Edited Headshot 2015

I am a Professor of English at Vancouver Island University. You can view my current course offerings, here.

Recently, I completed a SSHRC-supported doctoral thesis at the University of Guelph’s School of English and Theatre Studies titled, Soundin’ Canaan: Music, Resistance, and Citizenship in African Canadian Poetry. Centered on the poetry of M. NourbeSe Philip, George Elliott Clarke, Wayde Compton, Dionne Brand, and rapper K’naan, the dissertation builds on the work of scholars who have admirably mapped and written about African Canadian literature, but uniquely departs from prior projects in its examination of how many African Canadian poets draw from African American and pan-African musical forms (including blues, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, calypso, dub, and improvisatory practices) in order to remap the concept of identity and citizenship. The thesis addresses the politics and ethics of Canadian multicultural policy and citizenship—focusing on intersections between music and text as a border-crossing praxis—particularly as voiced by African Canadian poets. Within the next few years, I hope to turn this manuscript into a published book.

My Masters Thesis, Voice in Text: Translating Orality in Robert Bringhurst’s A Story as Sharp as a Knife, Harry Robinson’s Write it on Your Heart, and War Party’s The Reign, investigates the process of translation that occurs when transmitting oral stories into a written framework with the intention to bridge the gaps that exist between oral traditions and technological scholarship. I’ve published reviews and articles on multiculturalism, Canadian poetry, jazz and improvisation, with a paper in Critical Studies in Improvisation titled, “Disruptive Dialogics: Improvised Dissonance in Thelonious Monk and Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers.” My paper on jazz poetics in Dionne Brand’s Ossuaries was published in a special issue of MaComère. I maintain a blog, Riffings, and have written reviews for The Toronto Review of Books, The Bull Calf, Lemon Hound, and Canadian Literatureas well as the odd post on other websites.  I am also a guest editor with Dr. Rebecca Caines on a special issue of Critical Studies in Improvisation focused on Improvisation and Hip-Hop. Currently, I am working on a paper on music and sound in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks for a special issue publication on the mysterious world of Twin Peaks. Aside from my academic work, this site serves as a space to occasionally showcase projects, poetry, music, and adventures with my recent baby! 

Within the next year, I hope to release my first collection of poetry entitled, Listenings.

I’ve recently finished my DJ project entitled, Dedications, which is now available for FREE download.

Dedications Cover

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Ph.D. Professor. Writer. Musician. A space for riffings on film, literature, and music.