I was fifteen when I was gifted with Solitude. My brother Leslie came home on vacation from Mexico and brought me the Garcia Marquez book I would love for the rest of my life… There was no better gift for this solitary adolescent languishing in Port-au-Prince. I would not rest until I gifted it in […]

The Piano Lesson

I am always falling in love with actors! Sunday night, it was with strong-voiced Chuck Cooper as the razzle-dazzle Wining Boy in August Wilson’s Piano Lesson.  The amazing cast is directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson at the Signature Theatre but it’s Cooper who’s the principal reason to see this production!. You cannot help falling for his […]

Kriye Bode!

Kriye Bode Celebration! Michèle Voltaire Marcelin was honored Saturday, June 16th at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn.   She received an award for her poetry at the 7th annual Kriye Bode celebration.  The Haitian term Kriye Bode signifies the call to participate.  It calls people to join together as a community to dance, […]

Amores y cosas sin importancia

Prólogo de la edicíon en español del libro de poesía de Michèle Voltaire Marcelin “Amours et Bagatelles” traducido por Mirta Fernández Martínez por la editorial Arte y Literatura. “La literatura haitiana  contemporánea ha hecho eclosión, ha alcanzado una dimensión enorme por la gran cantidad de nuevos autores importantes, por la diversidad de temas tratados y […]

Books, books, books….

“Lord! when you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.  There’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.”  ~Christopher Morley For those who love books, November was an exciting month.  From the 14th to […]


“Over a thousand and one nights, Scheherazade told the King stories and he fell in love with her.” Ah!  Whether Arabian or Haitian, women are magicians weaving stories of old to delight the young, the young at heart and everyone else.  A festival of Haitian culture that included such storytelling took place on Saturday, October 16th […]

Saving Grace

“SAVING GRACE” is an AMAZING, IMPRESSIVE, HEART-MENDING, SOUL-HEALING exhibit of Haitian paintings, sculptures and works on paper, many never seen outside Haiti before. They are on view at Affirmation Arts Gallery at 523 West 37th Street from Oct. 1 to Nov. 24. “Saving Grace: A Celebration of Haitian Art”, curated by Haitian art historian Gérald […]

two hundred thousand ghosts…

children die
do not talk to me about prayer
or paradise
talk is cheap
children die
and my anger supersedes my grief…

Through the Eyes of Artists

” Let the earth bear witness

Let the wind bear witness

Let the art bear witness…

They shall be remembered forever…”

Haitian playwrights and poets take center stage in New York City on March 31, 2010

“Here is stage poetry that invokes the living to see and hear the dead and commune with them through the theatre. Here is to hope and communion for a future that remains alive and thriving through theatre/poetry/song.”

Lost and Found

” Lost and Found “ is the book of love.  A CD of 25 poems chosen among the 74 in the collection is included with the text . There is an intimist tone to these poems and one can feel the poet giving herself entire to her devotion toward love. Contrary to the tone of […]

Poésie érotique ?

Vous avez dit «Poésie érotique »? J’y suis allée quasiment à reculons, à ce spectacle intitulé « Cultures Caraïbes », organisé par le CIDIHCA, ce dimanche 6 septembre 2009, à Montréal, et dans lequel on annonçait, entre autres choses, la « mise en lecture d’"Amours et Bagatelles", poésie et prose érotique avec Michèle Voltaire Marcelin […]


  “My first memory of Texas is being glued to my mother’s hip as we thrashed through the terrain looking for a place to call home.  We never had a place, a house of our own.  When I say ‘thrashed through the terrain,’ I mean branches slashing against a child’s body that is glued to […]

the corridors of power

“Richard the III, an Arab tragedy”, an exciting adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, opens with a monologue by Queen Margaret who introduces herself with these words: “I am Margaret.  It is your right to ignore me.  I would ignore myself if I could but my history will not allow me. We lost. I don’t want your […]

the silk road

There are phrases so evocative, they summon entire worlds and journeys, real or imagined . Silk Road is such a name.  Conjuring visions of caravans passing across timeless deserts and oasis towns; of camels laden with bales of multicolored silks and sumptuous brocades, of handsome turbanned men with smoldering eyes carrying rubies and pearls, clusters […]

cahier spécial haïti

Comme le Mexique, Haïti est à l’honneur au Salon du Livre qui se déroule à Paris du 13 au 18 Mars 2009. La maison d’édition Le chasseur abstrait, connue pour son site Internet  Revue d’Art et de Littérature, Musique publie le 8e numéro de ses “Cahiers de la RAL, M” consacré à la création littéraire […]

haïti, holy republic of all attempts…

This bilingual piece, adapted from the play “Dialogue with my Double” and various poems by Carmelle St.Gérard Lopez is a patchwork of activist literature – where for an hour and a half, there is intense communication between the audience and the stage. Punctuated by songs composed and interpreted by Maryse Coulanges, the text explores the […]

when god is too busy

God is too busy to rescue drowning children, too busy to stop the flow of blood, too busy to notice the suffering of Haiti, so Gina Athena Ulysse prays to other gods. From behind the curtain, before her entrance on the La Mama stage, she sings a Vodou song. Ezili, save us as we are […]

Under A Certain Little Star

by Wislawa Szymborska I apologize to coincidence for calling it necessity. I apologize to necessity just in case I’m mistaken. Let happiness be not angry if I take it as my own. Let the dead not remember they scarcely smolder in my memory. I apologize to time for the muchness of the world overlooked per […]

After his departure

What is her name? What can she possibly be thinking about? The first time I saw her, she was gracing the cover of an English translation of Zola’s Nana. She never seemed quite at home there. This was no courtesan, but a woman plunged deep in reminiscence after her lover has gone. Then I found […]

Darwin, Lincoln and…Haiti?

“That there is suffering, no one will dispute it, but according to my judgment, happiness will decidedly prevail.” Darwin(according to Beaty) “Four score and seven years ago, my heart began to break, and for a while, I did not know what it meant to be free.” Lincoln(according to Beaty) Was there a relationship between Lincoln […]

burning both ends

“My candle burns at both ends It will not last the night But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends It gives a lovely light!” Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) “I do not think there is a woman in whom the roots of passion shoot deeper than in me,” 20-year-old Millay wrote in her diary. […]

3Penny Opera

In 1976, the year I started studying at the Aaron Davis Center for the Performing Arts, Joe Papp of the N.Y. Shakespeare Festival staged a revival of “Three Penny Opera” at the Beaumont. It featured Raul Julia as the murdering, whoring, Macheath, prince of thieves in stinking, corrupt London. I loved the play and had […]

All of a sudden

Everything happened all of a sudden. All of a sudden daylight beat down on the earth; There was the sky all of a sudden; All of a sudden steam began to rise from the soil. There were tendrils all of a sudden, buds all of a sudden. And there were fruits all of a sudden. […]