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@festofauthors

Biography

By way of Kingston, Britta Badour bka Britta B., is a Toronto based award-winning artist, poet, emcee, and educator. In 2021, Britta was awarded the Toronto Arts Foundation Breakthrough Artist award and named COCA Lecturer of the Year. 

Her works have featured in print, in sound and onstage across North America in notable spheres such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, CBC Arts: Poetic License, The Walrus Talks, TEDx and The Stephen Lewis Foundation. She is an alumna of the Toronto Arts Council Leaders Lab and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Spoken Word Residency.

Britta holds an MFA in creative writing at University of Guelph and teaches spoken word poetry at Seneca College. Her debut poetry collection, Wires that Sputter, will be released Spring 2023 (McClelland & Stewart).

Visit her at www.brittab.com

Twitter/IG: @missbrittab

 

Micro-interview

Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?

Sadly, we had maybe a week’s worth of time dedicated to our poetry unit in high school. I remember reading Robert Frost and not fully relating to the work or my grade 10 teacher's interpretation of any other poems we studied in class. However, later in grade 12, I discovered videos of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam on YouTube and immediately fell in love with d’bi young’s poem “Children of a Lesser God.” Her work and other dub poets like Lillian Allen and Dr. Afua Cooper continue to influence my performance style today. 

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?

I began writing poetry when I was 9 years old as a way to keep in touch with a childhood friend who moved away. I continued writing poetry into my university years but only started identifying myself as a poet after my participation in the 2017 spoken word residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. 

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?

A poet's job is to widen perspective, encourage readers/listeners to see their lives and communities reflected in language and sharpen the imagination of daydreamers and critics.  

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?

“From Correspondences,” by Anne Michaels!!

For me, this poem carries the weight of what I like to call a guiding light or what some may identify as spirit or perhaps ancestor even - a living conscious no longer in physical form. This poem is a journey that heightens my imagination with its strong sense of imagery and sensory storytelling with lines like "a child's eyes at a chalkboard" and "the rush of water from a pump".

I am especially in love with the opening line: "Sometimes we are led through the doorway / by a child, sometimes". It reminds me of my favourite quote from Helen Keller, "No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." This mention of "doorway" is a spiritual connection for me, one that I am not yet fully able to explain, at the same, am fully aware of its presence in my bones. 

 

Publications

Poem title(s)
Blacknicity
Title
In This Together: Blackness, Indigeneity and Hip Hop
Publisher
DIO Press
Editors
Karyn Recollet, Audrey Hudson and Awad Ibrahim
Date
2019
Publication type
Anthology
Poem title(s)
Ain't is Not a Word
Title
Issue #18
Publisher
Maple Tree Literary Supplement
Date
2013
Publication type
Periodical/Magazine
Poem title(s)
Respect
Title
Power Poems for Small Humans
Publisher
Flamingo Rampant
Editors
S. Bear Bergman
Date
2019
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