Featured poet

Dwayne Morgan

Dwayne Morgan is a two-time Canadian National Poetry Slam Champion. He began his career as a spoken word artist in 1993.  In 1994, he founded Up From The Roots entertainment, to promote the positive artistic contributions of African Canadian and urban influenced artists.

Morgan is a 2021 finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation Margo Bindhart and Rita Davies Award for Cultural Leadership, the 2018 winner of the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Career Achievement in the Spoken Word, a 2016 finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and in 2013, Morgan was inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame. Morgan has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award, and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts.

 

Dwayne has performed for the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, the former Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, the late leader of the NDP, Jack Layton, and has shared the stage with many of Canada’s top artists including Russell Peters while opening for international artists Alicia Keys, and recording with Canadian artists, including Drake.

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Morgan has published thirteen books; Period & Other Lessons From My Daughter (2020), Fairytales (2018), No Apologies (2016), Before I Was Born (2015), Everyday Excellence (2013), Her Favourite Shoes (2011), The Sensual Musings of Dwayne Morgan (2010), The Making of A Man (2005), The Man Behind The Mic (2002), Long Overdue (1999), and chapbooks, The Revolution Starts Within (1996), and Straight From The Roots (1995). In 2009, Morgan’s work was translated into French, culminating in the book, Le Making of d’un Homme. His albums include, Another Level (1997), The Evolution (2001), Soul Searching (2003), A Decade in the Making (2004), Mellow Mood: The End of the Beginning (2007), Idle Hands (2011), Wet (2017), and Somewhere (2017). In 2008, Morgan released a commemorative DVD entitled, Dwayne Morgan The First Fifteen.

 

To further explore his creativity, Dwayne collaborated with Driftwood Studios to film, Three Knocks, a ten-minute film, which premiered in Toronto’s Reel World Film Festival. Morgan is the producer and host of two TV shows, Poetically Speaking, and Write in Toronto, on the Afroglobal Television Network, and Bell Fibe TV1 respectively, and his one-man play, Grade 8, now appears on the CBC’s PlayMe Podcast. In 2012, Morgan performed at Super Bowl 46, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and in 2019, he founded and co-produced the inaugural Toronto Spoken Soul Festival.

 

Dwayne’s work ethic has taken him across Canada, the United States, Jamaica, Turkey, Trinidad, Bermuda, Barbados, England, Scotland, Belgium, Budapest, Germany, France, Norway, Ghana, and Holland. His emphasis on quality has driven his success and has made him a well-respected component of Toronto’s urban music community, as well as the North American, and Global, spoken word scenes

Featured poem

Bullies

We all know bullies;

People who need to step on us,

Like stepping stools,

In order to lift themselves higher;

 

People who know

How to slide under our skin,

Like they were intravenous,

Poisoning us with their negativity,

slowly tearing us apart

From the inside out;

 

People who know how

To push our buttons,

As though we were ATM’s;

Withdrawing the rainy day self-esteem,

We had tucked away in our savings.

 

We all know people whose words

Have razor sharp edges,

And cut deeper

Than suicidal thoughts.

 

We all know these bullies,

But here’s the truth;

Many of the most harmful things

you will ever hear in your life,

Will be said to you,

By you!

 

I am;

Is The most powerful statement,

When those words

Are in succession;

I am,

Affirms anything that comes after it,

So, I am stupid,

Becomes your reality.

I am ugly,

Becomes exactly who you be,

 

But we have the power,

To stop this in its tracks,

By affirming our own magic,

Not what we think we lack.

 

Look yourself in the eyes,

realize that flame

That ignites you from inside;

I am brilliant!

I am smart!

I am gifted!

I am beautiful!

I am worthy!

 

For your own sake,

Change the conversation

That you have with yourself.

Let’s all stand up to bullies,

Even when the biggest bullies,

Happen to be our ourselves.

 

 

"Bullies." Copyright © 2021 by Dwayne Morgan.

 

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