Dub Poet. Educator. Spoken Word Artist.
Toronto – pOetic gEsture
An’ de beat of Toronto
ah rhythm & sway
cannot wait to be embraced
This diverse alive in verse city
where trees grow around the cement
Our new self in concrete
Our feet against concrete
As we go about our ways
Percussion play echoing
learning to love what we have made
softening between brick and cement
a built-up world, steeples and stairs
sparing for social change
(Can you spare a little social change, Please????)
New voices roasted enwrapped in ice
My mother walked from the plane into a fridge
That is Toronto in winter
“The best of times” she says “and the coldest of times”
Incubating a whirl of creativity
And visionary relativities
Ideas swirl, cultural voices unfurl
Making us larger than we are becoming
Dub Poetry, Hip Hop, Opera,
Visual smarts and Community Arts
Toronto in Excelsis!
You Toronto are my water bottle
My arts thirst quencher
No matter how far I roam
You pull me back
Your wide-open welcoming arms
A union formed
Our web of connection becomes visible
With every brush stroke on canvas
Some things only get better with age, and dub poet Lillian Allen continues to define the form and explore its leading innovative edge.
– Banff Centre for the Arts
“Allen’s work may be seen as a form of popular education. Her classroom is the streets, the concert, the reading – wherever a community of listeners and cultural workers are called together to register joy in the struggles for social change”
Brenda Carr, Ariel Journal
Lillian Allen — grassroots artist, cultural activist and university professor — is considered a godmother of rap/hiphop, dub and spoken word.
Lillian Allen’s work is used across the educational spectrum, encompassing learning from primary to post graduate studies.
Literary and Performance Dub Pioneer
A pioneering exponent of the highly politicized form of dub poetry created in Jamaica by Oku, popularized in Britain by Linton Kewsi Johnson and Benjamin Zephaniah, Allen embedded feminist voice and brings world music influences and experimental sensibilities to the literary dub art form.
Writing in Dangerous Times: Survival, Resistance, Joy
Lillian Allen is available for readings, lectures, community workshops, concert and club performances.
Send booking queries through the online form.