Marie-Célie Agnant is a poet, novelist, and children’s author born in Port-au-Prince. She moved to Montréal, Québec in 1970 where she has lived ever since, working during various periods as a translator, interpreter, social justice activist, teacher, and a writer. Agnant’s novels have been widely translated. Her 1997 book of short stories, "Silence Like Blood," was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary award in Canada. Her writing addresses the politics and poetics of exile and womanhood and actively examines Haiti’s painful postcolonial history. She received le Prix Alain-Grandbois of the Academie des Lettres du Quebec in 2017 for her most recent collection of poetry, Femmes de terres brûlées, by Les Éditions de la Pleine Lune in Montréal. Marie Célie Agnant’s critically acclaimed novels, short stories, and poems offer poignant refusals of silence—both forced and chosen. In her works, she brings to light stories that have been occulted by official history, fighting to preserve a sense of memory and refusing the temptations of forgetting that lead to impunity.
While her works often speaks of her native Haiti, nevertheless they combat the erasures of atrocities all over the world: thus, they sound echoes of Trujillo’s Dominican Republic, Franco’s Spain, Pinochet’s Chile, and the struggles that the United States has faced regarding our own fraught histories of prejudice and oppression.
Agnant is a writer of and from the world: Haitian, Québécoise, Latin American, Canadian, immigrant, North American, Caribbean—and her writings offer a vision of a 21 century world that is interconnected—often by invisible threads—for better or for worse.