Jean-Dany Joachim
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Jean-Dany Joachim grew up surrounded by poets in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He wrote his first poem at age 14, and his writing became a way to give voice to the life of his country. He moved to Cambridge 16 years ago and began writing in English, while also exploring poetry in other languages. He has translated poets from Spanish, French, and Creole. His work has appeared in Runes, A Review of Poetry, Arctos Press; Lovers’ Sweet Nothings, A Secret Anthology, Mémoire d’encrier; Love and Other poems, Trilingual Press. Joachim has been the director of the Sunset Poetry Series at Bunker Hill Community College for over 10 years. He is also the director of City Night Readings, which features local and visiting poets every three month in Cambridge MA.

Click here to visit the City Night Readings Series website.


1- Kote moun pa konnen w, yo rele w moun sa a.
       Where no one knows you, they call you that one.

2- I say life is good, but I don’t mean it’s fair

3- What is to be written will be written anyhow, one should never waste the opportunity when they feel the call to write.

4- A real friend is like the sun, even when you can’t see it, it’s always there

5- Lavi se lavi ---- > Life is life

6- The greatest injustice is depriving someone from education

   (For Ika)

What a pity
for a mother
to bury
her children!

Who am I
to tell life
what to do?

Ala Malè
(Pou Ika)

Ala malè
Pou manman
K ap antere pitit!

Ki sa m ye
Pou m ta di lavi
Sa pou l fè?

  Jean-Dany Joachim 2003

Public Reading

The poet entered the hall,
The crowd rose to its feet
And applauded.
Like a champion going to the ring
She walked straight to the podium,
As the applause grew louder.
The poet took a bow
The clapping died slowly.
She opened her book
While looking at the gaze of the crowd.
The poet then closed her eyes
And began to read.
She read through their voices;
She said her name;
She read their names;
She read their pains;
She read their country;
She read their abundance;
She read their war;
She read their nakedness;
Then she told their story.
She wanted to tell her own:
Her husband who left,
Her daughter’s name,
The country she left behind,
Life in the North,
The man she loved so much,
Until he stopped loving her.
The poet spoke calmly then
Again she said her name,
And opened her eyes.
Everyone was long gone.

   Jean-Dany Joachim 2004

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