Antonio Michael Downing grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Brooklyn, and Kitchener. He is a musician, writer, and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses (Blaurock Press), was published to critical acclaim. In 2017 he was named by the RBC Taylor Prize as one of Canada’s top Emerging Authors for nonfiction. His memoir, Becoming John Orpheus (Penguin Random House, Fall 2019), explores his obsession for radical identity transformations and how a tragic fire forced him to invent his “baddest, boldest self: John Orpheus.” Photo by Dave Winn.