General Presentation:

Daniel Maximin was born in Guadeloupe, the second of seven children. He is a novelist, poet and essayist. In 1960, his family moved to Paris. After studying literature and the arts at the Sorbonne, he began to work as a teacher in the town of Orly, before becoming a lecturer at the French institute of social studies. From 1980 to 1989 he was the literary director of Présence Africaine Editions and producer of the television programme Antipodes on the France-Culture channel. In 1989 he returned to Guadeloupe, where he worked as the Regional director of cultural affairs until 1997. In 1998, he was put in charge of organising national celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. In 2000, he was appointed advisor to the mission for arts and culture, at the French ministry of education. In 2006, he was placed in charge of literature and education for the Festival Francophone en France: Francofffonies. In 2007, he was appointed to the internal monitoring body of the ministry of culture and communication. In January 2010, he became the commissioner general of the French year of the overseas territories – 2011.


Poetic writing is at the origin of all my literary creation, including in novels, for the sake of favouring the music and rhythms that, in our Caribbean, associate the words of the poem to dance and song. Poetry, like a word due, architecture of roots and blown-away leaves, up until “the solar fall of the fruit of creation”.

My cultural identity is not legitimized by an ancestral land, an original purity, or by a dominant language or culture, but by the accepting of original dispossessions and the sharing of gathered othernesses, whatever the imposed or chosen constraints. I endeavour to depict the genesis of the new worlds, without here or there, with exile and ruin at the start of the paths. Four continents to create a Caribbean: bundle of splinters and rays ablaze with a new hope. A mixing of humanities, offering fraternally to the world its recreations, breakaways at the borders of colours, papers and language identities. So, for you, reader:

the words that I give you imagine that you dream

the word that I reserve dreams that you imagine

and the leaf takes flight at the risk of its greenness.

Main works


- L’ISOLE SOLEIL (Novel. Seuil. 1981. Points –Seuil 1988))
- SOUFRIERES (Novel. Seuil. 1987 Points-Seuil 1996)
- ENFANCES D’AILLEURS (Collection. Belfond. 1993)
- L’ILE ET UNE NUIT (Novel. Seuil. 1996. Points-Seuil.2003)
-PARADIS BRISÉ. Short stories of the Caribbean (various authors).  Ed. Hoëbeke 2004.
-TU, C’EST L’ENFANCE. (Narrative. Gallimard 2004.
(Maurice Genevoix Grand Prix from the Académie Française. Tropiques Grand Prix 2004)
--PARIS-PORTRAITS (A voice under river banks) (Folio-unpublished. Various authors. Gallimard. 2007)
- LA GUADELOUPE VUE DU CIEL Presentation and choice of texts. (H.C.Éditions. Oct.2008)
-L’INVENTION DES DESIRADES (Poetry. Points-Seuil. 2009)
-(works translated into English, Spanish, German and Portuguese)



- Editor of CENT POÈMES by Aimé Césaire (Éditions Omnibus. 2009)
-Editor of ÉCRITS DE DISSIDENCE by Suzanne Césaire (Éditions Du Seuil 2009))
- Editor of Aimé CÉSAIRE : LA POÉSIE (complete poetry) Éditions du Seuil. 1993
- Co-editor of: TROPIQUES MÉTIS. Memoirs and cultures of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion Island, Museum of popular arts and traditions. Editions RMN, 1998.
- Author of the exhibition catalogue for WIFREDO LAM. 2004. Galerie BOULAKIA.
- Editor of PRÉSENCE ANTILLAISE Special issue by Présence Africaine. Anthology of unpublished texts from 60 French West Indian and French Guianese authors. 1982
-Editor and preface writer for the translation of THÉÂTRE DE WOLE SOYINKA. (5 plays.) Éditions P_J.Oswald.1971)

@La Médiathèque Caraïbe

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