On the Page and On the Stage (Storytelling Workshop)
This Spring, PEN America is partnering with the Little Haiti Book Festival to present this exciting workshop on storytelling. Haiti is known for its spellbinding storytelling traditions, with mesmerized crowds gathering around dynamic “conteurs” to listen to well-paced, unforgettable tales anchored in the country’s rich history and culture. You can become a skilled storyteller, too! In this workshop, professional storyteller Lucrèce Louisdhon-Louinis and well-established writer Fabienne Josaphat will teach (and demonstrate step-by-step) a series of practical tips for crafting entertaining stories on the page and adapt these same stories to a live audience; then, they’ll make a 180° turn to teach you how to adapt traditional, oral tales for children’s books. You’ll learn how to write and tell folktales with purpose and with heart, and how to maintain suspense and build an emotionally resonant arc for both readers and listeners.
The workshop will be presented in English and is free and open to the public.
Fabienne Josaphat was born in Haiti and graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as screenplays. Her first novel, Dancing in the Baron’s Shadow, was released with Unnamed Press in February 2016. She lives in Miami.
Lucrèce Louisdhon-Louinis is a professional storyteller, librarian, and dancer. She came to New York City from Haiti to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and a Master’s degree in Library Science from St. John’s University. After graduating with honors in 1986, she became a children’s librarian at the Queens Borough Public Library and later rose to the position of assistant coordinator of children’s services. Ms. Louisdhon-Louinis came to Miami-Dade’s public library system in 1997, and quickly became the assistant director of outreach, programming and special services. One of her major accomplishments during her tenure at Miami-Dade libraries was the implementation of the Art of Storytelling (AOS), an international cultural exchange program. Ms. Louisdhon-Lounis is currently a dancer and executive director of the Louinès Lounis Haitian Dance Theater, Inc., a cultural dance company that performs authentic Haitian folk dances, songs and rhythms throughout the United States and Canada.