100 Refutations: Day 40

The Anguished Tam-Tam

It is ridiculous to play the flute
In a country where the national
Instrument is the powerful assôtor*


*“The assôtor […] is the largest drum in Haiti. Its low, heavy sound can travel for several kilometers in the mountains. It is a traditional instrument in Vodou ceremonies. During the Haitian Revolution, when French troops sought to regain control of newly liberated regions, Toussaint Louverture reportedly made use of the assôtor to send coded messages between the mountains and valleys.” (Poetry of Haitian Independence, edited by Doris Y. Kadish and Deborah Jenson, p. 278.)


A performance by a Haitian drum ensemble.


Carl Brouard

Carl Brouard (1902-1965) was an influential figure in Haitian literature despite having published just one book in his lifetime, Écrit sur du ruban rose. Brouard practiced Vodou and belonged to Les Griots, a group whose goal was to reclaim the value of Haitian folklore.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. and Addie Leak

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. earned MFAs in creative nonfiction writing and literary translation from The University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing from Anomalous Press and Don’t Come Back from Mad River Books, as well as editor, with Sarah Viren, of the forthcoming anthology Essaying the Americas. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation work has been featured in journals including  Bellingham ReviewChicago ReviewFourth GenreBrevityPoets & Writers, and The Sunday Rumpus, among others. She won Best of the Net and Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices Award, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and is a Rona Jaffe fellow. She moved from Colombia to China to Columbus, Ohio to Richmond, Virginia, where she works as an assistant professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. Visit www.linawritesessays.com.


Addie Leak (French editor) is a freelance translator and editor currently living in Amman, Jordan. She holds an MFA in literary translation from The University of Iowa and has published translations from French, Spanish, and Arabic in various literary journals as well as in Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics, edited by Olivia Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio. She also coordinated the creation and publication of Lanterns of Hope: A Poetry Project for Iraqi Youth, a 2016 collaboration between The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and the US Embassy in Baghdad.

English translation copyright (c) Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., 2018.