Insight into the Haitian creative spirit
Chak larivyè pote gravoua pa-l. (Every river brings its own pebbles.) — Haitian Proverb
Jeanie Bogart is an international award-winning poet. She was born in Haiti. Her poems have been published in many anthologies, including: “Plaisir des Mots” by Dossiers d’Aquitaine, France 2007 ; “La Poésie Haïtienne Contemporaine” by La Maison de la Poésie, Belgium 2007; la Revue Littéraire Passerelle, Montréal 2008.
Michèle Voltaire Marcelin is a writer, poet, performer, and visual artist who has lived in Haiti, Chile and the United States. Her first novel “La Désenchantée” was published in 2006. Since then, she has published its Spanish translation “La Desencantada”, and 2 other books of poetry and prose: Lost and Found and Amours et Bagatelles.
Manolia Charlotin is Editor and Business Manager of the Boston Haitian Reporter. The paper, dedicated to keeping the Haitian community informed, celebrated its 10th anniversary in March, 2011.
Percussionist Markus Schwartz has studied Haitian drumming for the past two decades. He has performed and recorded with Haiti’s top artists, including Emeline Michel, Pauline Jean, Beethovas Obas, and Wyclef Jean.
Mirlande Jean-Gilles is an amazing Haitian-American writer and visual artist. Her writing has been published in The Caribbean Writer, African Voices Magazine, New Millennium Writings, The Quarterly Black Review and in the anthologies; Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century, and in The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse. She has received the QBR-Toni Cade Bambara Award for Fiction, The Bronx Writer’s Center Van Lier Award and also The Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center Fellowship for Young African American Writers.
Christian Nicolas aka “Kristo Art” grew up in a home where reverence for photography, literature, and the arts were evident. Molded by two parents professionally involved in photography, Christian was drawn behind the lens. Under the guidance of his parents and Uncles, Christian tested, learned, and entered the world of picture taking. By the age of twelve, he was already experimenting with special effects using the darkroom of his parents’ lab to create abstract work. Christian’s high regards for his father inclined him to benefit from the commitment he displayed teaching and writing. These particular surroundings shaped his personal interests and deepened his appreciation for the arts in general.”
Monvelyno Alexis started playing the guitar at the age of 18, giving up the wind instruments (flute, clarinet and trumpet) of his high school years; the same instruments that nurtured his passion for music, especially the Gospel genre that brought awareness of his talents as a singer. By his early twenties, he matured into a skilled guitar player. His passion moved his work forward, in search of an original musical language.
His journey took him to the temples of the African musical legacy. Soukri, Badjo, Souvnans unlocked hidden potentials and opened new avenues. The idea of Kod ak Po (Strings & Skins) originated from conversations with voodoo clerics and deep studies of their rituals and spiritual songs. It will take, however, a few years to shape these ideas and freeze them into what the listener will discover today as a major step in shaping and defining the contour of an original rendition of Haitian music.