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D’Andrew Ricketts-Dunn is a happily married 28-year-old who identifies as a Transmale. He currently works as a Child and Youth Worker for the York Region School Board during the day and at night he enjoys reflecting on his coming out journey and how far he has come. He often uses poetry as healing tool to reflect and manifest. Poetry is a way for him to cope and be able to share his lived experiences with those in similar situations. D’Andrew is inspired to create space where there was never space before, to let those who identity as LGBTQ+ youth, especially those who identify as Trans, be seen, heard and validated.

- D’Andrew Ricketts-Dunn Headshot

Afua Cooper is a poet, performer, scholar, historian and social and cultural commentator. Dr. Afua Cooper’s expertise in and contributions to the arts, history and education were recognized when she was presented in 2015 with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She is the author of five books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Copper Woman and Other Poems. Her work in the creative arts has been recognized with the Premier of Ontario Award for Excellence in the Arts, a Governor General’s Award nomination and internationally with the Beacon of Freedom Award. A founder of the Canadian Dub poetry movement, Afua Cooper has organized three international dub poetry festivals.

Afua Cooper Headshot

Karen Lee is most captivated by Voice. Sound. Beat. A lyrical storyteller reclaiming voice against tyrannies that silence. Lee supports accessibility and social justice as a Jamaican Patois Court interpreter (Ministry of the Attorney General Registry), voiceover artist, described video narrator, vocalist, actor and poet. Lee’s poetry is published in The Malahat Review, Brick / Brickyard, the Humber Literary Review, Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis, commissioned for Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 – AGO, and shortlisted for the Small Axe Literary Prize. Tekkin Back Tongue, her poetry manuscript in progress, is named after her self-directed writing residency in Ghana, Kenya (2018).

Karen Lee - Headshot