“A tireless advocate for poets and for all literary and performing arts.”
– Kelly Shiers, The Chronicle Herald
Shauntay Grant is a writer and storyteller who lives and works in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia). She served as the third poet laureate for Halifax Regional Municipality from 2009 to 2011. Her stage play The Bridge premiered in 2019 at Neptune Theatre and won a 2020 Robert Merritt Award for Outstanding New Play. An award-winning author of children's literature, Shauntay's picture book Africville with illustrator Eva Campbell won the 2019 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards, the 2019 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards, and the 2019 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award.
Shauntay is a descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, and Black Refugees who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. Her love of language stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia's historic Black communities, and her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian history and folk culture, as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance. Shauntay is a multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees and training in creative writing, music, and theatre. Her awards and honours include a Best Atlantic-Published Book prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, a Poet of Honour prize from Spoken Word Canada, and a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Shauntay's stage play The Bridge premiered in early 2019, a co-production between 2b theatre and Neptune Theatre in association with Obsidian Theatre Company. The Bridge was nominated for 11 Robert Merritt Awards, taking home 4 including Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian Playwright. Shauntay's work has earned her invitations to present at local and international events including Canada's national Word On The Street festivals, the Vancouver Writers Festival, Ottawa's Versefest, Moncton's Frye Festival, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Australia's National Young Writers’ Festival, the Jamaica Poetry Festival, and the 10th Anniversary Launch of the Freedom Schooner Amistad in Havana, Cuba. Her plays have been presented by 2b theatre (Halifax), Neptune Theatre (Halifax), Eastern Front Theatre (Halifax), Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal), and b current (Toronto). Her poems have been published in several anthologies and literary journals including the Fieldstone Review and Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. Connect with her on Facebook or join the Mailing List to stay updated on her latest news, visit the Press page to browse articles and reviews of her work, or visit the Contact page to send her a message.