Robert Priest





Born in 1951 in the UK, Robert Priest, is the author of 14 books of poetry, 3 plays, 2 novels, 7 music CDS, 1 hit song, many columns for Toronto's Now Magazine, and numerous pieces for CBC Radio's hit spoken word show "Wordbeat" under the alias "Dr Poetry". His passionate poetry for adults is wide-ranging and much praised, while his children's poetry is more tender, underpinned with a utopian hopefulness. Canadian novelist Barbara Gowdy has described him as "the voice of the people and the angels, entwined" and the Pacific Rim Review has said "He is certainly one of the most imaginatively inventive poets in the country." Priest's plays, novels and songs, have earned him awards and recognition in Canada, as well as a growing legion of readers (and listeners) world wide.

This year (2014) his young-adult fantasy novel The Paper Sword was published by Dundurn Press. Rosa Rose (Wolsak & Wynn 2013), a book of children's verse in praise of inspirational figures, recently won a Silver Moonbeam Award in the USA. His latest book of poems for adults is Previously Feared Darkness (ECW). His recently released fourth CD of songs - Feeling the Pinch - gets frequent airplay on college radio and the CBC.

A literary poet in the tradition of Neruda and Mayakovsky, a composer of lush love poems, and a widely quoted aphorist, Robert Priest is a mainstay of the literary/spoken word/music circuit both in Canada and abroad.

His words have been quoted in the Farmer’s Almanac, debated in the legislature (see the video at, sung on Sesame Street, posted in Toronto's transit system, broadcast on MuchMusic, released on numerous CDs, quoted by politicians, and widely published in textbooks and anthologies.

"Poetry full of flashes of insight. Imaginative in a strange way, he takes inordinate chances with logic, countering absurdity with absurdity, and expanding our sense of human emotional possibilities."

- The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature

Robert Priest is one of the few Canadians to have achieved bestseller status as both a songwriter and a poet. The fiery rock ballad, Song Instead Of A Kiss, co-authored with rock diva Alannah Myles, spent two weeks at the top of the Canadian charts and still receives airplay around the world. His recent book of poetry, Reading The Bible Backwards, rose to Number 2 on the Globe and Mail's poetry charts, its sales exceeded only by those of Leonard Cohen. A performance video of Robert singing his song One Crumb has more than 100,000 hits on YouTube.

Robert writes passionate love songs, hilarious raps, and incisive topical political protest songs, and has and co-written with many well-known artists including Alanis Morissette, Alannah Myles, The Jitters, Tom Cochran, Marc Jordan, Staggered Crossing, Melanie Doane, John Capek and composer Srul Irving Glick. Robert has entertained on live radio and tv, and for live audiences around the world.

"He is a rare hybrid - a poet who can as easily compose hummable melodies as sing them with power."

- FM Magazine.

Robert lives in Toronto with Marsha Kirzner.

Read Robert's Kid Bio!
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.