Award-winning poet, essayist, documentarian and novelist, Dionne Brand, is to be recognized with an honorary degree during Wilfrid Laurier University’s spring convocation in June.
Appointed a City of Toronto poet laureate three years ago, Brand frequently explores themes of gender, race, sexuality and feminism in her writing.
She migrated to Canada in 1970 to attend the University of Toronto where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and English and a Masters in the Philosophy of Education.
A professor of English at the University of Guelph’s School of English and Theatre Studies, Brand has penned 10 volumes of poetry, including Land to Light On, which won both a Governor General and a Trillium Book award and Thirsty which received a Pat Lowther Memorial award. She has also contributed to 17 anthologies, written dozens of articles and essays and made four documentaries for the National Film Board.
As the city’s poet laureate, she attends events across the city to promote and attract people to the literary world and she’s mandated to create a legacy project for the city.
Last July, Brand won one of the world’s richest poetry prizes – the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize – for her collection, Ossuaries, which is a narrative of a woman living an underground life, fleeing from past actions and regrets in a perpetual state of movement.
Six years ago, Brand was honoured with the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing.
Brand will receive the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree on June 13 at the afternoon ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus starting at 2 p.m.
By RON FANFAIR