Lillian Allen emerged as a leading influential figure on the Canadian cultural landscape. She is an award winning and internationally renowned poet and writer of short stories and plays. As one of its lead originators, she has specialized in the writing and performing of dub poetry, a highly politicized form of poetry, which is sometimes set to music. Her recordings Revolutionary Tea Party and Conditions Critical won Juno awards in 1986 and 1988 respectively. Her works appear independently and in anthologies. She has spent close to three decades writing, publishing, and performing her work in Canada, The US, Europe, and England.
She has also worked in film, both as a featured artist (Revolution from de Beat, 1995; Unnatural Causes, 1989; Rhythm and Hardtimes, 1987) and as co-producer and co-director of Blak . . . Wi Blakk... (1994), a film on Jamaican dub Poet Mutabaruka.
She is a leading expert on cultural diversity and culture in Canada and has been a consultant and advisor to all levels of government, to several institutions, and to community groups. She has initiated and facilitated the establishment of a number of organizations in various culturally diverse communities, and has worked within several established organizations to create access and change.
Featured in the official WHO IS WHO in Canada, Ms. Allen, a cultural strategist, is a past member of the Racial Equity Advisory of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Experts Advisory on the International Cultural Diversity Agenda, past executive member and member of the Sectoral Commission on Culture and Information of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
She was the instigator, co-producer and host of WORDBEAT, CBC’s show on poetry and the spoken word.