A Selected History of Soul Speak

by Andrea Thompson

In this collection of poems, Andrea Thompson investigates the intersection of page and stage, and the evolution of spoken word as a hybrid form of literary orature. Thompson’s collection blurs the space between public and private, while excavating the influence of Black North American history, art and culture on contemporary poetics. From the slave songs and spirituals of the cotton fields of the Old South, to the smoky coffee houses of the Harlem Renaissance, to today’s slam stages and rap battles, these poems elevate the written and spoken word as vehicles for individual empowerment, collective agency and social justice. Thompson asks us: Why speak? Why write? And then takes us on a journey spanning decades, generations and cultures in the exploration of possible answers.

Shortlisted for the 2022 Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry
Longlisted for the 2022 Raymond Souster Award

SKU: 9781989466254 Categories: , ,

$19.95 CAD

Additional information

Weight .226 kg
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.356 in
Page Count



Soft Cover with flaps

Year Published


Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson has been publishing and performing her work for over twenty-five years. In 2005 her spoken word album, One, was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award, in 2009 she was the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word’s Poet of Honour, and in 2019 her poetry album, Soulorations helped earn her the League of Canadian Poets’ Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award. Thompson is co-author of the anthology, Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, and author of the novel, Over Our Heads. Thompson currently teaches through Workman Arts, CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), and the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. She is a member of the Brick Books editorial collective and is the project manager for Brick’s multimedia hub, Brickyard. Thompson’s work is featured in the anthology, Best Canadian Poetry: 2020, and she is the recipient of the 2021 Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize.

Her website is www.andreathompson.ca