Fedana Toussaint has been filling notebooks with words since she started high school eight years ago. What started as a hobby and a way to cope with tumultuous life changes has evolved into a multi-faceted artistic practice.
At 21, the Haitian Canadian poet and performer has earned a rep as a rising star in Toronto’s spoken-word scene and signed a publishing deal for her debut book, Counting Bodies (Archway, $12.99), which came out on April 21.
The compilation captures the vulnerabilities of love, drawing on countless stories of heartbreak and challenges faced in relationships. Having experienced pain in her own relationships, her words become a powerful remedy to toxicity.
“I’m nervous. But it’s well overdue. I wanted to be published before 21, but it’s happening now. I know my poetry is good and I know people will love it,” Toussaint says with a smile.
She had already gained a reputation for her live presence following a spoken-word performance at Scarborough open-mic event RISE Edutainment in August 2018.