Little Haiti book fair to showcase Haitian culture, authors

South Florida residents are invited to come learn about Haitian and Caribbean art and history with two free events this weekend showcasing Miami’s Haitian culture.

Renown Haitian-American writer and Miami resident Edwidge Danticat and Haiti-based novelist Gary Victor will be among those in attendance at a free cocktail party from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 260 NE 59th Terr. The event, also featuring singers and a Haitian folkloric choir, will kick off Sunday’s free street Haitian-Caribbean Book Fair.

Sponsored by the Mapou Cultural Center and the Knight Foundation, the book fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday along Northeast Second Avenue between 58th Terrace and 59th Street. There will be Caribbean cuisine, arts and crafts and a dance workshop.

“We want to create some kind fo activity in the area and promote reading and the Haitian authors producing these books in the area,” said Jan Mapou, the owner of Libreri Mapou, the preeminent book store for Haitian books.

In recent years, a number of local Haitian writers have self-published books that remain unknown to a broad audience.

“These authors are writing books and spending their own money,” Mapou said. “They are sitting on the shelves, no one is buying them because they don’t know them. This gives them a chance to face the public.”