by René Philoctète
René Philoctète (1932–1995) was born in Jérémie, Haiti. Inspired by Rimbaud, he published ten poetry collections, four plays, and three novels. In the early 1960s, he founded the Literary Haiti group, and then a few years later was cofounder of spiralism—the most marked movement in Haitian poetry of the 20th century. Philoctete’s work is based in Haitian realism, and his writing still has a political urgency to it, always fighting against violence and dictatorships.