Cyril Dabydeen was born in Canje, Guyana in 1945, and worked as a teacher prior to leaving Guyana. He came to Canada in 1970. Dabydeen is a prolific author of poetry and prose and served as Poet Laureate of Ottawa from 1985 to spring 1987. He is the winner of the Sandbach Parker Gold Medal for poetry, and four-time finalist for Canada's Archibald Lampman Poetry Prize and the Guyana Prize. He received the City of Ottawa's first award for writing and publishing, and a certificate of merit from the government of Canada. His numerous works include Black Jesus, Discussing Columbus, and My Brahmin Days. His latest novel, Drums of My Flesh, was recently long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He now teaches creative writing at the University of Ottawa and lives in the nation's capital.
Dabydeen "has the rhythms of Al Purdy....His discussions of the life of an immigrant are subtle and moving, and the distinctions he makes between knowledge and wisdom, in the context of place and placelessness, are transformative."
— ARC magazine