Born and raised in Markham, Ontario, Jillian Christmas is a poet, enthusiastic organizer, and activist in the Canadian arts community with a focus on increasing anti-oppression initiatives in spoken word. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post and many other publications, including collections such as Matrix New Queer Writing (Issue 98), The Post Feminist Post, and the celebrated anthology, The Great Black North.
In March, Christmas published a collection of her poetry. The Gospel of Breaking explores love, family, queerness, and identity in poetry that is sometimes narrative, sometimes lyrical, and always compelling. In this episode, we talk about Christmas' poetic approach, her relationship to her mother and grandmother, and how she connects her organizing work with her art.
Jillian Christmas is the former Artistic Director of Vancouver's Verses Festival of Words. An educator, organizer, and advocate in the arts community, utilizing an anti-oppressive lens, Jillian has performed and facilitated workshops across North America. She lives in Vancouver.