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Dane Swan

Dane Swan

Photo: Ed Bil

Dane Swan is the editor of the critically praised anthology, "Changing the Face of Can Lit."  His second book, “A Mingus Lullaby,” (Guernica Editions) was a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Prize for Poetry. A past Writer in Residence for the Open Book Foundation of Ontario, Dane has also been short listed for the Monica Ladell Award (Scarborough Arts). His first book, “Bending the Continuum,” (Guernica Editions, 2011) was a mid-summer recommended read from Open Book Toronto. 

Dane an accomplished slam poet and touring spoken-word performer, placing second at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, third at the Rust Belt Regional Slam and touring the US Midwest and West Coast regions. He has graced numerous festival stages, including: IFOA, Hillside, Lab Cab, Parkdale Arts, Junction Arts, and Pitter Patter festivals. For four years Dane and Dan D'Onorio hosted Toronto's $100 Slam series.

Mr. Swan's poetry has been taught in schools and has been published in France, the UK, Bahamas, and Canada. His spoken-word work can be found in solo projects and collaborations available on CD, vinyl and MP3. He has read alongside numerous literary luminaries including Lawrence Hill, George Elliott Clarke, Goran Sumic, Priscila Uppal, Gianna Patriarca, and spoken-word stars including Shayne Koyczan, Dwayne Morgan, and Lillian Allen.

The Bermuda born, Jamaican heritage writer is currently a member of the Writers Union of Canada and Poetry in Voice. 



Bending the Continuum. 2011, Guernica Editions
A Mingus Lullaby. 2016, Guernica Editions
He Doesn't Hurt People Anymore. 2017, Dumagrad Books
Tuesday. 2018, Grey Borders Books
Best New Poets in Canada 2018 (co-editor). 2018, Quattro Books
Changing the Face of Canadian Literature (Editor). 2020, Guernica Editions
Love and Other Failed Religions. 2021, Mansfield Press
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

It's exciting to finally have an opportunity to be a part of the WITS program. In the past, I've collaborated with a Peel Region educator on various workshops for organizations including: A workshop for ESL students, and a workshop for at risk and new immigrant students. Despite that, I've never put on a workshop inside a school.

Ideally, I would like to work with a teacher, or teachers to craft a workshop that fits their particular classroom. Education is not a, "one size fits all" process -- I understand that. I've read the Ontario curriculum up to grade 8, and I am willing to read the curriculum for your grade. What parts of the curriculum do you need me for? How long do you want my presentation/workshop? Will you need me for multiple visits?

As a former slam poet, I can perform various genres of spoken-word, or, as an established page poet I can promote the literary side of the art. I'm also interested in creating debate on social issues through poetry. 

Finally, as an immigrant of color, who is still young enough to have a grasp of current trends, I can show kids that it's cool to write.

Presentation Length:
1-4 hrs
Poetry/Spoken Word Poetry
Audience Size:
Prefer classrooms, but flexible
Workshop Description:

As an educator, what do you need? I'm extremely flexible.

Equity Initiative

As part of the Union’s Equity Implementation Plan, we are committed to increasing awareness of authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. This author identifies as:

  • Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized