Born Aug. 29, 1926. Haitian poet writing in French.
Dépestre was a leader among progressive young people in Haiti in 1945 and 1946. In 1946 he emigrated to Paris and since the early 1960’s he has been living in Cuba. The poems in his early collections, Sparks (1945) and Bloody Sheaf (1946), are passionate hymns to his native land and to freedom. In exile he published the collections of publicistic poems Gleams of Light (1951) and From the Open Sea (1952), as well as his best collection, Black Ore (1956). His dramatic narrative poem Rainbow for the Christian West (1967) is directed against racism in the USA.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Chernaia ruda. [Translated and with an afterword by P. Antokol’skii.] Moscow, 1961.
[“Stikhi”.] In the collection Vremia plameneiushchikh derev’ev. Foreword by E. Gal’perina. Moscow, 1961.
[“Stikhi”.] In the collection Vzorvannoe molchanie: Sovremennye poety Gaiti. Moscow, 1968.