Performance Poetry Colloquium
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Performance Poetry Jam Participant Bios
Paul Dutton is a poet, novelist, essayist, and oral sound artist who is internationally renowned for both his literary and musical performances. Throughout the last four decades he has published, recorded, and performed his work in various contexts, solo and collaborative, in print and film, on TV, radio, and the Web. He has taken his art to festivals, clubs, concert halls, and classrooms from grade school to university, throughout Canada and across the United States, Europe, and South America.
Dutton’s artistic focus continues to be the exploration of consciousness and perception through the creation of multisensory works, employing written poetry and prose, visual poetry, and the sonic dimensions of language and oral expression.
He was a member of the legendary Four Horsemen sound poetry quartet (1970-1988), along with Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Steve McCaffery, and the late bpNichol. He joins his soundsinging oralities to John Oswald’s alto sax and Michael Snow’s piano and synthesizer in the free-improvisation band CCMC (1989 to the present). He recently formed Quintet á Bras in company with two French poets and two French instrumentalists. The most recent of his six books is a novel, Several Women Dancing (Mercury Press, 2002), the latest of his five solo recordings is the CD Oralizations (DAME Records, 2005).
Angela Rawlings (known as a.rawlings) is a Canadian poet, editor, and multidisciplinary artist who has presented and/or published work in Canada, Belgium, Iceland, and the United States. Her poetry has been translated into French, Icelandic, Korean, and Spanish.
In 2001, Rawlings received the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing when she graduated from York University. Since then, she has worked with a variety of literary organizations, including The Mercury Press, The Scream Literary Festival, Sumach Press, Word: Canada’s Magazine for Readers + Writers, and The Lexiconjury Reading Series. In 2005, Rawlings hosted the poetry documentary series Heart of a Poet. She is also co-editor of Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press, 2005), an anthology featuring over forty emerging poets from across the country.
As an arts educator, rawlings has led creative writing workshops for Ryerson University, terminus1525.ca, Learning through the Arts, League of Canadian Poets, Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Education Program, the Toronto District School Board, Writers in Electronic Residence, and the Toronto Public Library system. She occasionally co-facilitates with Ciara Adams sound/text/movement workshops.
Rawlings’ first book, Wide slumber for lepidopterists was published in spring 2006 by Coach House Books. In November 2006, Theatre Commutiny staged a full-length performance of the book as part of Harbourfront Centre’s Hatch: Emerging Performance Projects series; Rawlings performed in and co-produced the show. In April 2007, Wide slumber for lepidopterists received a nomination for the Gerald Lampert Award for Best First Book of Poetry. The book was also awarded Alcuin Award for Book Design, and was listed in The Globe and Mail’s top 100 books of 2006.
In addition to literary pursuits, Rawlings occasionally works in theatre, music, and dance. She taught ballroom, Latin, and swing dances from 2001-3. She has also worked with Toronto’s Theatre Gargantua. Most recently, Rawlings has collaborated with improvising musicians in Toronto and Vancouver.
Douglas Barbour, poet, critic, and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Alberta, has published many books of criticism and poetry, including Fragmenting Body etc. (NeWest Press/SALT 2000), Lyric/Anti-lyric: essays on contemporary poetry (NeWest Press 2001), Breath Takes (Wolsak & Wynn 2002), A Flame on the Spanish Stairs (greenboathouse books 2003), Continuations, with Sheila E. Murphy (University of Alberta Press 2006), and most recently, Wednesdays’ (above/ground press 2008). He has read his poetry and lectured in many places around the world. He was inaugurated into the City of Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame in 2003.
Darren Wershler is the author or co-author of ten books, most recently, The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting (McClelland & Stewart, Cornell UP), and apostrophe (ECW), with Bill Kennedy. Darren is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, and is also part of the faculty at the CFC Media Lab TELUS Interactive Art & Entertainment Program.
Poet and text-sound performance artist, editor and prose-writer, Gerry Osamu Shikatani has also worked as a writing instructor, broadcaster and journalist specializing in gastronomy and sports. Born in Toronto in 1950 to Japanese-Canadian parents, Shikatani divides his time between Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Paris, France. Shikatani studied religion at the University of Toronto. His creative activities extend to film as both a documentary filmmaker and as a performer in Phillip Hoffman’s experimental film Opening Series.
d’bi.young is an afrikan-jamaican-canadian visionary who has performed, published, and lectured internationally. an award-winning dubpoet, writer, and theatre practitioner, she has produced five dubpoetry albums, authored two dubpoetry collections and is the playwright/performer of the published double dora award-winning, one-person show ‘blood.claat.’ d’bi.young recently launched the radical arts centre anitAFRIKA! dub theatre. she is presently completing her first non-fiction on dubpoetry and dubtheatre.
Clifton Joseph is a poet and journalist living in toronto. He’s authoured a book of poetry, “metropolitan blues”; produced “oral trans/missions”, an album of poetry with music by the livestock band; a cd-single of the poem “shots on eglinton”; the video-poem “pimps”; his work has been included in a number of spoeken and written anthologies including vehicule press’ “poetry nation” and “word up”, virgin records’ compilation of north american spoken word poets. his video-poem “(survival)in the city” was aired by muchmusic as part of their videopoems series. Joseph has performed widely around toronto, across canada, in the u.s., u.k. and the Caribbean. Clifton is also a founding member of the Dub Poets Collective.
Jamaican born Caribbean raised Chet Singh is an anti-racist educator and activist who currently teaches in the School of Academic Studies and Access Programs at Centennial College.
Working at all levels of the educational system, within government and community organizations he has developed and implemented human rights policies and programs and projects aimed at transforming Eurocentric/patriarchal/heterosexist educational ideologies. Most recently, he helped coordinate the development and implementation of a mandatory college course that promotes social justice and environmental/technological sustainability leading to social action. He hopes that these objectives will be integrated into all programs/disciplines at the College.
The multicultural /anti-colonial movements during his formative years in the Caribbean led him to embrace the revolutionary art form of dub poetry. In the early 1980s he co-founded the reggae/punk fusion band One Mind. The band was a catalyst for organizing around issues of racism/sexism, the anti-apartheid movement and US imperialism in Latin America and the Caribbean.
He teamed up with The Dub Trinity Band in 2002 which led to the creation of his first recording in two decades. True to the dub tradition, this creative endeavour also coalesced with the creation of the Peterborough Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression collective. For a few years, the collective provided a forum and structure for local academics, teachers, administrators, citizens and grassroots community organization to work collaboratively to address institutional and local issues of discrimination/oppression, poverty and the environment. His most recent release launched at the November 2007 International Dub Festival is a collaborative effort with electro acoustic musician, Jarret Prescott; hip hop producers, The Workhouse Boyz; and Dub Trinity. Special guest artists include Lillian Allen, Rosina Kazi (LAL), and Nick ‘brownman’ Ali.
Jarret Prescott has produced and performed music for film, theatre, television and radio for the past 8 years based out of Peterborough Ontario. Performing and touring with his own musical project called “the Fire Flower Revue”, much of his time has been divided evenly between band and soundtrack work. He has also performed with and backed up Canadian dub poets such as Chet Singh and Lillian Allen. Over the years, he has collaborated with many artists and activists who have fought for issues surrounding social Justice and the promotion of equality.