Winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award
In her debut collection of verse and prose, Moïse moves deftly between memories of growing up as a Haitian immigrant in the suburbs of Boston, to bearing witness to brutality and catastrophe, to intellectual, playful explorations of pop culture enigmas like Michael Jackson and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Be it the presence of a skinhead on the subway, a newspaper account of unthinkable atrocity, or the 'noose loosened to necklace' of desire, the cut of Haiti Glass lays bare a world of resistance and survival, mourning and lust, need and process, triumph and prayer.
Lenelle Moïse is an award-winning poet, playwright, essayist and internationally touring performance artist. She creates jazz-infused, hip-hop bred, politicized texts about identity, memory and magic. Her poems and essays are featured in several anthologies, including: Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution and We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists. Her writing has also been published in the Utne Reader, Make/Shift, Left Turn, and numerous other magazines and journals. A current Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, her plays include Expatriate, Merit and The Many Faces of Nia. She lives in Northampton, MA where she was the 2010-2012 Poet Laureate. Haiti Glass is her long-awaited first book and she is available for interview.
Praise for Haiti Glass:
"Haiti Glass is a magnificent collection of poetry and prose. Part mantra, part lamentation, part prayer, this incredible book puts us wholly in the presence of an extraordinary and brave talent, whose voice will linger in your heart and mind long after you read the last word of this book."—Edwidge Danticat
"Very powerful poetry and prose. The spoken word cadence to many of the poems works really well on the page. Moïse takes up the complexities of Haitian culture, the immigrant experience, sexuality and gender, and bearing witness. Highly recommended."—Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State
"With a bold, unblinking eye, Lenelle Moïse shows us the tragic yet beautiful world in which we live and challenges us not to turn away, but to turn towards with hope, compassion, and love. With all my heart, I thank her for writing these poems."—Lesléa Newman, author of October Mourning, A Song for Matthew Shepard
"Haiti Glass is a book fierce with ambition: make the reader feel Haiti, make the reader think Haiti, make the reader understand Haiti. Lenelle Moise's poems render the abstract- policy, disaster, history, diaspora- specific. Her words make the political not just personal, but corporeal: the beautiful system of the human body as canvas and subject, perfect in all its attendant complications and complexity, and still ruled, undeniably, by a warm, beating heart."—Erin McKeown, musician
"The year 2014 will be hard pressed to give us a more powerful debut poetry collection than Lenelle Moïse's Haiti Glass … This is the rare book of poetry that makes one pause while reading, look up from the page, whistle low."—Courtney Gillette, Lambda Literary Review
Praise for Lenelle Moïse:
"Lenelle Moïse brings fierce passion."—New York Times
"Piercing, covering territory both intimate and political . . . vivid and powerful."—Curve Magazine
"See Moïse push stories from her mouth like it might save your life."—The Root