Toronto Poetry Project
Photo order (top: Tanya, Ifrah, Jennifer Alicia, Patrick. bottom: Luke, Alyssa, Cassandra, Ian)
Alyssa Ginsburg is an experienced political and arts event and community organizer with ties to the spoken word scenes locally and nationally. She Co-Founded the WordSpell Collective and Showcase series, the only spoken word series in Canada with a stage reserved for women and gender non-binary poets and was its Artistic Director from 2012-2020. From 2014-2016, she served as the Co-Chair Communications of Spoken Word Canada, now SpeakNORTH. She joined the Toronto Poetry Project in 2013 becoming the Assistant Director and Booking Agent. She is now the Toronto Poetry Project’s Program Coordinator, Administrative Lead and Events Manager.
Luke Reece is a theatre producer, playwright, spoken word poet, and arts educator. He is the Associate Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto's largest Not-for-Profit Theatre Company and is the former Producer for Obsidian Theatre. His collective Little Black Afro Theatre creates spaces for artists to develop work with and for the communities they come from. Luke is one of Toronto’s most decorated slam poets. In 2017, he became the Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS) Grand Champion, winning the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word as the captain of the TPS team and then again in 2018 as the team coach. In 2018, he was the runner up in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam which earned him a spot representing the country at the 2019 World Cup of Poetry Slam in Paris, France where he placed 4th.
Tanya Neumeyer is a queer poet and educator committed to access and equity. As a member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Toronto Poetry Project, Tanya performs poetry and offers workshops at festivals, conferences, events, and schools across Ontario. Tanya was a member of the 2012 Toronto Poetry Slam team and works part-time in the nonprofit sector.
Ian Keteku is a poet, multimedia artist and educator. Keteku is also the 2010 World Poetry Slam Champion and is committed to using words as both an interpretation and cure for the human condition. He conducts poetry, writing and performance workshops for students of all ages, inspiring people to accept the power of their own voice.
Cassandra Myers (they/she) is an emerging poet from Tkaronto. She was the 2015 Femme Youth Poet of the World, awarded the Best Poet at the 2018 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational and a Canadian National Poetry Slam team champion with the 2018 Toronto Poetry Slam team. An MSW candidate at York University, Cassandra is an arts-activist and organizer, running poetry workshops for youth living on the margins with Leave Out Violence and Lakeshore Arts. Their work can be found in Overheard Lit, UncommonYOU, and forthcoming in ARC Poetry Magazine.
Jennifer Alicia Murrin (she/her they/them) is a queer, mixed (Mi’kmaw/Settler) storyteller originally from Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland), now residing in Toronto, Ontario. She is two-time national poetry slam champion with the Toronto Poetry Slam team (2017 & 2018) and member of Seeds & Stardust: An Indigenous women’s poetry collective.
From arts educator, to event host, to director, to award-winning spoken word poet/writer, Patrick de Belen is a storyteller of many kinds. He is the Director of BAM! Toronto Youth Poetry Slam and the facilitator of the Filipino Storytelling workshop series, “Poetry is Our Second Language.” PDB has collaborated with many notable organizations - using storytelling to build and serve his community. His newest project "In Between Lines" will be released in Spring 2020.
Ifrah Hussein is a Somali-Canadian award-winning poet and author. She is the 2017 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion, the first woman to hold the national title. She placed among the top 5 at the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam and the 2018 World Cup Poetry Slam in Paris, France. In 2019, Ifrah won the byBlacks People’s Choice Awards for Poet of the Year. She was awarded Artist of the Year at the 2019 Somali Excellence Awards and is currently shortlisted for an International Somali Award in the United Kingdom. Ifrah has performed her poetry internationally including her successful 2019 North American tour “Heavy Caravan.” She is the author of An Anthology of Grief or the ways a Somali Woman Loves and her second published collection of poetry is forthcoming.