Haiti Initiative sponsoring poetry and arts discussion

Professor from Brown will read his own poetry and talk about the country's culture

Professor and poet Patrick Sylvain

The campus-wide effort to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake of January 2010 and to contribute to building a better future for the country's people continues Thursday, Jan. 27, with an evening of poetry and discussion of Haitian art and literature.

Brown University Professor Patrick Sylvain, a poet, writer, photographer and social critic, will read poetry from his book "Love, Lust and Loss" and initiate the discussion.

Sylvain has published work in numerous anthologies and journals, including "African American Review," "Agni," "American Poetry Anthology" and "American Poetry Review." At Brown, he teaches Haitian language and culture in the university's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

He is currently working on two collections of poetry, "Spirit Chaser" and "Windows of Exile," and two multidisciplinary books on Haiti entitled "Framing Structural Violence" and "Framing Discourse: Metaphors, Poetics and Representation."  Sylvain's work has also recently been featured on PBS and NPR.

"Professor Sylvain brings a wealth of knowledge about the importance of the arts in Haitian culture," said Professor Jane Hale, who teaches French and Comparative literature at Brandeis.  "We hope that his talk will allow all members of the Brandeis community to use arts and language to relate to the Haitian culture.

"A Night of Haitian Poetry" will begin at 5 p.m. in the Mandel Center for the Humanities.  Light refreshments will be served. The Mandel Humanities Center, the Department of Romance Studies, the Brandeis Haiti Initiative and the Department of African-American Studies are sponsoring the event.

"Together, we must learn to use the common threads in our lives, whether it be art, language, music or sports to connect with distant countries and cultures," said Napoleon Lherisson '11, co-president of the Brandeis Haiti Initiative.

"In order for Haiti to endure through poverty, disease and corruption, we must remember the vibrancy of its culture and traditions," said Jon Ostrowsky '11, co-president of the Haiti Initiative.  "Through art and poetry, we can all discover the faith in healing and perseverance that are fundamental to the Haitian people.

Categories: International Affairs, Student Life

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