Harvard is in for a treat when Lillian Allen speaks there on Monday, October 28th, 2013. Leading Canadian poet Lillian Allen, born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, left in 1969, first moving to New York City, where she studied English at the City University of New York. She lived for a time in Kitchener, Ontario, before settling in Toronto, where she continued her education at York University, gaining a B.A. After meeting Oku Onuora in Cuba in 1978, she began working in dub poetry. She released her first recording, Dub Poet: The Poetry of Lillian Allen, in 1983.
Allen won the Juno Award for Best Reggae/Calypso Album for Revolutionary Tea Party in 1986 and Conditions Critical in 1988. Both albums were produced by Billy Bryans, the percussionist for Canadian dance-pop band Parachute Club.
In 2006 Allen and her work were the subject of an episode of the television series Heart of a Poet produced by Canadian filmmaker Maureen Judge.
She is a Faculty of Liberal Studies Professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, where she teaches creative writing.
She recently held the distinction of being the first Canada Council Writer-in-Residence for Queen’s University’s Department of English.
Allen also co-produced and co-directed Blak Wi Blakk, a documentary about the Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka. For more about Lillian Allen and links to her videos and audio recordings, visit http://www.lillianallen.ca.