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[een-spee-cho] the best of Miami arts

M.J. Fièvre: Author, Poet, Editor

M.J. Fièvre: Author, Poet, Editor
Introduction to M.J. Fièvre. 0:41 sec. Interview:  20 FIU students.  Video editing:  Natalie Casabone.  Production:  Liban Iraola.  Recorded:  11/1/2019, FIU.

 

M.J. FIÈVRE was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She moved to Miami, Florida in 2002.

Fièvre’s first mystery novel, Le Feu de la Vengeance, was self-published at the age of sixteen.  At just nineteen years-old, she signed her first book contract with Hachette-Deschamps, in Haiti, for the publication of a Young Adult book titled La Statuette Maléfique. As of today, Fièvre has authored nine books in French that are widely read in
Europe and the French Antilles.

In 2013,One Moore Book released I am Riding, M.J.’s first children book. The book was published in English, French, and Haitian Creole.

In 2015, Beating Windward Press published Fièvre’s memoir A Sky the Color of Chaos, about her childhood in Haiti during the brutal regime of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. According to John Dufresne, the book is “an unsparing, honest, and unsentimental evocation of a young woman’s struggle for independence amidst the chaos and violence of a nation coming apart at its seams. M.J. Fièvre takes us behind her family’s closed doors and beyond the security fences and the armed guards, the protests, the murders, and the nightly eruption of gunfire.”

Fievre is also the author of Happy, Okay? Poems about Anxiety, Depression, Hope, and Survival (Books & Books Press, 2019) and Badass Black Girl: Questions, Quotes, and Affirmations for Teens (Mango Publishing, 2020). She helps others write their way through trauma, build community and create social change. She works with veterans, disenfranchised youth, cancer patients and survivors, victims of domestic and sexual violence, minorities, the elderly, those with chronic illness or going through transition and any underserved population in need of writing as a form of therapy—even if they don’t realize that they need writing or therapy.

She’s a regular contributor to the online journal The Nervous Breakdown.

Fièvre is also an editor. In 2010, she founded Sliver of Stone Magazine, a well-loved, bi-annual, online literary magazine dedicated to the publication of work from both emerging and established poets, writers, and visual artists from all parts of the globe. With Nicholas Garnett and Corey Ginsberg, Fièvre edited All That Glitters (2013)a Sliver of Stone Magazine nonfiction anthology.

In 2012, she edited So Spoke the Earth, a multilingual anthology about Haiti, which explores the country’s past, present and future as experienced by 54 contributors, for an eclectic, international combination of established and emerging writers. This important anthology about Haiti is a celebration of Haitian spirit, multiculturalism and diversity.

As a board member of the publishing house, Lominy Books, she organized a yearly writing contest in French, encouraging aspiring writers in Haiti to pursue their dream. She often returns to Haiti to conduct writing workshops for middle and high school students, and she’s regularly featured at both Livres en Folie (LEF) and Foire Internationale du Livre d’Haiti (FILHA), two annual book fairs in Port-au-Prince. She’s served as judge for a contest organized by the Bureau du Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées (BSEIPH) for students with physical disabilities and also presented her books at Femmes en Création, in Bourdon.

Fièvre earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Barry University and an MFA from the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University. She taught writing for 8 years at Nova Middle School in Davie, and later became a writing professor at Broward College and Miami Dade College. She’s been a key note speaker at Tufts University (Massachusetts), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), the University of Miami (Florida), and Michael College (Vermont), and a panelist at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference (AWP). In 2014, she spent a semester in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia, where she taught writing at the International University. While in South America, she was invited to conduct a seminar at the Alliance Française on the Myths and Legends of the French Antilles, and all her novels in French are available at the Alliance Française de Santa Cruz.

— The Whimsical Project.

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 8 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES: 1:15 min.

What was your first awareness of art of any discipline?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:   1:56 min.

Where did you go to school and what did you learn that still helps inform your career?

 

BREAKS THE RULES:  3:00 min.

Did you feel the celebration of arts in the general population of Haiti?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  3:48 min.

What are your favorite books and who are your influencers in literature?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  3:22 min.

What is your motivation for writing?

 

EMPATHY:  1:13 min.

Do you ever feel vulnerable when you share your personal story with the world?

 

RESPECTS OTHERS POINTS OF VIEW: 2:47 min.

Some people call poetry a dying art, what do you think?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES:   8:18 min.

Why do you think it’s important to discuss mental health in your work?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES:  4:21 sec.

How has your relationship with Miami evolved?

 

COLLABORATION:  5:58 min.

Who are some of the poets that most influenced your style?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  2:12 sec.

What are the most important messages that you try to convey in your poetry?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE:  6:16 sec.

How has your writing style changed over the years?

 

SERENDIPITY:  2:50 min.

Where do you see your poetry ten years from now?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  1:20 min.

Tell us about the film you are working on.

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  3:14 min.

Why is your most recent book set in Hialeah?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED:  8:15 min.

What advice would you give to writers and poets who wish to become published?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  3:53 min.

What is your writing process and how has it changed?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART:  5:07 sec.

What is the impact of social media on poetry?

 

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS:  8:31 sec.

 

Throughout your career, has anyone or any community changed your perspective in a way you didn’t expect?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  1:53 sec.

What are some of the challenges of writing poetry in different languages?

 

OPEN TO CHANGE, FLEXIBILITY:  1:21 min.

Is English your main poetic voice due to your Florida International University education?