Author & Poet, often referred to as "Bob Marley with a pen," due to the spiritual, sensual, social themes presented from a literary Jamaican perspective
Colin Channer was born in Jamaica, and educated there and in New York. His most recent book is the poetry collection Providential (2015), which Eileen Myles describes as “one of the most lucid and telling poetry books of this exact time.” Other work includes the novella The Girl With the Golden Shoes (2007) — “a…
Colin Channer was born in Jamaica, and educated there and in New York. His most recent book is the poetry collection Providential (2015), which Eileen Myles describes as “one of the most lucid and telling poetry books of this exact time.”
Other work includes the novella The Girl With the Golden Shoes (2007) — “a nearly perfect moral fable” in the words of Russell Banks — and the national bestselling novel Waiting in Vain, a Critic’s Choice Selection of the Washington Post, which hails it as “a clear redefinition of the Caribbean novel — in which the discourses of post-colonialism have been usurped by the creative assurance of reggae’s aesthetic …”
Colin is the editor of the fiction anthologies Iron Balloons (2006) and Kingston Noir (2012), and coeditor of the poetry anthology So Much Things to Say (2010).
So Much Things to Say gathers work from a hundred poets who read at the Calabash International Literary Festival in Treasure Beach, Jamaica, between 2001 and 2010. Colin founded the not-for-profit Calabash Trust with Kwame Dawes and Justine Henzell in 2000. As artistic director and board chairman for the first ten years, Colin led the organization’s rise in world stature and local relevance by offering first-tier writing workshops, publishing seminars, film screenings, live music and readings by some of the planet’s most accomplished authors at no charge.
Britain’s Independent describes the Calabash International Literary Festival as “a high-grade international event in which writing from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia forms a thought-provoking mosaic of story, history and mythology.” The Associated Press calls Calabash “one of the most vibrant literary festivals to come around in a long time.”
Colin Channer’s poems and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Harvard Review, The Common, The Wolf, Black Renaissance Noire, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other venues. His story “How to Beat a Child the Right and Proper Way” — “something of a tour de force, spoken in different registers of Jamaican English” in the words of the New York Times — has been mounted as a monologue at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater (2007) and other venues.
Colin’s honors include fellowships in poetry and fiction from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (2014 & 2015) and a Silver Musgrave Medal in Literature from the Jamaican government (2010). He has served as Newhouse Professor in Creative Writing at Wellesley College, Fannie Hurst Writer in Residence at Brandeis University and Visiting Artist in Residence at Columbia College Chicago. He once played bass in a reggae band.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
An Evening With Colin Channer
Dominica NI Literary Festival 2009 - Colin Channer Reading
"Roots, Reggae and Writing" at 15th Time of the Writer 2012
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