Greg Frankson

Greg Frankson is a Toronto-based poet, author, educator and community activist. He has published three poetry collections, including Cerebral Stimulation (BeWrite Books, 2005), Lead on a Page (IIMHL, 2012), and A Weekly Dose of Ritallin (FriesenPress, 2015). Greg’s work also appeared in the anthologies Mic Check (Quattro Books, 2008), That Not Forgotten (Hidden Brook Press, 2012) and The Great Black North (Frontenac House, 2013). He has released four album-length studio recordings and collaborated musically with several notable emcees, DJs and vocalists. He appeared on CBC TV’s Canada’s Smartest Person in 2012 and is the former resident poet on the CBC Radio One program Here and Now Toronto.

He has been facilitating and speaking at mental health and anti-discrimination events across Canada for over two decades. He has participated in gatherings in North America and internationally penning poetic reflections on the current state of global mental health systems. He served as the Poet Laureate of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and has worked on projects with the Wellesley Institute, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (USA), among others.

In December 2010, Greg was profiled by Who’s Who In Black Canada. In 2012, he won a national poetry slam championship. He was inducted in 2013 to the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour for his contributions to the advancement of poetry in the National Capital Region. In 2014, Greg was nominated for a Black Canadian Award for Best Spoken Word.

In addition to his artistic achievements, Greg was the first African-Canadian to serve a term as President of Canada’s oldest undergraduate student government at Queen’s University in 1996-97, and was a vocal advocate for the on-campus recognition of Robert Sutherland, Canada’s first Black university graduate and the first Black lawyer in British North America. In October 2009, Queen’s officially rededicated its Policy Studies Building as Robert Sutherland Hall.