During the month of March, Miami Dade College’s acclaimed Miami Book Fair (MBF) celebrates reading with The Big Read, a beloved literary event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. The community shared reading program will feature activities inspired by Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, including a photography exhibit by photojournalist Carl Juste, film screenings and Q&A’s with directors, a bilingual theatre performance, author presentations, a Big Night in Little Haiti celebration, an open mic and happy hour writing events. Free copies of this year’s Big Read title will be available at all events throughout the month.
With these events, the Big Read hopes to bring the many stories of Haiti and Haitian-Americans, and various perspectives on immigration, to the people of Miami. The programs also strive to build bridges between communities, contributing to mutual understanding, respect and appreciation.
Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:
Friday, March 18
6 p.m.-10 p.m. | Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami
Big Read @ Big Night: A FEAST OF WOMEN’S VOICES & BIG NIGHT IN LITTLE HAITI
(In Creole and English)
Enjoy a night of literature, music, art, food, culture and fun, as the Miami Book Fair brings the Big Read to Big Night in Little Haiti. Before the music starts, participants can enjoy up-close-and-personal discussions with eight women writers of Haitian descent who will read from, and discuss, their most recent works of fiction and non-fiction, and children’s books. Featured authors: Rebecca N. Carmant, M.J. Fievre, Margaret Papillon, Mahalia Solages, Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel, Fabienne Josephat and Cynthia Verna. Presented in partnership with the 2016 Caribbean Reading Series, Rhythm Foundation, and Little Haiti Cultural Center.
Saturday, March 19
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables
La Belle Vie: Film Screening and conversation with Rachelle Salnave
La Belle Vie: The Good Life is a story about a Haitian-American filmmaker, Rachelle Salnave’s journey to discover her Haitian roots by examining the complexities of the Haitian society as it pertains to the overall political and economic dichotomy in Haiti. With the proliferation of political turmoil, poverty, and now an earthquake shattered nation, La Belle Vie: The Good Life in the end beckons all to lay down their arms, be it the tangible weapons of death and pain or the psychological and spiritual tools of division and prejudice, and work as one to rebuild and prosper in the name of a new and stronger Haiti. Stay for a conversation and Q&A with director Rachelle Salnave.
Thursday, March 24
6:30 p.m. | Books & Books @ the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami
FIRST DRAFT: A Literary Social
Participants are led in a short, themed writing prompt with the theme being Out of Place. Interested guests are encouraged to read their work aloud, enjoy their first drink on the house, eat and socialize. Instructor: Vanessa Garcia. Free RSVP required: thecenteratmdc.org
Saturday, March 26
7 p.m. | Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables
Storypalooza: The Big Read Edition
Come out for a storytelling open mic! This is how it works: you have 4 minutes to tell your story in front of a panel of editors from Lip Service, Miami’s own, home-grown, live (true) storytelling event. Get feedback from these pros before the submission period for May’s Lip Service show. The panel will include local authors Andrea Askowitz, M.J. Fievre and Nick Garnett. The theme for the night is Family Stories. Free RSVP required: thecenteratmdc.org
Thursday, March 31
6:30 p.m. | Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami
Author Edwidge Danticat in conversation with Americans for Immigrant Justice Executive Director Cheryl Little, Esq.
Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying tells the true story of the author’s uncle and father as they work to build a future for themselves and their families—one brother in Haiti and the other in America. Told through Danticat’s singular voice, these events set the stage for a powerful tale of loss and remembrance. Attorney Cheryl Little worked closely with Danticat on her uncle’s immigration case. Delicious Haitian food by Leela’s Restaurant will be served prior to start of program.