Member Profile

Please note: All profiles are member-generated.

Gavin Barrett

Gavin Barrett

Photo: Richard Picton

Gavin Barrett is a poet and creative entrepreneur, and the author of Understan, a new collection of poems published by Mawenzi House in June 2020. Gavin was born in Bombay, of Anglo-Indian and Goan East African parentage. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay and an M.A. in English Literature from Bombay University. After leaving Bombay, he lived in Hong Kong for several years before immigrating to Canada, always making a living as a professional writer and creative entrepreneur. In addition to Understan, Gavin’s poetry has been published in Ranjit Hoskote’s anthology of 14 contemporary Indian poets, Reasons for Belonging (Viking Penguin, India); the journal of Pen India; The Folio; The Independent; The Toronto Review of Contemporary Writing Abroad; and Poeisis – the journal of the Bombay Poetry Circle — he was a Poetry Circle member from its very first meeting. He is the founder, host and series co-curator of the Tartan Turban Secret Readings, a Toronto reading series that focuses on giving emerging visible minority writers a stage. He is a member of the Canadian Authors Association and sits on its Toronto branch Advisory Board. He is also a member of PEN Canada and The Writers’ Union of Canada, and an associate member of The League of Canadian Poets. Gavin is also the co-founder of Barrett and Welsh, a visible-minority-led, change-making branding and advertising agency that puts ideas first to make ideas last. A certified B Corporation® based in Toronto, Barrett and Welsh specializes in inclusion communications (mainly multicultural/visible minority and persons with disabilities) and urban sustainable development (mainly transit). Gavin's non-literary work has appeared in 35 countries, helped elect prime ministers, attracted the ire of the lawyers for Dolly the cloned sheep, drew an angry crowd in Lagos, has been studied in business texts in Canada and India, and was criticized by a fictional character in a John Irving novel.

City:
Toronto
Province:
Ontario

Publications

Understan. Mawenzi House, 2020
Reasons for Belonging. Viking Penguin, India, 2002
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:
Yes

WITS

Are you available for public presentations and/or workshops:
Yes
Presentation Length:
As needed
Genre:
Poetry
Grades:
All
Audience Size:
Any
Presenation:
as available
Workshop Length:
as needed
Workshop Intended Audience:
all
Workshop Audience Size:
Any
Workshop Fee:
as available
Are you available for school visits?:
Yes
School Presentation Length:
As required
School Intended Audience:
All
School Audience Size:
Any
School Presentation Fee:
as available
Interested in participating in the Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
Yes
Interested in participating in the Northern Ontario WITS program:
Yes

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