For our next conversation, we are switching gears a little bit by welcoming Agnès Cornélie, the founder of Librairie Calypso, a bookstore that opened its doors in Paris in 2020. A native of Guadeloupe, Cornélie created a space exclusively dedicated to celebrating literatures from all French Outre-Mer regions as well as the broader Caribbean. She will talk to us about the latest books to make it on her shelves and what it’s like to be the first Caribbean bookstore in Paris. Our esteemed colleagues Jennifer Boum Make and Lucy Swanson will welcome her for this conversation, which will be held in French via zoom. Register below to receive the link.
We are honored to start the new year with Haitian poet, playwright and novelist Jean D’Amérique, whose name has been on many minds lately. Since his first poetry collection, Petite fleur du ghetto (Atelier Jeudi Soir) published in 2015, he has collected numerous awards, including most recently the Prix Apollinaire Découverte 2021, for Atelier du silence (Cheyne), the Prix André Dubreuil premier roman 2021 for his novel Soleil à coudre (Actes Sud), and the Prix RFI for his play Opéra poussière. Hailed as a rising star of contemporary Haitian letters, his style has been described as urgent, ferocious, vital. Kwazman Vwa’s Jocelyn Sutton Franklin and Corine Labridy will be in dialogue with D’Amérique, and the conversation will be held via Zoom, in French. Please register below to receive the link.
Head over here for more of Jean D’Amérique’s visual performances.
In the poem “citoyen de la république-fenêtre,” D’Amérique reflects on the way inhumane borders politics crush dreams and exacerbate the global health crisis, and what poetry can do about it.
We also invite you to read «Il n’y a qu’avec du sang que je peux remplir une page» — D’Amérique’s reaction to Haitian president Jovenel Moïse’s murder published in Libération in July 2021 or our colleague’s Nathan Dize’s excellent translation of it, published here.
Kwazman Vwa is delighted to partner up with UNC Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Study of the Americas and Department of Romance Studies for this conversation with Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón. Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón is the author of three novels and a collection of short stories. Palacio (2011) was a PEN Club de Puerto Rico finalist and Dicen que los dormidos (2014/2015) won the national prize Premio de Novela from the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. He has published in international venues in either original or translated form, from Argentina to Turkey. He has won the Nuevas Voices prize at the Festival de la Palabra and his work has been recognized as part of Latinoamérica Viva at the Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara in Mexico. He was voted into the Bogotá39, naming him one of the best 39 Latin American writers under 39 by the Hay Festival in 2017.
We are truly honored to be in conversation with Evelyne Trouillot, celebrated as one of the key figures of today’s Caribbean literary landscape. She will be discussing her latest novel, Désirée Congo (Educa Vision), set in Saint Domingue shortly before the final defeat of Napoleon and the proclamation of the independence of Haiti. With its innovative polyphonic narrative technique, this novel beautifully testifies to Trouillot’s unique talent for blending history and fiction, the intimate and the collective. Kwazman Vwa’s Lucy Swanson and Jennifer Boum Make will be welcoming her for this event, which will be held via Zoom, on November 1 at 5:30 PM EST | 2:30 PM PST. RSVP below to receive a link.
To start off this new season, we are grateful to be in conversation with the brilliant Myriam J. A. Chancy, who will discuss her latest novel, What Storm, What Thunder (Tin House), with our very own Nathan Dize. This gorgeous text masterfully intertwines the lives of survivors — and the afterlives of their loved ones — in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Edwidge Danticat has called this text “Sublime. A striking and formidable novel by one of our most brilliant writers and storytellers,” and we look forward to delving into it with the author, as we continue to make sense of the latest natural disaster that struck Haiti last August. Please note that this special event will be live on Instagram @kwazmanvwa.
For our next conversation, we will welcome Guadeloupe-based author Jessica Oublié, who will discuss her graphic novel tour de force, Tropiques Toxiques, published just last year. In this impressive volume, Oublié tackles the Chlordecone scandal, an ethical embarrassment at the confluence of racism and capitalism, resulting in the poisoning of Martinique and Guadeloupe’s natural resources — sea, land and people. It’s not enough that Oublié effortlessly mobilizes multiple discourses — scientific, historical, psychological, and more — but her decision to turn yet again to the graphic novel to democratize Antillean history makes her an original voice to reckon with. Oublié will be in conversation with Kwazman Vwa’s very own Jennifer Boum Make and Charly Verstraet. This interview will be conducted in French. A recording will be posted shortly thereafter with English subtitles.
Contact us via the form below to register for this free event.
We are delighted to start off the year in conversation with Néhémy Pierre-Dahomey, whose début novel, Rapatriés, will take us (back) to Haiti. Pierre-Dahomey’s prose has been described as rhythmic, metaphorical, haunting, and we look forward to sharing it with you. The conversation will be held in French and a recording with English subtitles will be posted on our site shortly thereafter.
Belli marchait, vaillante et décidée, sur ce sentier aussi simple qu’un calvaire. Le soir arrivait. Il portait avec lui une lune bien ronde et un air en mouvement qui jetait des bourrasques sur les quartiers amoncelés.”— Rapatriés, Néhémy Pierre-Dahomey