Haiti, Guest of Honor at Montreal’s Book Fair: Salon du Livre


Chantal Guy writes about Montreal’s well-known book fair, Salon du livre de Montréal. She underlines that for the first time in its history, the Salon has a country as guest of honor—Haiti—as Minister of Culture Maka Kotto recently announced. According to Guy, this initiative would not have taken place without the efforts of Rodney Saint-Éloi [shown above] founder of Éditions Mémoire d’encrier.

After offering the history of the literary ties between the two countries—Haiti and Canada—she explains that the dialogue between Quebec and Haiti, two francophone groups of the Americas, continues its dialogue, becoming stronger each day, a pleasure for people like Saint-Éloi, who sees his efforts yielding concrete results.

This relationship, she says, will be continued by a book published by Mémoire d’encrier, the collection Bonjour voisine!, which will be launched at the fair. Fifty authors from Quebec and Haiti, under the direction of Marie Hélène Poitras, participated in this multifaceted exercise in which dialogue is magnified by writing. “It is really a [unifying] hyphen, a poetic relationship between Quebec and Haiti,” confirms Saint-Éloi. “I have never seen such open and frank cooperation; I think this fraternal action constitutes a profound cultural act. It is a weapon of mass fraternity!”

The presence of Haiti as guest of honor will be manifested by a pavilion that will be devoted to the country, where there will be hundreds of Haitian titles as well as the participation of many writers and book professionals who will discover literary production from Quebec, whose titles are often absent from Haitian bookshelves (because the goal is also to publicize Quebecois literature in Haiti). Haitian writers who have confirmed their attendance include Jean-Euphèle Milcé, Emmelie Prophète, Kettly Mars, Yanick Lahens, Gary Victor, and James Noël, among others.

Suggestions (by Chantal Guy)

Roundtable on the work of Marie-Célie Agnant, modrated by Christiane Ndiaye, with Colette Boucher, Françoise Naudillon, Thomas C. Spear, and Joëlle Vitiello. Friday, 8:00pm, Espace Archambault.

Roundtable «Diaspora/ Métaspora» on «migration of/as writing,» with Julia Pawlowicz, Joël Des Rosiers and Robert Berrouët-Oriol. Friday, 8:15pm, Agora.

Roundtable «Haïti, Femmes et littérature», with Yanick Lahens, Michèle Pierre-Louis, Emmelie Prophète, and Kettly Mars. Saturday, 7 :00pm, Carrefour Desjardins.

Roundtable «Nous sommes les nègres d’Amérique», with Nigel Thomas, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Yara El-Ghadban, and Sean Mills. Sunday, 4 :30pm, Carrefour Desjardins.

For full article, see http://www.lapresse.ca/arts/dossiers/salon-du-livre-de-montreal-2013/201311/20/01-4712815-haiti-invite-dhonneur-au-salon.php?fb_action_ids=10201359669648483&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B593018090745489%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.recommends%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

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