Born 1953, Ontario
Kevin Irie is a poet and the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Viewing Tom Thomson, A Minority Report, published in 2012. He has been a finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award, the CBC Literary Award for Poetry, and the ARC Poem of the Year, among others, and won Ricepaper magazine’s poetry contest in 2000 for his poem Tashme. A Sansei, Irie was born, raised, and educated in Toronto, with a BA and an MA from the University of Toronto. His poetry has been published in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, and has also been broadcast on CBC Radio.
Irie’s writing often engages with history, through figures such as Tom Thomson, or even fictional characters such as Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles in his collection Angel Blood: The Tess Poems. His poems also often engage with his hometown of Toronto, as his work on Tom Thomson sets Thomson’s famous paintings against a backdrop of contemporary Toronto. He has also written about sites of Japanese Canadian internment and incarceration, such as Tashme and Petawawa 1, which closes with an observation of ‘art’s brush against history’s pen.’