Gregory Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin

Greg FranksonGregory Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin is a first-generation Jamaican-Canadian raised in Toronto, Ontario. A key contributor to the Canadian slam scene and author of Cerebral Stimulation, Greg is also the Poet Laureate of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership.

Greg Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin is a writer, poet and arts educator. He was a member of the Toronto Up From The Roots team that won the 2012 national poetry slam championship. Greg is also a past National Director of Spoken Word Canada and one of Canada’s most respected poetry organizers.

Since 2007, Greg has been active in the global mental health movement as Poet Laureate for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL).

In March 2012 he was one of four finalists on the CBC TV special Canada’s Smartest Person. In print, his poems have been published in periodicals in five countries and his commentary printed in several Canadian newspapers. On radio, Greg’s poetry has been shared over the airwaves from coast to coast on The House on CBC Radio One, and locally on several stations across the country. Since fall 2012, Greg shares poetic commentary on current affairs as the resident poet on the CBC Toronto radio program Here and Now.

Ritallin has released three chapbooks and appeared in several poetry compilation recordings. BeWrite Books published his debut poetry collection, Cerebral Stimulation, in 2006, and the IIMHL produced his mental health e-book Lead on a Page in 2012. His work also appears in the poetry anthologies Mic Check by Quattro Books in 2008, That Not Forgotten by Hidden Brook Press in 2012 and Great Black North by Frontenac House in 2013. Greg’s recordings include Capital Thoughts in 2005, Poet Psychology Volume I in 2010 and Poet Psychology Volume II in 2011. The poem “Going to Halifax” in George Elliott Clarke’s 2011 book Red is written “à la manière de (in the style of) Gregory Frankson.”

In addition to his artistic achievements, Greg was the first African-Canadian to serve a term as President of Canada’s oldest student government, the Alma Mater Society at Queen’s University, in 1996-97. He advised a student-led initiative in 2008 to name a campus building for Robert Sutherland, Canada’s first known university graduate of colour and Canada’s first Black lawyer. In October 2009, Queen’s University officially rededicated its Policy Studies Building as Robert Sutherland Hall.

Greg was profiled on in December 2010 to recognize his community achievements and contributions.

Through his creative services consultancy Cytopoetics, Greg works with youth in schools and community as a presenter and performer, and with businesses and social service agencies as a facilitator, keynote speaker and creative services consultant.






4 thoughts on “Gregory Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin

  1. Hi
    Heard your poem today Thurs June 26/14 on CBC always it was great but particularly timely and poignant as we too lost a friend too soon this week. Would it be possible to obtain a copy of your poem? I would like to give it to our friend’s widow.
    Thank you and always turn up the radio so I can hear your weekly offerings..lots to think about!!!
    Mary Nemeth, Otterville,Ont.

  2. Hello Greg, I just heard you speak at the Milton CCAH Roots of Freedom festival and really loved your poetry , voice and presentation. Not nearly enough though. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay and speak with you afterwards.
    Your “Belong ” poem speaks my feelings. Where can I get it? Is it going to be in your new Book coming out in Jan?
    I will now be trying to tune in to Ritallin. Thank you

  3. Miss you on CBC – also saw you at our school last winter.
    You are a master at spoken word!!
    Larry Richardson, Toronto ON.

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