Past Events (2021)

Updated: 6 days ago

Jan 5

Tanis MacDonald

Tanis MacDonald is an essayist, poet, and free-range literary animal. Her book, Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City (Wolsak and Wynn 2018) is a guide to playing the long game in the literary world. She is the author of four books of poetry, and her most recent, Mobile (Book*hug 2019), was the only book of poetry longlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Award. She is co-editor (with Ariel Gordon and Rosanna Deerchild) of GUSH: menstrual manifestos for our times (Frontenac House 2018). Recent work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, Minola Review, Understorey, Watch Your Head, The Goose, and Hamilton Arts and Letters. Tanis teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and used to be on the Board of the Art Bar back – way back – in the day.

Harry Posner

A member of The Writers Union of Canada, Writers Ink Alton, Headwaters Writer Guild,

and Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets, Harry Posner is the author of six books and two spoken word CDs.

Harry is Dufferin County's Poet Laureate until 2022, organizer and host of the annual Day of the Poets festival in Orangeville, Ontario, and co-host with Peter Noce of The Sill

podcast ( ). His novella, Peggy Lee’s Delicious Lips, was the

winner of the 2019 Ken Klonsky award, and he has recently released a collection of

spoken word poetry, Blue is Bigger Than Brown. All of Harry’s books are available at

Host: Mike Lipsius


Jan 12

Terry Watada Terry Watada is a Toronto writer whose publications include the Mysterious Dreams of the Dead (Anvil Press, 2020), The Four Sufferings (poetry, Mawenzi House Publishers, 2020),The Three Pleasures (Anvil Press, 2017), The Nishga Girl, (HpF Press and the NAJC 2017), a children’s story Light at a Window (amanga, HpF Press and the NAJC, 2015),The Game of 100 Ghosts (poetry, Mawenzi House, 2014),The Sword, the Medal and the Rosary (a manga, HpF Press and the NAJC, 2013),The TBC: 1995 – 2010, (non-fiction, HpF Press & the Toronto Buddhist Church 2010), Kuroshio: The Blood of Foxes, (fiction, Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007), Obon: the Festival of the Dead (poetry, Thistledown Press, 2006),Ten Thousand Views of Rain (poetry, Thistledown Press, 2001),Seeing the Invisible (a children’s biography, Umbrella Press, 1998), Daruma Days (fiction, Ronsdale Press, 1997), Bukkyo Tozen: a History of Buddhism in Canada (non-fiction, HpF Press & the Toronto Buddhist Church, 1996) and A Thousand Homes (poetry, Mercury Press, 1995). The Three Pleasures received glowing reviews and was a feature story in the Georgia Straight (Vancouver). He is in the anthology Vancouver Confidential (Anvil Press, 2014). Mysterious Dreams was included in the CBC list – “47 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in the spring of 2020”. Seven of his plays have been produced; his best known is Vincent, which was produced at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the first and second Madness and Arts World Festival.

His newest poetry collection was just named a finalist for the Eyelands International Book Awards, Athens, Greece. It is available through Amazon and bookstores.

His essays can be found in Maclean's Magazine (March 2011), Canadian Literature(UBC), and Ritsumeikan Hogaku “Kotoba to sonohirogari” (Ritsumeikan University Press, Kyoto Jpn). He wrote monthly in the Nikkei Voice for 25 years. Since 2012, he has continued his column in the national Vancouver JCCA Bulletin. In 2019, he contributed 12 columns for the on-line Discover Nikkei, a Japanese American National Museum publication.

Terry was awarded the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award from the City of Toronto and a Citation of Citizenship from the Government of Canada, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the NAJC’s National Merit Award and the Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Award.

Meena Chopra

Meena Chopra is an internationally renowned Canada-based 'fine artist & poet' of Indian origin with an unbridled passion for words, space, colours and forms. She has authored three poetry collections and co-edited one anthology. Her poetry and articles in English and Hindi have been published in magazines, journals and anthologies such as The Toronto Star, American Diversity Report (USA), Setu (USA), Artis Mag, Word Masala (London England), The Journal of the Poetry Society (India), Indian Voices (Canada), Word Fest, Canada Our Home and in prestigious German literary magazines.

Meena has received numerous national and international awards for her contributions to literature, fine art and community work including First Prize by Visual Arts Mississauga from the National Ethnic Press Council of Canada, 2018.

Meena has held several art exhibitions in India, Canada, England, USA and has over 75 group and solo art exhibitions to her credit.

As a qualified artist educator, she advocates “bringing diverse cultures together through arts”. Website:

Host: Jeff Cottrill


Jan 19

Dorothy Sjoholm

Dorothy Sjöholm is the author of why the telephone stopped ringing (Piquant Press, 2019) and two self-published works, Holding the Mirror & wait for the final explosion. Her poems and stories have appeared in literary journals in Canada, USA, and the UK as well as online in The Adirondack Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and Poetry Present. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC where she studied under Susan Musgrave and Gary Geddes, and continues to hone her craft through weekly Zoom meetings with a group of Toronto poets led by Kenneth Sherman. She also conducts an online poetry workshopping group in Barrie where she now lives.

Sue Brecken

Sue's writing has appeared in The Hart House Review (forthcoming 2020/2021), Guest, The New Quarterly, WE Int., Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press) and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection When Centipedes Dream was published by Tightrope Books (2018).

Sue's Toronto home is fueled by artists and animals. She brilliantly retired from her day job in February 2020. Sue dreams that the pools will re-open soon and that everyone else will go back to work (when safe).


Jan 26

David C. Brydges

David C. Brydges is a cultural historian and community legacy builder based in Cobalt Ontario. He is the artistic director of the Spring Pulse Poetry Festival in Northern Ontario. David’s memberships include Stroll of Poets Edmonton, Edmonton Poetry Festival, Parkland Poets, Ontario Poetry Society, Haiku Canada, Academy of American Poets, and League of Canadian Poets. David has four chapbooks published and one full-length book, “Vagabond Post Office.” He will be reading selections from his newest book, “Vaulting to Venus.”

Marsha Barber

Marsha Barber’s third poetry collection was published by Ottawa’s Borealis Press last year. She has won many awards for her poetry and been longlisted for the national ReLit prize and shortlisted for the international Bridport Poetry Prize and the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in such periodicals as Literary Review of Canada, The Walrus, FreeFall, The Antigonish Review and The New Quarterly. Marsha is on faculty at Ryerson University's School of Journalism in Toronto.

Host: Rosa Arlotto


Feb 2

Christopher Cessac

Christopher Cessac is the author of The Youngest Ocean, selected by Sir Andrew Motion for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize and published by Wayriser Press. His first book, Republic Sublime, won the Kenyon Review Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Eros Among the Americans, a chapbook, and his poetry has appeared in The Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review, Cimarron Review, Drunken Boat, Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, Rattle, and elsewhere. Cessac was born in Corpus Christi and grew up in South Texas. He studied literature and history at Texas A&M, law at the University of Michigan and poetry at Johns Hopkins. He has worked as a writer, musician and lawyer. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Marc di Saverio

Marc di Saverio hails from Hamilton, Canada. His poems and translations have appeared internationally. In Issue 92 of Canadian Notes and Queries Magazine, di Saverio's Sanatorium Songs (2013) was hailed as "the greatest poetry debut from the past 25 years." In 2016 he received the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Best Emerging Writer. In 2017, his work was broadcasted on BBC Radio 3, his debut became a bestseller in both Canada and the United States, and he published his first book of translations: Ship of Gold: The Essential Poems of Emile Nelligan (Vehicule Press). On May 1st, 2020, Guernica Editions published his epic poem CRITO DI VOLTA, to world-wide critical acclaim. Di Saverio studied English and History at McMaster University, but never took a degree, due to illness. He is the son of Carlo Di Saverio, the scholar and teacher who studied Linguistics and Languages at University of Toronto (M.A.,1981). Di Saverio's poem, "Weekend Pass", was adapted into the movie, CANDY -- directed by Cassandra Cronenberg, and starring the author himself -- which was selected to the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013.

Host: Lisa Richter


Feb 9

Gianna Patriarca

Gianna Patriarca is an award-winning author of 8 books of poetry, a children’s book and a collection of short fiction. Her work is extensively anthologized, adapted for Canada Stage and CBC radio drama. Her books appear on the course list of numerous universities in Canada, USA and Italy and is featured in numerous documentaries. Italian Women and Other Tragedies is in its 4th printing and has been translated into Italian. Her collection of short fiction All My Fallen Angelas, published by Inanna Publications in 2016 will soon be translated into Italian. To The Men Who Write Goodbye Letters was published by Inanna Publications in the fall of 2020. A selected and New Works, This Way Home will be published in 2021 with Guernica Editions. Also a children’s story will be published in 2022. Gianna is currently working on her novel The Sicilian’s Bride.

Georgia Wilder

Georgia Wilder is a poet and writer of short fiction. She was the co-winner of Quattro’s inaugural Best New Poets in Canada anthology and has been nominated for the Journey Prize. Her recent work has appeared in Dovetails, Temenos, and Prism Review. She hosted Wild Writers at the Poetry Jazz Cafe for several years, and hopes to return to live performances when we can all meet in person again.

Host: Suparna Ghosh


Feb 16


Dwayne Morgan

Dwayne Morgan is a two-time Canadian National Poetry Slam Champion beginning his spoken word career in 1993. In 1994, he founded Up From The Roots to promote the positive artistic contributions of African Canadian and urban influenced artists.

Morgan won the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Career Achievement in the Spoken Word in 2018. In 2016, Morgan was a finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2013, Morgan was inducted into the Scarborough

Walk of Fame. Morgan has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award, and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2012, Morgan performed at Super Bowl 46, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Morgan has won 3 Canadian Urban Music Awards (2001, 2003, 2005).

In 2005, he was recognized as Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Vancouver, and in 2008 his contribution to the Arts and Canadian society were recognized on the Legacy Black History Month poster. In 2019, he founded and co-produced the inaugural Toronto Spoken Soul Festival. Dwayne has performed for the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, the former Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, the late leader of the NDP, Jack

Layton, and has shared the stage with many of Canada’s top artists while opening for international artists and recording with famous Canadian artists, including Drake.

Morgan has published thirteen books and at least eight albums, a DVD, a short film and hosted two TV shows. His one-man play, Grade 8, now appears on the CBC’s PlayMe Podcast.

Dwayne’s work ethic has taken him across Canada, the United States, 5 Caribbean Islands and 11 countries and has made him a well-respected component of Toronto’s urban music community, as well as the North American, and Global, spoken word scenes.

Charles C. Smith Charles C. Smith is a poet, playwright and essayist who has written and edited fourteen books. He studied poetry and drama with William Packard at New York University and Herbert Berghof Studios, drama at the Frank Silvera’s Writers’ Workshop in Harlem. He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada, edited three collections of poetry and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, the Quille and Quire, Descant, Dandelion, Fiddlehead and others. He has received grants for writing from the Toronto Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts

charles is the Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario and Artistic Director of the wind in the leaves collective. His recent books include: travelogue of the bereaved, The Dirty War: The Making of the Myth of Black Dangerousness, and, whispers (2014) and destination out (2018). His next book of poems, Searching for Eastman, will be released at the end of 2021/early 2022 by Mawanzi Publishing House

Host: Michael Fraser


Feb 23

George Elliot Clarke

The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th Parliamentary/Canadian Poet Laureate (2016-17), George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1960. A professor of English at the University of Toronto, Clarke has also taught at Duke and Harvard. His recognitions include the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre Fellowship, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), and the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US). His acclaimed titles include Whylah Falls (1990, translated into Chinese), Beatrice Chancy (1999, translated into Italian), Execution Poems (2001), Blues and Bliss (Selected poems, 2009), I & I (2008), Illicit Sonnets (U.K., 2013), and Traverse (2015).

Tom G. Hamilton

Tom Gannon Hamilton: (Toronto Urban Folk Art Salon — Founder/Curator/Host) has published extensively in Canada and abroad. El Marillo, which chronicles his time as an aid worker in war-ravaged El Salvador, was awarded First Prize in the 2018 Big Pond Rumours Chapbook Contest. That same year his full length collection Panoptic (Aeolus House 2018) won critical acclaim. Dr. Hamilton’s scholarly works include an MA Thesis (Inside the Words: The Rise of Dub Poetry 1984) and PhD dissertation (A Poetics of Possibility, 2001). Career Musician since age 14, multi-instrumentalist, virtuoso violinist, Dr. Tom appeared in the TV series Murdoch Mysteries, Net Flicks production American Gods and the feature film Shape of Water (2018) which swept the Oscars.

Host: Mike Lipsius

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