Frankétienne (born Franck Étienne on April 12, 1936 in Ravine-Sèche, Haiti) is a Haitian writer, poet, playwright, painter, musician, activist and intellectual.[1][2] He is recognized as one of Haiti's leading writers and playwrights of both French and Haitian Creole,[3] and is "known as the father of Haitian letters".[4] As a painter, he is known for his colorful abstract works, often emphasizing the colors blue and red. He was a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009, made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Order of the Arts and Letters), and was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2010.[1][5]

Jean Laposte 2.jpg
Born (1936-04-12) April 12, 1936 (age 84)
Ravine-Sèche, Haiti
OccupationWriter, poet, playwright, painter, musician
Notable awardsCommander 'Ordre des Arts et Lettres' (2010)

Early lifeEdit

Frankétienne was born in Ravine-Sèche, a small village in Haiti. He was abandoned by his father, a rich American industrialist,[2][4] at a young age and was raised by his mother in the Bel Air neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, where she worked as a street merchant to support her eight children, managing to send him, who was the eldest, to school.[2]

Selected worksEdit

Untitled Frankétienne painting, oil on canvas


  1. ^ a b "Frankétienne". Poetry Translation Centre. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Glover, Kaiama. "Francketienne" (PDF). Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  3. ^ Douglas, Rachel (June 16, 2009). Frankétienne and Rewriting: A Work in Progress. ISBN 9780739136355. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Archibold, Randal C. "A Prolific Father of Haitian Letters, Busier Than Ever". The New York Times. p. A5. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Haitian writer Frankétienne named UNESCO Artist for Peace". United Nations.
  6. ^ P. Schutt-Ainé, Haiti: A Basic Reference Book, 103

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Douglas, Rachel. Frankétienne and Rewriting: A Work in Progress. New York: Lexington Books, 2009.
  • Glover, Kaiama L. Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Post-Colonial Canon. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 2010.
  • Jonassaint, Jean. "Frankétienne, Écrivain haïtien," Dérives 53/54 (1987)
  • Schutt-Ainé, Patricia; Staff of Librairie Au Service de la Culture (1994). Haiti: A Basic Reference Book. Miami, Florida: Librairie Au Service de la Culture. p. 103. ISBN 0-9638599-0-0.