- Category: PA 2007
Oni the Haitian Sensation was born in Montréal , Canada in 1972, and graduated from Algonquin College 's Interactive Multimedia and Web Specialist Programs, interning at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She also has her Certificate in Arts and Education from York University 's Faculty of Fine Arts, from the Faculty of Education and from the Ontario Arts Council.
Oni began performing spoken word poetry in Toronto with the Young Poets of the Revolution in 1992, while studying Fashion Arts on a varsity badminton scholarship. She took a self-imposed hiatus from the poetry scene after giving birth to her three sons Issa, Anthony and Toussaint and then moved to Los Angeles.
Shortly after her return to Canada , she became a slam poet and Ottawa 's first slam poetry champion. In the ten years since, she has become the “Godmother of Canadian Slam.” Oni's many accomplishments include: being commissioned to write poetry for organisations such as UNESCO, the CBC, Ottawa 's Winterlude and the Bytowne Museum ; directing Canada 's first National Poetry Slam as well as the Canadian Spoken Wordlympics; and being the first Canadian woman to tour the European Slam Poetry circuit.
Oni has also created the first forum on HIV-AIDS for the African-Caribbean community in Ottawa , and has used her poetry to teach curriculum in academic and in non-traditional settings. Her album of erotic poetry The Bedside Booty Bookhas been described “as better than Viagra!”
Her first poetry collection Ghettostocracy , which was a Book of the Year in The Globe and Mail , has been described as: “an unforgettable book by an inimitable, drop-dead gorgeous artiste. Look out! These poems will make your nostrils flare, your pulse quicken, and your brain smarter…” George Elliot Clarke.
Afua Cooper, the poet and author writes: “ Ghettostocracy is about recreation, renewal, reparation, and redemption. Read this collection and come face to face with your own naked, vulnerable, but powerful self.”