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Desmond Cole is a journalist, radio host, and activist. His debut book, The Skin We’re In, won the Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award and the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. It was also named a best book of 2020 by The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, CBC, Quill & Quire, and Indigo. Cole’s writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Walrus, and the Ottawa Citizen, among others. He lives in Toronto.

Award History

2021 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power

Jury Citation

“Desmond Cole’s The Skin We're In is an uncompromising yet utterly compelling dissection of a long neglected but fundamental aspect of Canadian life: anti-Black racism. This is a story of confrontation and resistance, but also of deep listening and bearing witness. Written with power and verve, Cole’s sharp, urgent, and lyrical prose reveals an author with a capacious intellect, moral clarity, and unwavering commitment to justice. Cole challenges his home and native land to dispense with magical thinking and reckon with uncomfortable truths.”

— 2021 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Peter Dauvergne, Adrian Harewood, and Heather Scoffield)