Robert Priest

A literary poet in the tradition of Neruda and Mayakovsky, a composer of lush love poems, and a widely quoted aphorist, Robert Priest is a mainstay of the spoken word circuit both in Canada and abroad. Also known as "Dr. Poetry" (CBC's Wordbeat), he is the author of 16 books of poetry and numerous CDs. His most recent book, Reading the Bible Backwards, rose to number two on the Globe and Mail's poetry bestsellers list. Robert has performed his exciting mix of poems and songs all over the world. His words have been debated in the legislature (see video at, turned into a hit song, posted in the Transit system, broadcast on MuchMusic, released on numerous CDs, quoted by politicians, and widely published in text books and anthologies.

Priest's work includes the spoken word video/single Congo Toronto which received nation-wide airplay on MuchMusic for over three months in 1986; Rotweiller Pacifist (1988) a collection of 20 spoken word pieces, many of them accompanied by tracks and beats; and his collection of poems, The Mad Hand (1989), which was the recipient of the Milton Acorn People's Poetry award. Robert's third spoken word CD, Tongue'n'Groove, was released on EMI's Artisan label in 1998. Robert lives in Toronto where he is a freelance cultural journalist for Now Magazine.

Photo credit, Ann Collins