Walking Cities brings together two authors, Dionne Brand and Vahni Capildeo, to exchange ideas related to identities, places and territories. The paired writers will discuss how various places have influenced their own writing and thinking. This will result in a series of thought-provoking intercultural podcasts and short films produced and made available in November 2017. This panel event will allow the audience to join the conversation and reflect on the relationship between thinking and the places and spaces we live in. Hosted by Shawn Micallef.
Presented in partnership with the British Council Canada
Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of social justice. She was Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto 2009-2012 and is a member of the Order of Canada. An award-winning poet, Dionne Brand won both the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Trillium Prize for Literature for her volume Land to Light On. Her work of Poetry, Ossuaries won the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize. Among her works the volumes No Language Is Neutral and Inventory respectively were nominated for the GG. She has won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry for her volume thirsty, which was also nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Toronto Book Award and the Trillium prize for literature. As a novelist, Brand has also achieved distinction. Her critically acclaimed novel, What We All Long For, won the Toronto Book Award. Her latest novel, Love Enough was short listed for the Trillium Prize for Literature, 2015. Her fiction includes the novel In Another Place, Not Here, a New York Times notable book, and At the Full and Change of the Moon, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book. Brand’s non-fiction works include Bread Out Of Stone, and A Map to the Door of No Return, which, has been widely taken up in scholarly work on Being in the Black Diaspora.
Vahni Capildeo is a Scotland-based writer whose poetry includes Utter (Peepal Tree Press), Simple Complex Shapes (Shearsman) and Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet; Forward Poetry Prizes Best Collection 2016). Her non-fiction appears regularly in PN Review; recently she has written on a feminist gardener in Kenya and on cocoa-growing in Trinidad for adda, the online magazine from Commonwealth Writers. She is an incoming Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at the University of Leeds.
Shawn Micallef is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, Full Frontal TO, and The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure. His new book Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness was published in early 2017. He’s a weekly columnist at the Toronto Star, and a senior editor and co-owner of the independent, Jane Jacobs Prize–winning magazine Spacing. Shawn teaches at the University of Toronto and was a 2011-2012 Canadian Journalism Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College. In 2002, while a resident at the Canadian Film Centre’s – Media Lab, he co-founded [murmur], the location-based mobile phone documentary project that has spread to over 25 cities globally. In 2016 he hosted and co-wrote Accidental Parkland, a documentary on Toronto's ravines. Shawn was the Toronto Public Library's urban-focused Writer in Residence in fall, 2013.