Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Profile: David Delisca & Andrea Thompson

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David Delisca

David O. Delisca (

Poet. Brother. Child of the Haitian Diaspora. Speaker. Stirrer of smiles and thoughts. Author of "I Grew Up Right Beside You". 4-time member of the Toronto Poetry Slam team (2013 National Champions)

1.) Why do so few black/African-Canadian writers have relationships with Canadian book publishers?

"In my opinion, I don't think there is an enlightened awareness of publishing in Black/African-Canadian communities and writers. I don't personally know the parameters and the means of getting my work published."

2.) Why self-publishing?

"Self-publishing allows control and hands-on learning in the realm of publishing in a smaller context. You are able to be aware of finances, marketing, creativity and have that ability to have total control in a low-risk environment. This also gives preparation for bigger publishing possibilities."

Andrea Thompson has an MFA in Creative Writing, teaches a Spoken Word poetry workshop at OCAD University and is the co-editor of Mixed Tongues: Women of Mixed Race Speak Out (Inanna Publications). Andrea has a firm relationship with Inanna, however, self-publishing in the Black community was the question that most piqued her interest:

"Self publishing allows writers autonomy. In interviews and conversations with Black authors, both in Canada and south of the border, I've found that many of those who have self-published have done so after becoming frustrated with trying to get their work out through traditional channels. These authors know their audience exists, but often can not find publishers who are willing to take on their work. Self-publishing also gives Black authors an opportunity to flex entrepreneurial muscles.

In taking on the publishing of my CD "One", I have been able to have autonomy over all aspects of the work - from production to dissemination. Many Black writers are also good business people, and have decided - rather than give another publisher, promoter or organization the benefit of their skills - to take their careers into their own hands. This DIY approach gives Black writers a method to get their work out to the world, and to reach an audience that traditional publishers may not be aware of."

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Dane Swan

Dane Swan is a Bermuda-raised, Toronto-based internationally published poet, writer and musician. His first collection, Bending the Continuum was launched by Guernica Editions in the Spring of 2011.

Go to Dane Swan’s Author Page