Ayomide Bayowa is an award-winning Nigerian Canadian poet, actor and filmmaker. He holds a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto and is the (2021–24) poet laureate of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He is a top-ten gold entrant of the 9th Open Eurasian Literary Festival and Book Forum, UK, and was long-listed for both the UnSerious Collective Fellowship and 2021 Adroit Journal Poetry Prize. He won first place in the 2020 July Open Drawer Poetry Contest, the June/July 2021 edition of the bimonthly Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest and second place in the 2021 K. Valerie Connor Poetry Contest’s Student Category. He has appeared in a long list of literary magazines, including Windsor Review, Agbowó, Ampersand Review, and more. He is the editor-in-chief of Echelon Poetry and currently reads poetry for Adroit Journal.
By Ayomide Bayowa
Published by Wolsak & Wynn
Gills is the debut collection of Ayomide Bayowa, the current Poet Laureate of Mississauga and a rising star in Canadian poetry. Born in Lagos, Bayowa found his path to poetry at the University of Ibadan, Oyo. He brings a diasporic sensibility to his writing, which is an intricate meshing of narrative voices, dramatic tellings and hip hop rhythms. These poems interrogate belonging, race, identity and the diasporic struggle with the socio-economic system of debt. They are written for the millions of immigrants trying to keep their head up, trying to uphold skin and breath and bones. They are poems written to enable people to survive, even under water.