Writers in Residence: Naomi Fontaine and Gisèle Pineau



The Winthrop~King will be sponsoring a 'Writers in Residence' week (25-29 March 2024) with Naomi Fontaine & Gisèle Pineau, inspired by Édouard Glissant's thought, to encourage collaboration and connections between the works and communities these authors claim.

As part of this week, the Winthrop-King has also organized a New Regions Symposium on 28~ 29 March 2024. In accordance with the aims of the 'New Regions' initiative, we have papers and panels that examine the work of Naomi Fontaine and Gisèle Pineau, and especially the potential resonances between the two authors, and between communities, cultures, and histories in Quebec, Guadeloupe and the broader Caribbean.


Naomi Fontaine was born in Uashat, an Innu community surrounded by the Sept-Îles Bay. She is a French teacher and writer in her home community. Her first novel, Kuessipan (Mémoire d’encrier, 2011), won the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie and was adapted into a feature-length film. In her second novel, Manikanetish (Mémoire d’encrier, 2017), Fontaine writes about education, return, and the effects of history on her students and community. She was named one of the “Women of the Year” by Elle Québec in 2011. Fontaine’s work is profoundly anticolonial and deeply engaged with the effects of history on the Innu community.

Gisèle Pineau has written about exile, intolerance, violence, poverty, solitude, and love, over the course of her prolific writing career. She has won eleven literary prizes, most recently the Prix du roman historique (2021) for her novel from the same year, Ady, soleil noir. The work reconstructs the life of Adrienne Fidelin, a Guadeloupean woman who became the muse and model for the American surrealist Man Ray. In addition to being a writer, Gisèle Pineau spent close to twenty years as a psychiatric nurse. She has recently returned to Guadeloupe and lives on the island of Marie-Galante.

The Winthrop-King Writers in Residence brings together these two women writers who give voice to communities and people who have historically been underrepresented. As part of the New Regions initiative, our aim is to create a space where two writers from two different communities can come together to generate new understandings and new relations. The authors will be in residence at Florida State University from 24-31 March 2024. During that time, the communities of Florida State University and Tallahassee will have the opportunity to meet and engage with them through a writing workshop, public readings, and the symposium. 



A Winthrop~King Institute Initiative 

We shall meet where the oceans join 

We are all now entering into a new region of the world, which designates its sites on all the given and imaginable expanses, and of which only a few had been able to foresee in the distance its wanderings and obscurities. We believe that these foreshadowing wanderings, these foretelling obscurities, if they present themselves still today in overly apocalyptic contexts, would be no less propitious for a renewed energy of the matter of the world, or for a means of regeneration, as all the inaugural catastrophes appear to be, memories of a dizzying creation and whose varieties are difficult to foretell. (Édouard Glissant, A New Region of the World) 


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