Check out the Dub Poet’s Coming to the Fest! Will be posting more bio’s soon!
D-lishus– poet mother fire goddess diva
hard hitting political sistah
dispensing words of wisdom
to educate the yoots
fighting hate with words and poetry and
starting love fires everywhere
breaking the chains of mental bondage
with my word/s/word
Nordine- THE STORM Spoken Word Poet
With over 50 live performances under her belt, The Storm is a Spoken Word Artist/Performance Poet who has built a solid reputation based on her honest and thought-provoking poetry. With over eight years of performing in Ontario, this native Torontonian seeks to create awareness and thought to the critical issues found in both her published prose and within her dynamic live performances.
Neisha New Era-
Twenty-something year old, Neisha New Era is a veritable veteran who began writing and performing poetry before age ten. She was published at age 13 by the Hamilton Spectator and founded a poetry/creative writing group in elementary school, which published a collection. Having a mother who is a reggae singer, Neisha regularly opens for her at festivals and functions. She describes her style as “hip hop meeting soul” Neisha is a regular Dubfest performer and is a new member of the Dub Poetry Collective Youth Initiative. She is now expanding her passion for literature to short story writing. Neisha is a solid single mother who still finds time for community outreach and voluntary sharing of her talents in schools.
Shanique- Shanique hails from Jamaica’s legendary community of Trench Town in Kingston. After migrating to Canada, she attended Centennial College, gained a diploma in Social Service Work and is currently working towards a BSW. She utilizes dubpoetry as a part of her everyday coping mechanism. A founding member of the DPC Youth Initiative, Shanique was also a member of the Jamaica Youth Theatre. In 2003, she won a Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, National Speech Festival, silver medal for her poem: “A Woman’s cry.” Shanique also represented Jamaica at the Caribbean School’s Drama Festival in Antigua and was selected most promising Jamaican actress. She aims to use her poetry to fight the negative isms in society, and especially to inspire women.
Ashley – Ashley McFarlane aka Queen Tiyessential, is a 24 year old activist and artist who enjoys working with photography, film, and journalism to create socially engaging and empowering messages. When not on stage performing spoken word, she can be found studying holistic health, reading sci-fi, watching documentaries, training youth in media creation and dancing. She is a founding member of the DPC Youth Initiative.
J Nicole Noel – J Nicole Noel – is a multi-talented artiste who has recorded one CD, written eight poetry books and two children’s books. Her first CD “Verse, The Power of the Spoken Words in Music” was released in November 2004. Her children’s book, Nephetiti and Sweetie Go to the Zoo, was a staple feature at several regional arts festivals. She has also performed as the opening act for such luminaries as the legendary Drifters and Jerry Butler. Ms. Noël has also appeared on Rogers Daytime Television, Planet Africa Television, and Rogers Cable Television’s Special video. Her diversity helps her to transcend cultural barriers. Her distinct, soft, sultry voice has been described as soothing to audiences of all ages.
Sankofa– Kofi Aboagye Akrofi Sankofa was born in Jamaica. He immigrated to Canada in 1987 and experienced the challenges of a newcomer. Sankofa eventually discovered the power of his voice and became involved with dubpoetry. After attending Seneca College and Ryerson University, he developed an urgent desire to educate, re-educate and uplift the youth in his own community. Sankofa has an influential presence in community arts, youth development, education, and social engagement. He employs community radio as an outreach platform and hosts “Kubandwa Show” and “News Now” on York University’s radio station CHRY 105.5. Sankofa is a core member of the Dub Poets Collective whose works emphasize the importance of spirituality, education, economics, politics, cooperation and love in the African Diaspora.
Clifton Joseph – Antiguan born, dubzz/poet/at/large, Clifton Joseph is one of the founders of the dubpoetry movement in Canada and has performed widely across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Caribbean. Joseph is also a veteran journalist who has written for newspapers, for radio, and television. He has also been an on air personality with CKLN, CIUT and CBC RADIO. He was a television: producer/host with TVOntario’s literary program IMPRINT. Clifton has also worked as a pop culture columnist and a movie reviewer. Joseph has published Metropolitan Blues, released an album, Oral Trans/missions; a CD/single Shots On Eglinton; videopoems Pimps and Survival. He has penned poems for Radio, TV, and film. A founding member of the Dub Poets Collective, he is also a member of The League of Canadian Poets, The Canadian Writers Guild and ACTRA. Along with several awards in radio, TV and film, Joseph has been nominated for a Juno and is a two-time Gemini Award winner.
Michelle Muir is a teacher, poet and spoken word artist. She captured the imagination of many in 2006 when she won CBC radio’s poetry competition with her evocative poem “My Fantastic Voyage to Planet Irresistible.” In 2007 she was once again named CBC’s Radio Poet Laureate. Her first book of poetry, Nuff Said, was published in Fall 2009. It reflects on life in the city of Toronto and includes a CD of select poems. Michelle is currently working on a collection of poems for children.
Leah St. a.k.a. Miss Liza is a multidisciplinary artist who believes fully in the transformative power of storytelling. She recently wrote and presented her solo work “Iridescence” under the mentorship and direction of d’bi.young
of AnitaAfrica Dub Theatre.
Andrea Thompson, a pioneer of slam poetry in Canada, is a performance poet who has been featured on film, radio, and television. Her work has been published in magazines, journals and anthologies across Canada. Thompson published an acclaimed collection, Eating the Seed (Ekstasis Editions, 2000). Her spoken word CD, One, was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award in 2005. She hosted Heart of a Poet on Bravo TV, CiTr Radio’s spoken word show, Hearsay, and acted as Executive Director of the Edgewise Electrolit Centre, where she produced Telepoetics, a video-conferenced live poetry series. In 2008, Thompson toured her Spoken Word/Play Mating Rituals of the Urban Cougar across Canada, and was the 2009 Poet of Honor at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. A founding member of the Spoken Word Arts Network, Thompson’s electric and unique style blends elements of jazz, dub, hip-hop and traditional literary verse with dazzling effect.
Rudyard Fearon works at University of Toronto Robarts Library. Over the years his poems have been published by most of the university’s literary journals. His poems have also appeared in other literary journals and anthology such as The Edges of Time.
His unique book, Free Soil, published in 2001 on CD-ROM with 67 text and CD audio tracks is one of the first of its kind to appear on the literary scene. Apart from being a full member of the League of Canadian Poets, Rudy is a member of the board that runs The Art Bar Poetry Series, the leading poetry series in Canada. Rudyard Fearon was profiled in the television series “Heart of a Poet.”
Jill Battson is an internationally published poet and poetry activist who is currently the Poet Laureate of Cobourg, Ontario. She was responsible for creating and running the successful poetry reading series The Poets’ Refuge and has initiated and produced many poetry events including The Poetry Express – a BYOV at Toronto’s Fringe Festival; Liminal Sisters – a language poetry event; The Festival of the Spoken Word – a five day spoken word festival; Fightin’ Words – poets in a boxing ring; The Poetburo Slams and the hyper- successful Word Up – a series of interstitial poetry spots airing on MuchMusic and Bravo! Which spawned a CD with Virgin Records and an anthology with Key Porter. She was the poetry editor for Insomniac Press from 1999 to 2001.
Jill is widely published across North America and the UK. Her first book, Hard Candy, was received to great acclaim and nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. She has written several plays and solo works, including How I learned to live with obsession as well as Ecce Homo and Hard Candy – enhanced monologues for dance and voice. She has written the libretti for two short operas, Netsuke and Ashlike on the Cradle of the Wind, produced by Tapestry New Opera Works, and produced an electro acoustic sound art project, LinguaElastic, as part of the Canadian Music Centre’s New Music in New Places series. Dark Star Requiem, for which she wrote the libretto, premiered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in June 2010. Jill’s third book of poems, Dark Star Requiem, was recently published by Folded & Gathered Press.
Phyllis Walker – Storyteller Phyllis Walker has performed widely across Canada. Phyllis engages audiences with ease. An award from the Ontario Arts Council allowed her to pursue her research in her special area of storytelling – The Anansi Stories. Phyllis has shared her stories in High Park to benefit the children of Rwanda, Nathan Philips Square for children with Sickle Cell, The Toronto Festival of Storytelling, Word on the Street and many schools, festivals & community centres, to the delight of children & adults from all cultures. Growing up in a large family in a pre-television age Phyllis Walker honed her skills as a storyteller at weekly family gatherings and community celebrations. Her love of poetry and storytelling remains as a constant as the enthusiastic response of audiences to her performances.
cyngs is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, curator and combobulator extraordinaire
born with a silver pen in her mouth, cyngs has often been found choking on it and with blue ink dribbled all over her chin
cutting her teeth on scraps of 20 lb white acid-free paper since she was two, cyngs has found this ingenious formula to be the secret of her blossoming career ever since
Nancy Jo Cullen
Nancy Jo Cullen is the author of three collections of poetry with Calgary’s Frontenac House Press. Her first collection Science Fiction Saint was short-listed for the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Stephan G. Stephansson Award and the Alberta Book Publisher’s Award for best trade fiction. Her second book Pearl won the Alberta Book Publishers Trade Fiction Book Award and was short-listed for the WO Mitchell Calgary Book pries. Her third collection, released in April 2009 is titled is untitled child. In 2010, Nancy Jo was the fourth recipient of the Writer’s Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Grant for Emerging Gay Writer.
Nancy Jo has recently completed her MFA at the University of Guelph-Humber. She is at work on a short story collection titled The 14th Week in Ordinary Time.
Klyde Broox, a member of Toronto’s Dub Poets Collective, is a veteran, well travelled, Caribbean born, dubpoet who taught Language Arts in his native Jamaica. Broox migrated to Canada in 1993 and has lived in Hamilton with his family since 1996. A former University of Miami James Michener Fellow, he won the 2005 City of Hamilton Arts Award for Literature. Klyde Broox has published two volumes of poetry, Poemstorm, (Swansea, Wales, 1989) and My Best Friend is White, (McGilligan Books, 2005), which was selected as the best poetry book in the City of Hamilton for 2006. Steeped in both old and new-world oral and scribal traditions; Klyde usually invites audiences and workshop participants to experience poetry as social communion.
Robert Priest is a British born Canadian poet and children’s author. He has written numerous books of poetry, several children’s novels, and has often appeared on CBC radio’s hit spoken word show “Wordbeat” under the alias “Dr Poetry”. He is well known for his aphorisms and performance poetry. His adult poetry has been categorized as
surrealistic satire while his children’s poetry is more tender, underpinned with a utopian hopefulness. Canadian novelist Barbara Gowdy has described him as “the voice of the people and the angels, entwined” and the Toronto star has called him “passionate, cocky, alternately adoring and insulting verse.” Aside from poetry, Priest has also branched out over the years to write plays, novels and songs, many of which have earned him awards and recognition in literary and musical circles.
Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born writer and editor who lives in Canada. She is the
daughter of Guyanese poet and actor Abdur Rahman Slade Hopkinson.Her science fiction and fantasy novels (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon’s Arms) and short stories such as those in her collection Skin Folk often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling. Hopkinson is the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for Emerging Writers. Nalo is the first author to receive the Sunburst Award twice. Hopkinson has edited two fiction anthologies (Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction and Mojo: Conjure Stories). She was the co-editor with Uppinder Mehan for the anthology So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, and with Geoff Ryman for Tesseracts 9. Hopkinson has a Masters of Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She teaches writing around the world. She is one of the founding members of the Carl Brandon Society.
Michael St. George
Jamaican born, Toronto based, Canadian dubpoet Michael St. George is an internationally recognized leader in the world of dub. He is also a singer and songwriter who inspires audiences with perceptive lyrics and melodic sound fusing Reggae, Jazz, and Pop
influences. Michael is a dynamic artist who forges cooperative creations with other
poets and musicians. His album “Dubbin’ De Vibes” especially highlights exciting
artistic partnerships. Michael is a qualified gerontology activity coordinator and
remotivation therapist, whose work explores social values related to our seniors and
examines the needs to rebuild bridges between generations. St. George blends spiritual
energy, social commentary, and artistic revelry to motivate people to empower themselves. He is a dedicated community activist who has been awarded for his involvement with workers in Ontario. Michael also does international work in youth development and has designed and taught a course at Brock University in Ontario. Among his numerous awards are Canadian Reggae Music Award, two time Caribbean Crucible Dub Poet of the Year and 1997 Birmingham Slam Champion. In 2001 he published a well received collection, titled Night Spin. A prolific producer, Michael’s CD’s include, Long Long Time, Black African, Political Fanatic, Self-Assession, Root 2 Fruit, and the musically expansive, Dubbin De Vibes.