Winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award
2015 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
With rhythmic poetry and intimate prose, Haiti Glass offers an unflinching look at disaster, desire, and death-defying love.
In her debut collection of verse and prose, Moïse moves deftly between memories of growing up as a Haitian immigrant in the suburbs of Boston, to bearing witness to brutality and catastrophe, to intellectual, playful explorations of pop culture enigmas like Michael Jackson and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Be it the presence of a skinhead on the subway, a newspaper account of unthinkable atrocity, or the ‘noose loosened to necklace’ of desire, the cut of Haiti Glass lays bare a world of resistance and survival, mourning and lust, need and process, triumph and prayer.
Praise for Haiti Glass:
“Haiti Glass is a magnificent collection of poetry and prose. Part mantra, part lamentation, part prayer, this incredible book puts us wholly in the presence of an extraordinary and brave talent, whose voice will linger in your heart and mind long after you read the last word of this book.”–Edwidge Danticat
“Very powerful poetry and prose. The spoken word cadence to many of the poems works really well on the page. Moïse takes up the complexities of Haitian culture, the immigrant experience, sexuality and gender, and bearing witness. Highly recommended.”–Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist
“With a bold, unblinking eye, Lenelle Moïse shows us the tragic yet beautiful world in which we live and challenges us not to turn away, but to turn towards with hope, compassion, and love. With all my heart, I thank her for writing these poems.”–Lesléa Newman, author of October Mourning, A Song for Matthew Shepard
“Haiti Glass is a book fierce with ambition: make the reader feel Haiti, make the reader think Haiti, make the reader understand Haiti. Lenelle Moïse’s poems render the abstract- policy, disaster, history, diaspora- specific. Her words make the political not just personal, but corporeal: the beautiful system of the human body as canvas and subject, perfect in all its attendant complications and complexity, and still ruled, undeniably, by a warm, beating heart.”–Erin McKeown, musician
“The year 2014 will be hard pressed to give us a more powerful debut poetry collection than Lenelle Moïse’s Haiti Glass … This is the rare book of poetry that makes one pause while reading, look up from the page, whistle low.”–Courtney Gillette, Lambda Literary Review