Meet Sheri-D Wilson

Sheri-D Wilson, D. Litt

Poet Laureate of Calgary 2018-2020

Sheri-D Wilson (aka The Mama of Dada) is the award-winning author of 11 books, the creator of 4 short films, and has released 3 albums which combine music and poetry.

Known for her electric performance-style, making her a favorite of festivals around the world - she’s read, performed & taught in festivals across Canada, USA, UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, and South Africa.

Sheri-D Wilson - bio badlands picture
Sheri-D Wilson - bio performance picture

Recognized for her environmental awareness and activism, she was headliner at the 2014 Emerald Awards, and in 2013, she read with David Suzuki. Her tenth collection of poetry, Open Letter: Woman against Violence against Women; was short-listed for the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award & CanLit. Her collection, Re:Zoom (2005), won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry.

In 2018, Wilson was appointed the distinction of Poet Laureate of Calgary, and in 2017, she received her Doctorate of Letters - Honoris Causa from Kwantlen University. Of the beat tradition, in 1989 Sheri-D studied at Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in Boulder, Colorado.

What others are saying...

Bob Holman

Poet, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club

Language is the essence of being human
Poetry is the essence of language
And Sheri-D Wilson is the essence of essence

Anne Waldman

Poet, writer, performer, collaborator, professor

Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen: here’s action poet Sheri-D Wilson dancing her way onto the page with rawness and rage.

Lorna Crozier

Poet, Governor General’s Award winner

Books, books, books—why won’t they leave me alone? I can’t sleep because I have too many books, I can’t make love, I can’t eat, I can’t move to a smaller house because I have too many books. If the megathrust earthquake strikes the West Coast, I’ll be flattened by falling books.

Kerry Clare

49th Shelf

Sheri-D Wilson turns language on its head, exuberantly coining new words that seem absolutely necessary-like arborolatry (a great word for idolizing trees). Her mastery of sound is hypnotic.

San Francisco Examiner


Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen . . . genetically tinker with these Canadians and add a chromosome of Patti Smith and a double-helix strand from Jim Carroll. . . you have Sheri-D Wilson.

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Performance Highlights:

* Word on the Lake (2018)
* Saskatchewan Festival of Words (2017)
* Yukon Writers Festival (2017)
* Women’s March on Washington (2017, Calgary)
* Verses Festival (Vancouver)
* VI Festival de Poesía las Lenguas de América (2014, Mexico)
* National Slam, Legends of Spoken Word (2011-2014, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver)
* Vancouver International Writers Festival (Vancouver)
* Maple Stirrup en El Arco de la virgin (2010, Barcelona)
* FiEstival maelstrÖm revolution (2010, Brussels)
* Voix d’Amériques (2008 & 2005, Montreal)
* Bumbershoot (2003, ‘99, ‘92, ‘91, ’89, Seattle)
* The World Poetry Bout (2002, Taos, New Mexico)
* Poetry Africa (2001, South Africa)

Award Highlights:

* Poet Laureate of Calgary 2018-2020
* Honorary Doctorate, 2017
* City of Calgary Arts Award, 2015
* Writer-In-Residence (Kwantlen University), 2015
* CBC Top 10 Poets in Canada, 2013
* Ted Talk, Communication—Finding your Path, 2009
* Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, 2006
* SpoCan Poet of Honour, 2005
* Woman of Vision, 2006
* 5 Rosie Awards, 2003
* Ace Award, 2003
* USA Heavyweight Title for Poetry, 2003
* Confessions: A Jazz Play, received 5 Vancouver Jessie Nominations, 1991

Teaching Highlights:

* Created & Developed, Spoken Word Program, Banff Centre
* Director & Head Faculty, Spoken Word Program, Banff Centre (2005-2012)
* Advisor, MA Student, U of S
* Writer-In-Residence, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Vancouver, 2016)
* Masterclass, The Writers Festival in Vancouver
* Masterclass, The National Slam - Group and Indies (2010-2014)
* Women and Words, Faculty (U of A, 2003-2011)
* Week-long Intensive, Women’s Words (U of A, 2007-2013)
* Three-day Intensive at Saskatchewan Festival of Words (youth)
* Bowery Project, Faculty (New York, 2005)
* Edited, The Spoken Word Workbook: inspiration from poets who teach (2011) - Go-To educational tool for teaching and writing Spoken Word 

Other Highlights:

* Lyric Essay, Spoken Word Poetry, Arc Magazine (2015)
* Article Featuring, Chatelaine Magazine (2012)
* Essay, First Time Eyes: Unearthing Spoken Word, Canadian Theatre Review (2007)
* Half-hour Documentary, Heart of a Poet, Subject (2006)
* Alberta Scene 2005 (a commemoration of Alberta’s centennial)
* Human Rights Symposium 2005 Victoria
* Sounds Like Canada, 2002 CBC Poet in Residence
* Essay, Blackout, Addicted: Notes from the Belly of the Beast (2001)
* Publication, Confessions: A Jazz Play, Theatrum (1991)

A strong advocate for social change:

Artistic Director - Calgary Spoken Word Festival (2003-2018)
Founder & Director - Spoken Word Program | The Banff Centre (2005-2012)
Sheri-D Wilson is also a Ceremonialist & Marriage Celebrant.

Sheri-D Wilson, D. Litt CV