Toronto's Dub Poets Collective is a creative organization totally dedicated to promoting dub poetry as a vital cultural practice. THE DUBBLOG is our new "Hub of the Dub" - visit here for all the latest DPC news, events, and related items of interest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

2005 International Dub Poetry Festival Part II: Dubbing the Elements

November 14, 2005

2005 International Dub Poetry Festival Part II: Dubbing the Elements

November 24-27, Toronto (various locations)

Wind and rain, earth and fire; as the season changes, the Dub Poets Collective shouts November to a close with "Dubbing the Elements;" the second half of the 2005 International Dub Poetry Festival.

From November 24 - 27, some of the most provocative poets, performers and thinkers in the Americas converge upon Toronto. Words and rhythms their only weapons, they come to challenge the mind, excite the spirit and chant down the status quo. Join us for:

* four nights of performance, including a youth poetry slam & competition with prizes;

* three days of panel discussions, including a youth discussion on poetics and performance, the history of dub poetry, and the challenges of translating the voice to the page;

* a rediscovery of the works of Phillis Wheatley, one of America's first published black poets;

* the triumphant launch of collective member Klyde Broox's book of poetry, "My Best Friend is White."

Festival guests include:

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm (Cape Croker Reserve, Ontario
Michael Bennett (Jamaica
George Elliott Clarke (Toronto
Melville Cooke (Jamaica
Shauntay Grant (Halifax
Oni the Haitian Sensation (Ottawa
Peculiar I (Toronto
Ras Mykkal (Bermuda
Eintou Springer (Trinidad & Tobago
Samuel Fure Davis (Cuba

Formed in 2003, the Dub Poets Collective is a creative organization totally dedicated to promoting dub poetry as a vital cultural practice. The DPC is also committed to the enhancement of other spoken word genres. Since our first main festival in June of 2004, we have been working hard to engage Toronto and the greater
world in the rhythms and reasoning of dub and dubbing towards enlightenment and overstanding. DPC members include Klyde Broox, Afua Cooper, Clifton Joseph, Sankofa Juba, Chet Singh, and d’bi.young.

Evening performances:

Thursday Nov. 24
Opening night: "Dubbing the Elements"

Friday, Nov. 25
Youth Poetry Slam & Competition

Saturday, Nov. 26
Each Man Version (Men Reasoning)

Sunday, Nov. 27
Book Launch ("My Best Friend is White," by Klyde Broox)


Friday, Nov. 25
The History of Dub Poetry

Rediscovering Phillis Wheatley, Mother of Black Literature

Saturday, Nov. 26
Youth Poetics/Performance Discussion

Publishing: The Word Made Text

Sunday, Nov. 27
Tribute, or Theft? (Using the cultural stylings of others)

For information, locations & updated festival information, contact the Dub
Poets Collective:

Phone: 416.598.4932
Email: Dub Poets Collective

The 2005 International Dub Poetry Festival Part II is generously supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Two new books of poetry from Sandberry Press!

Sandberry Press
Toronto, Canada

14 November 2005


Sandberry Press announces the publication and launch of two new volumes of poetry by Caribbean and Canadian authors.

The True Blue of Islands, by Pamela Mordecai, and Calling Cards, an anthology featuring mostly newly published poets, will be launched at Nicholas Hoare Bookstore on Thursday November 24 at 6.00 p.m.

The True Blue of Islands is Mordecai’s fourth volume of poetry, and follows her popular Certifiable, published in 2001. This latest volume celebrates the life of her brother Richard, who was murdered in 2004.

Calling Cards is an anthology of poems by six poets, four of them with roots in the Caribbean. For all but one of them, Calling Cards is their first publication in book form. Jamaican-born Mary Liu Soutar Hines published The fires of naming in 2001. Nan Peacocke, originally from St Vincent, and Canadians Janet Somerville and Jennifer Walcott, the latter of Jamaican parentage, have had poems in literary journals. Calling Cardss represents first publication of poetry by Celia Ferrier, an American-born Canadian, and Keisha Silvera, born in Toronto of Jamaican parents.

Sandberry Press, founded in Jamaica in 1986 to publish Caribbean poetry and children’s literature, is now established in Toronto. The True Blue of Islands is volume nine in the press’s Caribbean Poetry Series; previous volumes include work by Edward Baugh (Jamaica), Jane King (St Lucia), and Dennis Scott (Jamaica). Calling Cards inaugurates Sandberry’s Caribbean Anthology Series.

# # #


Martin Mordecai
Sandberry Press

# # #

Notes on books and authors

Sandberry Press publishes Caribbean and Canadian poetry for adults as well as books for children. Founded in 1986 in Jamaica, its main operations moved to Toronto, Canada in 1994. The emphasis of its modest publication programme is on first collections, and six of these have been published in its Caribbean Poetry Series of nine volumes. Calling Cards inaugurates an anthology series that remains true to the first collection focus of the press.

The True Blue of Islands
by Pamela Mordecai

From back cover

The True Blue of Islands is a collection of poems that, for the most part, explore violence. The book begins with the brutal treatment of Great-Granny Mac, a slave, then takes ironic account of ‘Sunflowers’ who endure abuse as well as inflict it on themselves, ending with the mindless murder of the poet’s brother. Harnessing a broad range of Jamaican idioms, the poet tackles her subject with occasional wry humour, superb craft and dreadful honesty. These poems are heartbreaking but, unfailingly, they sing.

A beautiful collection. A short, compact piece of grace, deeply felt and immaculately crafted, thick with personal allusions and references, telling a massive story. A splendid accomplishment.
— Kwame Dawes
Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts, U of S.C.
Director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative

Praise for Certifiable:

Pamela Mordecai is one of the most brilliant and witty of our poets...
— Kamau Brathwaite

…witty and high spirited…spiced with piquant humour…
— Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star

very rich linguistically, imaginatively, and thematically
— D. M. Thomas

— powerful, mischievous haunting poems…
Stewart Brown

— Certifiable invokes subversive, irreverent, but infinitely complex women’s voices and affirms their singing, not to deny suffering, but to give account f it, in a complex emotional landscape and without submission or despair.
- Elaine Savory

- Under your feet as you follow, under your tongue as you read, these poems snap with brittle honesty and boundless energy.
- Emily Schultz, Siren

- Pamela Mordecai’s facility with language, her striking rhythms and word play and, above all, her wicked humour lift Certifiable from the pull of madness to the divine.
- Olive Senior


The six women whose poems appear in this book are relatively new voices. Only one, Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes, has previously published a collection of her own. The poetry of Celia Ferrier and the late Keisha Silvera appears here for the first time. Nan Peacocke, Janet Sommerville and Jennifer Walcott have published in journals and anthologies in Canada and abroad. Five of these poets were born in other countries and chose to make Canada their home, four being born in the Caribbean. The youngest, a powerful talent, died early. Their signatures are distinctive.

CALLING CARDS is edited by Pamela Mordecai


CELIA FERRIER attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Toronto, the Arvon Foundation Writers Workshop at Moniakmhor, Invernessshire, and the Humber School for Writers. She has taught English and Drama in Scotland and in Toronto. With Yanna McIntosh she wrote “Trace”, a one-woman show produced at Toronto’s Fringe Theatre Festival in 1997.

PAMELA MORDECAI has written about Caribbean literature and compiled textbooks and anthologies, mostly of the writing of Caribbean women. She has written plays, short stories, five children’s books, four collections of poetry and (with her husband, Martin) a reference work on Jamaica. Sandberry Press published her most recent book, The True Blue of Islands, in 2005.

NAN PEACOCKE, a citizen of Canada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, was born in Guyana, and grew up in Trinidad, Venezuela and Jamaica. Based in rural Ontario, she moves between Toronto, St Vincent and Barbados. She is a recipient of a Commonwealth Broadcasting Award 2000 and co-winner of the 2003 Timothy Findley Prize for short fiction.

KEISHA SILVERA is the daughter of Toronto writer, Makeda Silvera. A gifted poet, her work appears for the first time in this anthology. She died in 2002.

JANET SOMERVILLE is grateful for poet Olive Senior's guidance at the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop. She workshopped memoir excerpts under Catherine Gildiner's direction at the Banff Centre's Fall 2005 Writing With Style programme. She lives in Toronto where she competes on a Masters Women's rowing crew.

MARY LOU SOUTAR-HYNES, a Jamaican-Canadian, poet/educator and former nun, lives and works in Toronto. The fires of naming, her first poetry collection, was published in Toronto by Seraphim Editions in 2001. A member of the League of Canadian Poets, The Writers’ Union of Canada, and the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars, her work has appeared in a variety of journals. Travelling Light, her second poetry collection, is forthcoming from Seraphim Editions in 2006.

JENNIFER WALCOTT, born and raised in Jamaica, adopted Canada where she has lived for many years. Work in community development, radio, organizational change and secondary education defined much of her life. Now, well into her middle years, she combines teaching English with writing and handicrafts to achieve balance and comfort.


Sandberry Press is pleased to inaugurate its anthology series with this collection – the first of what we hope will be a continuing series. In presenting the poetry of these six women, we remain true to two important aspects of our mandate. The first is to bring the work of new writers to the public; the second is to present Caribbean voices to the public.

When the press began, that ‘public’ was primarily a Caribbean public since the press was based at that time in Kingston, Jamaica. There are six million people or thereabouts in the anglophone Caribbean, where the publishing industry is young and the business of earning a living presses hard. Still, the books in the Caribbean Poetry Series have done well.

Sandberry Press now publishes in Canada and for the Canadian marketplace as well. It fulfills the press’s mandate of offering new poets the opportunity to publish their work in an increasingly competitive market

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pics from Sunday's pre-festival fundraiser

Dub poetry bringing some light to the darkness of a windy, rainy November evening; an appropriate night to introduce part II of the 2005 festival; "Dubbing the Elements":


Dub Poets Collective member Sankofa Juba, who organized the fundraiser at Club Paradise:


Drumming the event open (I'll post the brother's name later, when I find out what it is):


Makeba chanting:


Collective member Afua Cooper makes her point:


Peculiar I bringing the page to the stage:


J. Nichole Noel reasoning:


The audience at Club Paradise:


Collective member Clifton Joseph:


Lillian Allen, Strategic Advisor to the collective, takes the vibrations to another level: