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Robert Priest

Robert Priest

Author of 16 books, poetry and prose. Six CDs of music, some for adults some for little kids, some for young adults. 30 years experience teaching writing to all ages. CBC topical songwriter. Contributions to Sesame Street. Wrote #1 hit: Song Instead of a Kiss for Alannah Myles. Teaches lyric writing at Uof T Great Performer.


Blue Pyramids. (poems)
How to Swallow a Pig. (prose poems) ECW Press
Daysongs Nightsongs. for children, Groundwood
Secret Invasion of Bananas. for children, Ekstasis
Knights of the Endless Day. for children (novel) Penguin
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

I have age-appropriate stories, poems and songs for students at all grade levels. For the very young I have gentle and engaging, interactive poems and songs which celebrate nature, play, friendship and seasonal change. Noted expert Michelle Landsberg described my book for young children, Daysongs Nightsongs, this way: “A Canadian gem…This should be in every child’s home.”

For grades 3 to 8 I have chapters from my fantasy novels, plus a wide variety of verse, and free verse both satirical and lyrical including a terrific anti-bullying poem called The Bully Bully. For high school students, aside from my novels in the Spell Crossed series I dip into appropriate poems and songs from my adult books and CDs. Booking me is an economical choice because of my ability to work with large groups of similar-aged students.

Presentation Length:
one hour or negotiable
poetry, YA novels, songs
age-appropriate material for any age jk - post secondary
Audience Size:
From small groupings to an auditorium full
Workshop Description:

I can come into your school, library, or writing group to give an age-appropriate presentation, with a reading and Q&A, or workshop on any of the following topics:

(a) My 10 year Experience in Writing A Fantasy Series Along with Some Publishing Tips

(b) Praise, Celebration Gratitude and Truth: how to make history come alive in poetry.

(c) Courage, Nonviolence And Bullying (Ways to think about Bullying)

(d) Writing Song Lyrics: Exercises in writing words to a melody. With tales of co-writing with Alanis Morrisette, Tom Cochran, Alannah Myles and others.

(e) Celebrating Nature In Songs Poems and Stories

(f) Tall tales, Satire and Humour. how to strengthen the funny bone and bring new writing tools to a social conscience.

(g) Micro-poems: How to generate mini-verses, slogans, aphorisms, new sayings and one-liners

(h) I am also happy to host your school slam.

Maximum number of students per session: 40 is nice, but I will do presentations/readings for up to 100 children. Writing workshops require small groups like single classes (20 students).

I am comfortable presenting in: classroom, library, theatre and if absolutely necessary an auditorium or gymnasium.

Special Occasions Capabilities

Historic Events & Social Issues: the struggle and attainment of civil rights and social justice around the world (Poems about Rosa Parks, the children’s march in Montgomery Alabama, Martin Luther King, Muhammed Ali the boxer, Cesar Chavez and Delores Puerta, The Man Who Stopped Tanks In Tiananmen Sq., Mahatma Gandhi, Elijah Harper) book: Rosa Rose

Bullying: I have 2 poems and a song that directly address issues of bullying plus numerous other poems and songs about violence and nonviolence—both satirical, humorous and very serious. books: Rosa Rose and The Secret Invasion of Bananas

Poetry month: I am well-equipped to give enlivened and inspiring poetry recitals for any age group. I am also happy to host your school slam.

Books: Rosa Rose, The Secret Invasion Of Bananas, Day Songs Night Songs

Environment: I have a full selection of poems celebrating nature. And other poems about environmental issues and some of the people who have led: Wangari Maathai, Julia Butterfly Hill books: Rosa Rose and The Secret Invasion of Bananas andDay Songs Night Songs

People In History: Shakespeare, Sappho, Louis Armstrong, Rosa Parks, Terry Fox, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Mohammed Ali, Elijah Harper, John Lennon, Kennedy. Book: Rosa Rose

Equipment and other requirements

A board to write on. An armless chair. If necessary a microphone (gymnasiums) a music stand or podium. I request that a librarian, teacher or other school representative be present throughout the presentation.