Thursday, November 10, 2022 – 7:00PM ET

Event address:
279 Harvard Street
Coolidge Corner
BrooklineMA 02446-2908

This event will take place in person. Click the button above to register so you can be alerted to important details about the program, including safety requirements, cancellations, and book signing updates.

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for an in-store event with poets Sylvie Kandé and Danielle Legros Georges to discuss and celebrate their work, including their new collections, The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore and Island Heart, among others.

Sylvie Kandé’s neo-epic in three cantos, The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore, is a double narrative combining today’s tales of African migration to Europe on the one hand, with the legend of Abubakar II, on the other: Abubakar, emperor of 14th-Century Mali, sailed West toward the new world, never to return. Kandé’s language deftly weaves a dialogue between these two narratives and between the epic traditions of the globe. Dazzling in its scope, the poem swings between epic stylization, griot storytelling, and colloquial banter, capturing an astonishing range of human experience. Kandé makes of the migrant a new hero, a future hero whose destiny has not yet taken shape, whose stories are still waiting to be told in their fullness and grandeur: the neverending quest has only just begun.

Sylvie Kandé is the author of three collections of poetry published by Gallimard. Lagon, lagunes. Tableau de Mémoire (2000) was postfaced by Edouard Glissant, while La quête infinie de l’autre rive : épopée en trois chants (2011), short-listed for the Prix Mahogany and the Prix des Découvreurs, received the 2017 Prix Lucienne Gracia-Vincent. It is now published in German by Matthes & Seitz, and in English in 2022 as The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore: An Epic in Three Cantos, translated by Alexander Dickow, and published by Wesleyan University Press. Gestuaire (2016), short-listed for the Prix Ethiophile and the Prix Kowalski des lycéens, received the 2017 Prix Louise Labé. It will soon be anthologized in a German/French edition. As an historian, she specializes in the complex conversations between Africa and Europe, Africa and its Diasporas, notably the issue of métissage/ hybridity. She is the 2022 recipient of the Tyler Stovall Mission Prize granted by the Western Society for French History. A member of PEN America and the association of the Lycée Louis-le-grand alumni, she teaches at SUNY Old Westbury in the History & Philosophy Department.

Ida Faubert is a 20th-century Haitian-French poet considered a Caribbean—and especially Haitian—literary foremother.  Island Heart, the first English-language volume of Faubert’s, in a stunning translation by Danielle Legros Georges, makes her work more widely accessible to students, scholars, and readers of Latin-American, African-diasporic, Caribbean, and Haitian letters; and more generally available to readers of poetry and the poetry of women. Born in Port-au-Prince and reared in Paris, Faubert neither easily fit socially-prescribed categories for women of color in France or Haiti, nor conformed to them—living and burning through France’s Belle Époque, world wars, and Haiti’s Indigenist revolt in art. Bicultural, biracial, privileged, and complex, Faubert was a deft writer and socialite who promoted and participated in the movements of Haitian writers and literature in Haiti and France. While her work is garnering growing critical attention, she is seen as one of Haiti’s great women poets.

Danielle Legros Georges is a creative and critical writer, translator, and academic whose work sits in the fields of contemporary U.S. poetry, Black and African-diasporic poetry and literature, Caribbean/Latin American and Haitian studies, and literary translation. She is the author of several books of poetry The Dear Remote Nearness of You (2016)and Island Heart (2021) translations of the poems of 20th-century Haitian-French poet Ida Faubert. Her poems have been widely published, anthologized, and included in artistic commissions and collaborations. Legros Georges is the former Poet Laureate of Boston; the creative editor of sx salon, a digital forum for explorations of Caribbean literature; and a professor of creative writing at Lesley University.