Interview with Jan Mapou
From - UM Libraries on January 29th, 2014
Interview with Jan Mapou (Jean-Marie Denis), an author, playwright, director, and arts advocate. He was one of the founders of the Haitian Kreyòl Movement, which began in Haiti in 1965, and that same year he also created Sosyete Koukouy (Society of Fireflies), a multi-disciplinary arts company dedicated to preserving Haitian cultural traditions and rituals. In 1969, Mapou was jailed by the Duvalier government for his activities promoting Haitian Kreyòl. He immigrated to New York in 1972, before settling in Miami in 1984. He helped found chapters of Sosyete Koukouy in both New York and Miami, and serves as the artistic director. Mapou’s writing legacy includes 2 poetry books, 1 short story, and 8 plays, and he has directed more than 15 plays in Haiti, New York, and Miami. He owns Libreri Mapou (Mapou Bookstore) in Little Haiti, which has one of the largest inventories of titles on Haitian culture and history in the nation. He also hosts two radio programs on education and culture on WLRN Public Radio and has served on numerous boards, including the Miami Book Fair International. He is also the co-founder of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Folk Life Award from the State of Florida.