Dane Swan

Dane Swan's picture
Biography: 

Dane Swan is a Bermuda-born, Toronto-based spoken word artist, former slam poet, musician, author, and emerging editor. A former remedial English student, he is now an author of both fiction and poetry. Dane's second poetry collection, A Mingus Lullaby, was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in 2017.

 

Preferred poetic styles: Lyrical page poetry, contemporary page poetry, dub poetry, and spoken word

Preferred subjects: Social justice, music, history, and popular culture

Influences: Saul Williams, Richard Wright, Wanda Coleman, Walt Whitman, Richard Pryor, and Lenny Bruce

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

No, I didn't read much poetry in high school. The most influential poems in my environment while in high school were rap and reggae song lyrics. Whenever I was bored in school, I would pull out a notepad and try to write my own song lyrics. I was always writing something.

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

I started writing poetry in elementary school. I was probably five or six. I didn't realize that I was a poet until I was in my twenties.

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

A poet's job is to create a mental picture of the environment that they're in for their readers, or audience. That can be the physical space of the poet, or their mental space. Poets have historically informed the public of political turmoil, emerging issues, or even been used to create propaganda. Words have power. Being respected for your skill with words has value. An important part of being a poet is understanding that, and figuring out how you want to create spaces and conversations through the medium that you use.

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

Kay in Summer” by Claire Harris

Publications: 
Title: 
Bending the Continuum
Publisher: 
Guernica Edtions
Editors: 
Elana Wolff
Date: 
2011
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
A Mingus Lullaby
Publisher: 
Guernica Editions
Date: 
2017
Publication type: 
Book
Poem title(s): 
Fugue
Title: 
Rampike Vol 19/ No 1 "Visual Poetics"
Publisher: 
Rampike
Editors: 
Karl E. Jirgens, Marissa Reaume
Date: 
2010
Publication type: 
Periodical/Magazine