“The writers in Haiti… are increasingly convinced of the necessity to build, nurture and share a critical understanding. In order to better communicate among Haitians. To make ourselves better understood in the world”
Jean-Euphèle Milcé, President, PEN Haiti
PEN Haiti is hosting its first international Free the Word! Festival from April 20th- 22nd, with a special series of events taking place in the Institute Français (Port-au-Prince) and the Alliance Française (Gonaïves).
Free the Word!, PEN International’s network of literary festivals around the world, celebrates the best of contemporary literature and aims to introduce readers to both established and emerging writers. Each festival is rooted in its local culture, but is international in outlook, and seeks to bring together writers from across cultures to share experiences and explore ideas.
The programme of events for Free the Word! Haiti will include discussions on issues such as freedom of expression in times of crises (‘La Libre Expression en Temps de Crise’), women’s writing and free speech (‘Paroles de Femmes, Paroles Libres’) and an examination of the work of PEN International in promoting freedom of expression (‘L’engagement du PEN International pour la liberté d’expression’).
The festival will also pay homage to murdered Haitian writer Jacques Stephen Alexis (pictured), who was disappeared in April 1966. A leading writer and political activist, Alexis, who was born on 22 April 1922, is today best remembered for his novel Compére Général Soleil (1955), Les Arbres Musiciens (1957) and L’Espace d’un Cillement (1959). For more information about Jacques Stephen Alexis, click here.
The festival is being organised by PEN Haiti, in collaboration with the American PEN Centre and PEN International. For more information on the festival please contact Paul Finegan at email@example.com
Haiti Free the Word! has been generously supported by -