, learned she had just won the biggest honor of her career: the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation `Genius Award,’ which carries a $500,000 “no strings attached” prize.

“I am extremely grateful,” said an ecstatic Danticat, one of 24 winners named this year as a fellowship winner. “I am still wrapping my brain around it, trying to see how I can do it justice.”

Daniel Socolow, who directs the fellows program and called Danticat with the news, said the writer emerged from a pool of hundreds of creative leaders, nominated by individuals for their creative genius and potential.

The final selection, he said, was made by an anonymous 12-member committee and after writing “thousands and thousands of other people about them.”

In addition to Danticat, this year’s winners include Jill Seaman of Sudan, an infectious-disease specialist, Lynsey Addario of Turkey, a photojournalist, and Peter Huybers of Massachusetts, a climate scientist at Harvard.

“We look at the work they’ve done, but at the end of the day it’s a calculation this is somebody worthy of our investment,” Socolow said. “We don’t know what they will do next; we just know they are likely to do something spectacular. It is betting on their future.”

Socolow said Danticat, a compelling novelist known for capturing human endurance and perseverance through her books, “has wonderful promise yet ahead to do even more powerfully what she does.”

Danticat made her debut as a novelist in 1994 with Breath, Eyes, Memory. In all, she has written eight books, recently finished a collection of essays and is working on a new novel.

HAITIAN LIFEThrough her works, she has amassed a wide range of fans with her simple prose and themes of isolation, human struggle, cultural survival — all set against the complex backdrop of Haiti’s complex history and immigrant life.


Her most recent book was the semi-autobiographical Brother, I’m Dying. The memoir is a tribute to her 81-year-old uncle, Joseph Dantica, a minister who fled to Miami seeking refuge from Haiti’s political and gang-ridden turmoil only to die in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities. His plight and life are chronicled through Danticat’s memories as a child growing up in Haiti under his care. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award, among others.

Past notable winners including Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard anthropologist and infectious-disease specialist who won the award in 1993 for his work combating HIV/AIDS in Haiti.

`IT LIBERATES YOU’As a writer, Danticat says she always yearns for the time and peace of mind as she brings her characters — ordinary people facing hardship and struggle — to life. This award gives her that, she said.


“What this does is it liberates you to really concentrate on your work,” she said. “I have always tried to pace myself not to live extravagantly, so I can earn the time I need to write.”

After receiving the news, Danticat said she gasped, then called her husband Faidherbe “Fedo” Boyer and told him the news. He and daughter Mira were the only ones who knew for a week.

Her mother, who lives in New York, only learned the news Monday.

Meanwhile, she says she has no idea who nominated her, but is extremely grateful.

“You just get this call one day,” she said. “It is so gratifying to know people out there think I deserve more time to work.”

Source: Miami Herald http://www.miamiherald.com/news/top-stories/story/1245126.html

Edwidge Danticat Wins Nicolas Guillen Prize

 Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:33:33 -0700
Subject: Nicolas Guillen Prize
From: caribphil2@gmail.com
To: caribphil2@gmail.com

Dear CPA members and friends,

I am delighted to inform you that the winner of the 2009 Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Nicolás Guillén Prize is Edwidge Danticat.  Danticat is a prominent writer who was born in Haiti and came to the United States when she was twelve.    She earned a degree in French literature from Barnard College, and an MFA from Brown University.  Her works include Breath, Eyes, Memory, Krik? Krak!, and Dew Breaker, among others.  She has won several prizes for her work including the American Book Award for The Farming of the Bones.  And her 2007 Brother, I’m Dying was a finalist for the National Book Award.  We hope to count with her presence in Miami!


Here is a link: http://voices.cla.umn.edu/vg/Bios/entries/danticat_edwidge.html




Nelson Maldonado-Torres

CPA President