Gregory 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 WhosWhoInBlackCanada.com 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.