Josaphat-Robert Large, Haitian-American poet, novelist and art critic

Haiti's great writers seem to have an added edge that their contemporaries from other countries, on the same mass scale, simply don't. Along with the accolades of a 'good name' in the literary world, acclaimed works that will live on in posterity due to their massive capacity to inspire understanding, pathos and new knowledge in their readerships, and the ever entertaining narrative of simply good writing chops, the authors hailing from the country have an added layer of grit that often sees them in trouble with authority.


Not one to be left out of this distinction, Josaphat-Robert Large, novelist, poet and art critic, has too walked this seemingly prescribed path of any Haitian writer worth his or her salt. Born in November of 1942, Large grew up under the stifling Duvalier rule and found himself personally affected by the 'absurd order' given for students to stay home on an unlimited vacation, as answer to the student strike. His answer was to take to the streets, a specific ban having been imposed, and he was jailed for his temerity.

His fearless daring also shows in his art. Large writes not only in French, the language for which he is most widely known, but in Haitian Creole, a language he himself admits his parents wouldn't have spoken in their presence. To prepare himself for a venture into the uncharted territory, Large joined Sosyete Koukouy, a group of Creole-only writers.

His most popular works include the novel 'Les terres entourées de larmes', the short story 'Rosanna', included in Haiti Noir, and the play, 'La voix du Bisaïeul' which graced the New York stage in 1998. Large has also been nominated for and has won numerous local, regional and international awards for literature and was also a founder of Lire Haiti.

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