Robert Priest was born in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, England, and attended the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Though he briefly studied mathematics, Priest left university to write poetry. A prolific writer of verse for children and adults, Priest is also a novelist, playwright and performer, singer and songwriter, and journalist. His collections of poetry include The Visible Man (1980); Sadness of Spacemen (1980); Man Who Broke Out of the Letter X (1984); The Mad Hand (1988), winner of a Milton Acorn Memorial People's Poetry Award; Scream Blue Living: New and Selected Poems (1992); and Reading the Bible Backwards (2008). His recent works for young adults include the books of children’s poetry The Secret Invasion of Bananas (2002) and Rosa Rose (2013) and the fantasy novel The Paper Sword (2014).
Priest has released seven musical CDs and with Nancy Simmonds cowrote Alannah Myles’s hit song “Song Instead of a Kiss.” Priest has also performed as Dr. Poetry on Wordbeat, the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s spoken-word show, and contributed to Sesame Street as a songwriter and performer. Priest’s honors and awards include a Special Choice Award from the Children's Book Centre, a SOCAN Airplay Award, and a Chalmers Award from the Ontario Arts Council. He lives in Toronto with Marsha Kirzner and is a regular writer for Toronto's weekly Now magazine.
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