Community·Q&A

Poet Laureate, Titilope Sonuga, on telling Black stories: "An essential part of knowing who we are."

Titilope Sonuga is an award winning writer, playwright, performer, and Edmonton’s Poet Laureate. ​​​​​​​This summer she is also a co-facilitator for a youth writing and self-expression workshop as part of the National Black Canadians Summit taking place in Halifax from July 29-31. 

Join the live stream and be part of the conversations at the National Black Canadians Summit.

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Titilope Sonuga (Niyi Okeowo photo)
Titilope Sonuga is an award winning writer, playwright, performer, and Edmonton's Poet Laureate.

This summer she is also a co-facilitator for a youth writing and self-expression workshop as part of the National Black Canadians Summit taking place in Halifax from July 29-31. 


You can register now for the Summit live stream and be a part of the conversations happening all weekend long.

Read our Q&A with Titilope Sonuga to learn more about her thoughts on the power of poetry, the Black experience, and mentorship at the Summit.

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Q: Why is the power of words (both written and spoken) important in telling the world about the Black experience? 

A: The power to tell our own stories as Black people is an essential part of knowing who we were, are and could be. Owning our truths and holding our experiences as central and sacred is a gift we offer ourselves and future generations in a world that is rarely invested in upholding us.




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Q: What is one thing you hope the youth will take away from the Summit?


A: I hope to demystify the work of writing poetry and storytelling such that it feels accessible and inclusive. I hope that this time of being surrounded by Black excellence, truth telling, vulnerability and grace fills them up with pride and belonging.






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Q: Which poem or quote are you most proud of having written and why?


A: I can't pick one in particular. I consider it to be a supreme privilege to be able to make a life where the words I speak or write, reach beyond my life into someone else's.





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Q: Which book by a Black author do you think everyone should read and why? 

A: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison because her writing is both blade and balm, and her life is a masterclass in owning one's gift so fully that it pours over everything you touch.







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Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share about poetry, storytelling, mentorship, or the Summit?


A: It's exciting for poetry and storytelling to be a part of the important conversations happening at the Summit. It feels special to have art as a conduit for the work that will reach beyond the few days that we are gathered.






Tickets to attend the National Black Canadian's Summit in person are sold out, but you can still register for live stream access and join from anywhere! Register for the live stream now and join the conversation.

READ MORE:

CBC BOOKS: 30 facts you might not know about the acclaimed Toni Morrison 

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Being Black in Canada highlights stories about Black Canadians. (CBC)

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