James Noël [Haïti, 1978]
James Noël is regarded as the rock star of Haitian poetry. Even before his first collection was published, he had achieved widespread acclaim with the poem “Bon nouvèl / La Bonne Nouvelle” which was set to music by singer Wooly Saint Louis Jean and became a hit in Haiti. Noël writes in both French and Creole in order to – as he puts it – “empty his body of all words” and “become lighter than paper”. His poetry crackles with a fierce, passionate energy – his love of life and his fighting spirit suffuse all of his work. Noël’s poems are full of social criticism, but they always leave room for lyricism and celebration of the beauty of language.
READING: Sunday 16 June, 15:40 hrs - Jurriaanse Zaal