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Born in Haiti and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Don Clitandre is at the core a writer and artist. He began writing poetry in Creole shortly after migrating to the states to reunite with his parents. While in High School he discovered he had dyslexia, and because he did not have the necessary support to overcome this challenge, he gave up on his dream of becoming a writer. However, throughout the years, he remembered the English teacher that told him to not give up. In the past few years, Clitandre has been dedicating time to focus on his writing and art.Clitandre is a student of life and its mysteries. He learns from his own experiences and by being a keen observer in how people behave. He is an avid traveler and finds most of his inspiration in life while backpacking. Some of his favorite places to backpack are in Mexico City,Guatemala, and Belize.

Clitandre’s professional expertise is in the field of training and development of Managers. He is the proud father of two daughters and a son. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Q&A With Don Clitandre
BS: When and how did you realize you had a love for writing?Don Clitandre: Well I grew up around intellectuals and a variety of free minded people. My father is a journalist, an author and a great painter.  I fell in love with the Kreyol language, writing short stories, poems and songs in my native tongue. The transition from telling stories in kreyol to English became very challenging, because it was such a foreign language to me. I must have been around 12 when I told my father I wanted to be a writer. Then I discovered I had dyslexia.

BS: I’m certain having Dyslexia created a challenge for you as a writer. How did you overcome such a challenge?

Don Clitandre: Oh, it was detrimental. I have always had a difficulty in learning. My mom never gave up on me. But I have a passion for learning and a very independent spirit. Dyslexia made it difficult for teachers that are programmers and had a very linear way of teaching. Around the age of 14 or so I discovered Quantum Physics and the subatomic world. I fell in love. It forced me to try to teach myself different methods of learning on my own. I created a vision board for myself.

BS: Your novel, “Exiled to Brooklyn” is a very thoughtful, inspirational, and interesting read. What is the number one message you wanted to convey to your readers?

Don Clitandre: Life is dynamic, life is multidimensional, there is an ambiguity in it, contradiction in it, and above all, we are all searching, sharing, giving, learning and loving in the process of it all.

BS: Do you plan on writing many more novels?

Don Clitandre: Yes I do. Stay Tuned!

BS: What advice do you have for writers out there who are interested in writing a novel, and encounters difficulty in putting their thoughts together?

Don Clitandre: Well I am very passionate about the things that I write about. It’s like giving birth. I write because I have something to say and I want to inspire, take my readers on this mystical journey. I write to purify my heart, I write because I am looking for this mysterious stranger, the reader, and the mysterious stranger in myself, my inner being. And also the way I write is the way I speak and think. So my advice to a new writer is let it be organic, write it and organize it later.

BS: Do you believe a background in Writing or English is essential to be a writer, or is it a skill?

Don Clitandre: It will help you, and hopefully you do not become neurotic in the process or mechanical. I think writing is a gift, a love. You have to be willing to be naked.

BS: What should we expect from Don Clitandre next?

Don Clitandre: Well I have a few projects on my vision board, refining them on a daily basis. I am a strong believer in the artistic movement for making progress. So if it’s going to make a difference in the community, I’ll put it out next year, 2012. Maybe next year, I’ll do an event with my paintings in NY. For now, I am just focusing on Exiled To Brooklyn.

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10 thoughts on “EXILED TO BROOKLYN AUTHOR- Don Clitandre”

  1. I have read this book and can honestly say it is a must read. If you like poetry, self-motivation, culture, and history this book has it all. Thank you Don for sharing your story with the world. Your talent should be recognized and I thank Black Street for doing a phenomenal job in bringing positive and inspiring black people to the lime light. God bless!

  2. Hi Don,

    I stumbled on this page…or maybe it isn’t a coincident. Anyway, I enjoyed your reading your response to the questions that you were asked during your interview. I can identify with your philosophy. Looking forward to purchasing your book and anxious to read it. Nathalie

  3. This is a great first interview. I am so proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. Writing is indeed being naked and it takes a lot of courage to do. Looking forward to the next project. Keep on keepin’ on, bro!

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