Orville Lloyd Douglas

Orville Lloyd Douglas. Courtesy Guernica Editions.

Orville Lloyd Douglas (born September 26, 1976) is a Canadian poet and prose writer.


Douglas was born in Toronto, Ontario to Jamaican-Canadian parents.[1]

He began writing poetry around the age of 20, initially only in his diary.[1]

He graduated from York University,[1] with 2 Bachelor of Arts degrees, in history and (with honours) in sexuality studies.

He has contributed to several Canadian and international publications, including The Guardian, ColorLines, Word Magazine, New Zealand Herald, Georgia Straight, Toronto Star, Xtra!, NOW, Library Journal, and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Douglas' debut collection of poetry, You Don't Know Me, was published by TSAR Publications.[2]

In 2007, Douglas' 15-minute radio documentary "The Good Son" was broadcast across Canada on the CBC Radio One program Outfront.[3] The initial section of the documentary was an interwoven quilt of Douglas reading his poetry and interviewing his father. The 2nd part of the documentary was a monologue as Douglas talks about his frustrations. He explores issues such as homophobia in the black community, the pernicious hypocrisy and gay racism in the homosexual culture, heterosexual marriage, family discord, and racism against black men.

Douglas' poetry has been featured in the The Maple Tree Supplement, Wilderness House Literary Review, SNR Review, The Vermilion Literary Project,Pedestal Magazine. His poetry has also appeared in the Seminal (2007), the anthology of gay male Canadian poetry, published by Arsenal Pulp Press. His verse has also been featured in The Venomed Kissed, an Incarnate Muse Press anthology exploring issues of childhood emotional and psychological abuse.


Douglas' work focuses on the tensions and intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality

He draws inspiration from the writers of the Harlem Renaissance: "These writers were all gay and black; this is what I find so fascinating and interesting."[1]


Douglas was "depressed and distraught" with the quality of his debut poetry collection, You Don't Know Me.[2] The book explored many polemical issues such as death, drug abuse, male prostitution, suicidal idealization, suicide, depression, identity, love, and homophobia in Caribbean culture, and gay racism.

Xtra: "Douglas is not so much a poet who agonizes for years polishing a poem into a precious and delicate gem of language, as one using verse as a vehicle for venting raw emotion and making searing accusations."[1]


In the essay "Shades of Blackface", published in The New Zealand Herald, Douglas criticizes Angelina Jolie for taking the female lead in the film A Mighty Heart. Douglas argues that since the real Mariane Pearl is what he terms a "bi-racial" woman, an actress of similar heritage such as Thandie Newton should have had the role instead of a white actress. Pearl, a multi-racial woman, is the daughter of a Dutch-Jewish father and an Afro-Chinese-Cuban mother.[4][5][6]

He expands his thoughts about Hollywood racism and sexism against black women in a Georgia Straight opinion article, "Is White the New Black?"[7]

The essay "Is Madea A Drag Queen?" appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of ColorLines. Douglas perspective is Tyler Perry's movies parrots a black gay aesthetic, reinforcing racist and sexist stereotypes about black heterosexual women and black gay men.[8]

The article "Same Sex Marriage's Colour Bar" published in The Guardian, challenges the stereotype that the gay community is a monolithic group. He argues it is hypocritical and racist for the white gay elite to complain about homophobia in the mainstream culture, yet discriminate against gay people of colour.[9]

In the piece "The Slighting of Serena Williams" featured in The Guardian, Douglas argues that the white American tennis establishment has a history of disrespecting African American tennis champion Serena Williams. His perspective is, the hostility the white media have towards Serena Williams is rooted in racism and sexism because she is a black woman dominating women's tennis, which is still a white sport.[10]



  • You Don't Know Me. Toronto: TSAR, 2005.
  • Under My Skin. Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2014.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[11]


  • Seminal: The anthology of Canada's gay male poets. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007.
  • The Venomed Kiss: Poems of childhood emotional and psychological abuse. Incarnate Muse, 2008.

Audio / videoEdit

Orville Lloyd Douglas-0

Orville Lloyd Douglas-0

Radio documentariesEdit

  • "The Good Son" - CBC Radio - 2007

See alsoEdit



External linksEdit

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