Robert Priest


Complete Resume


Born July 10, 1951, Walton–on–Thames England, to Edward Priest and Beatrice Priest.

Attended Fairmount Public School (Scarborough Ont.), Galloway Road Public School, West Hill Collegiate Institute, University of Waterloo.

Writer in Residence: Vancouver Public Library October 1981, Parry Sound Public Library

1985, 1986, Ganaraska Writers Colony 1986, 1987, Canadore College 1983, 1997, Writers In Electronic Residence, OISE 1992-2012, OAC playwright residency Mixed Company Theatre 1990.

Mentoring: I have officially mentored writers through The League Of Poets, The Writers Union, Toronto Street Poets and the Academy of the Impossible, 1995 to 2012. Unofficially I have mentored others including noted poets Phoebe Tsang and Jacob Scheier.

Teaching: Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, 1994; Toronto School of Writing, 1992-1994; Song Lyric Writing Course, U. of T. School of Continuing Education, 2005 to 2006; Artists/Writers in the Schools 1976 to 2012, from Junior K to college-level.

Editing: The Tyranny Of Love, Nik Beat, Seraphim Press, Monster Jam and many other student anthologies including several years of WIER Taps for the writers in electronic residence program both print and online versions.

Milton Acorn Memorial People's Poetry Award for The Mad Hand, 1984.

Our Choice award for Knights Of The Endless Day, 1995.

Our Choice award for The Ballad Of The Blue Bonnet, 1997.

Chalmers Playwright award for Minibugs And Microchips 1998.

SOCAN airplay award for Song Instead of a Kiss 2001.

The Canadian Festival Of Spoken Word Poet Of Honour Award 2011.

Senior Canada Council Literary Award: 2012

Poetry collections:

The Visible Man, Unfinished Monument Press 1979.

Sadness Of Spacemen, Dreadnaught Press.

The Man Who Broke Out Of The Letter X, Coach House Press 1984.

The Mad Hand, Coach House Press 1988.

Scream Blue Living: Selected Poems, The Mercury Press 1992.

The Time Release Poems, Ekstasis 1994.

Resurrection In The Cartoon, ECW Press 1997.

Blue Pyramids: Selected Poems, ECW Press 2002.

How To Swallow A Pig: Selected Poems, ECW Press 2004.

Reading The Bible Backwards, ECW Press 2008.

Previously Feared Darkness, ECW Press Forthcoming 2013.

Poetry for Children:

The Ruby Hat, Aya Press 1984.

Ten Big Babies, Black Moss Press 1982.

A Terrible Case of the Stars, Puffin 1992.

The Ballad Of The Blue Bonnett, Groundwood Books.

Day Songs Night Songs, Groundwood Books.

The Secret Invasion of Bananas, Cherubim 1996.

Rosa Rose, 2013 Wolsak & Wynn.


Sweet-And-Sour Angel Wings, 1992, University of Hawaii.

The Coming: 1988 the Caravan Theater Company, Kingston, the du Maurier Theatre, Harbourfront 1990.

Knights Of The Endless Day, Young People's Theatre, Toronto, 1994.

Minibugs And Microchips Young People's Theatre, Toronto, 1997.

Song Recordings:

The Robert Priest E.P., 1981, Airwave Records.

Rottweiler Pacifist, 1988, Coach House/The Music Gallery.

Congo Toronto, 1986, Big Face Records.

Broken Star/Can’t Say Goodbye, 1987, A Major Label.

Song Instead of a Kiss, 1992, Rocking Horse, Atlantic Records, Alannah Myles.

Tongue and Groove, 1997, EMI.

One Crumb, 2008, song video on YouTube, 100,000 hits .

Feeling The Pinch, 2012, Bradstreet Records.

Song recordings for children:

Summerlong, G-tel records, 1984.

Lullabies And Play Songs, Waterlily Music, 1987.

Winterlong, Waterlily Music, 1989.

Day Songs Night Songs, audiotape Groundwood Books.

Performance Videos and Web Platforms

Congo Toronto, 1986.

Tell Someone, 1987.

Still Can't Say Goodbye, 1988.

Broken Star, 1989.

Poem Painter 2000, ten poetry videos in a web platform.

Doctor Poetry 2005, Web avatar dispenser of aphorisms.

Oh Canada for Dummies, eh and other songs commissioned for CBC Sunday Night News.

TV and video for Children:

Robot Odour, 1983,Vidkids.

The Bottie, 1983, Vidkids.

We Share the Air, Sesame Park 1988.

Planet Green, Sesame Street 1989.

Safety Mice, Sesame Street 1990.

Home, Sesame Street 1991.


Knights of the Endless Day, 1991, unproduced.


Summerlong, a ten episode story & song cycle: Morningside, 1981

Is Anybody Home, Resident Songwriter CBC radio 1982 to 1984.

Dr. Poetry, thirteen segments for Wordbeat, CBC, 2004-2005.

Novels and Story book for Children and Young Adults:

The Short Hockey Career Of Amazing Jany, 1983.

Knights of the Endless Day, Viking, Penguin, 1995.

The Paper Sword,, Dundurn Press, 2014.


Cultural Writing for Now Magazine, 1997-2012.


That’s Why I’m Talking, film by Bronwen Wallace, 1985.

The Writing Life, Tickle Scratch Productions 2004.

Heart Of A Poet, Bravo/Book Television 2007

The Big Bridge: a retrospective of Robert Priest’s writing spring 2013


197 1/2 Jones Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M4M 3A2, Canada


Phone: 416 466-0047


Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, The Canadian Festival of the Spoken Word in Toronto and Festival Voix d'Amerique in Montreal. He has also delivered the word at the Overload Festival in Melbourne Australia, the Kacat Kabaret in Budapest, the Free the Word Festival in Stockholm Sweden, the International Authors Festival in Toronto, the Cambridge Festival, The Vancouver Writer's Festival, The Winnipeg Writer's Festival, The Acorn Festival, the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Hillside Festival, The Eaglewood Folk Festival, The Ottawa Literary Festival, Eden Mills Festival, the Leacock Festival, the Berkley Slam, the Couchiching Think Tank and Toronto's North by North East, Mariposa 2012.

Writing Philosophy
or how I write

The Milton Acorn Memorial People's Poetry Award, 1989
Special Choice Award, Children's Book Centre, 1993
Socan Airplay Award, 1994
Chalmer's Award, Theatre for Young Audiences, 1998

416 466-0047

197 1/2 Jones Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4M 3A2 If you want to book Robert as a singer/songwriter call 416 466-0047 or email

All intellectual property on this website including lyrics, music and recordings is copyright 1979 - 2018 Robert Priest. All rights reserved.