ARTIST GALLERY 1
Adrian Green is a Barbadian performance poet engaged in writing about Bajan society and the African diaspora. He was first introduced to performance poetry as a student in the US and took the art form back to Barbados where he would become a three-time winner of the Barbadian Slam Poetry championships and a Gold Award winner in Barbados' National Festival of Creative Arts. He has performed widely throughout the Caribbean, the US and Ghana. His two albums of poetry are “Random Acts of Conscience” and “Hard Ears”.
Ahmed Ali also known as Knowmadic is a Somali-Canadian poet who is known to use humor and word play in his poetry to create awareness of social issues that aren’t often given attention. He feels he is continuing the legacy passed on by his ancestors who shared a common interest in spoken word. In the few years that he has been active, Ahmed has been able to achieve national recognition for his witty, humorous and metaphorical style of poetry.
Amani “Contemporary Blues Poet” is the 2013 recipient of the BBPA Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in Entertainment is. She is an actor, playwright, producer, arts educator, director and creative consultant. A real Tour de Force on stage her vocals and artistry captivate the souls of her audiences - hitting them with fiery lyrics one minute and a poetic love song the next. Amani has performed locally in When Sisters Speak on more than 5 occasions, Irie Fest, and Hillside Music Festival. Outside of Toronto she has blessed the mic at The Africa Festival of Art and Culture in Nova Scotia, the Nuyorican Café in New York City, the Drum in Birmingham, England, The Word Power International Literary Festival in London, England and Rapso fest in Trinidad. Her second CD called “Poetree Huggin” got amazing reviews. And she is currently the Creative Director/Production Coordinator for a new Musical called “The Journey” The Living History of Regent Park. Her new play She Said/He Said that fuses poetry, monologues, and song will have its World Premiere in the Spring of 2016 at Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal. Her future plans include continuing to see the world through writing and performance.
Andrea Thompson is a writer, teacher, activist and mentor, who has been a mainstay on the
Canadian spoken word scene for the past twenty years.
Thompson’s poetry collection, Eating the Seed (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), has been featured on
the reading list at the University of Toronto, and at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She is
also the co-editor ofOther Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, an anthology released by
Inanna Publications in the fall of 2010.
In 2012, Thompson received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the
University of Guelph, with a full-length fiction manuscript for her thesis. Her debut novel, Over
Our Heads was published by Inanna Publications in the fall of 2014.
Working in a variety of forms, Thompson's poetry has been featured in the film Slam Nation, on
Bravo TV's Planet Poetry, TVO’s Imprint, Carolyn Weaver’s Bio Library and on a variety of CBC
radio programs. A popular performer at venues and festivals across North America, Thompson’s
work has been featured on film, radio, and television; and included in magazines, literary
journals and anthologies across Canada.
Thompson's poetry is hybridist and unique - blending elements of jazz, blues, spoken word and
traditional literary verse into a style all her own. In 2009 she was awarded the Canadian Festival
of Spoken Word's Poet of Honour for Outstanding Achievement, and in 2005 her CD One was
nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award.
In 2008, Thompson wrote and performed her one woman show, "Mating Rituals of the Urban
Cougar", which she toured across the country as part of the Canadian Fringe Festival series. In
2009 her essay on the history of Spoken Word in Canada was published by Edition Maelstrom
(Brussels) as the prologue to the book Le Making of d’un Homme by Dwayne Morgan.
She is currently teaching Spoken Word and Poetry through the Ontario College of Art and Design
University’s Continuing Studies Department, and is a member of the WordSpell collective
Over Our Heads, Andrea’s first novel (Inanna Publications, 2014) weaves together the histories
of two very different half-sisters who return home to deal with the aftermath that occurs when
the grandmother who raised them dies. Emma, a punk band singer and poet turned pet psychic,
and Rachel, an actuary with an interest in astronomy, both carry the remnants of childhoods
overshadowed by issues of bullying, abandonment, alienation and fear. It is a story about
kindness, compassion – and the lack of it, on both a societal and individual level. It’s about
growing up wounded, and the generational legacy of suffering such wounds can create. It
unearths the painful family dynamics that can arise from our perception of memory, and how
these dynamics colour both who we are, and who we believe others to be. It’s a story of
acceptance, forgiveness, redemption, and the beauty that can be found in the imperfection
inherent in being human.