Sheri-D Wilson

"Mama of Dada"

Sheri-D Wilson

Sheri-D Wilson (aka The Mama of Dada) is an award-winning spoken word poet who has performed in literary, film and folk music festivals in Canada, USA, England, France, Mexico, Belgium, and South Africa.

Sheri-D is the author of nine collections of poetry; her most recent, Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women which succeeds Goddess Gone Fishing for a Map of the Universe. Her collection, Re:Zoom (2005, Frontenac House), won the 2006 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the CanLit Award.

She is the creator two albums that combine music and poetry (arranged by Russell Broom), and is creator of four award-winning VideoPoems, all produced for BravoFACT.

Known for her environmental awareness and activism, she was headliner at The 2014 Emerald Awards and in 2013 she read with David Suzuki. In 2012 she was featured in Chatelaine Magazine, in a story about the creative mind. A regular on CBC, in 2013 she was interviewed by Canadian icon Sheilah Rogers. In 2011 she was honored to be presented by The National Slam of Canada in "Legends of Spoken Word." In 2011 she was invited to do a TED Talk for Calgary—Communication—Finding your Path.

Dedicated to developing community, Sheri-D founded and produced The Calgary Spoken Word Festival (2003-1014). She founded and developed the Spoken Word Program @ The Banff Center, and continued in the capacity of Director for seven years. She also developed an in-the-schools program called Word Travels, as a venue to approach illiteracy through creativity.

Of the beat tradition, in 1989 Sheri-D studied at Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in Boulder, Colorado.

Performance Highlights:

VI Festival de Poesía las Lenguas de América (2014, Mexico), National Slam-Legends of Spoken Word (2011-2014), Vancouver International Writers Festival, Maple Stirrup en El Arco de la virgin - 2010 (Barcelona), Art 4 Change - 2010 (Harlem), FiEstival maelstrÖm reEvolution - 2010 (Brussels), Voix d’Amériques - 2008,‘05 (Montreal), Bumbershoot - 2003, ‘99, ‘92, ‘91, ‘89 (Seattle), The World Poetry Bout - 2002 (Taos, New Mexico), Poetry Africa - 2001 (South Africa).

Awards Highlights:

City of Calgary - Arts Award (2015), Alberta Readers Choice—Top Ten (2013), Named One of the Top 10 Poets in Canada by CBC (2009), 2006 Woman of Vision Award, Ace Award * 5 Rosies, SpoCan Award (2005), Bumbershoot Heavyweight Title for Poetry USA (2003), Gold Award at the Houston Film Festival (2003), Three ACE Awards (2003), AMPIA - for best short or vignette (2003), CBC Face-off (2002), 5 Jessie Nominations (1992).

Teaching Highlights:

Writer-In-Residence @ Kwantlen Polytechnic University; Masterclass instructor @ The Writers Festival in Vancouver & The National Slam – Group and Indies (2010-2014); Week-long intensive workshop @ Women’s Words (U of A Extension 2007-2013); three-day intensive at Saskatchewan Festival of Words (youth). In 2011 she edited, The Spoken Word Workbook: inspiration from poets who teach—the Go-To educational tool for teaching and writing Spoken Word.

Other Highlights:

Lyric Essay, about Spoken Word Poetry for Arc Magazine (2015), Women and Words 2003-2011 (instructor), First Time Eyes: Unearthing Spoken Word 2007 essay (Canadian Theatre Review), Heart of a Poet 2006, featured poet documentary, Bowery Project 2005 (Instructor), Alberta Scene 2005 (a commemoration of Alberta’s centennial), Human Rights Symposium 2005 Victoria, Sounds Like Canada, 2002 CBC Poet in Residence, Addicted: Notes From The Belly Of The Beast 2001 essay Blackout, Confessions a Jazz Play, 1991 text of play (Theatrum). Of the beat tradition, in 1989 Sheri-D studied at Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in Boulder, Colorado.

Community Leadership:

Sheri-D Wilson has been a central figure in the re-emergence of poetry in Canada and beyond. Driven by the passion to connect people, voices and ideas she created and organized the following

School of Thought: Languages Lost & Found
Director (2016)

Calgary Spoken Word Festival
Founder & Artistic Director (2003-2014)

Spoken Word Program @ Banff Centre
Founder & Director (2005-2012)

Spoken Word Workbook: Inspiration from Poets who Teach
Editor (2011)

National Slam Calgary
Producer (2008)

SWAN (Spoken Word Arts Network)
Founder & Producer (2005, 2007)

Vancouver Small Press Festival
Co-founder & Artistic Director (1988-1990)