MDC’s 2018 Miami Book Fair Presents ReadCaribbean

Presented and produced by Miami Dade College

Miami, Nov. 5, 2018 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.  Established in 1985, Sosyete Koukouy is dedicated to preserving Haitian culture in the United States. The mission of the organization is the preservation, perpetuation and presentation of Haitian cultural performances and exhibitions to Creole and non-Creole-speaking audiences.

Saturday, Nov. 17 (All discussion in Room 8301 – Building 8, Third Floor, except where noted below)

11:30 a.m.

After Irma and Maria: Caribbean Writing the Storms

Modern Caribbean literature captures not just the endemic mismanagement of natural resources and public projects, but also the enduring chasm between promises of progress through major infrastructures and the outcomes of natural disasters for average citizens. In this panel, four Caribbean writers reflect on the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria to many Caribbean islands whose economies rely on tourism. With EDWIDGE DANTICAT (Haiti), LORETTA COLLINS KLOBAH (Puerto Rico), and TIPHANIE YANIQUE (Virgin Islands).


1:30 p.m.

Unknown Histories of the Caribbean

This panel will discuss how writers from the Caribbean have attempted to construct alternative images of the present and future from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the Caribbean and its diasporas. With NATALIE HOPKINSON (Guyana), A Mouth is Always Muzzled; PATRICK BELLEGARDE-SMITH (Haiti), In The Shadow of Powers: Dantes Bellegarde in Haitian Social Thought; MICHAEL BARNETT (Jamaica), The Rastafari Movement: A North American and Caribbean Perspective; and JUDY RAYMOND (Trinidad), The Colour of Shadows. Moderated by DONNA AZA WEIR-SOLEY, Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s Writings.


3:30 p.m.

Murder and Mayhem in the Caribbean

Writers with roots in Dominican Republic, Cuba, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago present masterful and unvarnished literary crime fiction and wildly transgressive noir from the Caribbean. With KEVIN JARED HOSEIN, The Repenters and The Beast of Kukuyo; HECTOR DUARTE JR., Desperate Times Call; and NICHOLAS LAUGHLIN, editor of the anthology, So Many Islands. Moderated by MANNY DURAN.


4 p.m.

Wembly’s Author Tent (Upper Plaza of Children’s Alley)

ReadCaribbean Presents Adventures for Kids (Grades K-3)

Two friends search for a long-lost quilt patch in MARJUAN CANADY’s Callaloo: The Trickster and the Magic Quilt, an Arctic seal tries to get back home in JOANNE C. HILLHOUSE’s Lost!, discoveries abound during a simple walk through the neighborhood in PAULA-ANNE PORTER JONESSandy, Tosh and the Moo Cow, and family history come alive in FRANCIE LATOUR’s Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings.


5:30 p.m.

Reading Jamaica

Presenting writing that explores racial identity, gender and sexuality, family and alienation, exile and history, this panel brings to life the richness and diversity of writing from, and, or about Jamaica. With MARCIA DOUGLAS, The Marvellous Equations of the Dread: A Novel in Bass Riddim; ALECIA MCKENZIE, Sweetheart; and ALEXIA ARTHURS, author of How to Love a Jamaican. Moderated by GEOFFREY PHILP, Garvey’s Ghost.


 Sunday, Nov. 18 (All discussions in Room 8301 – Building 8, Third Floor, except where noted below)

11:30 a.m.

In English, with simultaneous interpretation into Haitian Creole

Haitian Identities and Caribbean Aesthetics/ Idantite Ayisyen Ak Estetik Karibeyen

This panel of four Haitian women writers will address the impact of their Haitian and Haitian-American identities on their writing and the ways they navigate (hyper) visibility and erasure to honor Caribbean aesthetics. Join MARILÈNE PHIPPS, Unseen Worlds; KATIA D. ULYSSE, author of Mouths Don’t Speak; and FABIENNE JOSAPHAT, Dancing in the Baron’s Shadow; as they discuss the ways in which their writings respond to cultural presumptions about Haitian identity. Moderated by EDWIDGE DANTICAT.


1:30 p.m.

Room 6100 (Bldg. 6, 1st Floor)

ReadCaribbean Presents Three Groundbreaking Poets  

RUTH BEHAR explores the sacrifices of her exiled Cuban ancestors alongside her own vulnerabilities in Everything I Kept/Todo Lo Que Guardé. LORETTA COLLINS KLOBAH reveals the secret heart of Puerto Rico in Ricantations, where shiny modernity gives way to spirit presences before and after Hurricane Maria. I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara is RAJIV MOHABIR’s translation of the only known literary work written in 1916 by an indentured servant in British Guayana.


1:30 p.m.

In French, with simultaneous interpretation into English

Compelling Stories from the French Caribbean/Des Histoires Captivantes De La Caraïbe Française

This panel will focus on choices writers make in telling and reporting stories that embody the depth and breadth of French-Caribbean life and imagination. With GERTY DAMBURY (Guadeloupe), The Restless; MEHDI CHALMERS (Haiti), À Partir du mensonge; MONIQUE CLESCA (Haiti), La Confession; and SERGE BILÉ (Martinique), Yasuké (a true story about the first recorded Japanese black samurai). Moderated by VANESSA SELK, Cultural and Education Attaché (Florida and Puerto Rico) of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.


3:30 p.m.

In Haitian Creole, with simultaneous interpretation into English

The Realities of Haitian Migrations/Reyalite Magrasyon Ayisyen

The adjustment to a new culture brings forth changes in identity and concept of self. In the case of Haiti, how do these changes affect the motherland – and the Haitian communities of the Diaspora? In this panel, academics and experts in the literary field will speak to the issue of Haitian migration, racial, gender, and national identity, and ultimately, of life in the balance. With PAURIS JEAN-BAPTISTE (linguist), PIERRE BUTEAU (historian), INÉMA JEUDI (journalist), and CLAUDE CHARLES (ethnologist). Moderated by MARLEINE BASTIEN, Executive Director of FANM.


5:30 p.m.

In Haitian Creole, with simultaneous interpretation into English

#Metoo Movement in the Afro-Caribbean Communities/Mouvman #Metoo Nan Kominote Afwo-Karibeyen

Academics and writing professionals will discuss the blurry lines between abuse and what is considered “normal” gender relations and “natural”’ male behavior in Haiti and other African-Caribbean countries, and present ideas on ways that literature can support the women in impoverished/ conflict countries. With JUDITE BLANC (psychologist), MONIQUE CLESCA (UN Specialist), MARLENE CHOULOUTE-HYPPOLITE (writer), and GEORGES BOSSOUS (human rights activist). Moderated by ANAÏSE CHAVENET (literary publicist).

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

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Visit for complete schedule and more information.  #MiamiReads


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 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