Clifton Joseph

Clifton Joseph is an awardwinning Antiguan born Canadian poet. He was a co-founder of De Dub Poets with Lillian Allen and Devon Haughton, the group that started Canada’s dub poetry movement. An esteemed broadcaster, journalist, writer and musical intervener, Joseph is celebrating the launch of his latest album and book, Shots on Eglinton with a worldwide tour. His 1989 debut album Oral / Trans / Missions is also being released digitally to all streaming platforms for the first time via CDBaby on August 31, 2022.

Scroll down to learn more about Clifton Joseph. Check out clips of his recordings on HearNow using the links below.

To request promo copies of the recordings, email info@cliftonjoseph.com

Press Release

Poet Clifton Joseph releases new album ‘Shots on Eglinton’

Early draft of Shots on Eglinton, Title track

Advance Single ‘Not Poem’
CD, Vinyl and Digital recording available on Bandcamp


Touring Canada and the world through end of 2022
–Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Aug 21, 2022

(Download PDF version of Press Release opens in new window)

Shots on Eglinton, the new album by Clifton Joseph, is set for release on September 14, 2022 Clifton Joseph is a Canadian dub poet, noted for his groundbreaking 1989 poetry album Oral/Trans/Missions, from which the song “Chuckie Prophesy” was a shortlisted 1990 Juno Award finalist for Best Reggae Recording.

Starting in his native Antigua & Barbuda reciting British Romantic poets of the 18th century and being paid by Mr. Murray, described by Joseph as ‘the Blackest man I had ever seen! He paid me a halfpence to write rhymes and poetry’.  Joseph was also influenced by the calypsonians Short Shirt, Lord Obsinate, Swallow, Braggo and others. He went to New Winthrope School and then Princess Margaret Secondary School in Antigua, Then Joseph moved to Canada with his family in the 1973 where he studied at Bloor Collegiate (1973-77) then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree from York University (1977-1983). He published the poetry book Metropolitan Blues in 1983. Alongside Lillian Allen and Devon Haughton, he is one of the pioneers of dub poetry in Canada; the three collaborated on the compilation album De Dub Poets in 1982.

Joseph has performed widely, to audiences around the globe. The Shots on Eglinton Tour will take him around Ontario, across Canada, and worldwide. Joseph’s album pays homage to challenges facing working people around the world and Toronto’s Eglinton Avenue West where he lives and works. “This album is about my neighbourhood,” says Joseph. “It’s inspired by people I’ve met on Eglinton Ave., by the places we hang out at, the TTC ride we may take together, the places we hang out together and vibe.”

Recorded throughout the pandemic in Toronto, Joseph’s Shots on Eglinton features appearances from some of Canada’s finest musicians and producers including Tony Campbell, co-producer Terrence Kofi Bristow, Iwata (producer/Truths&Rights), Gary Lowe Bernie Pitters, Rafa Dean, Chucky Hutchinson, Salah Lee from Version Excursion (from back in the day at ckln), DJ Andy Williams (lliving in Montreal now), the extraordinary Hammond 3 organ of Kingsley Etienne, saxophonist Roscoe Christie on trombone, Sarah McHale Cohen on trumpet I awarded the big time producer and musician and Tutsi

Joseph’s work has been included in literary anthologies such as Wheel and Come Again, edited by Kwame Dawes (Gooselane Productions 1988), Walter Rodney: Poetic Tributes by Bruce St John (Bogle-l’Ouverture Press Ltd, 1993), Verbal Rhythms: The Politics of Aesthetics of African Canadian Dub Poetry by Christian Habekost 1993, Dubwise: Reasoning from the Reggae Underground by Klive Walker (Insomniac Press 2005), Black Like Who: Writing in Canada by Rinaldo Walcott (Insomniac Press 2003).

Shots on Eglinton CDs and vinyl recordings will be made available on Clifton Joseph’s website, https://cliftonjoseph.com  and digitally through streaming platforms worldwide.

Clifton Joseph is a Toronto based artist, radio host, provocative poet and musical intervener.


For more information:


Bandcamp https://cliftonjoseph.bandcamp.com

#CliftonJoseph #ShotsOnEglington #AlbumRelease #Tour #Canada #EglingtonAvenueWest #Toronto #DeDubPoets #EGYPT #UK #Europe #spokenword #poetry #reggae

Twitter @cliftonjoseph
IG @therealcliftonjoseph
FB @dubzzpoetatlarge

Clifton Joseph interview


Clifton Joseph

“Yes, I’m still a dub poet. No matter the changes or expansion of the style, my approach is as a dub poet. I started out reciting solo, then started including musical and fold and sound stylings; then with a congo drummer; then to performing and recording with musicians; then doing video. In all of those the central aesthetic of dub remains: how to make words have sound and accompanying power to affect/effect and inspire. So, yes: I’m a dub poet forever.” – Clifton Joseph, from interview by Black Heritage curator Andy Williams (Click here for complete interview)




Clifton Joseph at Peterborough, Ontario Launch of ‘Shots on Eglinton’. Photo by Lillian Allen

Literary Work

Books / Anthologies

-Metropolitan Blues (Domestic Bliss, 1983)

-The Teeth of the Whirlwind featuring Charles C. Smith, Lillian Allen, Dionne Brand and Clifton Joseph (1984)

-Poetic Tributes to Walter Rodney, Bruce St. John, editor, Carifta Publications, 1984

-”Wheel and come again: an anthology of reggae poetry” ed. Kwame Dawes, Goose Lane Editions, 1998

-”City of Words: Toronto through her writers’ eyes”, 2010

-”Carnival: a scream n high park reader”, ed. Peter McPhee, insomniac press, 1996

-”Verbal Riddims: the politics and aesthetics of African Canadian dub poetry” christian habekost, 1993

-”Talk yuh talk: interviews with Anglophone Caribbean poets”, kwame senu Neville dawes, 2009

-”Dubwise: reasoning from the reggae underground”, klive walker, insomniac press, 2005

-”Black Like Who?; Writing Black in Canada”, Rinaldo Walcott, insomniac press, 2003

-”so the nailhead bend, so the story end; writings by antiguan writers” ed. Althea prince, 2013

-”in the black: new African Canadian literature”, ed. Althea prince, 2012

Shots on Eglinton (2022)

Metropolitan Blues reissue (2022)

Articles and Interviews

NVA Q&A: Clifton Joseph


Words Aloud Study Guide

Clifton Josephs bittersweet look back at Caribana


1983 to 2022

De Dub Poets, spoken word compilation Lillian Allen and Devon Haughton with Truths and Rights – 1983
Tracks by Clifton Joseph – Chuckie Prophecy, Unity Song
Guitar, Harp – Mojah, Keyboards – Iauwata, Percussion – Quammie; Producer, Engineer – Clive Robertson

Oral / Trans / Missions, csssette 1987
Verse To Vinyl
Bass – Geary Lowe; Drums – Tony “Raffa” White*; Executive Producer – Lillian Allen; Guitar, Producer – Tony Campbell, Keyboards – Bernie Pitters; Keyboards, Producer – Dennis “Chunks” Hutcherson; Producer – Clifton Joseph; Saxophone – “Roscoe” Christie*, Rich Howse*

Oral / Trans / Missions, CD and Vinyl 1989
Verse To Vinyl

Oral / Trans / Missions, CD and Vinyl 1990
Blue Moon Productions (France)

Various – Word Up
CD, Album, Compilation, 1995
Virgin Music Canada
Tracks by Clifton Joseph- Monk, Survival in the City

Various – Variations in Swing
CD, Album, Compilation, 2007
Public Transit Recordings
Track by Clifton Joseph – Chant for Monk

“Shots on Eglinton”, Single 2011
Clifton Joseph

“A Chant for Monk”, Single 2012
Clifton Joseph

A Chant for Monk Re-Mix, Single 2013
Remix of Clifton Joseph track by DJ Andy Williams

(That) Night in Tunisia”, Single 2014
Clifton Joseph

Whe’re the Politicians, 2021

Live at the Imperial Pub 2019
with Nilan Perrera: Guitarist/Sound Engineer & Terrence Kofi Bristow: Exec Producer

Not Poem, 2021
CD, Vinyl, Digital Single; Clifton Joseph – Words. Producer Lee Castle of Version Xcursion

Shots on Eglinton, 2022
CD, Vinyl, Digital; Producer: Clifton Joseph/Terrence Kofi Bristow 


(Selected List)

-International Black Radical Third World Bookfair, London, Bradford, Machester, U. K, April, 1984

-Expo 1986 Tour: Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver, 1986;

-Festival of the Spoken Word, Ultrasound Show Bar, Toronto, oct 16, 1994

-The Idler Pub, Toronto, Nov 24, 1996

-Bistro Quatre, Montreal, Nov 22, 1996

-Imperial Pub, Toronto, nov 19, 1996

-Beatnik Café, Toronto, September 12m 1996

-Lalapalooza, Barrie, Ontario, August 25, 1996

-Black History Month Reading, Vancouver Public Library, Feb 20, 1997

-Kooteny School of Writing, Vancouver, Feb 27, 1997

-Telepoets at the Web Café, Vancouver, march 2, 1997

-Black Sheep Books, Vancouver, March 7, 1997

-West End Community Centre, Vancouver, March 9, 1997

-Atomik House of Poetry, Vancouver, March 11, 1997

–League of Canadian Poets AGM Gala Reading, Ottawa, June 7, 1997

-Black Cultural Centre, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, February, 1998

-Womad World Music festival, Harbourfront, Toronto, August, 1999

-Poetry is not a Luxury, Scuffers Nightclub, Toronto, December, 1999

-Action Poetry, Banff and Calgary, Alberta, August 1998

-Saul Williams Poetry Tour, Lee’s Palace, Toronto, December 19, 2000

-The Bohemian Embassy, Toronto, October, 2001

-Bamboo Club, Toronto, February 2001

-Omiala: A Festival of New Black Culture, Harbourfront, Toronto, July 8, 2004

-Van Goh’s Ear, Guelph, March 2003

-The Mercury Lounge, Ottawa, October 2005

-Pan-Canadian Poetry Festival, Calgary, November 2005

-Scream In High Park, Toronto, September 2006

-Vancouver Folk Festival, Summer, August, 2006

-Antigua Recreation Grounds, Antigua, West Indies, December 2006

-Brown Sugar Café, St. Kitts, West Indies, December, 2006

-Mona Campus, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, January 2007

-30th anniversary reggae Festival, Geel, Belgium, January, 2008

-Black-o-rama Bob Marley Celebrations, Winnipeg, April, 2009

-ABC Readings, Mercury Lounge, Ottawa, April 24, 2009

-Calgary Festival of Spoken Word, April 2012

-Imperial Pub, Toronto, January 17, 2013

-Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, The Casbah, Hamilton, February, 2013

-Opening act for the Matthew Shipp Trio, Lula Lounge, Toronto, March 15, 2013

-Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Gil Scott-Heron, the Casbah, Hamilton, April 18, 2013

-Harvard Club, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 22, 2014

-Plasticene Poetry Reading Series”, Paupers’ Pub, May 19, 2014, Toronto

-Critics Who Know Jack, June 1, 2014, Toronto

-St. Matthews Anglican Cathedral’s 4th annual Black History Month Celebration, Feb 19, 2014

-Nova Scotia Black History Month Dub Tour, Halifax, Dartmouth and Truro, Nova Scotia, February, 21 to 25,2014

-Dead Poets Society, Art Bar Readings, March 5, 2014, Black Swan Pub, Toronto

Awards / Memberships / Media History

awards/nominations/honourable mentions

Silver Fleece Award at the Chicago International Film Festival
for the TVO-produced Dub Poets documentary 1998

Gemini Award for Undercurrents – Excellence in Canadian Television Writing 1998

Gemini Award for Undercurrents – Excellence in Canadian Television Writing 1999

New York TV Festival Silver Award

A Time Warner Inc. “Freddie Awards” Gold winner for Undercurrents Best International Health Reporting

New York TV and Video Festival Bronze Award (for Rhyme Pays: Hip Hop and the Marketing of Cool)

Honorable Mention (for The problem with Boys)
from The Columbus International Film and Video Festival

Two-time Best Dub Poet Award
Peter Tosh Memorial Award winner, Canadian Reggae Music Awards


Canadian Media Guild
League of Canadian Poets

media/journalistic history

Clifton Joseph has been a reporter for CBC News: Marketplace, CBC Television’s award-winning prime-time investigative consumer show, and has written for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and Contrast newspaper, and for Toronto Life, Fuse, Freewheellin’ and This magazines.

In radio, he has been a producer and host for Ryerson Campus station CKLN’s flagship current affairs program Saturday Morning Live, worked for CIUT, and written and reported for CBC Radio programs, including Morningside, Ideas, The Arts Tonight, The Entertainers and CBL News.

In television, Joseph has been a producer and contributing interviewer for TVO’s literary show Imprint and technology show The Future. At CTV, he worked as a pop culture columnist and movie reviewer for Canada AM and music/culture reporter for Entertainment Now. At the CBC, he co-wrote the Thick and Thin black comedy special and hosted the 2000 Gemini Awards (industry night). He has also reported for Undercurrents, CBC News: Sunday and CBC News: The National, as well as served as a panelist/contributor for Face Off, Big Life with Daniel Richler, Sunday Morning, Midday, Anne Petrie’s Talk TV, The Lead and Jonovision.





Photos from the archives of the poet Clifton Joseph

Poet Clifton Joseph in White Suit


Clifton Joseph’s Journal

Insights from the original dubzz/poet/at/large

Clifton Joseph’s dub

Clifton Joseph’s dub

Antiguan-born, Toronto, Canada-based dubzz/poet/at-large! Clifton Joseph has quietly emerged as the loudest voice in International dub poetry! The founding member of dub poetry in Canada, alongside Lillian Allen, has been on a tear for the last year with a blistering...

Not Poem Single Video Release

Not Poem Single Video Release

Introduction "It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there." William Carlos Williams The news isn't easy to find, but it's out there. And in the age of information overload, we could all use a little relief...