Dominican authors publish best-selling book of poetry  

Huguette St Hilaire (left) and Sharon Dorival

Two Dominican authors have penned a book of poetry that has become a best-seller in the bookstore of its publisher.

“Poems You Will Love” is a collaboration between Sharon Dorival, a Dominican now living in Canada, and Huguette St. Hilaire.

According to the publisher of the book, FriesenPress, it is a “collection of free verse poetry [that] explores the versatile expression of the arts. Its depth, richness, colour, and style reach out to everyone trying to preserve culture and art and who wants to present their style to the world. Today’s young adults are trying to achieve change on a different level—this book guides that transformation.”

It said on its website that the poems were “inspired by the themes and prompts assigned by the Passion of Poetry team as part of their twenty-four-hour challenges.”

“Many poems were judged by professional judges, teachers, doctors, social workers, and others. One set of poems written during a twenty-one-day streak even won the Emily Dickinson Award,” FriesenPress said.

Both authors contributed individual poems to the book but they worked together to write “Grandmother Divine.”

Dorival said St Hilaire is very much into the arts and they capitalized on that in putting the collection together.

She explained that the poems are all winning works from the Passion of Poetry competition.

“There were 24 hours challenges, so we had to think on the spot, so if we published late, they wouldn’t get awarded,” she said. “So we had 24 hours, we saw the theme and we wrote quickly and we submitted properly.

St. Hilaire said the poems they submitted to the competition received many accolades and their poem “Grandmother Divine” won an award of Best Collaborative Effort.

“We won individual awards and certificates, except for the collaborative effort for ‘Grandmother Divine,'” Dorival explained. “That was a challenge also but we had to collaborate. Whether you knew that person or not, you had to collaborate and lucky for me, I got Huguette whom I knew.”

The two decided to put their poems together in the form of a collection following their success with “Grandmother Divine.”

Just a few days after the book was published, Dorival received a message from FriesenPress saying that it was a bestseller.

“Poems You Will Love has made it to the Bestseller List on the FriesenPress Bookstore this week,”  the messaged reads. “All your hard work and tireless efforts have culminated in this moment, Sharon.”

St Hilaire is a writer, musician, and music teacher. Her plays and short stories have been produced locally in Dominica, and she has been a judge for several cultural and Calypso shows. She is a songwriter, arranger, and the tutor of the music program at the Dominica Institute for the Arts. Although this is Huguette’s first book, she has two poems published in Mother’s Embrace (2022). In her free time, Huguette farms, bakes, drives, sell herbs and teas, and helps the Cultural Division in Dominica where she lives with her husband and their dog, Rex.

Dorival is a prolific writer and avid reader. She has published a dozen books, including Tricks on the Mind (2019), Martha Dreams (2019), Monkey Mind Madness (2020), and Where Are You Mom? (2022). She is a member of the Dominica Arts and Literary Association, Sistahs With Ink, Passion of Poetry, and Creation and Beyond, among others. Outside of writing, Sharon exercises at the outdoor gym, reads, spends time with older adults, and makes traditional rugs with empty rice bags and pieces of cloth. Sharon lives in Canada with her husband, three children, and their dog, Cuante.

The book is available on FriesenPress webpage at

It can also be found on Google Books at

It will soon be available in hard copy form in Dominica.

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1 Comment

  1. June 5, 2024

    Very cool. Available on Amazon? I think Dominica and Life there would inspire some great poetry.

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