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My summer: Shauntay Grant, poet, broadcaster

Halifax's new poet laureate is a CBC radio host who likes to feed the ducks and get onstage at the Jazzfest to make music and poetry.

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Grant is a performer who has been writing and singing as long as she can remember. After high school she did a music degree at Dalhousie and a journalism degree at King's. She now works at the music department of the CBC and hosts the CBC Radio One program All The Best. Her children's book Up Home recently won two Atlantic Book Awards and she is now Halifax's third poet laureate.

The Coast: When you're away from Halifax, what do you look forward to seeing when you return?

Shauntay Grant: My family, definitely. We're very close, and we spend a lot of time together, but the summertime is when we get outside and get to do stuff. The Public Gardens: I spent a lot of time there as a kid. My mom used to take me and my sister to the parks all the time. We used to feed the ducks, which you can't do anymore. I remember putting nuts in my hand and holding them out, and the pigeons would come and eat them out of my hand. I spent a lot of time with my dad at the playground at the commons. I was never really into baseball growing up, but I used to love going to watch the games with my dad. And I was in day camp growing up---a lot of time playing with friends.

TC: Now that you are poet laureate, are there events or duties---related to your work or otherwise---that you will be doing this summer?

SG: I haven't been asked for specific things from the city just yet, but I am performing all the time. I do have some specific performances coming up this summer, one of which is a series I'm doing with Jazzfest: a marriage of spoken word and music. I'm a poet but I'm also a musician and I've tried to fuse the two together. "Words + Music" will be a four-night series that will run from July 12 to 15. I'll be collaborating with Marinda and Solari, and Andrew Abraham, Hermit of the Woods---who is spoken word and heavily into hip hop---and the other poet will be Ardath Whynacht. The poets will do a set, a band will do a set and then they'll have a couple songs to get together and improvise and figure some stuff out.

TC: Will you spend your summer in town?

SG: Most of it. I'm doing a bit of a girls' trip with friends. We're going to New Orleans. The other thing I love about summer is spending more time with folks, and road trips. Definitely looking forward to that. And a family reunion. I have three cousins getting married, and a good friend of mine is getting married.

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