Part of: PTC Winter Workshops 2019 Kwéyòl poetry workshop: Translating Liz Faisal with Kendel Hippolyte
Poetry Translation Centre
Liz Faisal is the winner of the inaugural annual Kwéyòl Performance Poetry Competition in 2011, her work has received much praise in the Caribbean, and she often works with the Folk Research Centre in St. Lucia that promotes the use of Kwéyòl.
Kwéyòl is French-based creole and the national language of St. Lucia. The language was created by Africans who were brought to the Caribbean to work on the plantations as slaves during the 17th and 18th centuries. Until recently the language was referred to as patois (patwa) but the internationally accepted term for the language is Kwéyòl.
There are at least eleven million Creole speakers worldwide and Kwéyòl is spoken in Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, French Guyana, Haiti, Louisiana, Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion. Kwéyòl is also spoken in St. Maarten, parts of Trinidad and Grenada.
Although Kwéyòl has been in complete usage in the islands of the Creole Antilles or the Caribbean Basin for two hundred years until recently it has been a mainly oral language. An alphabet for the language was developed in the late seventies.