BRENDA CLEWS is an African-Canadian poet, painter, videopoet and editor living in Toronto, Canada.
She has edited textbooks, written articles for newspapers, taught yoga, done temporary office work, and dog sitting, while maintaining a reclusive lifestyle of writing and painting. She has a degree in Fine Arts and abandoned a PhD in English Lit many years ago.
Brenda has had solo art shows at York University (2000), Q Space (2013) and Urban Gallery (2014), and been in a number of group art shows including 'Birthtales' (1992) at A Space, 'Birth2' (2004) at Ayer Lofts in the US, '5 By 5' (2013) at The Gladstone Hotel, and forthcoming at Bampot and Yellow House Gallery (2014). Her artwork has appeared in 'Addiction to Perfection' and as two journal covers and in a poster for ‘ARM Magazine.’
Her poetry has been published in print journals, 'Tessera,' 'ARM Journal' and 'Labour of Love,' and on-line at 'SaucyVox,' 'Qarrtsiluni,' 'Mothers Movement Online,' and 'The Browsing Corner.' She presented papers yearly at conferences at York University and OISE on the maternal body from 2001-2006. Her video poetry has been featured at 'Moving Poems.'
LyricalMyrical Press published her chapbook, 'the luminist poems' in 2013. She has a full-length collection of poetry, 'Tidal Fury,' forthcoming with Guernica Editions. She hosts monthly Poetry Salons with 2-3 featured poets and open mic at Urban Gallery in Toronto.
She cites her early years spent barefoot, living in a compound of mud huts, with many wild animals and the wonderful Ndembu people, in the jungle of Kafue National Park in Zambia, for her deep resonance with the beauty, strangeness and brilliance of the tribal mind and the natural world.
She is a multi-media artist whose approach to a topic may include poetry, painting, theory, dance, recordings, and video. Brenda's oeuvre focuses on the plethora, the multiple callings, the obsessive muse, the prism rather than the spotlight, or on multiple spotlights. She writes, "Where else do you flee? How do you combine yourself?"