Free and open to the public!
Left to right: Book covers for Wires that Sputter: Poems by Britta Badour / Bottom Rail on Top by D.M. Bradford / Song & Dread by Otoniya J. Okot Bitek
Join us for a joint book launch and a dazzling evening of Black poetic performance! Introducing new work by Britta B, DM Bradford, and Otoniya J Okot Bitek with a Q&A hosted by Kingston’s poet laureate, Sadiqa de Meijer.
Looking for more like this? Check out Tiana Edwards’s The Black Experience Podcast. Listen to her special episode with authors Britta B and Otoniya J. Okot Bitek.
Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Britta Badour, better known as Britta B., is an award winning artist, spoken word poet, performer, emcee, voice talent and mentor living in Toronto. Her debut poetry collection, Wires that Sputter, was just published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and the USA.
In 2021, Britta was announced Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist and COCA Lecturer of the Year. Her work has been featured in print, in sound and onstage across North America in notable spheres such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, CBC Arts: Poetic License, The Walrus Talks, TEDx and The Stephen Lewis Foundation. As an educator, Britta facilitates artist-training seminars, poetry workshops and social justice programs in partnership with organizations like JAYU, Poetry In Voice, Prologue Performing Arts, and League of Canadian Poets.
Britta holds a Creative Writing MFA from the University of Guelph and is a professor of spoken word performance at Seneca College.
Darby Minott Bradford is a poet, editor, and translator based in Tioh’tia:ke (Montréal). He holds a BA from Concordia University and an MFA from the University of Guelph. A lifelong Montrealer, Bradford’s work formally engages and frustrates dominant conceptions of Blackness in the Diaspora. His poetry has appeared in, among others, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, filling Station, The Capilano Review, Carte Blanche, and anthologized in The Unpublished City, a 2018 Toronto Book Awards finalist. He is the author of several chapbooks, including Call Out (2017), Nell Zink Is Damn Free (2017), and The Plot (2018). Bradford’s first book, Dream of No One but Myself, is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the versioning aspects of his and his family’s histories with abuse and trauma.
Dr Juliane Okot Bitek is a poet. Her collection of poetry, 100 Days (University of Alberta 2016) was nominated for several writing prizes including the 2017 BC Book Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, the 2017 Alberta Book Awards and the 2017 Canadian Authors Award for Poetry. It won the 2017 IndieFab Book of the Year Award for poetry and the 2017 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry. A is for Acholi (Wolsak and Wynn 2022) is a poetry collection that reflects on life as a Black diasporan person in Canada. Song and Dread (Talonbooks 2023) is a collection of witness poems that moves through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Juliane lives in Kingston, Canada, on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe people. She is an assistant professor of Black Studies at Queen’s University, in Kingston, where she is joint appointed in Gender Studies and English departments.
Sadiqa de Meijer is a Canadian poet. Her debut collection, Leaving Howe Island, was a nominee for the Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry at the 2014 Governor General’s Awards and for the 2014 Pat Lowther Award, and her poem “Great Aunt Unmarried” won the CBC’s Canada Writes award for poetry in 2012.
She has also published short stories and essays in anthologies and literary magazines, and won the Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction at the 2021 Governor General’s Awards for her book alfabet/alphabet: a memoir of a first language.
Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands and raised in Canada, she currently resides in Kingston, Ontario. In 2022, she was welcomed as the City’s new Poet Laureate, a four-year term position.