Adebe DeRango-Adem is a writer and doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in various North American sources, including Descant, CV2, Canadian Woman Studies and the Toronto Star. She won the Toronto Poetry Competition in 2005 to become Toronto’s first Junior Poet Laureate. In 2008, she attended the summer writing program at Naropa University, where she mentored with Anne Waldman and the late Amiri Baraka.
Her debut poetry collection, Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010) was one of ten manuscripts chosen in honour of Frontenac House's Dektet 2010 competition, using a blind selection process by a jury of leading Canadian writers: bill bissett, George Elliott Clarke, and Alice Major. Ex Nihilo was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for writers under thirty. She is also the co-editor, alongside Andrea Thompson, of Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010).
Titled after the Latin term for “unknown land”—a cartographical expression referring to regions that have not yet been mapped or documented—Terra Incognita is a collection of poems that creatively explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings buried in history’s grand narratives. Set against the similarities as well as incongruities of the Canadian/American backdrop of race relations, Terra Incognita explores the cultural memory and legacy of those whose histories have been the site of erasure, and who have thus—riffing on the Heraclitus’s dictum that “geography is fate”—been forced to redraw themselves into the texts of history.
Publications and Prizes
Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications, 2015), Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010)
Toronto's Junior Poet Laureate, 2005.
Ex Nihilo was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for writers under 30.
bell hooks, Sylvia Plath, Kerouac, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Don De Lillo, Don McKay, Frank O'Hara, Lisa Jones, Lawrence Hill, Kurt Vonnegut, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Dionne Brand, William S. Burroughs, Carl Sandburg, Roland Barthes, Di Brandt, William Carlos Williams, Virginia Woolf, J. D. Salinger, Ernest Hemingway, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ezra Loomis Pound, T. S. Eliot, Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Rainer Maria Rilke, Khalil Gibran, Arthur Rimbaud, Sartre, Nietzsche, De Beauvoir, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Camus, Leonard Cohen, Amiri Baraka
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Listing last updated: June 24, 2015