Professor Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. She is currently the Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of social justice. Her work includes nine volumes of poetry, four books of fiction and two non-fiction works. She was educated at the University of Toronto, where she earned a BA in English and Philosophy and an MA in the Philosophy of Education at OISE.

Dionne Brand became prominent first as an award-winning poet, winning the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Trillium Book Prize for her volume Land to Light On. She’s garnered two other nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award for the poetry volumes No Language Is Neutral and Inventory respectively, the latter also nominated for the Trillium and the Pat Lowther. She has won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry for her volume thirsty also nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the City of Toronto Book Award.

Brand has also achieved great distinction and acclaim in fiction and non-fiction. Her fiction includes the novel In Another Place, Not Here, a New York Times Notable Book in 1998, and At the Full and Change of the Moon, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book of the Year in 1999. Her latest critically acclaimed and Toronto Book Award winning novel, What We All Long For, is the story of four young people in Toronto – it has been translated into Italian and German. Like thirsty, a recent book of poems, the novel offers an indelible portrait of this great multicultural city. Her non-fiction includes Bread Out Of Stone, and A Map to the Door of No Return.

Dionne Brand has published eighteen books, contributed to seventeen anthologies and written dozens of essays and articles. She was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at St. Lawrence University in New York and has taught literature and creative writing at universities in both British Columbia and Ontario. She has also held the Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair in Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She lives in Toronto and presently holds a University Research Chair at the University of Guelph where she is a professor.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: Poetry: Inventory (2006), thirsty (2002), Land to Light On (1997), No Language is Neutral (1990), Chronicles of the Hostile Sun (1984). Fiction: What We All Long For (2005), At the Full & Change of the Moon (1999), In Another Place, Not Here (1996), Sans Souci and Other Stories (1988). Non-Fiction: A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging (2001), Bread Out of Stone: Recollections Sex, Recognitions Race, Dreaming Politics (1994). AWARDS: Pat Lowther Award for Poetry and finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and Trillium Award, thirsty; Governor General’s Award for Poetry and Trillium Award, Land to Light On; finalist for the Governor General’s Award, No Language is Neutral and Inventory; short listed for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, In Another Place, Not Here. Toronto Book Award 2006 for the novel What We All Long For. Harbourfront IFOA Prize for writer in mid career.