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Death of Dub Poet, Klyde Broox, featured in our Dub Poetry Special Issue

JWIL mourns the passing of Jamaican Canadian dub poet, Klyde Broox, who died January 20, 2024 at the age of 66. From his prizewinning “Ode to Bamboo,” Klyde made an impact on the dub poetry scene, both in Jamaica and Canada. He mastered the art of word and syllabic play, deployed Rastafarian dread talk like a “weapon of mass instruction,” and startled and surprised his audiences with his incisive critique of power and privilege. “Democracy/, democracy/, what a hypocrisy/, what an irony?/ Dem a mock we you see/ de-moc-racy” are words that still resound.

He has left a lasting legacy of powerful poetry through audio, visual, and print performances, along with searing critiques of systems of oppression, delivered with humour and penetrating insight. You can listen to his voice, for example, in our Special Issue on Dub Poetry, guest-edited by Phanuel Antwi, and read his “Deja Voodoo: Literary Coup under the Influence of Dub” here:

A graduate of Cornwall College, Klyde studied at Mico Teachers College (now Mico University College) and was a James Michener Fellow at the University of Miami’s Caribbean Writers Summer Institute. Broox received several awards for his creative and community work, including the 2005 City of Hamilton Arts Award for Literature, the Hamilton Black History Committee’s John C. Holland Award for Arts Achievement in 2011, and the Arts Hamilton/Seraphim Editions Best Poetry Book in 2006 for My Best Friend is White (McGilligan Books, 2005). Additionally, his self-published chapbook Poemstorm appeared in 1989.

On January 20, 2024, a distinctive and important creative light was dimmed, but not extinguished! In a 2014 blogpost, Broox said: “I’ll take every minute I can get here, and celebrate it, living as loudly as I can. And when my time comes to tread on, I resolve, unlike Dylan Thomas, to go quietly into that good night. Until then, I’m making as much poem-noise as I can, yeah man.” Blaze on Klyde Broox, blaze on, your voice, ever living, ever true, will continue to ring loud and clear across the ages! JWIL offers condolences to his family, friends and fellow poets.