- Program Year
- Country of Current Residence
- City/Town of Current Residence
- Current Position
- Dalhousie University
Writer, Artist, Professor
- Arts, Education, Entertainment
- Dr. Myriam Denov, McGill University, School of Social Work
- Interest(s) / Expertise
- arts, education, storytelling, writing, youth
A dedicated artist and educator, Shauntay has a deep-rooted passion for creatively exploring the world and encouraging others to embrace their creative selves. Her arts-for-social change initiatives have connected artists of all ages around advocacy, awareness, and charitable giving.
Shauntay Grant is a writer and storyteller from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She publishes, performs, and teaches in several literary genres, and as Halifax’s third Poet Laureate (2009-11) she organized Canada’s first national gathering of Canadian Poets Laureate. She teaches and coordinates the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Shauntay was recently named 2b theatre’s 2016-2018 playwright-in-residence.
Shauntay is the current writer in residence at Berton House, Canada’s most sought-after writing residency. While living in the childhood home of noted Canadian author Pierre Berton in Dawson City, Yukon, Shauntay will develop a middle grade poetry novel that follow’s a young boy’s efforts to document the culture and customs of his home amidst a backdrop of environmental racism and community protest.
A descendant of Black Loyalists, Black Refugees, and Jamaican Maroons who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries, Shauntay’s love of language stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia’s historic Black communities. Her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian folk tradition as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance.
Shauntay’s work has earned her invitations to present at local and international events including Canada’s national Word On The Street festivals, Toronto’s Luminato Festival, Ottawa’s Versefest, the Vancouver Writers Fest (where she was Writer In Residence), Australia’s National Young Writers’ Festival, Jamaica’s International Maroon Convention, and the 10th Anniversary Launch of the Freedom Schooner Amistad in Havana, Cuba.
- Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (University of British Columbia)
- ASPIRE Model of Adult Education, Design and Leadership Certificate Training (Tatamagouche Centre)
- Pre-Professional Training Program in Theatre (Neptune Theatre School)
- Bachelor of Journalism (University of King’s College)
- Bachelor of Music (Dalhousie University)
Prizes, Awards & Honours:
- Berton House Writers’ Retreat Writer-In-Residence (Writers Trust of Canada, 2015)
- Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Writing and Publishing (Canada Council for the Arts, 2014)
- Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2014)
- Arts Graduate Research Award (University of British Columbia, 2014)
- Faculty of Arts Graduate Award (University of British Columbia, 2013)
- Jury Award for Outstanding Drama (Atlantic Fringe Festival, 2011)
- Poet of Honour Award (Spoken Word Canada, 2010)
- Best Atlantic-Published Book Award (Atlantic Book Awards, 2010)
- Poet Laureate of Halifax (Halifax Regional Municipality, 2009–2011)
Shauntay welcomed the opportunity to participate in an international learning experience, reflect on her personal and professional goals, and explore how she could use her work to be of greater service to communities at home and abroad. She created new literary and performance works, volunteered for the Montreal branch of Leave Out Violence, and developed Poets 4 Change, a youth-led arts-for-social change project that operated in Halifax in 2010-11. Poets 4 Change grew into CommUNITY, a spoken word series that ran in Halifax from 2011 to 2014 and raised thousands of dollars for charities at home and abroad.
As Shauntay developed her projects, she received guidance from her Academic Mentor, Dr. Myriam Denov, whose research and teaching interests lie in the areas of children and youth at risk.
The Program gave me the time and space I needed to reflect on my personal and professional goals, and consider how I can use my skills and interests to be of greater service to my community.