The Great Black North is a contemporary remix of the story of Black Canada. Told through the intertwining tapestry of poetic forms found on the page and stage, The Great Black North presents some missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that help fit together a poetic picture of the Black Canadian experience.
Poets from the anthology reading at this event are: Kevan Cameron, Dr. Mason-John aka ‘Queenie’, Wayde Compton, Adelene da Soul Poet, and Lillian Allen. The event will be hosted by Jillian Christmas (who is also in the anthology).
Many African Canadians know their history in North America since the 17th century. However, the rest of the world may be unaware of the history of enslaved Africans and slave auctions north of the 49th parallel, as well as the free Blacks, Loyalists and Maroons who made their journeys to the “promised land” of Canada. The Great Black North should be a valuable resource for the preservation of culture that is written and/or performed as dub poetry, spoken word and slam. At the heart of this book is a poetic blend of literary and oral traditions that recognizes the past and present as they form a tangible foundation for future generations of poets.
This collection of over 90 poets documents the many styles that Black Canadians use to express themselves. The rhythms felt in The Great Black North stem from the vibrant pulse of poets such as the much translated and internationally honoured Africadian George Elliott Clarke who has just been appointed Toronto’s fourth Poet Laureate; Ian Keteku, who was crowned the 2010 World Poetry Slam champion; Lillian Allen, founder of the dub poetry tradition in Canada; and Afua Cooper, who brought to light the hanging of an enslaved African woman, Marie Joseph Angélique, for the alleged burning of Montreal in 1734.
Find out more at: http://blackcanadianpoetry.com
About the editors:
Dr. Mason-John is an award-winning writer. Her first novel Borrowed Body (renamed The Banana Kid) won the Mind Book of the Year Award, and was named the British Color Purple by the UK media. Mason-John began her writing career as an international correspondent covering Australian Aboriginal Land Rights and Black Deaths in custody, Sinn Fein Prisoners in Northern Ireland, political unrest, education, and the arts. She is the author of four non-fiction books, one award winning novel, and a collection of poetry, prose and plays, as well as having several plays produced.
Kevan Anthony Cameron, also known as Scruffmouth is a scribe, spoken poet, performer and proud co-editor of The Great Black North. He is a veteran of the poetry slam scene in North America and aims to “edutain” with his work that focuses on knowledge of self, identity and vocalizing the stories of people of African descent at home and abroad. Kevan was born in Edmonton, Alberta to Jamaican parents.