Amani "Contemporary Blues Poet"

Amani (Contemporary Blues Poet) has been an arts practitioner for over 20 years, earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre at Dalhousie University. Born in England, baptized in Trinidad her family moved to Nova Scotia where she laid down her roots as a professional multi-disciplinary artist, and where she sang for 12 and a ½ years with Acapella Sensation Four The Moment. In the year 2000 she arrived in Toronto as a Playwright in Residence at Young People’s Theatre and as a voice on CBC’s Metro Morning. Her extensive artistic background stems from her love for Youth Arts and Culture. In 1997 she did a residency at Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia PA, one of the oldest Black Theatres in Pennsylvania. She ran her own young company called The Imani Women’s Artistic Project while in Nova Scotia, and she was the director of countless youth and arts oriented projects. She has been in such theatre productions as Whylah Falls, Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God, Afrika Solo, Consecrated Ground, and The Vagina Monologues. She was the first African Canadian to perform at the prestigious National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina in 2001 with her one woman show Waiting To Explode and this performance earned her a mention in the New York Arts Paper, Backstage. She received a Bob Marley Day Award, from Mayor David Millar for her outstanding contributions to youth and community development through arts education and outreach. As a Spoken Word artist she has headlined at the world Famous Nuyorican Café in New York City, performed at the Drum in Birmingham, England, and at the Word Power International Festival in London, England, and she was the international headliner at the Rapso Festival in Trinidad for two years in a row. In 2010 she received a Canada Council Grant and an OAC grant to do an artist in residence placement at the University of the West Indies Department of Creative and Festival Arts. During her residency she used theatre improv and movement as at tool to facilitate workshops with the “Wordsmiths” youth outreach program held at UWI. Amani is well known for being able to not only teach theatre arts but also for her work of fusing Spoken Word, Movement and Theatre, and using this to reach young people. Currently she is a travel columnist for Sway Magazine Online and she does Anti Bullying Assemblies and Spoken Word and Literacy Workshops for various school boards in Canada and abroad. In May and December of 2011 she produced and directed WORD UP a youth Spoken Word and Theatre showcase at Young Peoples Theatre. In January of this year she was the headline poet at the Word Iz Bond Speak Series in Nova Scotia and she was the MC and Guest Signature Poet for the Nova Scotia Mass Choir’s 20th Anniversary of “The Dream Continues. She was thrilled to be the Poetic Writer and Narrator for Dance Immersion’s Tribute. Her future plans include the Possibilities of Poetry Project – a showcase and networking event for poets in Canada and abroad. To find out more about Amani please go to