Jean Métellus Has Passed Away: Death of a Haitian, a Doctor, a Poet


As the original article states « Jean Métellus s’est éteint: Mort d’un Haïtien, d’un Médecin, d’un Poète, » Jean Métellus, a man who wore many hats and performed all duties to the highest degree, has passed away. The highly-respected Haitian doctor and writer died yesterday.

Jean Métellus, born April 30, 1937 in Jacmel, Haiti, emigrated in 1959, at the time of the Duvalier dictatorship in France, where he studied medicine and began to write. Encouraged by Aimé Césaire, Métellus won widespread recognition for his poetry. His first collection of poetry Au pipirite chantant caught the attention of André Malraux and Maurice Nadeau. Antoine Vitez noticed the dramatic and poetic power of his Anacaona at the Théâtre de Chaillot.

His poems have been included in the Anthology of French Poetry of the Twentieth Century [Anthologie de la poésie française du XXe siècle] and have been translated into Italian and Spanish. His verses have also been cited by several rap groups. He also wrote novels, a plays, and essays.

Metéllus was medical doctor (a neurologist specializing in speech disorders). In addition to his daily activity as a doctor, he gradually created an important corpus of work. In 2010, he won the French Academy’s Grand Prix de la Francophonie.

[Many thanks to Ernest Pépin and Jo Spalburg for bringing this item to our attention.]

For full article (in French), see

For more information, see

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