rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Dionne Brand named as Toronto's poet laureate

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Rabble-rousing poet and author, Dionne Brand, was named Toronto's poet laureate on Wednesday.

The position is for three years, and Brand will be Toronto's literary ambassador "championing local literary arts and wordsmiths,"according to the media release issued by the City of Toronto. The release also explains that she will also create a literary legacy project for the people of Toronto.

The position was established in 2001 and Dionne will be the third poet to hold the position. Previous poet laureates were Dennis Lee and Pier Giorgio di Ciccio.

Brand has published nine volumes of poetry, including No Language is Neutral, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award; Land To Light On, winner of the Governor General's Award and the Trillium Book Award; Thirsty, winner of the Pat Lowther Award and a finalist for the Trillium Book Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize; and most recently Inventory, a finalist for the Governor General's Award. Her poetry has been translated into Italian and French and is published in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Italy and Germany. Brand is also a novelist -- and she won the Toronto Book Award for her novel What We All Long For in 2006. That year she was also awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing.

Dionne Brand moved to Canada from Trinidad when she was 17 to attend the University of Toronto, where she earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and English and a master's degree in the philosophy of education. She is currently a professor of English in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She has contributed to 17 anthologies, written dozens of essays and articles, and made four documentary films for the National Film Board. Ossuaries, Brand's next collection of poems, will be published next year by McClelland and Stewart.

"I have a great passion for this city -- in its multiplicity it is constantly rich and surprising," she said in a statement.

rabble.ca congratulates Dionne on her new position and the City of Toronto for making this stellar appointment!

read more about the announcement

read Dionne Brand on rabble

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.