This is how the friendship between great Quebec and Haitian writers was born

This is how the friendship between great Quebec writers was born ;cois et haïtiens


Language is one of the bridges that connects Quebec and Haitian writers. The stories of Haitian writers relate both a journey, a return to their roots and their attempts to put down roots in this land of snow.

Sixty years ago, the presence of these exiled writers came to shake up a society that considered itself homogeneous.

Between the tearing apart of exile, the uprooting of immigration and integration, they are trying to assert their presence in Quebec .

Indeed, with the coming to power in 1957 of Duvalier, in Haiti, thousands of exiles arrived in Quebec in successive waves.

Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier forced thousands of Haitians into exile in Quebec from 1957.

The Perchoir of Haiti

As the poet Serge Legagneur points out: “The merciless charge of the history, once again, will have scattered men as one throws dice. »

The arrival in a city as vibrant and active as Montreal will feed an urban imagination that will take an important place in the unconscious of Haitian writers and particularly in Anthony Phelps who settles in Montreal in 1964, soon joined by Gérard Étienne and his comrades of Haiti-literary, Serge Legagneur, Roland Morisseau and Émile Ollivier.

Authors of the Haiti-literary collective including Serge Legagneur, Anthony Phelps, Roland Morisseau, in particular, have met with Quebec poets on many occasions during Perchoir Mondays.

A Haitian exile has just opened Le Perchoir d'Haïti.

Anthony Phelps will organize Les Mondays du Perchoir there with Serge Legagneur, Roland Morisseau and Gérard V. Étienne.

The writer Gérard Étienne.

Haitian and Quebec poets come together to read their texts.

Writers from Quebec, Gaston Miron, Paul Chamberland, Denise Boucher, Nicole Brossard, Gilbert Langevin, Michel Beaulieu and others will take part in these evenings.

Gaston Miron

Yves Dubé publishes the works of Haitian writers with Leméac.

Disque clandestine

In 1966, Anthony Phelps recorded his poem My country here< /em>.

Anthony Phelps' poem Mon pays que ici has helped to make it known not only in Haiti, but also in Quebec.

This sound edition will contribute to make it known in Quebec and in Haiti where the disc circulates clandestinely.

Phelps becomes the voice of the Haitians deprived of words by a whimsical dictator.

Gérard Étienne frequented literary and political circles in Quebec.

He was active in the RIN, the Rally for National Independence and later settled in Moncton where he pursued a career as an academic and writer.

Étienne affirms that “it is by reading Quebec authors like Marie-Claire Blais, Réjean Ducharme, Jacques Godbout, Hubert Aquin, etc., who make no concessions in the expression of reality that I came to the novel. »

He writes that “this kind of freedom that I take to explode the language as I do, it comes to me from Quebec”.

Dany Laferrière

Anthony Phelps remains at 94 the dean of writers of Haitian origin and the work of Dany Laferrière shines in the world as well as that of Marie-Célie Agnant.

Dany Laferrière

The publication of the first collection of short stories by Stanley Péan was already, in the words of the Quebec poet Jean Morisset, “one of the extremely important milestones of a new literature”.

“The one where exile of the Americas that have washed ashore on the emerged beaches of Quebec is in the process of producing, outside of any planning, a word and a sensibility which, projected beyond this country, already constitute one of its most more promising.

Today, new voices are emerging and if this generation continues to show solidarity with Haiti, their project is to take over Quebec.