By Ralph ‘Onz’ Chery
Will Loiseau’s pen ferociously raced down on his notebook as he fought to release the horrifying scenes he experienced from the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2010. The more he wrote, the more he wanted to write and after each page or so he could feel the weight that was cramping his mind weakening.
Loiseau found his escape route out of one of the most heartbreaking natural disasters of the past decade: writing. About 20 pages in, he noticed that the writing gelled well together. At that instant, he didn’t want it to be just an anxiety reliever anymore, he wanted it to be his first book, Quake: Horror and Hope in Haiti.
Ten years later, Loiseau will take part in the 2020 South Florida Book Festival with Quake alongside one of the most acclaimed Haitian writers, Michele-Jessica ‘M.J.’ Fievre. She also conveyed how writing can serve as therapy in the journal she will discuss, Bada** Black Girl: Questions, Quotes, and Affirmations for Teens, a bestseller in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The event will be presented virtually by the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) via the festival’s website on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18. Loiseau will be interviewed by an established librarian in South Florida who’s well-versed in Caribbean studies, Abayomi Manrique at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. As for Fievre, she will conduct a free-talk about Bada** Black Girl at 3 p.m.
It was fitting for the SoFlo Festival to have two writers of Haitian origin as Florida has the largest Haitian population in the United States.
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