MDC’s 2017 Miami Book Fair Presents ReadCaribbean

Presented and produced by Miami Dade College

Miami, Nov. 9, 2017 Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Miami Book Fair (MBF), the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering will present ReadCaribbean, a series including readings, panel discussions and storytelling for children, that highlights the vibrant and diverse literary culture of the Caribbean.  As noted, some author events will take place in Creole or French with simultaneous translation into English.

ReadCaribbean programs are made possible by the support of the FIU Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, and the Green Family Foundation. Programs are created in partnership with Sosyete Koukouy, the Consulat Général de France à Miami, and Ayiti Images.

Saturday, Nov. 18 (All discussion in Room 8301 – Building 8, Third Floor)

11:30 a.m.

Race, Identity and Politics in Latin America

Multi-ethnicity, Racelessness, Indigenismo. These are some terms of identity that have masked the ways that anti-Blackness and ambivalence, if not full resistance to Latin America’s African roots, have evolved in nations across the region. With attention to its historic roots, contemporary manifestations, and present-day movements, these authors offer compelling insight into the ways that race, identity and politics have intersected in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. With Devyn Spence Benson, Danielle Clealand, Andrea Queeley, Milagros Ricourt.

1 p.m.

Haiti: Sovereignty & Ownership

The world’s first independent black republic, Haiti was forged in the fire of history’s only successful slave revolution. Yet more than 200 years later, the full promise of the revolution—a free country and a free people—remains unfulfilled. Domestic forces have certainly contributed to Haiti’s turbulence. However, external actors, including the United States, the United Nations, and non-profits have always wielded considerable influence on Haiti’s past and her present. This panel will examine how this outside influence affected the country’s notions of sovereignty and its citizen’s efforts to build a truly independent country. With Michael Deibert, Robert Fatton Jr., Robert Maguire, Chantalle F. Verna.

2:30 p.m.

Caribbean Voices in Circulation

This panel emphasizes the power and imperativeness of allowing voices from the Caribbean to be heard as widely as possible. The circulation of Caribbean voices featured here pertains among many things to: 1) the translation of Caribbean’s literary giants, female and male, into English (both past and present); and, 2) to what has happened when voices from Caribbean have defied odds to be heard. With Kaiama Glover, Aliyyah Eniath Hosein, Helen Klonaris, Kei Miller.

4 p.m.

Trinidad Noir: The Classics

Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the geographic area of the book. Now, two of Trinidad’s top writers masterfully curate this literary retrospective of the nation’s best writing over the past century. With co-editor of the collection, Robert Antoni, and contributors Barbara Jenkins, Shani Mootoo, and Elizabeth Nunez.

5:30 p.m.

80th Anniversary Session of the 1937 Anti-Haitian Massacre in the Dominican Republic: Reflections on the Past on behalf of the Future

As a means of making this fall’s anniversary a meaningful and constructive one, this panel features original and hard-hitting perspectives about Haitian-Dominican relations, and the significance of the history of genocide that took place on the island. These authors introduce new evidence from the nineteenth-century to the present, including the 1937 massacre, to offer insights about race, nation-building, and freedom struggles that resonate beyond Hispañola’s borders. With Edwidge Danticat, Anne Eller, Lorgia García-Peña, Edward Paulino.

Sunday, Nov. 19 (All discussions in Room 8301 (Building 8, Third Floor) except where noted below)

11:30 a.m.

In Haitian Creole, with simultaneous interpretation into English

Poetry: Haitian Creole Voices in Circulation

A ReadCaribbean panel of contemporary poets with ties to Canada, Cuba, and Sri-Lanka detail their exploration of poetic forms in Kreyòl and their reflections on the universality of Haitian poetry. With Indran Amirthanayagam, Emmanuel Eugène, Yvon Lamour.

1 p.m.

In French, with simultaneous interpretation into English

“Caribbean: Illuminate!” / Voix De La Caraibes

Part of the popular ReadCaribbean year-round series, this unflinching, provocative, sometimes uncomfortable, but definitely inspiring round table focuses on Caribbean literature and history. Caribbean authors from Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guyana will discuss their work, along with their lived and inherited experiences, in order to illuminate reality and take the audience on a journey through the many chapters of modern Caribbean life/history. With Alfred Alexandre, Mireille Jean-Gilles, Yanick Lahens, Jose “Stonko” Lewest.

2:30 p.m.

In Haitian Creole, with simultaneous interpretation into English

Haiti: Political Legacy of Our Historical Heroes

This ReadCaribbean panel examines the political development of independent Haiti from 1804 through present times against the backdrop of the country’s dramatic transformations in the past centuries. The authors elucidate broad patterns in Haitian history, offering insight into the intellectual and political trajectory of the island-nation. With Bayyinah E. Bello, Anthony M. Georges-Pierre, Clarence Renois.

2:30 p.m.

(Building 6, First Floor)

ReadCaribbean Presents Poets from Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad

Shara McCallum’s fifth poetry book, Madwoman, explores the world of relationships, race, and colonialism through the lens of her Jamaican womanhood. Canouan Suite and Other Pieces reflects Philip Nanton’s storytelling humor, setting text in creative tension with Caribbean artwork. In Voices Carry, Mervyn Taylor presents poems that travelers unpack like suitcases from Pakistan, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad, far from what used to be home.

3:30 p.m.

Room 2106 (Building 2, First Floor)
A Conversation on Haiti and the Photography of Thony Belizaire

Award-winning Producer/Director of the documentary on James Baldwin, I Am Not Your NegroRaoul Peck, in conversation with Edwidge DanticatYanick Lahens, and Russell Banks on Haiti and the photography of Thony Belizaire.

4 p.m.

In English, with simultaneous interpretation into Haitian Creole

Readcaribbean Presents Mervyn Morris in Conversation with Kwame Dawes. Moderated by Geoffrey Philp.

Former Poet Laureate of Jamaica Mervyn Morris presents half a century of poetry with an intense musicality in Peelin Orange: Collected Poems, reinventing how universals can inhere in the local, the incarnation in a Caribbean setting. Kwame Dawes’s City of Bone haunts us with its own musicality, from the drum to reggae to the blues to jazz to gospel. Moderated by poet, novelist, and playwright Geoffrey Philp.

5:30 p.m.

In Haitian Creole, with simultaneous interpretation into English

Tensions in the Truths of Haitian History

This ReadCaribbean panel explores the ways that opposing sentiments and circumstances have existed simultaneously in the history of Haiti’s social, economic, and natural environments. The authors focus on the tension in such truths, such as: the ability to critique and identify with Vodou; the experience of belonging to and feeling on the margins of a society; the affinity and aversion of cultivating economic ties with foreign states; the promotion of and flagrant disregard for natural resources and historical treasures. With Jocelyn David, Fritz Deshommes, Dr. Jean Fils-Aimé.

For a complete list of authors of Caribbean heritage, please visit, call 305-237-3528, or email

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About Miami Book Fair

Founded in 1984 by Miami Dade College and partners, Miami Book Fair engages the community through inclusive, accessible programs that promote reading and support writers year round. The annual eight-day festival has grown into the largest and most comprehensive community-rooted literary gathering in the United States. The Fair features readings and discussions with the world’s most renowned authors, generating discourse on contemporary literature and current issues of international importance. The Fair also include culinary presentations; live music and interdisciplinary performances; interactive, educational activities for children; and more than 200 booksellers and publishers during the Street Fair. Events take place in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and French. In addition to the annual festival, the Miami Book Fair responds to community needs with a year-round schedule of activities, including The Little Haiti Book Festival, highlighting Haiti’s literary acumen; creative writing and publishing workshops; author presentations; reading campaigns; and Read to Learn Books for Free, a partnership with The Children’s Trust that distributes more than 150,000 free books a year to children in Miami-Dade County.

Miami Book Fair is made possible through the generous support of the State of Florida and the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Miami; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Miami Downtown Development Authority; and the Friends of the Fair; as well as many corporate partners. Miami Book Fair: Building community, one reader at a time.

Miami Book Fair media contacts: Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132, or Deyanira Navarrette, 305-495-7168,