Updated: Jul 25
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.
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 ( www.thesillpodcast.com ). 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
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 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: www.meenachopra-artist.com
Host: Jeff Cottrill
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'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).
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’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
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
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 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
BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION
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
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
The author of a clutch of novels, plays, film scripts and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include three Bressani-prize winners: the novel Berlin (2012); the poetry collection The House on 14th Avenue (2014); and the short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads (2016). His novella, The Last News Vendor, published in the fall of 2019, was a finalist for a Hamilton Literary Arts Award. A speculative fiction collection, Paradise Island & Other Galaxies, appeared in the fall of 2020. A new poetry collection, At the End of the World, is scheduled for spring 2021. The short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology; and both “The Sand Flea” and “Casebook: In The Matter of Father Dante Lazaro” are Pushcart Prize nominees. In the fall of 2019, Michael served a three-month writer’s residency at the Historic Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, during which time he finished the first draft of a 200,000-word novel, The Second Law of Thermodynamics. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in Hamilton. For more information, http://www.michaelmirolla.com/index.html.
David C. Brydges is a cultural historian and community legacy builder. He is the artistic director of the Spring Pulse Poetry Festival in Northern Ontario. Memberships include Parkland Poets, Stroll of Poets, Edmonton Poetry Festival, 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 upcoming book “Vaulting to Venus.
Host: Georgia Wilder
Paul Edward Costa is a writer, spoken word artist, teacher, and the 2019-2021 Poet Laureate for the City of Mississauga. He has featured in many poetry reading series in the GTA and has published over 60 poems and stories in literary journals worldwide. His fiction collection "God Damned Avalon" is available from Mosaic Press and his poetry book "The Long Train of Chaos" was published by Kung Fu Treachery Press. He curates the Outer Haven Poetry series and has won the 2019 Emerging Literary Arts award from the Mississauga Arts Council.
Stanley Fefferman is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar in English Literature at York University, in Toronto. Until his retirement, he was a meditation instructor and teacher in the traditions of Kagyu Buddhism and Shambhala. His published works include: a biography--My Andrea, an online Creative Writing virtual course environment entitled Writing Space. two books of poems--Home Was Elsewhere, and The Heart of All Music; and a collaborative translation of the poetry of Hermann
Host: Rosa Arlotto
Luciano Iacobelli is a native Toronto poet who has been active in the literary scene for the last two decades. He is a poet, editor, publisher and educator. Occasionally he is a visual artist, and likes to combine his passion for art with his passion for words. His latest collection, entitled Noctigrams, launch date to be determined, contains a large number of visual poems.
He is the author of 6 full length books of poetry and numerous chapbooks. He is the editor and publisher of Lyricalmyrical books, and was one of the founders of Quattro book.
Joshua P'ng, poet and speculative fiction writer, published in the filling station, untethered, Daily Science Fiction, Sewer Lid, and the Great Lakes Review. When he isn’t writing, he sketches people on the train, reads graphic novels, and tries to get lost on bike trips.
Host: John Oughton
Joshua Levy writes in many genres (fiction, memoir, poetry, etc). He was recently CBC writer-in-residence. His work has been published in Malahat Review, the Puritan, Vallum, Maisonneuve, Vehicle Press, and Oxford University Press. He is the winner of numerous literary competitions. Levy's first full-length book of poetry, The Loudest Thing, was published by Mansfield Press in early 2020. He lives in Montreal.
Mark Truscott's most recent book, Branches, won the inaugural Nelson Ball Prize. Newer poems appear in Fiddlehead, Guest, and Posit, and others are forthcoming in Grain, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, New Quarterly, and Oversound. More information is available at marktruscott.ca.
Host: Gavin Barrett
Mercedes Killeen is an award-winning, Toronto-based professional author and editor. She's released two collections of poetry: "tulips" (2016, 2018) and "Using a spoon as a knife" (2020), both with Grey Borders Books. Aside from creative writing, she's recently transitioned into a freelance writing career, writing for brands internationally in the personal finance space. You can learn more about her (and her work) at mercedeskilleen.com
Jim Roberts is a poet and occasional photographer. He has been or still is a
bookseller, a traveller, an urban hermit, a curmudgeon — no, strike the last, today at
least. He has published From an argument I’ve taken with me (Wolsak and Wynn,
2000) and Left Shoulder Voices (Frog Hollow, 2017). He occasionally appears in
magazines or anthologies, including The Malahat Review and Refugium: Poems for
the Pacific. He likes beaches, pebbles and horizons. Currently he writes haiku and
sonnets (loosely interpreted). He spent many years in Toronto, ran a short-lived
reading series there, and was a member of Squid Inc. He lives in Victoria, BC.
Host: Donna Langevin
Steven McCabe is a poet, painter, digital artist and the author of six books, most recently Meme-Noir - a collection of autobiographical vignettes. He collaborates with media professionals in creating imagistic poetry videos. His literary GIFS, supported by the Canada Council Digital Originals program, are posted on his Wordpress blog Poemimage. His poetry manuscript in progress, Blue Period, is influenced by prehistory, the Gaelic, the Celtic, and the colours of blue.
David Stones is a mostly retired marketing and business executive, now taking a deep breath as a poet, performer and spoken word artist. He transformed his first book of poetry, Infinite Sequels (2013), into a one man show of the same name. Lauded as a “brilliant and beautiful piece of theatre” (London Free Press), Stones performs Infinite Sequels throughout Ontario, focusing on fringe and writers’ festivals. Stones has some 300 poems now in print both in Canada and internationally, primarily through presses such as Big Pond Rumours, Harmonia Press, Beliveau Books, Beret Day Press, Authors Press (India), Hidden Book Press, and Her Royal Majesty (Paris, France). He is the winner of the 2018 Brooklyn Poetry Society prize and numerous Ontario Poetry Society contests and Judge’s Choice awards. David’s second major collection, sfumato (Blue Moon Publishers), already an “Amazon Best Seller” and Amazon “Hot New Release” in Canadian poetry, will appear in April 2021. David is a proud member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Ontario Poetry Society and resides in Stratford and Toronto.
Your Host: Brett Campbell
Suparna Ghosh has published three books of poetry - Sandalwood Thoughts, a collection of poems and drawings; Dots and Crosses, a prose poem with CD, and Occasionally, which features poems in free verse and ghazals in classical Indo-Persian style, one of which has been translated into Urdu and set to music; she presented the video at the Art Bar in 2018. She was one of the founding members of the Art Bar, the longest-running poetry series in Canada. Her poems have been published in local and international literary journals. Suparna was short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and published in their Global Poetry Anthology. A grand prize winning poem was choreographed and staged in San Francisco. In February 2019 and 2021, she was one of the poets to participate in Poetry in Union, a partnership between the League of Canadian Poets and the Union Station, and wrote instant personal poems for passengers for their Valentine. Her paintings were chosen for the Canadian Art of Imagination featuring international artists. Suparna was one of the finalists in the Arts and Letters Club competition, NEXT! 2015, as well as their National show, N3XT! 2020. She has exhibited her paintings in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Mumbai and New Delhi. Please visit suparnaghosh.com for further information.
Beth Kope grew up in Alberta and now finds herself truly at home in Victoria, British Columbia, the Traditional Territory of Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.
She has three books of poetry; Falling Season, 2010, Leaf Press which explored memory and loss of self through her mother’s challenging progression with Lewy Body Dementia. Average Height of Flight, 2015, Caitlin Press, explored land and grief, along with a few dog poems. Atlas of Roots, Caitlin Press, 2021 is her latest and is a narrative poetic series on adoption and identity.
Her poems have also found homes in anthologies (Voicing Suicide, Refugium and Sweet Water). She’s read at a variety of poetry reading series (The Writer’s Studio (Vancouver), Planet Earth Poetry, Munro’s Books, Russell’s Books (Victoria) and the Banff School of Fine Arts (Alberta). Kope has hosted and read at Victoria Festival of Authors where she’s led the popular Forest Poet-tree event along with Yvonne Blomer for the past three years.
Host: Margaret Code
Pat Connors’ first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013, and charted on the Toronto Poetry Map. He contributed 18 poems to Bottom of the Wine Jar, published in 2017 by SandCrab Press, and launched in Gibara, Cuba.
He has had work printed in Belgium, India, and the United Kingdom, in addition to the United States and Canada.
Past publication credits include: Spadina Literary Review; Tamaracks; and Tending the Fire, released in spring 2020 by the League of Canadian Poets.
Recent publication credits include: Poetry and Covid; Devour; Lummox 9 Anthology; Canadian Stories; Harbinger Asylum; Silver Birch Press; and Poetry Pause.
His first full collection, The Other Life, is available from Mosaic Press: http://www.mosaic-press.com/product/the-other-life-poems-by-patrick-connors/
Ron Potter is a writer, equestrian and salesman, who has been married for 40 years to his first wife. He has self published a chapbook, a speculative memoir and has a novel that is ready to be published. His poetry has been published in small journals and collections that you may only be aware of if you had been included along with him. He is currently occupied in raising his 11 year old grandson, training his 10 year old Oldenburg gelding and writing a very long poem and a speculative self help book. And if you need a new furnace or air conditioner, you know who to call.
Host: Rosa Arlotto
Catherine Graham is an award-winning poet, novelist and creative writing instructor. Her sixth poetry collection, The Celery Forest, was named a CBC Best Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her debut novel Quarry won an IPPY Gold Medal, The Miramichi Reader Award for Best Fiction, and was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award and Fred Kerner Book Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of the Toronto International Festival of Author’s Poetry NOW, she leads their monthly Book Club and also interviews authors for the By the Lake Book Club. Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, her seventh collection, launches virtually April 15, 7 pm, through Knife| Fork| Book. Her second novel, The Most Cunning Heart, is forthcoming. www.catherinegraham.com @catgrahampoet
Host: Kate Rogers
ART BAR'S 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Host: Allen Sutterfield
Celeste Snowber, PhD is dancer, poet, writer and award-winning educator who is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Celeste interweaves multidisciplinary forms in her performances and published works and attention to embodied ways of inquiry has been central to Snowber’s scholarly and artistic work for over two decades. Among her books are Embodied prayer and more recently Embodied inquiry: Writing, living and being through the body as well as three collections of poetry. Her most recent book of poetry, The marrow of longing, explores her Armenian identity and is forthcoming in spring of 2021 with HARP Press. Celeste creates site-specific performance and has been the Artist in Residence in the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden creating full-length performances connecting poetry and dance out of each season. She has performed across North America and Internationally in a variety of venues, including concerts, galleries, museums, conferences and outdoor spaces. She can be found at www.celestesnowber.com.
Philip Cairns is an actor/writer/visual artist from Toronto. His plays and performance-pieces have been produced at The Rhubarb Festival, The Theatre Centre and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He’s had work published in Labour of Love, Xtra! & The Body
Politic. He has performed his monologues and poetry at Glad Day Books, Toronto Pride and The Beautiful and the Damned. As an actor, he’s been performing in small theatre productions since he was 13. He played a lead role in the film, “Fluff”, and went to the
Cannes Film Festival with a short film he starred in, “Abortion is Fun”. He’s exhibited his paintings and drawings in numerous group and solo shows in Toronto and Edmonton. His first book, “Hollywood Poems and Other Diversions” is available on Amazon.ca from Purple Poet Press.
Host: John Oughton
Carrie Schiffler is a professionally trained actor who writes. Her collection of poetry, Umbilicus - Durvile & UpRoute Books, is a meditation on sensuality. Her daughter, Johanna Stickland, provided the artwork for this stunning book. Carrie’s poetry has also been published in; Instant Anthology, Spare Change, Bemused, and Downtown L.A. Life. A writing residency at The Banff Arts Centre led to the creation of, Tabitha A Girl and Her Box, a one woman show depicting the three years she spent table dancing across Canada. Her next writing project is a collection of memories from her childhood entitled, Tales From The Corner of Bad and Ass. When not writing or performing her own work, Carrie auditions for film and television. Sometimes she even books a gig! More notable acting credits include roles on; Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, Bad Blood, Northern Rescue(Netflix) and her personal favourite, playing Katarina Molotov in the feature film, Burlesque Assassins.
Carrie's theatre training makes her a fan favourite at open mics.
Christena Williams also known as Antonia Valaire is a Jamaican Award- winning Author, Christian, Youth Volunteer and Self-Publisher. She is a Past Student of Spanish Town High School and a Host of Personal face book live show of The Verandah Conversations. She is a Nominee in the 39 th International Reggae and World Music Awards in the Category of Mutabaruka Best Poet/Spoken word. She is also the recipient for International Spoken Word Artist of the Year 2020 from Chicago based organization P.O.E.T. (People of Extraordinary Talent) and Blaq Ice productions. She is awarded the Certificate of Excellence from SarabitaMasters Awards in New York. She is a member of Life Circle Poets and 876 Poetry Platform.
Christena is a contributor to One wakand in the US and Literary Editor for Pearls Magazine in Nigeria. Also, she holds a BA (Hons.) in History and Philosophy from the University of the West Indies. Her Book, “Pearls among Stones” was awarded The Prime Minister’s National Youth Awards for Excellence in Arts and Culture. Also, Recipient of Major Art award from Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism, (JAYECAN). She also authored Black Gold; Out from Babylon system: Liberation of Mind. According to Glenville Ashby, PhD, Book Reviewer and Gleaner Columnist, he states,” No doubt, … Williams has sealed her place as one of the region’s most compelling artistic voices”.
Face book - https://www.facebook.com/avalaire
Host: Kate Rogers
Karen Shenfeld has published three books of poetry with Guernica Editions: The Law of Return (1999), which won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry in 2001, The Fertile Crescent (2005), and My Father’s Hands Spoke in Yiddish (2010). Her poetry has also appeared in journals and anthologies published in Canada, the U.S., England, South Africa, and Bangladesh. As well, Karen Shenfeld has brought her poetic sensibility to the writing of magazine stories and to documentary filmmaking. Her most recent book of poetry, To Measure the World, came out with Ekstasis Editions near the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. She is looking forward to reading from it in person!
Essential Tremor is Barbara Nickel’s third collection of poetry. Her first, The Gladys Elegies, won the Pat Lowther Award. Her work has appeared in The Walrus and Poetry Ireland Review, and is forthcoming in Best Canadian Poetry 2021. Barbara is also an award-winning author of books for young people.
Host: Donna Langevin
Elana Wolff is the author of six collections of poetry and a collection of essays on poems. She has also co-translated with Menachem Wolff poems from the Hebrew by Georg Mordechai Langer. Elana’s poems and creative nonfiction pieces have appeared widely in Canada and internationally and have garnered awards. She has taught English for Academic Purpose at York University in Toronto and at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently divides her professional time between writing, editing, and designing and facilitating social art courses. Her collection, Swoon (Guernica Editions), is the 2020 winner of the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry
Leanne Dunic is a biracial, bisexual woman who has spent her life navigating liminal spaces, inspiring her to produce trans-media projects such as To Love the Coming End (Book*hug/Chin Music Press 2017) and The Gift (Book*hug 2019). She is the fiction editor at Tahoma Literary Review and the leader of the band The Deep Cove. Her newest book is a lyric memoir entitled One and Half of You (Talonbooks 2021). She lives on the unceded and occupied traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh people. www.leannedunic.com
Host: Rosa Arlotto
Carol Malyon is an ex-bookseller living in Toronto.
Her publications include three poetry collections, three short story collections, four novels and a children's picture book.
She edited an anthology of forty-four persons who were creative in more than one field; and she and bill bissett co-authored a year's worth of conversations about `love, life, and anything else you want.'
She has been writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, and has conducted short story workshops in Fredericton and North Bay.
In the U.S. anthology, `Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World,' from Abrams Books, Canada is represented by Alex Colville's painting, `To Prince Edward Island' and Malyon's poem of the same name.
Rayanne Haines’s writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from, Fiddlehead, Impact: The Lives of Women After Concussion Anthology, Voicing Suicide Anthology, The Selkie Resiliency Anthology, Freefall, Wax Poetry and Arts, Funicular, Lida Lit Mag, and Indefinite Space among others. She is the host of the literary podcast, An Eloquent Bitch and is the Alberta NWT rep for the League of Canadian Poets. Rayanne is a 2019 Edmonton Artist Trust Fund Award recipient. Past Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival, Rayanne is a current Masters student focusing on Arts Management and Cultural Research at Queen Margaret University in Scotland. Her poetry and prose have been shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta Award and the John Whyte Memorial Essay Alberta Literary Award. Her current work focuses on mental health and intergenerational trauma. Tell the Birds your Body is Not a Gun is her second full-length poetry collection.
Host: Mike Lipsius
Arleen Paré is a Victoria writer with seven collections of poetry and a new chapbook being released in June this year. She has been short-listed for the BC Dorothy Livesay BC Award for Poetry, and has won the U.S. Golden Crown Award for Poetry, the Victoria Butler Book Prize, a CBC Bookie Award, and the Governor Generals’ Award for Poetry.
K.S.Y. Varnam is a queer, neurodivergent, and disabled Toronto-based writer, artist, and editor, as well as the founder of The Quilliad. They share a bedroom with their parrots. Their work has been published in several journals, including Hamilton Arts & Letters, Breath and Shadow, CRUSH, and Transition Magazine. They are currently working on a queer poetry collection with support from the OAC and TAC.
Host: John Oughton
Allan Edwards, born and raised in British Columbia, came to Ontario in 1986 to
attend Carleton University in Ottawa. After graduation, Allan ran as a candidate in the 1990 Ontario provincial election clearly enjoying public speaking from an early age. After working as a parliamentary assistant to an MP for three years, Allan returned to British Columbia to start his own communications consulting business. The Department of Foreign Affairs caught up with Allan in 1994 when he joined as a Canadian Trade Commissioner.
In the 27 years since, Allan spent sixteen years serving Canadians abroad in Japan,
the United States and Taiwan. Returning from Taiwan in 2015, he became Industry Liaison for Medical Technologies in Toronto where he has worked with medical device manufacturers from Medtech Canada. Allan and his family will relocate in August to South Africa where he will head up the trade program in Johannesburg.
Allan’s interests include fly-fishing, rugby, cooking and hockey. His love of poetry began at an early age after reading Wilfred Owen’s classic, Dulce et Decorum Est. This is the first time he has read his poetry in a formal setting.
shalan joudry is a Mi'kmaw mother, poet, playwright, oral storyteller and ecologist. Her first book of poetry, Generations Re-merging, was published by Gaspereau Press (2014) and her second book, Elapultiek, was published by Pottersfield Press (2019). Her second collection of poetry, Waking Ground, was published by Gaspereau Press (October 2020) and was recently shortlisted for the J.M. Abrahms Atlantic Poetry Award, the Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award, the 2021 Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Poetry in English.
shalan lives in her home territory of Kespukwitk (southwest Nova Scotia) with her family in their community of L’sətkuk (Bear River First Nation), where she is currently writing and working on reclaiming her Mi’kmaw language.
Host: Brett Campbell
Canadian poet Kathleen McCracken is the author of eight collections of poetry including Blue Light, Bay and College (Penumbra Press, 1991), which was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1992, and a bilingual English/Portuguese edition entitled Double Self Portrait with Mirror: New and Selected Poems (Editora Ex Machina, 2014). She is the recipient of the University of Toronto Review’s Editor's Choice Award for Poetry, the Anne Szumigalski Editor's Prize, the Glebe House Harmony Community Trust Poetry Award and the 2017 Poetry Ireland/Tyrone Guthrie Residency Bursary. She was a finalist for the WB Yeats Society of New York Poetry Competition, the Montreal International Prize for Poetry, The Walrus Poetry Prize, the 2018 Grist Pro Forma Poetry Prize and the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize. In 2019 she won the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing. She has held several Ontario Arts Council awards and an Individual Artist Award from the Northern Ireland Arts Council. Her poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, Poetry Canada Review, Exile Quarterly, Poetry Ireland, The Shop, Revival, Abridged, New Orleans Review and Grain, and she has given readings in Canada, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States. Kathleen is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing and Contemporary Literature at Ulster University in Northern Ireland.
Brandon Wint is an Ontario-born poet and spoken word artist who uses poetry to attend to the joy and devastation and inequity associated with this era of human and ecological history. Increasingly, his work on the page and in performance casts a tender but robust attention toward the movements and impacts of colonial, capitalist logic, and how they might be undone.
For more than a decade, Brandon has been a sought-after, touring performer, and has presented his work in the United States, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Jamaica. His poems and essays have been published in national anthologies, including The Great Black North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House, 2013) and Black Writers Matter (University of Regina Press, 2019). Divine Animal is his debut book of poetry.
link to my book, Divine Animal: https://writebloodynorth.ca/products/divine-animal
social media handles: @brandonwintpoet (twitter and instagram)
Host: Kate Rogers