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Poetry Canadian

Bending The Continuum

by (author) Dane Swan

Guernica Editions
Initial publish date
May 2011
Canadian, Family, Nature
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2011
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The poems in Bending the Continuum are slave to no genre. Science-fiction, alternative realities, and time are fluid. Form, voice and space in this collection borrow from multiple canons. Dane's first book is equal parts CanLit, Harlem Renaissance, the Caribbean oral tradition known as Griotism, Roddenberry, hip-hop and dark-humour.

About the author

Dane Swan is a Bermuda raised, Toronto based, internationally published poet, writer, and musician. His first collection, Bending The Continuum, was published by Guernica Editions in the spring of 2011. The collection was a recommended mid-summer read by Open Book Toronto. In 2016 Guernica also published his second collection of poetry, A Mingus Lullaby, a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. His first novella, Tuesday, is forthcoming from Grey Borders Books.
Dane is also an accomplished slam poet and touring spoken-word performer, placing second at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, third at the Rust Belt Regional Slam and touring the US Midwest and West Coast regions. His poetry has been taught in schools and has been published in France, the UK, Bahamas, and Canada. His spoken-word work can be found in solo projects and collaborations available on CD, vinyl and MP3. He has read alongside numerous literary luminaries including Lawrence Hill, George Elliott Clarke, Goran Sumic, Priscila Uppal, Gianna Patriarca, and spoken-word stars including Shayne Koyczan, Dwayne Morgan, and Lillian Allen. He will be a featured author at the 2017 International Festival of Authors in Toronto.
The Bermuda born, Jamaican heritage writer is currently a member of the Writers Union of Canada.

Dane Swan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Dane Swan is a wordsmith social scientist. His poems are a cross-section of humanity: Black, immigrant, working-class poor. His words are nostalgic one instant and futuristic in the next. The complexity of his poetry is quiet, never grandiose. While his work often resides in a moody and antiseptic urban context, it simultaneously exudes a sensibility that is fertile with hopefulness. His collection defies expectations and asserts the author as a discerning critical voice on the plight and redemption of our generation.

Anna Saini, Poetry Editor, aaduna

The human comedy of the supermarket line. Vignettes of family life. Things you do when alone in your apartment. And yet, the poet is able to transform these experiences into scenes of beauty and chaos that are anything but ordinary. While forwarded by the need to find justice, and break apart the capitalist stranglehold of our culture, Dane's poems -- executed with much grace -- are ones we connect to, as we embark on a journey to the full awareness of the "miracles [that happen] by opening our eyes". Dane is "the guy learning new languages", and telling us like it is. His poems are ones that must be read and heard as they traverse the borders of page and stage.

Adebe D.A., author of ex nihilo (Frontenac House)

Swan’s craft is tight, his politics are right, and his poems take flight. He takes you on a journey as he writes about family, drink, discrimination, love, spirituality, and the most important thing in his life: poetry. Swan is a word warrior and he’s fighting the good fight.

Black Coffee Poet

Dane Swan's poetry happens. He writes what he knows and with such a sweet intimacy, one might feel as if they are borrowing his eyes, his past, and his perceptions. His readers are spoken to as friends, his subjects so close they are almost in the room. His joy, his sorrow, his dreams and his relentless honesty make these poems feel like confidences. His poetry is open, accessible, tangible and a joy to read. He creates spaces almost anyone could walk into, could relate to, could recognize as a shared experience. This unique gift shapes his poetry into seemingly effortless brilliance.

Cathy Petch, Host, Plasticine Reading Series