Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson's picture
Photo credit: 
BIA Photography

Andrea Thompson has been publishing and performing her work for over twenty-five years. In 2005 her spoken word album, One, was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award, in 2009 she was the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word’s Poet of Honour, and in 2019 her poetry album, Soulorations, earned her the League of Canadian Poets’ Golden Beret Award. Thompson is co-author of Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, and author of the novel Over Our Heads. Thompson teaches through CAMH and University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. She is an editor at Brick Books and Artistic Director of Brick's online spoken word showcase, Brickyard. Thompson’s work was featured in the anthology Best Canadian Poetry: 2020, and she is the recipient of the 2021 Pavlick Poetry Prize. Her collection, A Selected History of Soul Speak, was published by Frontenac House in the fall of 2021.

Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

I loved Sylvia Plath when I was in high school, as well as spoken word work of The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron.

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

I started writing poetry when I was a child. I always thought of myself as a poet, but didn't have the nerve to say it out loud until I had a piece published in the Carleton Arts Review as an undergrad.

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

I think it's a poet's job to tell the truth and make it as beautiful and / or as interesting as possible.

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?: 

I wrote "Enigma" while working on editing the anthology, Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out. It was inspired by the submissions I was reviewing and conversations I was having with my co-editor: Adebe DeRango-Adem.

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

I'd love to be able to memorize all of them.

Selected History of Soul Speak
Frontenac House
Micheline Maylor
Fall, 2021
Publication type: 
Poem title(s): 
To Whyt/Anthology/Editors
Best Canadian Poetry
Marilyn Dumont
Publication type: 
Spoken Word Album