painting of la sirene (goddess of water) by Jacques Dorce, a haitian born artist
i studied franophone history and literature, with a focus on franco-african and caribbean poetry. i won't say that i know everything about haiti, but i will say that the history there, the energy the creativity, the survival of the people hold a special place in my heart. to start a story, the story-teller asks "krik?" as to get permission from the listeners. and the listeners respong "krak!" to say "we are here and we are listening!"
"you have to save every bit of flesh and give it a name and bury it near the roots of a tree so that the world won't fall apart around you."
"all anyone can hope for is just a tiny bit of love, manman says, like a drop in a cup if you can get it, or a waterfall, a flood, if you can get that too"
-edwidge danticat, krik? krak!
"on that deep and mighty night, all the slums of the lands of the centre and the south erupted into a volcanic laugh discharging vast flowers of debris, songs, moon fragments as if liberating for a new universe."
"the people who had lost their roots watched the ribbon of asphalt unrolling away beneath them, and those with memory dimly recalled a village in the fold of the hills, between the red blossoms of the flame of the forest and the majestic ancient cotton trees alive with singing birds. Thy remembered a cottage among the banana leaves, the brown of the earth and the river flowing over the black sand. "
-pierre clitandre, cathedral of the august heat
edwidge danticat is a prolific hatian-american author who just won the 2009 macarthur 'genius' award.
pierre clitandre, born in 1954, is a haitian novelist and painter.
both, like so many haitians, were driven to exile in new york in the 80s during the devalir regime.
and here, edwidge danticat recommends some hatian books and music.
from now until the end of the month, 25% of the sales in my shop will go to aid for haiti via mercy corps. to learn more about what mercycorps is doing in haiti, visit this site. i've added some new photos, and i still have a few note cards left.