Youth and educationEdit
Alland grew up in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She was raised by a Scottish immigrant father and grandfather, and a mother of French-Canadian descent.
Alland began publishing and performing her work in Toronto in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, she was part of a performance poetry band, Stumblin' Tongues, with Bermudian poet Andra Simons and musicians Garth and Grant Kien. Alland worked extensively in Toronto's theatre, literary and visual art communities until she relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2007.
Alland completed undergraduate studies in drama at the University of Toronto, graduating with high distinction in 2000.
She has published 2 collections of poetry, Proof of a Tongue (McGilligan Books, 2004) and Blissful Times (BookThug, 2007). In 2009, Edinburgh's Forest Publications published a chapbook of her short stories, Here's to Wang. She had a chapbook of poetry, Naturally Speaking, published in 2012 from Paperplates in Toronto.
In a 4-star performance review in December 2007, Edinburgh's The Skinny said: "This is not My Coming Out Poem of Pain, this is Sandra Alland's brilliant Beckett cut-ups...The images come so fast you sometimes feel like a Slinky falling down the stairs, yet the emotion and intention are clear, moving, and often funny." In spring 2009, Glasgow's Lock Up Your Daughters magazine said: "Reminiscent of Miranda July and complemented by a deadpan delivery, Alland's words are at once both drolly funny and sweetly strange."
Alland's writing has been published in anthologies including, The State of the Arts: Living with Culture in Toronto (Coach House Books), radiant danse uv being: A Poetic Portrait of bill bissett (blewointment), Red Light: Superheroes, Saints, and Sluts (Arsenal Pulp Press), My Lump in the Bed: Love Poems for George W. Bush (Dwarf Puppets on Parade), and Can't Lit: Fearless Fiction from Broken Pencil Magazine. Alland's short stories can be found in This Magazine, Broken Pencil, dig, Gutter, Chroma, and other publications. She has published and presented her work in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Spain, Germany, Amsterdam, Scotland, England and the U.S.
Besides text, Alland has worked in multimedia, performance poetry and sound poetry. Her visual art and videos were on display at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art and mac (Birmingham), during 2009-2010 and 2011 respectively. She collaborates with composer and musician, Y. Josephine, in the poetry-music-video fusion band, Zorras.
In Canada, Alland has featured at series including Pivot, Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts, Contact Photography Festival, Test Reading Series, The IV Lounge, The Art Bar, the Ottawa International Writers' Festival, Hillside Festival, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and Pride Week (Toronto). In the UK, she has performed at such places as Edinburgh International Book Festival, Museum of London, Soho Theatre, The Oxford Playhouse, Queer Mutiny, Aye Write!, The Arches (Glasgow), GFest – gayWise LGBT Arts Festival, Homotopia Festival, Edinburgh and London Ladyfest, Street Level Gallery, International Day Against Homophobia (GRV), and The Forest (social centre).
Alland has curated events for entities including Artscape's Queen West Art Crawl, This Ain't the Rosedale Library, Toronto Women's Bookstore, and The Theatre Centre, and co-created Canada's first ever Silent Slam (a live, projected writing competition). She founded and curates the Edinburgh series Cachín Cachán Cachunga!, a multimedia event featuring queer and trans artists. She is also a founding member of b)other, a Scottish collective of LGBTI Deaf and Disabled artists.
Alland's work focuses on social justice, language, humour and experimental forms.
In autumn 2009, Scotland's ultimatemetal.com said of her work with Zorras: "A very unique mix of poetry, music, stories and just plain weird. The poetry was sharp and funny, the placement effective, the visuals fitting; a rather unforgettable experience, I highly recommend checking them out to anyone looking for something different."
- 2013: "bpNichol Chapbook Award" (co-winner, Meet the Presses, Toronto)
- 2013: "Cultural Commission Award" (LGBT History Month Scotland / Creative Scotland)
- The Mathematics of Love. Toronto: 13th Tiger Press, 2000.
- Dreams of Kentucky. Toronto: privately published, 2001.
- Broken Telephone: An experiment. Banff, AB: privately published, 2003.
- Proof of a Tongue. Toronto: McGilligan Books, 2004.
- Silent Slam. Toronto: SandrasLittleBookShop, 2005.
- Blissful Times. Toronto: BookThug, 2007.
- Naturally Speaking. Toronto: Expresso, 2012.
- Here's to Wang. Edinburgh: Forest Publications, 2009.
- Some Poems by People I Like. Toronto: SandrasLittleBookShop, 2007.
- Crisis Book: An anthology thing (edited with David Tin Mouth). Toronto: press press press, 2010.
Audio / videoEdit
- Heart of a Poet, Episode 10: Sandra Alland (DVD). Mississauga, ON: McNabb & Connolly, 2005.
- All Stories by Sandra Alland from Xtra Biweekly Newspaper, 2005-present, Toronto
- Audio / video
- Sandra Alland on Vimeo
- Sandra Alland at Amazon.com
- Sandra Alland at the Scottish Poetry Library
- Blissful Times - Sandra Alland Official website
- Sandra Alland's Blog-Like Entity.
- Sandra Alland: A few words and three poems at LemonHound, 2007
- Sandra Alland Great Canadian Writers' Craft Interview, 2011
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