Sunday, July 11, 2010

How To Not Start a Haitian American Writers Group

Those of you who've been following my letter tracks know that I've been trying to start a Haitian American Writers Group for some time now, with not much luck at getting the car moving, unfortunately. Two potentials had gotten in. But like the tap-taps in Crooklyn and Jamaica Ave, the driver doesn't feed his family 'til the van is full. There're many reasons why any group doesn't ever even come off the paper. Disinterest is the obvious one, of course. But then there's the matter of different people having different interpretations/approaches of and to what Haitian writing is or should be; how she's supposed to look and sound.

And then sometimes it's just timing...

As a last ditch, I got out of my van and started waving at the people who decided to wait for the bus instead--

Sak pase, good people! I said I'd follow-up in July, so here's where we are at this point. After putting the word out on facebook, craigslist, word of mouth and even binghampton university where there're a lot of Haitians, we still only have three interested new yorkers--four, if you include me--and three out of state. Also, I went to Haiti Cultural Exchange's reception last night honoring four Haitian authors and left some palm cards, so maybe I'll hear from a few folks. Still, I'm not sure if it's worth pursuing this with such low interest. Plus, I was thinking that perhaps we have different definitions of what Haitian writing is-- French, Kreyol, English; folklore, traditional, radical; euro-centered or afri-centered; hip hop or hip not; hetero, same gender loving, bisexual. So I'm reaching out for some feedback to see if maybe someone has any other suggestions. The other thing is that perhaps we ought to focus more on joining an already established group or organization to avoid fragmentation or should we stick to the idea of coming up with our own agenda?

And sometimes no response is the response; and that it may be the universe's way of telling me to focus on my male book. What with so many chapters to write, deadlines can become an issue. So I'm switching guears back to the male project with a pleased smile on my face for having made the effort!

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