DRIFTING by Katia D. UlysseHello again! How have you been? What does summer look like for you this year? Are you having a little fun? Are you planning to travel a little–if possible? Where will you go? I want to see you. I’ve missed you.

I’ve been a little busy. I’ve got something to tell you. We’ve got some catching up to do. Where have you been? Where have I been? I can’t wait to fill you in.

I wrote a book. Really, I did. Akashic books published it. I’m excited about it. The book’s title is DRIFTING. It’s a collection of stories about my favorite subject: People. And Haiti.  I’ll tell you more later. Now, take a look at what people have been saying about DRIFTING.

What people are saying…

“An arresting account of the contemporary Haitian-American experience.”
Publishers Weekly

“Ulysse displaces and redeems her characters with formidable skill, while her precise cuts through all preconceptions . . . . Intense and necessary.”

“Humanity is lost and found in these stories . . . Ulysse has created a fascinating world of class and cultural distinctions; her stories are engaging.”
Kirkus Reviews

Drifting is a remarkable debut by a phenomenal writer. Much like Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, this sublime and powerful book allows us to experience the joys and tragedies of ordinary and extraordinary lives, in small neighborhoods and big cities, in the present and the past. Katia D. Ulysse’s talent soars higher and higher to expand both our hearts and our universe.”
Edwidge Danticat, author of Claire of the Sea Light

“We already know that the Haitian-American community can produce some of our very finest fiction writers. With Drifting, Katia D. Ulysse proves that point once again, evoking the immigrant experience with delicacy, gravity, and pathos. Refreshing and arresting on the first read, this book will be remembered for a long time to come.”
—Madison Smartt Bell, author of The Color of Night

“In Drifting, Katia D. Ulysse delves into the complex lives of girls and young women. With boldness and clarity she shows us what she finds: the fears, cruelties, and humiliations of their childhood; disturbing feelings of longing, jealousy, and grief; an intense struggle to make sense of the unfathomable world of adults; and above all a determination to survive. In clear prose, Katia Ulysse tells the tangled truth of life and brings a sensitive eye to bear on complicated, flawed characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary. These themes of displacement, struggle, renewal, and redemption are tough, piercing, and true, and they bear the mark of a gifted writer.”
—Michèle Voltaire Marcelin

katia-photo-at-library.jpgIf you’re in Queens, New York today, come on over to the museum. I will be there, sharing like never before. Let’s talk about some things. I can’t wait to hear your voices again. . .






Dr. Maya Angelou: Gather Together in HER Name

maya angelou photo from web
“When you hear someone like Dr. Maya Angelou passed away, you have to deal with the fact that one day, you will die too. It’s that simple. If Maya can die, it’s done. You have to face your own mortality. You are reminded that no matter what you do; no matter how much you contribute to society; no matter how passionately you love or hate or fight for justice and all that, at the end, you and I are  the same. We live.  And then we die. But I still think it’s too bad that Dr. Maya Angelou had to. . .”


He didn’t say that word. Dr. Maya Angelou would never do that to us. She is formidable. She was phenomenal. Just. Plain. Phenomenal. Although I had done most of my ‘growing up’ before coming to the U.S., I feel like I grew up with this once-caged bird. She was a pioneer. The beginning (and the end) of a movement. Dr. Maya Angelou was majestic. Tall. Fierce. Her voice was like thunder at times and it would drop to a whisper. Soft but never fragile. “I got my doctorate the old-fashioned way,” I heard her say once. “I eeeeaaarrrnneedd it!” Dr. Maya Angelou earned the respect and love of millions worldwide. They say you don’t get to take anything with you to the other side. I pray she knew how much she was loved by people everywhere.

Leonie Hermantin PhotoLeonie Hermantin said:

“Hard to put into words what Maya Angelou has meant to me since I have ‘consulted’ her Doctor Highness at so many stages, ‘etapes’ of my life. “As a tall, insecure Haitian, Black female immigrant teen, she taught me that being the ‘other’ was OK! She was a seasoned traveler who refused to accept the limitations of racial and cultural boundaries… She dared to defy, to explore and to redefine her reality! I consulted the Doctor sister again as a mother and more recently as I began this journey of middle agedom, I reread Mamma Angelou’s old poems, devoured essays found online and connected spiritually with the wise elder healer she had become. I have never met her, but did not really need to. Phenomenal, phenomenally phenomenal woman, I am, in your image Maya Mamma Angelou! -Leonie Hermantin


irmina ulysseThe Maya in our Hearts ~ Irmina Ulysse

News of Dr. Maya Angelou’s passing brought with it some sadness which was quickly burned away by a fire inside me that her courageous words help fuel so many moons ago.  Like many of her fans, I am full of gratitude and joy for having witnessed and benefited from a life well gifted and lived.  A soul’s purpose delivered fully and unabashedly.  In Hindu, Maya can be expressed as the power that manifest the universe and creates the appearance of our phenomenal world. That power is love and love is in our hearts. Maya Angela is in our hearts and there she will live forever. She helped to manifest a universe where women could be proud of their unique hips and lips. Where women can dare to show all of their “stuff” even if we couldn’t name it, we could claim it. I am grateful for she taught so many of us how to see ourselves in our own eyes and make no apology for it. She was living poetry. While her experiences as a child and young woman would have crippled many, she showed us through courage, self determination, and self actualization we can all live with purpose. I am eternally grateful for this true Queen Mother, a living Maya that will remain eternally in our hearts. – Irmina Ulysse

yanick etienne“She’s a woman Strong like a rock Our symbol of freedom and humility Her voice echoes the suffering of all oppressed and poor The light that shines on you comes from her heart. Maya, Goddess of Love.” -Yanick Etienne

phippsFrom  poet and painter, Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell

“The bird has left her cage, but no matter–her wings are larger now, and still, in spite of the distance, her singing will never cease to be heard, and move us.”