Jacques Pierre was born in Cap-Haitien on the northern coast of Haiti. He has been teaching Haitian Creole & culture since 2010 at Duke University where his classes include students from the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University by teleconference. In addition, since January 2022, he has been teaching Haitian Creole and Culture for Stanford University. Before his arrival at Duke, Jacques taught at Florida International University and at in the Creole Institute at Indiana University.

Jacques is an outspoken advocate for the use of Kreyòl at all levels in Ayiti as a means of helping create a more inclusive society. His many articles include “Kreyòl pale, Kreyòl ekri.” Le Nouvelliste); “Lafrans ak Ayiti: Pwoblèm memwa marande ak edikasyon kolonyal.” Potomitan; “Haiti’s French/Creole Divide.” The Miami Herald; “Creole, a Key to Haitian Literacy.” The Herald Sun; “Help for Haiti must include embracing Creole.” The News&Observer; “Haitian Creole: Between Rejection and Recognition.” The Haitian Times; “Haiti:une société aux inégalités monstrueuses.” France-Antilles, Guadeloupe.

Jacques has guided his students in producing a number of learning and sharing videos featured by the U.S. Department of Education Office of International and Foreign Language Education as invaluable tools for those wishing to sharpen their skills in Haitian Creole. He has also created an ingenious game called “Memonèt” Riddles to help those learning Haitian Creole sharpen their listening and understanding skills.

Jacques has been organizing the International Creole Day Celebration at Duke University since 2013 as well as The Haitian Film Series since 2012. Starting in October 2021, Jacques has been conducting a series of interviews in Kreyòl with several Creolists around the world (Trinidad and Tobago, Saint-Lucia, Seychelles, Ayiti, Mauritius). From the beginning of his career, Jacques has been asking the Creole world to viv an kreyòl.

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KiteKeMPale800In his latest collection, Kite kè m pale (Let My Heart Speak), the poet Jacques Pierre speaks lovingly and eloquently about women and others who have faced and continue to face difficulties and injustice. Jacques uses the elegance and imagery of his poetry not only to showcase the beauty and richness of the Kreyòl language but also as a poignant reminder of the issues facing his home country. His poetry sometimes resorts to uncommon forms of Kreyòl such as jagon and bolit to better express that which cannot be conveyed commonly, and expose everyone to the linguistic wealth of the country.

Kite kè m pale expresses the heart of the poet as well as the heart and soul of the Kreyòl language and those who speak it.

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