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Jillian Christmas is a queer, Afro-Caribbean writer, educator, curator, and consultant. She is the spoken word curator of the Vancouver Writers Fest and the former Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Verses Festival of Words. Christmas has represented both Toronto and Vancouver at 11 national poetry events and was the first Canadian to perform in the final round of the Women of the World Poetry Slam. She is the author of the poetry collection The Gospel of Breaking. Christmas lives on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam people (Vancouver).

Award History

Jury Citation

“Whether on stage or on the page, the work of Jillian Christmas strikes at the very core of what it means to be human. A writer of exceptional skill who circles back on memory and consciousness, she challenges us, through her own compassion and vulnerability, to confront oppression and to imagine new possibilities for justice and belonging. The Gospel of Breaking is an unforgettable book that speaks to lineages of Black queerness while showing how poetry and cadence can inhabit a body. Christmas’ voice is a deeply necessary one.”
— 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize jury (Daniel Allen Cox, Eva Crocker, and Danny Ramadan)

Works recognized by WT

The Gospel of Breaking