Shauntay Grant

Associate Professor

Shauntay Grant headshot

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



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

Shauntay Grant is a poet, playwright, children’s author, and multimedia artist. A descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, and Black Refugees who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries, her love of literature stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia's historic Black communities. A multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees in creative writing, music, and journalism, she “creates artworks that are engaging and accessible, but also challenging, rigorous, and informed by deep research (The Royal Society of Canada).” Her honours include a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Writing and Publishing from the Canada Council for the Arts, a Robert Merritt Award for her stage play The Bridge, a Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award for her picture book Africville (a collaboration with illustrator Eva Campbell), and a Poet of Honour prize from the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

Shauntay Grant is an associate professor of creative writing at Dalhousie University, and a member of The Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. She shares her blend of words and music internationally at festivals and events, and collaborates with visual artists and art galleries to create poetry-themed artworks, installations, and exhibitions. A former poet laureate for the City of Halifax, her poetry for children and adults has been published in educational resources, anthologies and literary journals.

Visit her online at

Selected Publications (alphabetically by genre):  

Children & YA

  • My Fade Is Fresh, with illustrator Kitt Thomas. New York: Penguin Workshop, 2022.
  • Africville, with illustrator Eva Campbell and translator Josephine Watson. Moncton: Bouton d'Or Acadie, 2020.
  • My Hair is Beautiful. Halifax: Nimbus, 2019.
  • Africville, with illustrator Eva Campbell. Toronto: Groundwood, 2018.
  • The Walking Bathroom, with illustrator Erin Bennett Banks. Halifax: Nimbus, 2017.
  • Apples and Butterflies, with illustrator Tamara Thiebaux-Heikalo. Halifax: Nimbus, 2012.
  • The City Speaks In Drums, with illustrator Susan Tooke. Halifax: Nimbus, 2010.
  • Up Home, with illustrator Susan Tooke. Halifax: Nimbus, 2008.


  • Fieldnotes from 'Africville': Creating Through Community. Toronto: WRITE Magazine, 2020.
  • "The University as Epic, the Epic as Gospel, the Gospel as Lore: An Interview With George Elliott Clarke." Michigan: Gale/Cengage Learning, 2019.
  • "The University as Epic, the Epic as Gospel, the Gospel as Lore: 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. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2021.


  • "t(her)e". Poetry In Motion. Halifax: Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, 2019.
  • "will (2)."Aubade. Boularderie Island Press, 2018.
  • "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.

Theatre Productions

  • Identity: A Song Cycle, a song cycle commissioned by Against The Grain Theatre and created by poet/librettist Shauntay Grant, composer Dinuk Wijeratne, and baritone Elliot Madore. The work will premiere in 2022.
  • Passing, a scene-play commissioned in 2021 by Eastern Front Theatre for its Micro Digitals Creation Project
  • Beyere, a monodrama commissioned in by Obsidian Theatre for its 21 Black Futures Project, presented in partnership with CBC Gem in February 2021.
  • KK, commissioned in 2020 by Boca Del Lupo for its touring Red Phone roject.
  • The Bridge, a three-act drama that premiered 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.

Art Gallery and Museum Exhibitions

  • A Calling, a multidisciplinary work created with visual artist Tyshan Wright and commissioned for '50 Things', an interactive art adventure presented by Zuppa Theatre and the Ecology Action Centre, 2021.
  • 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

Recognitions (Awards, Fellowships, Grants, Scholarships, Residencies)

  • Established Artist Recognition Award (Arts Nova Scotia, 2021)
  • Robert Merritt Award for "Outstanding New Play By A Nova Scotian" (Theatre Nova Scotia, 2020)
  • Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award (Canadian Children's Book Centre Book Awards, 2019)
  • Finalist Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards (2019)
  • Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award Finalist (Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation, 2019)
  • 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)