Poetic brilliance of the West Indies and the Caribbean: literary creativity under the spotlight of the 40th Poetry Fair in Paris

An unmissable celebration of the French language: the 40th edition of the Marché de la Poésie which brought together writers and readers ended this Sunday, June 11, 2023. The works of Nicolas Guillen, Aimé Césaire, Suzanne Dracius, Edouard Maunick, Saint-John Perse and Jacques Roumain were honored on Place Saint-Sulpice, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. The unprecedented participation of ten young poets from the Caribbean added a new dimension to the event.

Published on June 11, 2023 at 8:18 p.m.,
updated on June 11, 2023 at 8:21 p.m.

They came from the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines of Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies to highlight the poetic richness of the Caribbean.

The 40th Poetry Market came to an end this Sunday, June 11, 2023, after lively discussions, round tables, award ceremonies, writing workshops and dazzling poetic performances. From June 7 to 11, 2023, this event took place in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, paying tribute to writers and poets who are victims of oppression throughout the world. The guest countries of honor for this 2023 edition were Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.

It was an unmissable opportunity for poetry lovers to discover new poets, acquire collections of poetry and take part in readings and meetings with authors. The Poetry Market in Paris is also a privileged place for meetings and exchanges between actors in the world of poetry, thus promoting dialogue and the dissemination of this inspiring art.

Two stands caught the eye: stand 415, under the aegis of the Transcultura program of UNESCO and the European Union, dedicated to Caribbean poetry and stand 308 of Editions Idem, dedicated to West Indian literature.

UNESCO and Éditions Idem have opened windows of opportunity to poets and writers from the West Indies and the Caribbean with the presentation of their art at the 40th edition of the Poetry Market. The young Caribbean poets participating in the market were selected by an international jury following a call that generated 252 entries, demonstrating the breadth and significance of the art of poetry in the Caribbean.

the Caribbean delegation at the 40th poetry fair

©Caribbean Market Organization
The winners are: Tanicia Pratt from the Bahamas, Cindy Celeste from Barbados, Taimi Dieguez Mallo from Cuba, Víctor Andrés de Óleo from the Dominican Republic, Kamille John from Grenada, Ar Guens Jean Mary from Haiti, Christena Williams from Jamaica, Angella O’Brien from Saint Lucia, Jacinth Brown-Howard from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Rolando Mohammed from Trinidad and Tobago. For the first time, the Caribbean region was the guest of honor at this event.

The Caribbean region, with its multiplicity of customs, traditions, languages ​​and historical ties, is an example of multiculturalism, thanks to its intersections and reciprocal cultural influences. All this is present in its cultural expressions, its tangible and intangible heritage, including poetry. Authors such as Robin Dobu in Suriname, Martin Carter in Guyana, Manuel del Cabral and Pedro Mir in the Dominican Republic, Elis Juliana in Curaçao, Félix M. Leroy in Haiti, Juan Antonio Corretjer in Puerto Rico or Nicolás Guillén in Cuba demonstrate the power and the metaphorical richness of West Indian poetry, as well as its close connection to communities and the struggle to obtain better living conditions for people who cultivate this artistic genre.Anne Lemaistre, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

On stand 308 of Éditions Idem, several events were organised. The opening of this 40th edition was marked by a moving tribute to Claude Couffon, writer, literary critic and poet, who has to his credit the translation of Spanish and Latin American works such as Miguel Angel Asturias, Gabriel Garcia Marquez , Nicolas Guillem, and many others.

The literary evening, organized by the “Promo lecture” associations, the Friends of Claude Couffon and the Éditions Desnel, paid a Caribbean poetic tribute to Claude Couffon on the occasion of the reissue in pocket format of “Mémories”, an anthology published for the first time in 2007 during the centenary of Jacques Roumain. The release of this book was produced by the Martiniquaise Suzanne Dracius, who brought together poems by the great Haitian author in the company of the Cuban Nicolas Guillén and the African-American writer Langston Hughes.

a privileged place for meetings and exchanges between the actors of the world of poetry

The poems of Nicolas Guillen, Aimé Césaire, Suzanne Dracius, Édouard Maunick, Saint-John Perse and Jacques Roumain were honored, testifying to the richness and diversity of Caribbean poetry.

The next day, Friday June 9, 2023, Idem editions celebrated the 15th anniversary of the death of Aimé Césaire, thus recalling that the champion of negritude was also a great poet. A presentation of the anthology of unpublished poems produced by Suzanne Dracius, bringing together 67 poets from all walks of life, highlighted the work and legacy of Césaire.

the public was numerous to take part in the activities and the poetic performances,


During the poetry market, more than 400 authors took part in signing sessions organized by the publishers on the various stands.

The public was thus able to discover and come into contact with books of poetry, literary journals, as well as participate in poetic activities and performances, thus creating a real exchange and immersion in the world of poetry.

Source: euro.dayfr.com/

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