Miami Dade College’s Miami Book Fair Presents Little Haiti Book Festival

MIAMIMiami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Miami Book Fair (MBF) is partnering with Sosyete Koukouy of Miami Inc., to present the Little Haiti Book Festival on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6.

This book festival, which features vibrant cultural exposure to writers, booksellers, performers, and more, is part of Miami Book Fair’s ReadCaribbean programming.  This event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex at 5919 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL.

Panels include Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul: Haiti’s Medicinal Herbs and Cuisine and Haiti: Zombification and Identity; literary and poetry workshops, including tips for first time authors, plus a full day of activities for children including drumming and dancing, storytelling and arts & drafts.

The Little Haiti Book Festival, which has been presented in part by Sosyete Koukouy of Miami Inc., for the past five years, continues to count on the support of Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs, the City of Miami and Commissioner Keon Hardemon, the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, the The FIU Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center and Green Family Foundation, the Haitian Consulate HALO (cultural section) and Libreri Mapou Book Store among others.

The Little Haiti Book Festival will feature authors from Haiti and the Haitian diaspora; hands-on activities for children; workshops for writers; dance and music performances, publishers Haitian cuisine and more.

Miami Dade College’s Miami Book Fair Presents Little Haiti Book Festival
Ladies Dancing at Little Haiti Book Festival
Little Haiti Book Festival Schedule of Events
  • Saturday, May 5th


Based on the work of Kiki Wainwright

Dance, drums, and samba poetry


7pm to 8:30 pm HAITI: FACTS & FICTION

Edwidge Danticat and Jacqueline Charles in Conversation

In English with simultaneous interpretation into Creole  

Fieldwork, immersion, interviews, and archival research: Award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat, author of The Art of Death, and award-winning foreign correspondent Jacqueline Charles will discuss the role of research in their writing.

How do they balance library research and lived experience? How do they make history and facts interesting? What are the possibilities for harm, inaccuracy, or success?

Our keynote speakers will debate their methods and the ethics around their search for emotional, cultural, historical, and geographical accuracy.



 2018 Little Haiti Book Festival: Timoun, Vin Danse!

 Bring the Children on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 for a Series of Interactive Cultural Activities

With great power and presence, the drum remains Haiti’s most significant musical instrument. Not only is it the pulse of Haitian music, it also acts as a culturally significant tool for communication. Deeply rooted in the country’s African origins, the drum is used for both performative and symbolic dimensions of cultural communication within music and dance.

This year’s inclusive program features a mix of Haitian and other Caribbean artists who share a strong African cultural influence, and the drum becomes the focal element that allows us to create a cultural bridge between Haiti and its Caribbean neighbors.

Storytelling. Dance. Music. Visual arts. Through stories, movement, colors, and sound, our little ones will explore traditional Haitian customs in a fun and interactive way.

Don’t miss afro-Cuban artist Michael Gil’s Musical Petting Zoo, an engaging hands-on exhibit of indigenous African and Caribbean instruments. (12:30 pm, in Courtyard)

Krik! Krak! Lucrèce Louisdhon-Louinis invites the entire family to Dance a Story. This interactive and bilingual presentation engages participants of all ages with storytelling, singing, and drumming. (1pm, in Kids Art Making Studio)

Venus Rising Women’s Drumming & Dance Ensemble, an all women drum and dance group, will offer an interactive dance and drum performance. (3pm, in Courtyard)

Attend a drumming workshop with Inez Barlatier (4pm, in Kids Art Making Studio) who will also perform with her father, Jan Sebon (2pm, in Marketplace) who’s held a noted place for the last 25 years as one of the leading Haitian musicians in Miami.

More dancing. More music! Weiselande “Yanui” Cesar will entertain the children with stories and drums (2:00 pm, in Courtyard), and the young Haitian musicians of Aroze Twoubadou will interpret folk-music traditions with a unique personable warmth (12:30pm, in Marketplace).

And there will be ART!

Visit the Kids Art Making Studio all day for hands-on activities connecting literature to arts and craft with GOGO MOAD, and get ready to be amazed by the letterpress printing demos with Tom Virgin.


 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Contemporary Fanm Vanyan

Despite the many limitations and expectations placed on women by Haitian society, women writers are finding their voices and inspiring others.

Four motivational writers will offer a brief discussion of their varying journeys toward first-book publication, including manuscript preparation and working with their mentors.

Each author will share their experience about what it takes to stand out from the crowd, explore the creative and practical possibilities of self-help writing, and discuss how they’ve broken free of cultural limitations and the (un)conscious biases that sometimes keep women from the transgressive act of writing honestly about their lives.

With Rebecca N. Carmant, author of Sunshine on Stormy Seas, Françoise Elizée, author of Haiti Rediscovered, Nathalie Nérée, author of Stand in Faith, and Kara Vaval Ferrier, author of 28,000 Days. (In English, with simultaneous interpretation in Haitian Creole)


2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul: Haiti’s Medicinal Herbs and Cuisine

The Haitian proverb goes, Moun ki pa manje pou kò l pa janm grangou. This panel delves into the art of Haitian cuisine and folk medicine. A professional chef and a medical doctor explore the various ways that Haitians preserve the cooking traditions of the motherland and use medicinal food to heal both body and soul.

With Frantz Delva, author of The Art of Healthy Eating: Let Food be Your Medicine and Nadège Fleurimond, author of Haiti Uncovered: A Regional Adventure into the Art of Haitian Cuisine. Moderated by Leonie Hermantin. (In Haitian Creole, with simultaneous interpretation in English)


4:00 pm – 5:15 pm Haiti: Zombification and Identity

In Haiti, many believe that the dead sometimes rise. Others see zombies as a metaphor for Haiti’s disconcerting, stagnant realities: for the loss of control – or worse, the loss of faith and hope – experienced by those whose difficult lives keep them in a constant state of stupor.

In this panel, three authors and scholars will take a scientific, economic, political and socio-religious approach in exploring and demystifying the concept of zombification as part of Haiti’s cultural and religious identity, making it accessible for all.

With Dr. Jean Fils-Aimé, author of 200 Years of Zombification and Vodou, je me souviens, Dr. Jerry Gilles, author of Remembrance: Roots, Rituals, and Reverence in Vodou, and Frantz-Alix Lubin, author of Le Processus de Zombification en Haïti. Moderated by Fabienne Josaphat, author of Dancing in the Baron’s Shadow. (In Haitian Creole, with simultaneous interpretation in English)


 12:00 pm – 2:15 pm The Poetry in the Art of Wilfrid Daleus 

Miami poet Yaddyra Peralta will lead an Ekphrastic Poetry workshop, guiding you to look closely and describe the art of Haiti-born artist Wilfrid Daleus.

Ekphrastic poetry (“poetry about art”) is written in response to an artwork, where the author comments on or interacts with the action of the work, or connects the art with some aspect of his/her life. It makes the reader, or listener, envision a work of art as if it were physically present, exploring the complex intersections between language and the visual arts.

Learn more about this creative process and get inspired by the Daleus collection at the Little Haitian Cultural Center gallery. We will discuss how our texts seek to conceptually and materially adapt and participate in the practices of other arts, creating innovative hybrids.

Detailed schedule:

12:00 pm Introduction by Jean-Claude Exulien

12:30 pm Guided tour of the Daleus exhibit, with gallery curator Marie Vickles.

1:00 pm Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Publishing for Debut Authors

The publishing industry is undergoing a momentous revolution, with independent publishing as a major force in the world of books. Book production is more accessible than ever, with a wide range of formats and options for authors to choose from.

This workshop can prepare you to be part of this exciting future. A representative of Édition Delince will teach authors about the interactive steps involved in the process of a book launch. From conception and submission through editing, production, marketing, and beyond, Édition Delince will demystify the process from the inside out.

For the Q&A, Édition Delince will be joined by Romane Armand, who will present the Book of Rhymes for children.

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm Proverbs and Comic Books

The beauty of Haitian proverbs lies in the universality of their truth wisdom and truth. Writer Yanatha Desouvre, author of Roads to Redemption, and artist Thomas Logan, comic books editor at Sliver of Stone Magazine, will teach aspiring writers and artists how to use proverbs to blend fiction and art in exciting, innovative ways.

Participants will learn to collaborate with colleagues who speak different languages of craft. When words and images enter into conversation with each other, what changes occur in both art forms? How is the creative experience altered?

Desouvre and Logan will explore these questions and discuss how the two art forms, when informed by Haitian proverbs, can compliment, complete, and even translate each other.


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