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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Claire Bijou: A writer who writes from the soul

claireaBy Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

Writing is an art of its own, and it is for good reasons at the public school level, “Writing” is too often quoted as ELA (English Language Art). Writing is an integral part of any child’s academic upbringing. It can shake soul, and when it is well crafted, it can only bring awe to your heart. Claire Bijou is the quintessential testament to this altruism.

When I approached her few months ago to collaborate with CSMS Magazine, I had no clues as to how she was going to react to the offer. Understandably, she pondered my plea, and hesitantly she agreed. I myself had no idea if Claire was such a sharp character. I had never seen her writings before. I was mainly motivated by the fact she is well-versed in English, although she lives in Port-au-Prince. I knew one thing, as she agreed to do it, I was committed to picking up the slack as I have done in the past with writers as young as Claire.

When she submitted her first piece, Tami and Nicki Christ Event at El Rancho, I immediately noticed something unique about Claire. She writes creatively, as one writes novelistic prose. Few writers can do this, especially when doing journalistic reporting—let alone a young writer.  That piece secured 10 thousand hits, with more than 80 people liked it on Facebook.

Shortly thereafter, she displayed an impeccable side of her—tender, dovish, profound but intriguing. She published “Hello,” soulful and frantic. “When I first laid my eyes on you, I lost my sense of breathing, You were like Adonis from the Greek times,” poetic prose that take you on a romantic journey as Claire grabs your soul, weaving through the mist of an infinite temporary love like Keith Harkin in The Dutchman, describing the medieval romance of Margaret on the banks of the ocean of hope.  

That poem was viewed more than 20, 000 times and created an unprecedented buzz on Linked-In. I was completely mused as I watched from afar comments after comments by seasoned writers on Book-and-Writers, an important writers groups of more than 60, 000 members. Since then, Claire Bijou seems to have stolen the souls of many readers, including mine.

Claire was born in Haiti, but grew up along the foothills of East Orange, New Jersey. She returned to Haiti with her parents during her senior years in high school. She went to Union School in Port-au-Prince and later to another American High School. Claire has the taste of both worlds—well articulated in multiple languages, but it is her patriotism that leaves me speechless. A beautiful, Creole négresse who walks in feline gestures and whose flawless wording and her innocent filtered voice remind us of Célimène—the famous Haitian princess and daughter of Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines, as historian Thomas Madiou described her to us.

Claire Bijou has the talent to become a great Haitian novelist someday. I asked her about it, but she is pondering the thought just as she did when I asked her to be a contributor to CSMS Magazine. A novel may be a distant adventure, but I’m almost certain a collection of poetry might very well be around the corner. On that thought, she still didn’t reply, but she gave me a positive nod, and on the corner of her Creole lips, she threw a subtle grin. I took it as a “yes,” for as Port-au-Prince goes asleep and its unforgiving streets go silent, Claire’s heart goes on a race with her beautiful mind, trying to find what shall be her righteous seat among the best of our time.

Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is the chief-editor for CSMS Magazine. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at UNF(University of North Florida. He is also a novelist. He may be reached at publisher@csmsmagazine.org  Also, all of Claire’s writings can be found on this section of CSMS Magazine: Poetry and Literature

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