Shauntay Grant

Assistant Professor

Shauntay Grant headshot

Phone: 902-494-3488
Mailing Address: 
Room 3188, McCain Building 6135 University Ave. PO Box 15000 Halifax, N.-S. B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Orality and Poetry
  • Black Language in Children's Literature
  • Black Nova Scotians
  • Jamaican Maroons



  • BMus (Dalhousie University)
  • BJ (University of King’s College)
  • MFA (University of British Columbia)

Shauntay Grant is a writer and storyteller from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University, and as Halifax's third poet laureate she organized Canada's first national gathering of Canadian poets laureate. An award-winning author of children's literature, Shauntay's picture book Africville with illustrator Eva Campbell (Groundwood, 2018) was nominated for a 2018 Governor General's Literary Award. Her stage play The Bridge premiered in 2019 at Neptune Theatre, a co-production between 2b theatre and Neptune Theatre in association with Obsidian Theatre Company.

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 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. Visit her online at

Selected Publications

Children & YA

  •  Africville. Toronto: Groundwood, 2018.
  • The Walking Bathroom. Halifax: Nimbus, 2017
  • “Apples and Butterflies.” Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things. Ed. Sheree Fitch, Anne Hunt. Halifax: Nimbus, 2017
  • “The Boy and the Story.” Sankofa Black Heritage Collection: Firsts. Ed. Natasha Henry, Tom Henderson. Oakville: Rubicon, 2014.
  • Apples and Butterflies. Halifax: Nimbus, 2012.
  • The City Speaks In Drums. Halifax: Nimbus, 2010.
  • Up Home. Halifax: Nimbus, 2008.


  • "An Interview With George Elliott Clarke". The Dalhousie Review. Ed. Anthony Enns. Halifax: The Dalhousie Review, 2018.
  • “Negotiating a Black Vernacular in Children’s Literature.” Talking History. Ed. Kerry Clare. Toronto: 49th Shelf, 2015.
  • “The Art In Trusting Your Voice.” iLit Digital Collection. Whitby: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2012.


  • The Bridge, a three-act drama that will premiere on Neptune Theatre's mainstage in 2019 (a co-production between 2b theatre and Neptune, in association with Obsidian Theatre).
  • WORD, a spoken word stage performance presented by Onelight Theatre as part of the 2016 Prismatic Arts Festival.


  • "jazz fest". TOK Magazine. Toronto: Diaspora Dialogues, 2018.
  • “mirror.” Contemporary Verse 2 (CV2). Winnipeg: Contemporary Verse 2 (CV2), 2016.
  • “passing.” The Fieldstone Review. Saskatoon: The Fieldstone Review, 2015.
  • “firsts.” Sankofa Black Heritage Collection: Firsts. Ed. Natasha Henry, Tom Henderson. Oakville: Rubicon, 2014.
  • “Grandmother.” The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry. Calgary: Frontenac House, 2012.
  • “t(her)e.” TOK: Writing The New City – Book IV. Toronto: Zephyr Press, 2009.

Spoken Word

  • "The City Speaks In Drums". Drifts. Halifax: Narratives in Space + Time Society/MindSea Inc., 2018.
  • Say Sumthin. Halifax: Wordrhythm, 2014.
  • “Home.” iLit Digital Collection. Whitby: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2012.
  •  “Life Lessons.” Live Ink! Online. Don Mills: Pearson Canada, 2011.

Art Gallery and Museum Exhibitions

  • Every. Now. Then. Reframing Nationhood. (Art Gallery of Ontario exhibits multidisciplinary installation Grandmother, Teach Me – curated by Grant – as part of national group exhibition)  2017
  • Canada: Day 1 (Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 exhibits collaborative work Abeng presented as part of national group exhibition) 2017
  • Stitched Stories: The Family Quilts (Dalhousie Art Gallery exhibits poetry, spoken word, and family heritage quilts; curated by Grant) 2016
  • Up Home (Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design exhibits text and original illustrations from the award-winning picture book) 2010
  • Up Home (Art Gallery of Nova Scotia exhibits text and original illustrations from the award-winning picture book) 2009
  • Up Home (Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia exhibits text and original illustrations from the award-winning picture book) 2009


  • Finalist for Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature - Illustrated Books (Governor General's Literary Awards, 2018)
  • Playwright-In-Residence (2b theatre company, 2016–2018)
  • Berton House Writers’ Retreat Writer-In-Residence (Writers Trust of Canada, 2015-16 cohort)
  • Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Writing and Publishing (Canada Council for the Arts, 2015)
  • 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)
  • Finalist for Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature (Atlantic Book Awards, 2011)
  • Jury Award for Outstanding Drama (Atlantic Fringe Festival, 2011)
  • Finalist for Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award (2010)
  • Poet of Honour Award (Spoken Word Canada, 2010)
  • Best Atlantic-Published Book Award (Atlantic Book Awards, 2010)
  • Sauvé Scholars Fellowship (Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, 2009-10)
  • Poet Laureate of Halifax (Halifax Regional Municipality, 2009-11)