|Bio / Reviews|
Robert Priest is a poet, playwright, song-writer, and novelist. This bio focuses on Poetry/Spoken Word
Robert Priest also known as Dr Poetry on CBC’s Wordbeat has performed his exciting mix of poems and songs all over the world. His words have been debated in the legislature, posted in the Transit system, quoted by politicians, turned into a hit song and widely published in text books and anthologies.
A BIT OF HISTORY
As an electrifying performer of ‘rants, raves and reveries’ he has gained notoriety, critical acclaim and respect ever since the release of his first poetic EP in l981 of which FM magazine wrote:
"He is a rare hybrid - a poet who can as easily compose hummable melodies as sing them with power."
His ‘spoken word’ video/single Congo Toronto received nation-wide airplay on MuchMusic for over three months in l986 and established for Priest a unique place in the poetry/music canon. Rotweiller Pacifist, l988, continued the tradition with a collection of twenty spoken word pieces, many of them accompanied by tracks and beats.
Robert’s 3rd spoken word CD, Tongue’n’Groove, was released on EMI's prestigious Artisan label in l998. This collection which 'straddles the crossroads of folk, funk and the word' establishes Priest once and for all as a major artist in the field.
"Grand and Mystical.” (Eye Magazine)
A fabulist in the tradition of Cortazar and Borges, a composer of lush love poems, and a widely quoted aphorist Robert Priest has also written fifteen books of poetry and prose.
"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
His Aphorisms (for instance: “The most dangerous people are the obedient!”)
have found their way into The Farmer’s Almanac and Colombo’s Canadian Quotations.
“There will always be plenty of space on the pages of my ‘quote books’ for the brilliant aphorisms of Robert Priest.” -John Robert Colombo
In 1989, his collection of poems, The Mad Hand, a book which featured a ‘graphic poem’ with illustrator Ross MacDonald, was the recipient of the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry award.
Ultimately it should be noted that Robert Priest is a great live performer. This can be seen in the numerous videos of his performances available at his website: www.poempainter.com. These videos are also being shown as ‘flow’ on BookTelevision.
"Consistently One Of The Most Entertaining Acts In Town!" -Now Magazine
In recent years Robert has entertained at numerous music & poetry festivals. In Budapest Robert was a featured performer at the Kacat Kabaret and at the Free the Word Festival in Stockholm Sweden. He has also delivered the word at The Melbourne Writer’s Festival, The Vancouver Writer's Festival, The Winnipeg Writer's Festival, The Acorn Festival, The Cambridge Festival, the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Hillside Festival, The Eaglewood Folk Festival, The Ottawa Literary Festival, Eden Mills Festival, the Leacock Festival, the Couchiching Think Tank and Toronto's North by North East. In October of 2001 Robert was chosen to be a cultural ambassador for Canada in the Middle East where he performed in both Israel and Jordan. This year he performed all over Australia and on his return released a new book: How to Swallow a Pig, at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.
Robert lives in Toronto where he continues to write his “Passionate, cocky alternately adoring and insulting verse.” (The Toronto Star)
or How I write
Reviews of Books
Reviews of Tongue 'n' Groove