Camille, Roussan (1912–1961)

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Camille, Roussan (1912–1961)

Roussan Camille (b. 27 August 1912; d. 7 December 1961), Haitian poet and journalist. Camille first wrote for Le temps, often publishing poems along with his regular columns. He was named editor in chief of Haïti Journal (1935) and director (1936), after the death of Charles Moravia. From 1947 to his death, he held several official positions: division head in the ministry of public instruction (during World War II), vice-consul of Haiti in New York City (1947–1948), secretary to President Dumarsais Estimé (1948–1950), and director of cultural affairs. Camille was imprisoned briefly after serving President Estimé. At the news of Camille's death, Franck Fouché published a poem to "celebrate the multiple presence of a great poet" (Symphonie en noir majeur, 1962).

Camille moved away from French poets toward the inspiration of Langston Hughes and Nicolás Guillén. He wrote with empathy for the victim—whether slave, prostitute, or child—and a sense of fraternity with his fellow poets. He was awarded the Dumarsais Estimé Prize for his collected poetry when he submitted the manuscript of La multiple présence in 1961. Among his other works are Assaut à la nuit (1940), and La multiple présence, derniers poèmes (1978).

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Naomi M. Garret, The Renaissance of Haitian Poetry (1963), pp. 167-175.

F. Raphaël Berrou and Pradel Pompilus, Histoire de la littérature haïtienne illustrée par les textes, vol. 3 (1977), 237-252.

                                 Carrol F. Coates