Bélance, René (1915–2004)

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Bélance, René (1915–2004)

René Bélance (b. 28 September 1915, d. 11 January 2004.), Haitian poet. After graduating from the École Normale (Portau-Prince), Bélance entered government service (departments of justice and commerce). He wrote for Le nouvelliste, Conjonction, and Optique, among other journals. In an interview in Callaloo, he says he was mistakenly labeled a surrealist because his Luminaires (1943) was published at the same time as the "hermetic" work of Magloire Saint-Aude. After spending several years in Puerto Rico, Bélance settled in the United States and taught at Brown University. Although he wrote some metrical verse, he favors free verse and poetic prose, with deep roots in African rhythms and dance. He writes with a deceptive simplicity—"Je sais des musiques sereines / au charme délicieux." L.-S. Senghor saw him as "the most gifted of the young Haitian poets" (Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache, 2d ed., 1969). Other poetical works by René Bélance include Rythme de mon coeur (1940), Pour célébrer l'absence (1943), Survivances (1944), Épaule d'ombre (1945), and Nul ailleurs (1983). Bélance died in January 2004 at the age of 89.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Naomi M. Garret, The Renaissance of Haitian Poetry (1963), pp. 175-184.

F. Raphaël Berrou and Pradel Pompilus, Histoire de la littérature haïtienne illustrée par les textes, vol. 3 (1977), pp. 389-393.

René Bélance, "Poems and Interview," in Callaloo 15, no. 3 (1992): 601-610.

Additional Bibliography

Saussy, Haun. "A Note on René Belancé." Callaloo 22 (Spring, 1999): 351-354.

                                 Carrol F. Coates

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Bélance, René (1915–2004)

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