Hanétha Vété-Congolo’s intriguing Avoir et Etre: Ce que j’Ai, ce que je Suis [To Have and To Be: What I Have, What I Am], her first poetry collection, has just been published by Le Chasseur abstrait. With an introduction by Alain Mabanckou, preface by Laura López Morales, and a foreword Elizabeth (Betty) Wilson, the book includes 27 poems divided into two sections, Ce que j’Ai and Ce que je Suis.
About Vété-Congolo’s poetry, Elizabeth (Betty) Wilson explains:
Sometimes simple and familiar, sometimes erudite and filled with classical allusions, historical references, proverbs, traditional folk songs, the poetry of Vété-Congolo, nurtured by an inner vision, slides smoothly from one register to another, and even from one language to another. Vocabulary and images follow the same pattern, moving from nature to daily life, from the everyday world to classical mythology. With striking ease, she mixes languages, knitting together [“métissant”] French, Creole, English, and Spanish.
From Martinique, Dr. Hanétha Vété-Congolo teaches French and Francophone Literatures at Bowdoin College in Maine. She specializes in African and Caribbean literatures and oral traditions. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in a number of journals including AfroEuropa, MaComère, Riveneuve continents, and Wadabagei.
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