Chenald Augustin (Le Nouvelliste) writes about yet another loss for the literary world. Writer Paulette Poujol Oriol died of a heart attack on Friday, March 12, 2011, in her home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Here is a translation of excerpts with a link to the full tribute below:
Born in 1926 in Port-au-Prince, she would have been 85 years old in May. Paulette Poujol Oriol left a significant corpus of literary work. She penned many plays. Her literary works include Le Creuset [The Crucible] (her first novel, which won the Henri Deschamps award in 1980) and La Fleur rouge [The Red Flower] for which she received RFI-Le Monde’s Award for Best Novel. Poujol Oriol published numerous articles, most of which were dedicated to literature. Her work describes Haitian society, its defects, its habits and customs, its prejudices, as well Haiti’s misfortunes. She combined Creole and French in some of her works, as exemplified by La Fleur rouge.
A director and actress, Paulette Poujol Oriol staged many plays and founded the Teatro Piccolo. She taught drama, especially to children, up to the last days of her life. She headed the theatre section of the National School for the Arts from 1983 to 1991.
Poujol Oriol was one of the foremost figures of the Haitian women’s movement. She was active for more than fifty years in several associations, including the Women’s League of Social Action, which she directed since 1997. Filmmaker Arnold Antonin filmed a documentary on six Haitian women, entitled Six Exceptional Haitian Women. Poujol Oriol is among these women, along with Viviane Gauthier, Micheline Laudun Denis, Odette Roy Fombrun, Madeleine Desrosiers, and Emerante De Pradines. In this film, the audience saw a Paulette Poujol Oriol full of vitality, smiling, a novelist and a very talented theatre woman.
Novelist, director, and actress Paulette Poujol Oriol, is who regarded as one of the major figures of Haitian letters, left many unfinished works. According to Antonin, she had fourteen works in progress. As her son revealed, she had plays, novels, and many other projects in the works. In collaboration with writer Kettly March, she was working on an extensive anthology of Haitian women.
Celebrities who attended the documentary met the passing of Paulette Poujol Oriol with emotion, [considering her an] “irreplaceable” writer who has “left indelible traces in the history of the Haitian letters and in education.”
[Many thanks to Kevin Meehan for bringing this item to our attention.]
For full tribute (in French), see http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article.php?PubID=1&ArticleID=90136&PubDate=2011-03-11