Tag Archives: Josaphat-Robert Large

Josaphat-Robert Large ~ The Final INNERview with Beloved Poet and Photographer.

Josaphat-Robert Large passed away on October 28, 2017.  His family and friends miss him very much, and wish he were here to celebrate November 15, his birthday, with them.

JR was passionate about poetry and photography.  He worked diligently to master both art forms, because he felt his readers deserved his absolute best.  He weighed each word, each photograph. When he was ready to share his work with his audience, we embraced and loved it.  Josaphat-Robert Large wrote in French, Haitian Creole, and in English. He was especially fond of our native tongue, saying the language itself inspired him.

JR–a proponent of Haiti’s mother tongue— joined the ancestors on the day dedicated to celebrating Creole languages worldwide.  We miss him dearly. Rest in peace, Josaphat-Robert Large. Thank you for the rich legacy.

Click here to read Part One of the final INNERview with beloved poet and photographer, Josaphat-Robert Large.

Death is a Six-Course Meal

Akashic Books Photo

Akashic Books Photo

Dark Days in Port-au-Prince is like a lavish meal, served Exquisite Corpse style–over six scrumptious courses–cooked to perfection by six Haitian writers who can’t seem to get enough of working with one another.

michele fievre phto haiti noirTheir work have been published together in various anthologies, beginning in 2001 with Butterfly’s Way: Voices from Haitian in the Dyaspora (Soho Press). Brassage (UCSB, 2005), Haiti Noir 1 (Akashic Books, 2011), So Spoke the Earth (WWOHD, 2013), Haiti Noir 2 (Akashic Books, 2014), a children’s books series, and now this.

Courses 1, 2, and 3 of Dark Days in Port-au-Prince have been served, but that won’t spoil your fine dining experience. If you have not yet savored those scrumptious dishes, they’re readily available on Akashic Book’s website.  The  4th course will be brought to your table on 1/24/14; it will  be hot–that much we can say.  And because Chez  akashicbooks.com is known for its avant-garde menu, each bite will likely thrill your taste buds.  To death.

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This is the order in which this story unfolds:  Roxane Gay (section 1), Michele Jessica Fievre (section 2) , Ibi Zoboi (section 3), Katia D. Ulysse (section 4), Josaphat-Robert Large (section 5), and Edwidge Danticat (section 6) .

HaitiNoir2_TheClassics-506x800Although many of us would love to know how the story will end, we must wait one week between each installment.

Readers know only what happened in the previous 3 sections. The writers have no clue about what twist will follow their own contributions. Join us at  akashicbooks Friday (1/24/14), before we all bite our fingernails down to the quick.

Since Master Chef, Josaphat Robert Large, always cooks up a fine story, we know his section will be plate-licking good.

Edwidge Danticat, will provide the killer ending, making this final course unforgettable.

In the meantime, dig into Katia D. Ulysse’s Part 4 on 1/24/14. Try not to burn your tongue.

Bon appétit!

Akashic Books’ Johnny Temple & “Haiti’s Wonderful Literary Tradition”

Akashic Books’  Haiti Noir is now in French. The collection offers short fiction by Yanick Lahens, M. J. Fievre, Madison Smartt Bell, Edwidge Danticat, Ibi Aanu Zoboi, Josaphat-Robert Large, Katia D. Ulysse, Marie Ketsia Pharel, and others.  Now that Haiti Noir has received a second life, I wanted to ask Akashic Books’ publisher, Johnny Temple, a few questions. Here’s how our Q&A went:

Who is Johnny Temple?

Johnny Temple is a strange guy with a gorgeous wife and two beautiful children. For all of his perplexing idiosyncrasies,  he has impeccable taste in literature.

According to Akashic Book’s website, you are “dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers.”  What are the stories you would never read?

There are no stories I wouldn’t read. If there is a story that sounds aesthetically distasteful or politically wrong-headed to me, I may still want to take a look at it up close so that I can judge for myself.

What gave you the idea for the Noir Series?

The series grew out of the success of Brooklyn Noir, which was never intended to be the first in a series that now comprises over 60 volumes (and growing). The idea is to take a city—or sometimes a region or nation—and sketch out its hidden corners through darkly themed short fiction by a diverse array of authors. If the depiction of the place rings true for local residents, it stands a good chance of appealing to a national or international audience as well.

What made you include Haiti in the series?

One of Akashic Books’ missions is to publish top-caliber Caribbean literature, so when the Noir Series started expanding, it was only a matter of time before the arrival of Havana Noir (edited by Achy Obejas), Trinidad Noir (edited by Lisa Allen-Agostini and Jeanne Mason), Haiti Noir (edited by Edwidge Danticat), and most recently Kingston Noir (edited by Colin Channer).

What preconceived ideas did you have about the types of stories you would receive from Haitian writers?

The book was already in progress when the earthquake struck in January 2010, so the direction that the stories would take was unclear. I knew from the start that the stories would be very strong — because of Haiti’s wonderful literary tradition, and because of the level of excellence I knew Edwidge Danticat would bring to the project as the editor. Even so, the stylistic and thematic breadth of the full volume is pretty staggering.

Were you pleased with the compilation?

Beyond pleased. A percentage of the proceeds from the book have been donated to an important organization called the Lambi Fund of Haiti that supports sustainable development, so that has been a particularly heartening aspect of the book’s ongoing success.

When will we see Haiti Noir in Kreyòl?

We would love to do a Kreyòl version of the book. We don’t have any specific plans yet, but it’s something we are very open to!

Thank you, Johnny Temple, for answering a few questions. We look forward to the next Noir Book. And a Haiti Noir in Kreyòl!