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Jacques Roumain


Jacques Roumain was born in Port-au-Prince in 1907. His grandfather had been president of Haiti 1912-1913. He was educated in Port-au-Prince and later in in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany and Spain. On returning to Haiti, he cofounded the magazine La Revue Indigène, where his first poems and stories were published. He also helped found a communist movement, opposed to US occupation of Haiti. He would later cofound the Haitian Communist Party. As a result, he was frequently arrested and then exiled. While in exile in the United States, he became friendly with the poet Langston Hughes. He returned to Haiti and, in 1942, was appointed chargé d’affaires in Mexico. During this period he wrote his two most influential works – Gouverneurs de la rosée (Masters of the Dew) and Bois-d’ébène (Ebony Wood). In 1944, three days after returning from Cuba, he died suddenly. The cause of his death is not known, though poisoning was suspected. He remains a key influence on Haitian culture.

Other links

Jacques Roumain
Story of Langston Hughes Meeting Jacques Roumain
Jacques Roumain (in French)


1930 La proie et l’ombre (essays)
1931 Les Fantoches (novel)
1931 La Montagne ensorcelée (novel)
1942 Contribution à l’étude de l’ethnobotanique précolombienne des Grandes Antilles (essay)
1944 Gouverneurs de la rosée (Masters of the Dew) (novel)
1945 Bois-d’ébène (Ebony Wood) (poetry)
1993 Poèmes (poetry)
1995 When the Tom-Tom Beats: Selected Prose & Poems (poetry)
2003 Oeuvres complètes
2007 Le champ du potier suivi d’autres récits (stories)