low angle photo of Gavin Barrett framed against ornate ceiling of a medieval Cairo mosque.
Gavin Barrett appears here, in Egypt, January 2019.

Gavin speaks frequently (and some say too much) at a variety of academic, literary and trade events.

Book Launch of Understan

If you missed the launch of Gavin Barrett’s new poetry collection, Understan, click here to view the video recording of the event. The launch event on 16th July 2020, featured readings from the book, live music and a Q&A with literary festival organizer and curator Meenakshi Alimchandani. To buy a copy of Understan, click here.

Upcoming events

(All times EST unless otherwise stated).

Poetry Capsules, a collaboration between HAPPENING Multicultural Festival (Presented by Muse Arts) and Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night).

Asian Heritage Month Reading, organized by Mawenzi House. TBD

Past Appearances


Asian Heritage Month host on Howl on CIUT 89.5FM featuring poets Bänoo Zan and H Masud Taj and musical guest, Ritesh Das’s Juno-nominated Toronto Tabla Ensemble. May 18, 2021. 

TTSR29 (Host). Curated by Kateri Lanthier and featuring Shane Book, Bardia Sinaee, Joseph Dandurand, Jennifer Hosein and Isabelle Zhu. April 29, 2021.

Gavin Barrett reads his poem Name Day for Mawenzi House’s poetry month series.

Featured poet, with 25 poets joining in from around the world at The Personal is Political: a 100,000 Poets for Change event, hosted by Archna Sawhney, Sandy Yannone and Illya Sumanto. November 2020.

Featured writer with Ariane Blackman, Tony Morris, Guglielmo D’Izzia, Uta Sojat and Michael Newman at the Canadian Authors Association—Toronto Branch Indie Author Day Reading. November 2020.

Host at the Art Bar Poetry Café, October 2020.

Featured writer on Canadian Authors—Toronto’s Words with Writers Podcast. (Episode Four: Gavin Barrett, August 2020). See also under Interviews, below.

Featured writer with Lee Parpart, Danny Ramadan, June Rogers and Chris Gorman on Canadian Authors—Toronto’s Words with Writers Podcast. (Episode Three: Painting a picture with words, July 2020).

Host at the Art Bar Poetry Café (Online), July 2020.

Featured reader at Draft Reading Series, with adebe d.a., David Silverberg and Paul Vermeersch. Draft 15.6, May 2020.

Host at the Art Bar Poetry Café, February 2020.

Gavin Barrett onstage at the Tranzac Club
Gavin Barrett features at Shab-e She’r. Photo by Moji.

Featured reader at the Art Bar Poetry Series, with Tyler Pennock and Veronique Kanor — May 2019

Featured reader at Shab-e She’r with Erin Kang and Swarn Lata, November 2018

Open mic reader at the Shab-e She’r open mic, October 2018.


I am a postcolonial modern mongrel. An interview with Selma Carvalho in the UK-based Joao Roque Literary Journal, a journal of Goan literature, which features writing and writers from Goa and the Goan diaspora.

Canadian Authors Association podcast: Featured writer on Canadian Authors Association—Toronto Words with Writers Podcast. (Episode Four: Gavin Barrett, August 2020).

CBC/Radio Canada: Interview on tokenism and multicultural marketing on The Link with Marc Montgomery. 2010.

Toronto 411 Daily: Interview with Rea Kelly: TO411 special features writer Rea Kelly discusses the Barrett and Welsh New Canadian Mainstream business model with founder Gavin Barrett. November 2009.

Lectures, panels, other speaking engagements

Book launch: An interview with Leslie Roach at the launch of her debut collection Finish this Sentence (Mawenzi House), November 2020.

Panel: Literature in the Spotlight – Voices Unleashed. Inspired by Dane Swan’s book “The Changing Face of Canadian Literature” this CPAMO The Gathering Online 2020 panel broadens the conversation on Canada’s literary history with a focus on IBPOC writers and the nuanced ways in which they address various IBPOC Canadian perspectives. Panelists: Bänoo Zan, Anthony Bansfield, Charlie Petch, Jessica Kirk, Gavin Barrett, Lesley Fletcher and Dane Swan. October 15th, 2020.

Panel: Featured with Sheniz Janmohammed, Leslie Roach in Canadian Poets of Colour: A Conversation, a Zoom poetry event about poetry and being a poet of colour in Canada, hosted by Mawenzi House and moderated by Nurjehan Aziz. September 2020.

Fireside chat: IG Live Fireside Chat with Rise Agency founder Sarah Kiriliuk about the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada Course (MOOC). September 2020.

Panel Speaker: Beyond the Business Case for Diversity. Convenor: Al Ramsay. Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University. April 2019.

Panel Speaker: The experiences of an immigrant of colour in Canadian communications. Centennial College. 2018  

Lecture: The Art of the Brief to the Strategic Marketing Communications class taught by Ishan Ghosh at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. 2015.

Presenter: (with Mike Welsh) at Ethnic15, the 2015 Marketing Magazine and Canadian Grocer Ethnic Consumer Conference. 2015.

Lecture (with Russell Barrett): the Zeitgeist Conference. St. Xavier’s College Mumbai. Two Barretts for the price of one (which is free) speak at their alma mater in Bombay. December 2014.

Presenter: #BloodyGreatIdeas: the world’s best multicultural advertising. Marketing Magazine, Multicultural Conference. 2011

Lecture: Place Branding to the MBA marketing classes taught by Ashley Konson at Schulich School of Business/York University. 2013.

Lecture: Change-Making though Communication to the Master of Public Health Class taught by Michael Goodstadt at the University of Toronto. 2012.

Lecture: The Creative Process, Bachelor of Mass Media class taught by Perri Subramaniam at St Xavier’s College Mumbai. December 2012.

Panel speaker: Why poor quality multicultural advertising is unacceptable. Marketing Magazine, Multicultural Conference. 2011.

Lecture: Advertising Creative and The Creative Process at the University of Toronto. 2010.

Lecture: How to not be a racist: 10 Rules at The Monarch Institute a think thank initiative led by Martin Aller-stead at Monarch Park Collegiate, 2006.

Lecture: Intellectual Property and the Hijacking of Culture at The Monarch Institute a think thank initiative led by Martin Aller-stead at Monarch Park Collegiate, 2005.