Open Gate

Trade Paper – $19.95

ISBN 978-1-880684-75-7
Publication Date
April 2001
Page Count
240 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Open Gate

An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry
Edited by Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman

Open Gate is the first bilingual volume of Haitian Creole poetry published in English. Seven years in the making, this anthology is the result of the dedication of its editors and translators, Paul Laraque, Jack Hirschman and the Haitian poet Boadiba, as well as Max Manigat, one of the first teachers of Creole on the university level who was an invaluable advisor.

The editors focus on contemporary Creole poetry that reflects the struggle for human rights in Haiti. The book is divided into three sections: Pioneers of Modern Haitian Creole poetry, beginning with the founder of modern Haitian Creole literature, Felix Morisseu-Leroy (19131998); the flowering of Haitian poetry as represented by the literary movement, "Society of Butterflies," some of whose members were jailed or exiled by the bloody Duvalier dictatorship; and the New Generation featuring primrily those poets in the Diaspora whose work has been published in the last 15 years.

About the Author

Paul Laraque was a Haitian poet and activist. Born in Haiti in 1920, Laraque was known for his surrealist, political poetry and his opposition to François Duvalier's dictatorship in Haiti. In exile in the United States since the early 1960s, Laraque was a professor at Fordham University and lived in New York City. He died in 2007, and is survived by three sons. 

Jack Hirschman is an American poet and social activist who has written more than 50 volumes of poetry and essays. Among his many volumes of poetry are A Correspondence of Americans, Lyripol, The Bottom Line, and Endless Threshold. Born in New York City in 1933, he has lived in San Francisco since 1973. 


"...this collection demands respect for Haitian Creole and the people who speak, write, and live in this language."

Martín Espada

"The beauty of this book is that it presents new voices discussing old subjects."

American Book Review

"For all the insult and suffering, these verses dazzle with love of life."

Los Angeles Times