Tanya Evanson is in the continuum of griots. She is a Montreal poet, performer and director of Banff Centre Spoken Word. She performs internationally, has published six artist books of poetry and four audio recordings including the latest ZENSHIP (2016). In 2013, she received the Golden Beret Award and was Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Recent work includes guest editing Arc Poetry Magazine, publication in Arc, Oratorealis, Cordite, Litlive, WomanSpeak, More Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women (YYZBOOKS 2016) and Where the Nights Are Twice As Long (Gooselane 2015), with forthcoming work in ROOM and WSQ. Recent spoken word performances include Blue Metropolis, Suoni per il Popolo, Verses Festival of Words, Glastonbury Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Australia's Story Fest and Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. A student of sufism and classically-trained whirling dervish since 2002, she presents sufi whirling worldwide with groups Niyaz (Iran-US), Mercan Dede (Turkey), Rumi Canada and Vancouver Rumi Society.

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