But I digress. In this article, you will also individuals with whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and/or working (hence the photos that include me). I will be updating this blogpost with news from Haitian-born and Haitian-descended authors.
And for more reading about Haiti, check out these children and young adult books on the Keryolicious blog here.
So without further ado, I present to you Haitians in KidLit.
Best known for her award-winning debut novel Breathe, Eyes, Memory and writing books selected for Oprah's Book Club, Edwidge Danticat is also often called on to comment on the events of Haiti and the Haitian-American diaspora which is a breath of fresh air and clearly thought-provoking. She is humble and both times I met her (once in New York City and the other in her hometown Miami(, I was starstruck. She also does a lot of work in Haiti.
Ibi Zoboi (left) is an author and scholar based in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut novel American Street was met with accolades and many awards and nominations including the National Book Award in 2017. For more news about her upcoming books, check out her website here and Twitter at @ibizoboi.
Leonicka Valcius is a publishing professional who has whose work encompasses children's literature and other genres. She is the founder of DiverseCanLit, a growing online resource promoting equity and inclusion in Canadian publishing and literature. She is also the Chair of The FOLD Foundation Board of Directors. For more information visit www.leonicka.com and follow her on Twitter @leonicka. Leonicka is an amazing person to work with and knows the publishing industry so well. She is based in Toronto.
Alix Delinois (left) illustrated many books for well-known authors including Edwidge Danticat (Eight Days: A Story of Haiti pictured above), Itah Sadu (Greetings Leroy pictured below), and Walter Dean Myers (Muhammad (Muhammad Ali: The People's Champion). He is an illustrator, visual artist, and teacher based in New York City. Check out his work here.
Unlike anyone on this list, I have never met Dany Laferrière in my life however his picture books are entertaining and the film adaptations to his award-winning novels are amazing. He is an author, journalist, and the first Quebecer and Black person to the Académie française, a council that meets on matters pertaining to the French language. Dany is Haitian-Canadian and lives in Montreal.
Although I lived in Dubai for 3 months, I started a writing group for women of colour during Ramadan and I called it Ramadan Write-In. These were a series of 5 workshops in Abu Dhabi and Dubai usually in air-conditioned cafes which were a huge welcome to the blazing white-hot 45 degree Celsius days. While in Dubai, I met my co-worker Christine Jean-Blain and was pleased to learn that she was a poet, spoken word artist, and aspiring author. Christine has a way with words, so much so that she has been published in a variety of online mediums. You can check out her work here.
Now based in Montreal, Dajena is a lover of spoken word especially the Christian spoken word variety. Currently she has a project "in the works" which is coming out in March. You can check her out on Instagram at @dajvic. You can see an interpretation of her poem La Voix below.