On October 27, 2019 at Swirl Wine Bistro will be the next installment of Sunday Salon South Florida. The evening showcases M.J. Fievre as the featured poet reading from her new book, Happy Okay?: Poems about Anxiety, Depression, Hope & Survival. Also reading this evening is Laura McDermott, author of Visions on Alligator Alley: Ekphrastic Poem in Verse.
ABOUT M.J. FIEVRE
M.J.’s publishing career began as a teenager in Haiti. Her first mystery novel, Le Feu de la Vengeance, was self-published at the age of sixteen. At just nineteen years-old, she signed her first book contract with Hachette-Deschamps, in Haiti, for the publication of a Young Adult book titled La Statuette Maléfique. As of today, M.J. has authored nine books in French that are widely read in Europe and the French Antilles.
In 2013, One Moore Book released M.J.’s first children’s book, I Am Riding, written in three languages: English, French, and Haitian Creole. I Am Ridingis part of OMB’s Haiti series, edited by Edwidge Danticat.
In 2015, Beating Windward Press published M.J.’s memoir, A Sky the Color of Chaos, about her childhood in Haiti during the brutal regime of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. According to John Dufresne, the book is “an unsparing, honest, and unsentimental evocation of a young woman’s struggle for independence amidst the chaos and violence of a nation coming apart at its seams. M.J. Fievre takes us behind her family’s closed doors and beyond the security fences and the armed guards, the protests, the murders, and the nightly eruption of gunfire.”
She’s a regular contributor to the online journal The Nervous Breakdown. M.J.’s short stories and poems in English have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, including Making Good Time (Jai Alai Books, 2018), 15 Views of Miami (Burrow Press, 2014), The Beautiful Anthology (TNB Books, 2012), Haiti Noir (Akashic Books, 2011), The Mom Egg, The Southeast Review, Saw Palm, The Caribbean Writer, and Daily Bites of Flesh: 365 Days of Flash Fiction. She’s included in Une journée haïtienne, edited by Thomas C. Spear.
In 2016, Aesop Coconut Grove hosted an installation representing the meters of M.J.’s poem, “On Charles Avenue.” Suspended sheets of pencils were sensitively arranged to form five panels – defining the poem’s five stanzas into distinct fields of depth. These panels established undulating contours and dramatic intersections, illustrating the poem’s rhythmic movement, and the cadence of significant verse.
M.J.’s plays have been performed at the Miami MicroTheater (To Accept, Dial 5 Now, 2015, and No Pill for Loverhorn, 2016), at the O, Miami Festival’s Poetry Press Week (Shadows of Hialeah, 2016), and at the Compositum Musicae Novae’s “Metamorphosis” event in Pinecrest Gardens (If You’re an Orange, I’m an Orange, 2017).
ABOUT LAURA MCDERMOTT
Laura is a true native of South Florida, was born and raised in Broward County, Florida. She is the founder and executive director of Orange Island Arts Foundation and is a tenured professor of English at Broward College and recipient of the 2014 Wells Fargo Endowed Teaching Chair. Laura studied creative writing at Florida State University and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from Florida International University. Because of her dedication to higher education and writing, Laura received recognition as a 2008 Conference on College Composition and Communication Professional Equity Project Grant Recipient and was awarded the 2012 Paragon Award by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. She is the 2014-2015 Writer-in-Residency of Girls'Club, a private foundation and alternative space which inspires cultural growth in Broward County, Florida. As a member of the Miami Poetry Collective, her poetry is regularly featured in many journals. She also won honorable mention in the 2013 Poetry Society of Virginia’s annual poetry contest. Laura has developed several literary projects within her local community and served as the festival coordinator of a South Florida poetry festival for more than nine years. Her first book of poetry will be published by Lominy Press Summer of 2015. Currently on sabbatical, Laura is working on her next book, a memoir about being a caretaker for her father with dementia while she begins motherhood.
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