Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Get Your Dub On

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Dub poetry is a particular kind of performance poetry, in which artists chant strongly rhythmic rhymes, generally about politics and social justice. Sometimes they have a backing band which plays reggae-esque music, sometimes they perform solo. With their musical sound, thought-provoking lyrics and often entertaining performances, dub poets have become entrenched in the GTA literary community,
Names like Lillian Allen, Clifton Joseph, Afua Cooper and Klyde Brooks are well-known outside the dub poetry and Jamaican-Canadian communities, for their books and CDs as well as live performances.
Partly because so many Jamaicans have emigrated to Toronto, we now have (according to Wikipedia, which is always right ;-)) "the second highest concentration of Dub Poets", preceded only by the mother country itself. For all these reasons, therefore, it makes perfect sense that the 2010 Dub Poetry Festival on the theme "Dubbing in the Silences/ Dubbing out on Consciousness" is taking place from Feb. 25-28 in the Gateway to the Kawarthas, Peterborough.

Actually, there is a connection. The artistic director of the current festival, and a long-standing member of the loose group called the Dub Poets Collective, Chet Singh, lives near Peterborough. The Dub Poetry Festival was held six years ago in Toronto, and three years ago in Hamilton, so it is, in a way, Peterborough's turn. Also, as Singh points out in the conference details, Peterborough has a grassroots tradition "where sociopolitical dialogue, social action, artistic experimentation, and cultural fusion contribute to re-defining 21st-century Canada by exposing the silences of oppressive ideas and practices, and creating possibilities for inclusion and equity."

By late February, most GTA residents have had enough of winter's short days and grey skies. A blast of dub poetry might be the right prescription for warming oneself up. The Festival includes panel discussions, school and general-admission workshops, and performances that bridge genres from text-based poetry to slam, dub and hip-hop. Music is added by DJs and bands including LAL and Dub Trinity.
For complete details, visit http://www.dubpoetscollective.....

Here's a video that gives a little background on the art form.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

John Oughton

John Oughton is the author of several books, including Time Slip: New and Selected Poems, published by Guernica Editions.

Go to John Oughton’s Author Page