I'm in 15 Views of Miami, edited by Jaquira Diaz (Burrow Press, 2014)
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Welcome to the Whimsical Project

Welcome to the Whimsical Project, the art and literary blog of expat writer Michèle-Jessica (M.J.) Fièvre.  M.J. writes from Miami (Florida), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia). “Your blog is a mitzvah. Thanks for inviting me to play.” Matthew Sharpe, author of The Sleeping Father. Here’s to help you navigate through the different categories in this…

Sad, by Urban Stil

An Angel on the Other Side of the Border, by Marylin Laurent

When we met in Caribbean Literature 101, he was the first to smile at me. “Hola, mama!” he said, his eyes searching my face. Then he introduced himself—Angel. As he waved a hand, I replied as politely as I could, yet my tone was annoyed and dry. “I don’t speak Spanish.” Waiting for the teacher, Prof.…

Suze Guillaume

A Tribute to Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee, by Suze Guillaume

Opening words at the Tribute to Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee on February 11, 2015, @ Miami Dade College (North Campus) Today I am honored to pay my respect to two phenomenal women. Today we celebrate the lives of Maya and Ruby, not because they are gone but because their work and words will live on forever. Maya…

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Katia D. Ulysse reads “Take a Picture”

Listen to Katia D. Ulysse read her story “Take a Picture.” Katia D. Ulysse was born in Haiti, and moved to the United States as a teen. Her writings have been published in numerous literary journals, including the Caribbean Writer, Meridians, Calabash,Peregrine, and Smartish Pace, among others. Her work has also appeared inThe Butterfly’s Way and Haiti…

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Chocolate Temptation

Chocolate brownies are popular around the world. They originated in the U.S and, even though there is no exact date for their creation, the recipe was first printed in 1906. Since then, a number of variations have been made, and now you can find more than 100,000 kinds on the internet. This moist and delicious…

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One Moore Book, member of the Children’s Book Council

I’m proud of my publisher! One Moore Book happily announced today that they’re the newest member of the Children’s Book Council, a nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers dedicated to supporting and informing the industry. This membership increases opportunities for OMB as a diversity publisher, giving access to industry advocacy, national reading lists, industry partnerships and…

Logan Thyr, Little Killer Girl

A Father First, by Hector Duarte Jr.

The restraining order only mentions her name, nothing of the twins. What better afternoon to show up and surprise them with their favorite birthday lunch? Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Michelle likes hers as is: white bread, lots of peanut butter. Nichelle’s always been pickier: wheat bread with just a slather of spread and three…

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This weekend, I am riding!

“Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.” ―Carl Sagan My children’s book, I AM RIDING! (grades 3-4), is available on Amazon from One Moore Book. I teamed up with illustrator Jean Patrick Icart-Pierre for…

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MJ is breaking the Internet…

Ah! Not in a Kim Kardashian way. Although some people really love this picture of me in a bathtub: What I mean to say is that you can catch videos of me reading in different places around the net: Check me out reading from Haiti Noir alongside Edwidge Danticat and Marie-Ketsia Theodore-Pharel, back in January. I…

Milena, Macarena, Talis, MJ, Michelle, Daniela, and Joel

Eating with Our Eyes

When it comes to food blogs, topics range from amateur cooking and specialty foods, to culinary photography. Many blogs emphasize heritage and tradition, techniques for home cooking, and traveling, evoking flavors from around the world. They celebrate the cultures and environments in which the dishes were created, along with the people who continue to create…

After the reading

BADASS storytellers visit Books & Books in Coral Gables

I read from the BADASS last night at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), celebrating the eighth anniversary of Lip Service. Lip Service is a quarterly event that features eight stories, by eight writers, that are only eight minutes long. Books & Books launched the collection of the best stories from the event’s first eight…

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Dan Wakefield talks about Anthony Gagliano

One of my favorite people in the world: Dan Wakefield. Dan, who introduced me to the world of nonfiction at Florida International University, is a novelist, journalist and screenwriter whose best-selling memoir “New York in the Fifties” was produced as a documentary film. He spoke tonight in Miami at The Betsy Hotel on South Beach. Dan…

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15 Views of Miami on Livestream

Monday’s event was a success! What a great evening at Books & Books! Reading & Discussion by FIFTEEN VIEWS OF MIAMI contributors and editor Jaquira Díaz. “The city that emerges from the stories in 15 Views of Miami is not the impossibly sunny, shiny place we see on television but the humid, crowded, less glamorous one we know…

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Farewell to Arms, by Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel

They named the gator Chompsky, and laughed at the cleverness of the name that, like salve, calmed the fears raging and blistering inside tired minds. In between mounds of academic words for the thesis that was evading them, they’d escaped the claustrophobic Philosophy department for some just-us time off-campus. In the canal, the alligator propelled…

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Catching Crazy, by Fabienne Josaphat

It’s twelve o’clock when I get the phone call from the hospital. My mother has died. I’m still holding the phone when Julien walks in. “Are you okay, Michou?” he asks me, drenched in sweat with a screw driver between his teeth. In his hand, he’s clasping a pair of pliers pried from our daughters’…

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Tarija, Bolivia: Passion Fruit Mousse

Meet Martha Tárraga Hevia y Vaca. She’s from Tarija, Bolivia, a city that chapacas singers used to call Tierra Andaluz or “Adalusian land” because of its wondrous rivers. Ever since she moved away from her birthplace, first to go to college in La Paz, and later to follow her father in Santa Cruz de la Sierra,…

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SUR: Maria Zanutti’s art collection

In the work of Bolivian artist Maria Zanutti/Alejandra Barbery, the magic holds even as the shapes and vibrant colors spin out of control—or is it precisely because they spin out of control? There is something brutally honest about a piece like Sor Maria Jesús de Agreda: a nun reimagines her world to cast away boredom—she surrounds…

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Majadito: Bolivia’s Treasure

El “Majadito” is one of the most famous dishes of Bolivia. It comes from the eastern side of the country, from the very heart of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. This dish was created during the pre-Columbian era when people mostly depended on meat, cassava, plantains, rice, and other grains. The word “majau” means smashed meat;…

writing

Laura McDermott: Scenes from the Rearview Mirror

_______________ 1. Barreling through the Everglades on the 85 mile stretch of two lane highway linking civilization to civilization a land bridge of asphalt, you, Lover, appear there beside me, bumming off a ride. For the loveliest words I wished you’d say are the words I have not said. This flat road stretches like the…

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The Florida Book Review gets a new home!

Update your bookmarks! The Florida Book Review is currently moving into its new site, at FloridaBookReview.net. Founded by Lynne Barrett and Susan Jo Parsons, The Florida Book Review features reviews of books with Florida settings or subjects, as well as interviews and essays about Florida’s literary scene. Editor Lynne Barrett was one of my mentors at Florida International University. She…