This Black History Month, the Toronto International Festival of Authors and Kuumba invite you to celebrate the release of Black Writers Matter, an anthology of African Canadian creative nonfiction featuring works from established and emerging writers. Join editor Whitney French as she talks to contributors Scott Fraser, Simone Dalton, Angela Wright and Phillip Dwight Morgan about the importance of sharing Black narratives, the origins and personal significance of their respective pieces, and how each of their stories contributes to a nuanced understanding of the Black Canadian experience.
Simone Dalton (sometimes published as Simone Makeba Dalton) is a writer and social change communicator. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph, where she received the Constance Rooke and Board of Graduate Studies Research Scholarships. Her work has been published in the anthologies The Unpublished City: Volume I and Black Writing Matters. The former was a 2018 Toronto Book Awards finalist curated by Dionne Brand. She is currently working on her first play for production with RARE Theatre. Simone lives in Toronto and was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago.
The founder and co-editor of From the Root Zine, Whitney French has been published in Descant Magazine, anthologized in The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry, and is the host and facilitator of the Writing While Black creative writing studio. Whitney lives in Toronto.
Phillip Dwight Morgan is a first-generation Canadian journalist, poet, and activist of Jamaican heritage. He is the inaugural rabble.ca Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellow and his work has appeared with Maclean’s, CBC, rabble.ca, the Toronto Star, and in several other Canadian magazines. Phillip is currently working on his first book, Where do we begin?, a collection of essays exploring Black masculinities in Canada through analyses of media representation, politics, and sexuality. Phillip views writing as a process of healing, self-discovery, growth, and nourishment.
Angela Wright is a writer and political analyst based in Toronto. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Catapult, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and The Brooklyn Quarterly. In her previous life, she worked as a political staffer at the House of Commons and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Her political commentary has appeared in The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Toronto Star, CBC, Montreal Gazette, and others. She is currently working on a book-length personal memoir of hate crimes, violence, and trauma with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.