Dwayne Morgan | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Dwayne Morgan

Dwayne Morgan, poet, spoken word artist, motivational speaker (b at Toronto 15 Oct 1974). While Morgan's ancestors are from Jamaica, he grew up in Toronto.

Dwayne Morgan, poet, spoken word artist, motivational speaker (b at Toronto 15 Oct 1974). While Morgan's ancestors are from Jamaica, he grew up in Toronto. His work is strongly influenced by hip-hop culture and touches upon a variety of social issues such as drug use, family violence, and racism. Known for his range, he can have an audience in deep contemplation one moment and hysterics the next, with a skilfully and memorably delivered message. Morgan is the founder of Up From The Roots entertainment, which focuses on promoting urban artists, with a special focus on African Canadians. In 2008 Morgan, along with fellow poets Tomy Bewick and Leviathan Grant, created the group The Dream Chasers. Theirs was the premier show at the Hamilton Fringe Festival in 2009 and the Critics' Pick of the festival. A member of the Spoken Word Arts Network, Morgan brings knowledge of spoken word to a larger Canadian audience.

Morgan has published several collections of his poems. He began the personal collection The Making of a Man (2005) at the age of 18, when he decided that poetry and spoken word were a unique way for him to speak about issues and stories that mattered to him. Rather then focusing largely on social or political issues, the work gives insight into moments that were critical to his development as an artist. The Revolution Starts Within (1996) is a vivid and powerful collection of poetry Morgan describes as a reminder that "any real or meaningful change must first happen inside of us." Further works, Le Making of d'un Homme (2009), a bilingual anthology, and Cunnilinguistics: The Sensual Musings of Dwayne Morgan (2010) have been published by Adage Edition.

Morgan uses various media to showcase his work. He has released a number of albums, including Mellow Mood: The End of the Beginning (2007) and The Evolution (2001), as well as a DVD, Dwayne Morgan: The First Fifteen. In 2008 Morgan hosted The Sum of Her Parts, a photography exhibit exploring female body image. Morgan's short film, Three Knocks, based on one of his poems which addresses domestic violence, premiered at Toronto's Reel World Film Festival. Morgan has produced a number of poetry shows, such as the annual When Brothers Speak and When Sisters Speak concerts. These events draw people from North America and around the world to attend and participate, displaying the talent and artistry of Black spoken word artists. Morgan also hosts and performs regularly on the radio.

Dwayne Morgan is the winner of a number of awards, including an African Canadian Achievement Award for Youth Achievement and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1998. He won the Canadian Urban Music Award for best spoken word recording in 2001, 2003 and 2005, and was named Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2005. He has performed for the governor general of Canada, the Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and has performed with such Canadian artists as Russell Peters, Jully Black, k-os and Nelly Furtado, as well as prominent international artists such as Alicia Keys. He has toured in numerous countries, including Jamaica, Scotland, Budapest, Norway and Holland.