Monday, May 11, 2015
The Colored Seaons, stunning new poetry from Leopold Figaro, plays at the intersection of Vodou and the arts
Today, we've got something amazing. B&B is proud to announce the publication of Léopold Figaro's The Colored Seasons. With this striking debut collection, Figaro shows himself to be a vibrant new voice in American and Haitian-American poetry.
By turns lushly beautiful, startlingly erotic, genuinely wise, and frankly terrifying, these pieces combine a masterful control of image and line with a lyrical love of language. In them, Figaro somehow manages to interlace his Afro-Caribbean and Haitian-American heritage with a conception of the universe that is, at heart, profoundly optimistic and therefore very American.
Today a resident of Boston, Figaro grew up in the historic Haitian art city of Jacmel, which has been called the Greenwich Village or Left Bank of the nation. "It is my intention," he notes, "to include the Jacmelian flavor in everything I write." And in particular, he says, he wants to explain the Haitian and Haitian-American experience to readers who are unfamiliar with those cultures. "People think of Haiti as simply one vast cesspool of corruption and suffering. I want to show the world that there is also a Haiti that is rich in art, in poetry, and in intellectual experimentation."
Thus his poetry is redolent with references to Haitian spiritual life. "Call it 'Vodou,' if you like," he notes. "But people forget there is more to Vodou than religion…more than spirits and witchcraft. It is a complete culture, with art, stories, legends, songs, and more. That is the kind of Vodou I try to invoke in my work."
While Figaro has been extensively published in Haiti and in French, this is first English-language book length publication in the USA.
The Colored Seasons is now available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Colored-Seasons-Leopold-Figaro/dp/0692433910, and in ebook form at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WJAR64C.