Inspired by Toronto’s renowned, historic Bohemian Embassy, meet a new generation of artists inspiring Canada’s ever-evolving literary scene at The New Embassy: a digital mini-series of spoken word, poetry, prose, theatrical readings, music and dance.
Curated by author Canisia Lubrin, The New Embassy’s opening event features a provocative programme of music, theatre and poetry. Experience the rhythms of Joy Lapps, leader of the Afro and Latin-Caribbean Jazz ensemble The Joy Lapps Project; a gripping monologue about the Springhill mining disaster of 1958, by Beau Dixon, presented as a selection from his one-man show Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story; as well as appearances from Cree poet, musician and artist Erica Violet Lee and Griffin Poetry Prize-shortlisted poet Aisha Sasha John.
About Canisia Lubrin, Curator
Canisia Lubrin is the author of three books, including Code Noir (Knopf, 2023) and The Dyzgraphxst (M&S, 2020), winner of, among others, the Griffin Prize and OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean literature. Awarded a 2021 Windham-Campbell poetry prize, Lubrin is a Creative Writing professor at the University of Guelph.
About Joy Lapps
Joy Lapps is an artist, educator, consultant and creative womanist. She holds a Masters in Music Composition and her proficiency with the tenor pan is recognized internationally. She leads The Joy Lapps Project, an ensemble exploring Afro and Latin-Caribbean Jazz. Lapps has performed at festivals including Afrofest, Toronto’s TD Jazz Festival, Antigua’s Moods of Pan Festival and Miami’s GroundUp Festival. In 2019, Joy presented her multi-disciplinary project, From Skin 2 Steel and Beyond, at Toronto Evergreen Brick Works. Lapps is finishing her forthcoming release, Girl In The Yard, and is developing a multi-disciplinary performance celebrating women in the steelpan community.
About Beau Dixon
Beau Dixon is a self-taught, multi award-winning actor, composer, playwright, sound designer and music director. His theatre credits include Guys ‘n’ Dolls (Stratford Festival), The Colour Purple (Neptune Theatre), Next To Normal (Tarragon Theatre), Secret Chord (Soulpepper Theatre) and As You Like It/Titus Andronicus (Canadian Stage/Shakespeare in High Park). Dixon’s writing credits include Bloom: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fable (4th Line Theatre), Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story (Arts Club/Festival Players) and From Here To Africville (Factory Theatre). He has won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, two Toronto Critics Awards and a Calgary Critics Award. He has three recorded solo albums under his name.
About Aisha Sasha John
A poet and choreographer, Aisha Sasha John is the author of I have to live. (McClelland & Stewart), finalist for the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize; THOU (Book*hug), finalist for the 2015 Trillium Book Award; and TO STAND AT THE PRECIPICE ALONE AND REPEAT WHAT IS WHISPERED (UDP 2021), now in its second printing. John’s first solo work the aisha of oz premiered at the Whitney in 2017. She is the 2019-2022 Dancemakers’ Resident Artist, and in 2022, she continues the research on her ensemble work DIANA ROSS DREAM, which premieres this fall at La Chapelle in Montreal.
Dates & Times