Brandon Wint is an Ontario born poet and spoken word artist who uses poetry to attend to the joy and devastation and inequity associated with this era of human and ecological history. Increasingly, his work on the page and in performance casts a tender but robust attention toward the movements and impacts of colonial, capitalist logic, and how they might be undone. In this way, Brandon Wint is devoted to a poetics of world making, world altering and world breaking. For Brandon, the written and spoken word is a tool for examining and enacting his sense of justice, and imagining less violence futures for himself and the world he has inherited. For more than a decade, Brandon has been a sought-after, touring performer, and has presented his work in the United States, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Jamaica. His poems and essays have been published in national anthologies, including The Great Black North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House, 2013) and Black Writers Matter (University of Regina Press, 2019). Divine Animal is his debut book of poetry.
Divine Animal is the debut poetry book by celebrated, Ontario born poet and spoken word performer Brandon Wint. The collection is an elegant, expansive mapping of Brandon Wint's relationship to the legacy and wake of the Transatlantic slave trade, as one of its living, Black descendants. The Atlantic ocean is figured as both a historical site and diasporic metaphor from which to explore the complex journeys and negotiations that brought his family to Canada from Jamaica and Barbados. Divine Animal reckons with the ways the logic of colonialism has brought humankind into an era of ecological devastation, climate change catastrophe and eco-grief. In this way, Brandon Wint offers a thoughtful, empathetic poetics that seeks to re-connect the human world with the natural world. Above all, Divine Animal is a work that lives powerfully at the intersection of celebration and grief. These poems testify to the realities of beauty on Earth, while casting a necessary eye upon the human proclivity to invent and enact sophisticated, resilient modes of violence and inequity.
For nearly as long as Brandon has been performing poetry on stages and in cafes, he has been teaching the art of writing poetry. Over time, his approach to teaching has grown, shifted, and refined itself according to the influences of his university education, and the teachings of admirable poets he befriended. Brandon is well known for blending an academically grounded approach to poetry, which he inherited in his several years of study as an Honours English student at Carleton University, with a spiritual-emotional approach. Brandon gives his students the ability to understand the fundamental structure of free verse poetry in a way that is coherent, accessible, and grounded in his own experience. These technical tenets are joined by a strong emphasis on authenticity, sincerity and the exploration of personal narrative. As an arts-educator, Brandon firmly believes that poetry is, ultimately, an act of telling the truth. He helps his students arrive at their personal truths and distill them into evocative, satisfying poetic verse. If you have questions about how to register for one of Brandon`s courses, or how to book at your school, workplace, or community building event, feel free to e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For me, authenticity and sincerity-of-voice are the primary goals of poetry. Once we learn to write from a genuine place of feeling and meaning, we open ourselves to poetry's power. We allow poetry to be a tool for self discovery and healing.
There is no poetry without sincerity.
Within the human experience, there is no way to escape narrative. Our very lives are stories. We are narratives bound in other narratives, we are the inheritor of the stories our ancestors told in the living of their lives. We are, all of us, the articulation of a story trying, always, to redeem itself, to express some manner of truth.
The ultimate goal of poetry, or perhaps any expression, is to touch truth. Truth, it seems, is only knowable by feeling, by the intuition that persists in our guts during important moments. There are areas of truth that cannot be reckoned with or reasoned into. Certain realities can only be discovered by feeling. I suppose this is why art survives. Its practitioners turn to art to master their feelings; in that mastery we hope to touch the bottom-most, truest parts of ourselves.
In addition to his work as an arts-educator, Brandon is devoted to bolstering creative community in his role as a curator and event-organizer. Most notably, during his time as a resident of Ottawa, he was the principal visionary behind two regularly-running creative cabarets: The Artistic Showcase and The Cookies and Tea Concert series. Both shows brought together highly devoted, highly skilled poets, musicians and multi-disciplinary artists for the sake of exposing them to the broader community. Brandon`s work as curator, organizer and master-of-ceremonies also took on a national scope, as he was an important member of the organizing committee of YouthCanSlam--Canada`s national youth poetry festival, in 2014.
After work a walk through the cow field, two sad tents left standing, the clothesline dragging low with lost wet towels, the old bull there, tired from yesterday’s teasing, to the lake rocks at Linnea
this body, not an apology
this body, a river, in constant movement forgiveness
this body, a mountain, in constant stillness wisdom
this body not here for your words, your loud, not here for your hands moulding me into something i’m not