ReadCaribbean 2018

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Miami has emerged as the unofficial crossroads of the Caribbean, which is why the Fair has always included the most prominent writers from the region. ReadCaribbean is a program featuring extensive Caribbean-specific events, including readings and panel discussions, children’s writers to inspire young readers, book signings, storytelling and music, plus publishers at the Street Fair. When appropriate, author events will take place in Creole (with simultaneous translation into English).

ReadCaribbean is a Miami Book Fair Year-Round program created with the support of the Green Family Foundation and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center.

For more information, contact M.J. Fievre, Program Coordinator, at or 954-391-3398.

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AFTER IRMA, AFTER MARIA: CARIBBEAN WOMEN WRITING THE STORMSModern Caribbean literature captures not just the endemic mismanagement of natural resources and public projects, but also the enduring chasm between promises of progress through major infrastructures and the outcomes of natural disasters for average citizens. In this panel, three Caribbean writers reflect on the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria to many Caribbean islands whose economies rely on tourism; they pay considerable attention to the Caribbean bodies caught in the crosscurrents of a catastrophic natural history. With Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), Loretta Collins Klobah (Puerto Rico), and Tiphanie Yanique (Virgin Islands).

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UNKNOWN HISTORIES OF THE CARIBBEAN – This panel will discuss how writers from the Caribbean have attempted to construct alternative images of the present and future from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the Caribbean and its diasporas. In parallel with these invented stories, archival registers give unexpected details of the unknown histories of the Caribbean and allow for scrupulously researched literary works to emerge alongside tales of imagination. With Natalie Hopkinson (Guyana), author of A Mouth is Always Muzzled, Patrick Bellegarde-Smith (Haiti), author of In The Shadow of Powers: Dantes Bellegarde in Haitian Social Thought, Michael Barnett (Jamaica), author of The Rastafari Movement: A North American and Caribbean Perspective, and Judy Raymond (Trinidad), author of The Colour of Shadows. Moderated by Donna Aza Weir-Soley, author of Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s Writings.

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MURDER AND MAYHEM IN THE CARIBBEAN Writers with roots in Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad present masterful and unvarnished literary crime fiction and wildly transgressive noir from the Caribbean. With Kevin Jared Hosein, author of The Repenters and The Beast of Kukuyo, Hector Duarte Jr., author of Desperate Times Call, and Nicholas Laughlin, editor of So Many Islands, an anthology of fiction, poetry and essays from Commonwealth small island countries. Moderated by Manny Duran.

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READCARIBBEAN PRESENTS ADVENTURES FOR KIDS (Grades K-3) – Two friends search for a long-lost quilt patch in Marjuan Canady’s Callaloo: The Trickster and the Magic Quilt, an Arctic seal tries to get back home in Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Lost!, discoveries abound during a simple walk through the neighborhood in Paula-Anne Porter JonesSandy, Tosh and the Moo Cow, and family history come alive in Francie Latour’s Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings.

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READING JAMAICA – Reading stories that explore such themes as racial identity, gender and sexuality, family and alienation, exile and history, this panel brings to life the richness and diversity of writing from and/or about Jamaica. With Marcia Douglas, author of The Marvellous Equations of the Dread: A Novel in Bass Riddim, Alecia McKenzie, author of Sweetheart, and Alexia Arthurs, author of How to Love a Jamaican. Moderated by Geoffrey Philp, author of Garvey’s Ghost.

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HAITIAN IDENTITIES AND CARIBBEAN AESTHETICS – This panel of four Haitian women writers will address the impact of their Haitian and Haitian-American identity(ies) on their writing and the ways they navigate (hyper)visibility and erasure to honor Caribbean aesthetics. Join Marilène Phipps, author of Unseen Worlds, Katia D. Ulysse, author of Mouths Don’t Speak, and Fabienne Josaphat, author of Dancing in the Baron’s Shadow, as they discuss the ways in which their writings respond to cultural presumptions about Haitian identity. Moderated by Edwidge Danticat. [In English with simultaneous interpretation into Haitian Creole]

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READCARIBBEAN PRESENTS THREE GROUNDBREAKING POETS – Ruth Behar explores the sacrifices of her exiled Cuban ancestors alongside her own vulnerabilities in Everything I Kept/Todo Lo Que Guardé. Loretta Collins Klobah reveals the secret heart of Puerto Rico in Ricantations, where shiny modernity gives way to spirit presences before and after Hurricane Maria. I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara is Rajiv Mohabir’s’s translation of the only known literary work written in 1916 by an indentured servant in British Guayana.

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COMPELLING STORIES FROM THE FRENCH CARIBBEAN – Writers from the French Caribbean create and chisel narratives that are vibrant and compelling as their Caribbean identity shapes and informs the stories they choose to tell. This panel will focus on choices writers make in telling and reporting stories that embody the depth and breadth of French-Caribbean life and imagination. With Gerty Dambury (Guadeloupe), author of The Restless; Mehdi Chalmers (Haiti), author of À Partir du mensonge; Monique Clesca (Haiti), author of La Confession; and Serge Bilé (Martinique), author of Yasuké (a true story about the first recorded Japanese black samurai). Moderated by Vanessa Selk, Cultural and Education Attaché of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States. [In French with simultaneous interpretation into English]

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THE REALITIES OF HAITIAN MIGRATIONS – Individuals who migrate often experience the loss of cultural norms, religious customs, and social support systems. The adjustment to a new culture brings forth changes in identity and concept of self. In the case of Haiti, how do these changes affect the motherland – and the Haitian communities of the Diaspora? In this panel, academics and experts in the literary field will speak to the issue of Haitian migration, racial, gender, and national identity, and ultimately, of life in the balance. With Pauris Jean-Baptiste (linguist), Pierre Buteau (historian), Inéma Jeudi (journalist), and Claude Charles (ethnologist). Moderated by Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of FANM. [In Haitian Creole with simultaneous interpretation into English]

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5:30 pm #METOO MOVEMENT IN THE AFRO-CARIBBEAN COMMUNITIES – In many African-Caribbean communities, reactions to the #MeToo movement often reflect a lack of adequate thought about abuse; in fact, these reactions can even indicate increasing levels of gender-based violence as a norm. Women brave enough to come out with their ordeals are often silenced or made to face backlash for their choice to demand justice. Academics and writing professionals will discuss the blurry lines between abuse and what is considered “normal” gender relations and “natural”’ male behavior in Haiti and other African-Caribbean countries, and present ideas on ways that literature can support the women in impoverished/conflict countries. With Judite Blanc (research psychologist), Monique Clesca (UN Specialist), Marlene Chouloute-Hyppolite (writer), and Georges Bossous (human rights activist). Moderated by Anaïse Chavenet (literary publicist). [In Haitian Creole with simultaneous interpretation into English]

Celebrate 35 years of the nation’s largest book festival at the @MiamiBookFair this November 11- 18! Join thousands of fellow booklovers to enjoy authors from around the world, interactive children’s events, live music, local food, art and so much more. Find the full schedule at