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 this fun-filled trinlingual (English, French, Kreyòl) story about a girl’s first time riding a bike. I’m going to be busy this weekend. One of One Moore Book’s goals this year is to make Storytime videos for all of their books. One Moore Book Storytime is a project that brings books to life through…

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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 also recently read from 15 Views of Miami, edited by Jaquira Diaz, and from BADASS, an anthology put together by the hilarious Andrea Askowitz. For more videos, click here. I was interviewed by the University of Miami for the Haitian Diaspora Oral History collection, which includes videos and selected transcripts of oral  history interviews conducted…

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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 them. Latin cuisine spans a multitude of regions, which makes it highly rich and varied. The following blogs, selected by six writers in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, translate the joy of food onto the computer screen. Bolivia Bella includes the recipes for typical Bolivian dishes, such as Sopa de Mani. There…

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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 years. The reading featured a night of true stories drawn from the anthology (Badass, Lip Service: True Stories, the Double Album) edited by Lip Service cofounder Andrea Askowitz and published by Lominy Books. Storytellers included Aaron Curtis, M.J. Fievre (that’s me!), Christina Freedman, Inessa Freylekhman, Brenda Mezick, and Esther Martinez. BADASS is a…

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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 explains the context for this reading: “My best friend in Miami, who was a student in his classes at FIU, wrote a terrific mystery novel set in Miami (The Straits of Fortune) and tragically died of a stroke at age 54 while finishing his second novel. “Les Standiford, who is head of the FIU…

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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 (and love and sometimes hate) because we live here. It’s the city where you can hear the cry of a heron and the scream of traffic in the same breath. Where we still mourn the loss of Wolfie’s and Burdines and Zayre (OK, maybe not Zayre). Where people still identify themselves by where…

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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 himself, his short legs folded, his eyes looking sideway; he chomped whatever flowed into his long, skinny snout. “So much for dipping our toes.” Sue’s cracked lips were lined with black eye-liner pencil. “Damn it,” Jess said. “I was just trying to be romantic. You wanted to recharge,” he snarled. Sue reached for…

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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’ hands. They were playing in his toolbox again and have now been relegated to the family room; they’re watching cartoons. “Yes, I’m fine.” He doesn’t understand that my mother has been dead to me for a long time now. He says he does but it’s only his way of putting an end to…

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