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Dionne Brand named as Toronto's poet laureate

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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

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