Lanternfish Press

Rare & Strange

Maps Are Lines We Draw
A Road Trip Through Haiti

March 20, 2018

"To escape this rocking weight, all I had to do—I thought—was draw my line."

After a decade of dreaming, Allison Coffelt arrived in Haiti, ready—she thought—"to learn how much she didn’t know" about the Caribbean nation. Traveling the highways with Dr. Jean Gardy Marius, founder of the public health organization OSAPO, she embarked on a life-changing journey that would weave Haiti’s proud, tumultuous history and present reality into her life forever.

Maps Are Lines We Draw explores the culture and natural beauty of the island as well as its discomfiting realities: the threat well-intentioned aid organizations can present to the local economy; the privilege that determines who gets to travel between a "here" and a distant "there" which is foreign and other; and the challenge of doing short-term good without creating long-lasting harm. 

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About the Author

Allison Coffelt lives and writes in Columbia, Missouri. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hippocampus, Oxford Public Health Magazine, the Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. She was a finalist in the 2015 Crab Orchard Review Literary Nonfiction Prize and the winner of the 2015 University of Missouri Essay Prize. She currently works as the director of education and outreach for the annual True/False Film Fest and hosts the True/False podcast.