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Past Events (2023)

Updated: Jan 6



Date: December 18, 2023


Features:


Nancy J. Coombs is an American writer based in Canada whose poems, essays, and fiction have appeared widely in print and online publications. The Audition: Poems of Longing, Limbo, and Restoration, her new book, is “a collection of poems that explore the human condition and all that it entails”. Nancy grew up in Indiana where her family valued good writing: her grandfather was a managing editor—and her grandmother society editor—of The Indianapolis Star, when emerging Hoosier writers included Kurt Vonnegut and Janet Flanner (“Genêt”), The New Yorker’s long-time Paris correspondent. Their bold and plainspoken literary style, coupled with social engagement, resonate with Nancy, creative writing being her way to truth and understanding. Her international career in trade diplomacy, sports, and the arts plus philanthropic work in Indigenous rights and education influence her writing. She majored in French literature and history, having studied, and spent time, in France from an early age. Vonnegut said that his works’ most radical ideas came from Indianapolis’ public schools—likewise, Nancy’s public education there shaped her ideals of equality, compassion, and informed free speech, guiding her later at Harvard and Northwestern and today. Nancy is grateful to have landed long ago in Toronto.


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Mbonisi Zikhali was born in Makokoba, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. His spoken word/storytelling name is Zomkhonto, which happens to be his bloodline’s totem. He is an arts educator, youth mentor, qualified community services worker, grassroots community organizer and mental wellness advocate. He considers himself an afro-empath, and is driven to ensure that people find joy and healing in the power of words and story-telling. One of the recent publications he has appeared in include “Colossus: Body – An Anthology of the Self” by Colossus Press (San Francisco, California 2023) which defends the rights of women to have autonomy over their bodies. His work was also recently showcased at the World Poetry Slam Championships’ spoken word video presentations (September 26-30, 2022) in Brussels, Belgium. He is in the board of directors for Literary Arts Windsor (Canada). 


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Pujita Verma is an Indo-Canadian poet and illustrator. She is the juror of the League of Canadian Poets’ 2024 Broadsheet Contest. Along with winning that contest in 2023, Pujita also received a Mississauga Arts Council Award and was runner-up for the Janice Colbert Poetry Award. She was formerly Mississauga’s Youth Poet Laureate (2018-20) and a Poetry in Voice National Finalist. A few of her poems were recently published in the Emerge 4 Chapbook (PS Guelph, 2023) as the poetry winner of the Eden Mills Writer’s Festival Literary Contest. Pujita holds a BA (Hons) from Western University and works for War Child. 


*****


Date: December 11, 2023


Features:


Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent titles include the poetry collection World’s End, (ARP Books, 2023), a suite of pandemic essays, essays in the face of uncertainties (Mansfield Press, 2022) and the anthology groundworks: the best of the third decade of above/ground press 2013-2023 (Invisible Publishing, 2023). His collection of short stories, On Beauty (University of Alberta Press) will appear in fall 2024. An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics (periodicityjournal.blogspot.com) and Touch the Donkey (touchthedonkey.blogspot.com). He is editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com


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Jim Nason is the author of eight volumes of poetry, a short story collection, and three novels. He has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Award in both the fiction and poetry categories and his poetry book Rooster, Dog, Crow was shortlisted for the 2019 Raymond Souster Poetry Award. 


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Armand Garnet Ruffo is an Anishinaabe writer from Treaty # 9 territory in northern Ontario and a member of the Chapleau Cree First Nation. A recipient of a Honourary Life Membership Award from The League of Canadian Poets and the Latner Canada Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize, he is recognized as a major contributor to both Indigenous literature and Indigenous literary scholarship in Canada. His publications include Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird (2014) and Treaty# (2019), both finalists for Governor General Literary Awards. His forthcoming book The Dialogues: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow addresses history, culture, and the environment in conversation with the life and legacy of the highly decorated WWI Ojibwe sniper. Ruffo currently teaches Indigenous literature and creative writing at Queen’s University.


*****


Date: December 4, 2023


Features:


Sadiqa de Meijer has written the poetry collections Leaving Howe Island and The Outer Wards, and the language memoir alfabet/alphabet. Her work was awarded the CBC Poetry Prize, Arc's Poem of the Year award, and a Governor General's Literary Award, and has been published in Poetry Magazine, the Walrus, Brick Magazine, and Poetry London. Her writing often explores themes of landscape, language, migration, belonging, and embodiment. She is currently Poet Laureate of Katarokwi/Kingston.


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Bänoo Zan is a poet, translator, essayist, and poetry curator, with more than 280 published pieces and three books including Songs of Exile and Letters to My Father. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Canada’s most diverse and brave poetry open mic (inception 2012). Bänoo, along with Cy Strom, is the co-editor of the poetry anthology: “Woman, Life, Freedom: Poems for the Iranian Revolution.” Deadline for sending poems is March 2024. Find the submission guidelines here: https://guernicaeditions.submittable.com/submit. They are also looking for sponsors and donations for this project: https://gofund.me/ab43b8e9


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Maureen Hynes lives in Dish with One Spoon territory/Toronto, and is the author of six

collections of poetry, including this year’s Take the Compass, from McGill-Queen’s

University Press. Her first collection won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald

Lampert Award and following collections have been finalists for the League’s Raymond

Souster Award, and twice for the Pat Lowther Award, as well as the Golden Crown

Literary Award for lesbian writers (U.S). Her poetry has been included in over 30

anthologies, including three times in Best Canadian Poems in English (2010, 2016 and

2020), and in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2021). Maureen has given numerous

poetry readings and workshops, and has taught at the University of Toronto’s Creative

Writing certificate program. (www.maureenhynes.com).



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Date: November 27, 2023


Features:


Elana Wolff is the author of eight collections of poetry and a collection of short essays on individual poems. Her writing is widely published in Canada and internationally and has garnered awards. Her poems have recently been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and are included in BEST CANADIAN POETRY 2021 and 2024. Her collection, SWOON, received the 2020 Canadian Jewish Award for Poetry, and her cross-genre Kafka-quest work, FAITHFULLY SEEKING FRANZ, is newly released from Guernica Editions.. 


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Chris Song is a poet, editor, and translator from Hong Kong, and is an assistant professor in English and Chinese translation at the University of Toronto. He won the “Extraordinary Mention” of the 2013 Nosside International Poetry Prize in Italy and the Award for Young Artist (Literary Arts) of the 2017 Hong Kong Arts Development Awards. In 2019, he won the 5th Haizi Poetry Award. He is a founding councilor of the Hong Kong Poetry Festival Foundation, executive director of the International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong, and editor-in-chief of Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. He also serves as an advisor to various literary organizations.


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Born and raised in Toronto, Clara Blackwood is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of Subway Medusa (2007) and Forecast (2014) with Guernica Editions. Her third collection of poetry, Pomegranate Heart, was recently published with Ekstasis Editions. 



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Date: November 20, 2023


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Alice Major's 12th collection of poetry, Knife on Snow (Turnstone Press) reflects her long interest in science. She is also the author of the essay collection, Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science.  Recently she has been a contributor to "Reimagining Fire", a project to bring visual artists, writers and scientists together to create work related to climate change, and was invited to read at the UN’s COP15 conference on biodiversity in Montreal.

Alice’s previous work has been recognized by the Pat Lowther and Stephan G. Stephansson poetry awards as well as a National Magazine Award Gold Medal. She also served as the City of Edmonton's first poet laureate and has received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta.


Stuart Ross is the author of over 20 books of fiction, poetry, and personal essays, as well as scores of chapbooks. His most recent books are the memoir The Book of Grief and Hamburgers, for which he won the 2023 Trillium Book Award, and the short story collection I Am Claude François and You Are a Bathtub. His latest poetry publications are the full-length collection Motel of the Opposable Thumbs and the chapbooks Bird Snow on Hard Tracks and Gogol Says. Stuart received the 2019 Harbourfront Festival Prize, the 2017 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry, and the 2010 Relit Award for Short Fiction. He has been writer in residence at Queen’s University and the University of Ottawa, has mentored at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and teaches an Intro to Poetry course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. His poetry has been translated into Nynorsk, French, Spanish, Russian, Slovene, and Estonian. After 50 years in Toronto, Stuart moved to the tiny town of Cobourg and discovered there was a lake just a little south.


Sonja Greckol's Monitoring Station (2023) enters a slipstream of space and planetary language, circling time, embodying loss and longing, generating and regenerating in a faltering climate. Orbiting through a mother’s death, a grandbaby’s birth, and a pandemic summer; these poems loop and fragment in expansive and empathetic ways. Her previous books include No Line in Time, Skein of Days and Gravity Matters. Her work has appeared in Filling Station, Briar Patch, Rusty Toque, Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Literature, Dalhousie Review, CV2, Canadian Women’s Studies, Fiddlehead, and Matrix and most recently online at bilingual La Presa. She is the founding poetry editor for Women and Environments International. She has taught college and university, studied order and disorder in jokes, done human rights and gender-based research and organizational consulting. 



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Date: November 13, 2023


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Dane Swan is the editor of the critically praised anthology, "Changing the Face of Can Lit." His second book, “A Mingus Lullaby,” (Guernica Editions) was a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Prize for Poetry. A past Writer in Residence for the Open Book Foundation of Ontario, Dane has also been short listed for the Monica Ladell Award (Scarborough Arts). His first book, “Bending the Continuum,” (Guernica Editions, 2011) was a mid-summer recommended read from Open Book Toronto. Dane is an accomplished slam poet and touring spoken-word performer. He has graced numerous festival stages, including: IFOA, Hillside, Lab Cab, Parkdale Arts, Junction Arts, and Pitter Patter festivals. His poetry has been taught in schools and has been published in France, the UK, Bahamas, and Canada. His spoken-word work can be found in solo projects and collaborations available on CD, vinyl and MP3. He has read alongside numerous literary luminaries including Lawrence Hill, George Elliott Clarke, Goran Sumic, Priscila Uppal, Gianna Patriarca, and spoken-word stars including Shayne Koyczan, Dwayne Morgan, and Lillian Allen.


Lee Parpart (she/her) is a writer and editor who lives on land covered by Treaty 13. She was born in Boston and followed her academic mother around the world, living in London, England, and Lusaka, Zambia, before moving to Canada in 1983, where she worked as an arts journalist and film academic. Since leaving academia in 2016 to become a book editor and return to creative writing, Lee has focused on craft and community, working with poets and fiction writers in intimate collaborative exchanges and organizing events through her volunteer work with Canadian Authors–Toronto and Editors Toronto. She often explores personal subject matter through character studies, bridging the intimacy of confessional poetry with the detachment of persona poems. Her poetry and short fiction have won awards from Arc Poetry Magazine, Open Book: Ontario, Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, The Nasiona, and Negative Capability Press, and her work has appeared in New Square, Marsh Hawk Review, periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics, among other publications. Lee recently completed her first chapbook, Morpheus Suite, which follows an epistolary exchange between political opposites on Twitter, and in January, 2024, she'll be going to Dublin for a writing workshop with the Sancho Panza Literary Society.


Jenny Sorensen began writing poetry at the age of eight. The magic of how a single blade of grass can hold an orb of dew has been a guiding light ever since. She was born and raised in Bramalea, Ontario and now lives in Guelph. Jenny holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Toronto and has been an active member of The Brooklin Poetry Society, The Niagara Poetry Guild and The Tower Poetry Society. She has performed readings in numerous venues with the Wild Nellies and The Brooklin Poetry Society in the Durham region, and in Guelph, Ontario. Her work has been published with Black Mallard and she won a Judge’s Choice Award for her poem “If” in the Ultra Best Short Verse Anthology with the Ontario Poetry Society.


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Date: November 6, 2023


Features:


Bruce Meyer is author of more than sixty books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, and literary criticism. He has had two national bestsellers, The Golden Thread: A Reader's Journey Through the Great Books (2000) and Portraits of Canadian Authors (2016). He is twice winner of the E.J. Pratt Gold Medal and Prize for Poetry and the Gwendolyn MacEwen Prize for best poem. He was the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie. He is professor of Poetry at Victoria College in the University of Toronto and professor of Creative Writing and Canadian Literature at Georgian College in Barrie.


Award-winning Poet & Author

Bruce Hunter’s poems, stories and essays have appeared in over 80 publications in Canada, China, India, Italy, the U.K and the US. His 11th and newest book, Galestro (2023) follows A Life in Poetry (2022) both from iQdB edizioni in Italy. In 2021, his memoir essay “This is the Place I Come to in My Dreams,” was shortlisted for the Alberta Magazine Publishers' Awards for Essays, and in 2017, Bruce was Calgary Public Library's Author in Residence. Today, Bruce Hunter is an active editor, speaker and mentor.


Lynn Tait is an award-winning poet and photographer residing in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Her poems have appeared in FreeFall, Vallum, CV2, Literary Review of Canada, Trinity Review, High Shelf Press, The Quarantine Review, Verse/Virtual, Muleskinner, Last Leaves and in over 100 anthologies. She is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society, the League of Canadian Poets and an associate member of the American Academy of Poets as well as the Writers' Union of Canada. Her debut poetry collection You Break It, You Buy It was launched September 2023 with Guernica Editions.





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Date: October 30, 2023


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ANUJA VARGHESE is a Pushcart-nominated writer whose work appears in several literary magazines and anthologies including The Malahat Review, Hobart, The Fiddlehead, Plenitude Magazine, and Queer Little Nightmares, among others. Anuja holds a degree in English Literature from McGill University and recently completed a Creative Writing Certificate from the University of Toronto. She also serves as the Fiction Editor for the Ex-Puritan Magazine. Her debut short story collection, titled Chrysalis (House of Anansi Press, 2023) explores South Asian diaspora experience through a feminist, speculative lens. Find her on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok (anuja_v across platforms) or by visiting anujavarghese.com.


Andrew Brobyn is a poet and memoirist. His memoir (including poetry), Babble On, was published by the Rare Machines imprint of Dundurn Press in 2022. His writing focuses heavily on his mental health issues, including Bipolar Disorder, trauma, antisocial and borderline traits, and substance abuse. He lives in High Park and focuses most of his energy on wellness efforts and his family. He hopes most of all to continually work on himself, and hopes that reflects in his conduct towards others, especially those closest to him.


Keith Garebian of Mississauga, Ontario has received plaudits for his poetry collections such as Frida: Paint Me as a Volcano (Buschek), Blue: The Derek Jarman Poems (Signature), Children of Ararat (Frontenac), Poetry is Blood (Guernica), Against Forgetting (Frontenac), Finger to Finger (Frontenac) and In the Bowl of My Eye (Mawenzi House). One of his Jarman poems was set to music for choir and instruments by celebrated American composer Gregory Spears, in the company of a poem each by Thomas Merton and Denise Levertov. Spears’s work entitled The Tower and the Garden is available on CD from Navona Records. Garebian has served on juries for the Gerald Lampert and Raymond Souster Awards, and has won many awards and grants, including a writing grant from the Canada Council, over three dozen from the OAC, and two micro-grants from the Mississauga Arts Council, one of which funded his CD of poems from Poetry is Blood.

Three-Way Renegade is his 11th poetry collection.


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Date: October 23, 2023


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Kelly Rose Fluguh-Back writes fiction, poetry, and journalism. Her work has appeared recently in places like The Deadlands, Augur, and This Magazine. Her first full-length book of poems, The Hammer of Witches, was published in 2021 with Caitlin Press/Dagger Editions and recently placed in the upcoming Bisexual Book Awards.


Anna Yin was Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2015-17) and has authored five poetry collections and two books of translations including: Mirrors and Windows (Guernica Editions 2021). Anna won the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award, two MARTYs, two scholarships from USA and grants from Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Her poems/translations have appeared at Queen’s Quarterly, ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, Literary Review of Canada etc. She read on Parliament Hill, at Austin International Poetry Festival, Edmonton Poetry Festival and universities in China, Canada and USA etc. She has designed and taught Poetry Alive since 2011.



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Date: October 16, 2023


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Poet, Playwright, short filmmaker and memoirist. While a late teenager Megan Hutton read her poetry at The Bunkhouse and Sequel, two popular coffeehouses in the 1960’s in Vancouver, B.C, along with artists such as Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Jose Feliciano, and and other poets from the era. She worked with Indigenous women in Alberta and has a degree in Social Work from the University of Victoria. Megan is a longtime member of the gay community in Toronto. She was part of a manuscript selection team at Women’s Press and was invited to read one of her short stories at Toronto’s first Word on the street.


Beginning in her Seventies, three of Megan’s plays were staged for GayPlayDays at Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre.Her short film Hushed won a best female film award in Kolkata, India. Megan’s memoir chronicles her varied life of resilience over adversity. Life in Vancouver during the Vietnam war and Woodstock, coming out in the seventies, marriage, deaths and some of the amazing people she met along the way, Marcel Marceau, Tolstoy’s great grandson among them. She lives in the Niagara region with her partner of 39 years.


Kate Marshall Flaherty has six books of poetry, was shortlisted for the Mitchell Poetry Prize, and has been published in numerous Canadian and international journals, such as The Literary Review of Canada, Vallum, Grain, Room, Malahat, Trinity, Windsor and Saranac Reviews. She writes spontaneous "Poems Of the Extraordinary Moment" (P.O.E.M.s) for charities, and guides StillPoint Writing and Poetry Editing Circles in person and online. See her books, workshops and performance poetry at: https://katemarshallfaherty.ca


Poet/playwright Donna Langevin is a retired ESL teacher. The latest of her six poetry collections include Timed Radiance, (Aeolus House) 2022, Brimming (Piquant Press) 2019 and A Story for Sadie (Piquant Press) in 2023. Published in many Canadian and American journals over the years, she won second prize in the 2014 GritLIT contest, first prize in the Banister Anthology Competition 2019, and first place in the Ontario Poetry Society Pandemic Poem contest, 2020. Her plays The Dinner and Bargains in the New World won first prizes for script at the Eden Mills Festival in 2014 and 2015. If Socrates Were in My Shoes was produced at the Toronto Alumnae Theatre NIF Festival in 2018, and Remember Him Chasing Squirrels was performed there in 2020. Winner of a second place Stella Award from Act II Studio, Donna’s play Summer of Saints (about the 1847 typhus epidemic) was produced by Toronto Metropolitan University at their Fresh Picks: The Sandra Kerr New Plays Festival 2022. She is very happy that Art Bar has returned to the FABULOUS FREE TIMES CAFÉ.



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Date: October 2, 2023


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Tanis MacDonald is the author of Mobile: poems, Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female, and five other books. She is the winner of The Malahat Review’s Open Season Award for Nonfiction in 2021 and the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Teaching Creative Writing, and is a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. She is at work on a new manuscript – like, who isn’t?


Frances Boyle’s latest book is Openwork and Limestone, published in 2022 by Frontenac House. In addition to two earlier poetry collections, she is also the author of Seeking Shade, a short story collection shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award (The Porcupines’ Quill 2020) and Tower, a novella (Fish Gotta Swim Editions, 2018), along with several chapbooks. Her debut novel, Skin Hunger is forthcoming with The Porcupine’s Quill in spring 2024. A past president of Arc Poetry Magazine and current secretary of the League of Canadian Poets, Frances has long called Ottawa home while continuing to draw upon her prairie roots for inspiration and sustenance.


Tyler Pennock is the inaugural Indigenous Writer-in-Residence at Carleton University. They are a two-spirit adoptee from a Cree and Metis family around the Lesser Slave Lake region of Alberta, and is a member of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. They graduated from Guelph University’s Creative Writing MFA program in 2013.Their first Book, BONES (Brick Books) was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Indigenous Voices Award for Poetry. Their second book, BLOOD was released in September 2022. They also teach at the Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto.



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Date: September 25, 2023


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Scottish-Canadian poet, translator, and researcher Patrick James Errington is the author of the chapbooks Glean (2018) and Field Studies (2019), and the collection the swailing (2023). His poems appear widely in journals and anthologies and have received numerous prizes, including awards from the Writers’ Trust of Canada and Scottish Book Trust. As a translator, he has brought the poetry of singer-songwriter PJ Harvey into French and is currently translating philosopher E.M. Cioran’s Notebooks for NYRB. Originally from Canada, Patrick now lives in Scotland where he teaches and researches poetry and neuroaesthetics for the University of Edinburgh.


Susie Whelehan believes that rhythm and words are medicine covered by God’s Socialist Health Care Plan for Humanity. Her Grade 6 teacher told her she was a writer and to keep writing. Susie always did what the nuns told her to do, and she has kept writing. Her favourite, okay, first and only as of yet poetry collection, “The Sky Laughs at Borders”, was published by Piquant Press in 2019. She was a runner-up in CBC’s Canada Writes. Her poems placed first in the Canadian Church Press Awards and the Lake Scugog Ekphrastic Literary Contest. Others appear in journals and anthologies around the country and birthday cards around the world. Susie writes spontaneous poems for fundraisers for the League of Canadian Poets. She leads writing workshops on-line and in her home following the AWA (Amherst Writers and Artists) method, and recently finished her second summer on the faculty of the Haliburton School of the Arts.


Ottawa poet Susan McMaster’s dozen’s of publications include books, anthologies, and wordmusic recordings. She founded Branching Out, Canada’s first feminist magazine; has organized such projects as Waging Peace, which brought peace poetry from across Canada to parliamentarians for the millennium; and is a former president of the League of Canadian Poets. Award placings include the Ottawa Book Awards, Acorn-Plantos Prize, Archibald Lampman Award, Arc Poem of the Year, and Montreal International Poetry Prize.



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Date: September 18, 2023


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Tom Prime is a PhD candidate at Western University (specializing in 17th century female prophesy). His solo debut collection of poetry Mouthfuls of Space (Anvil) was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial prize. He has published 2 collaboratively written collections of poetry with Gary Barwin (Bird Arsonist on New Star and A Cemetery for Holes on Gordon Hill Press). His forthcoming solo collection of poetry, Male Pregnancy in Reverse, will be released on New Star in September. He has been published in Lana Turner, Fjords Review, Typo, and many other journals, periodicals, anthologies, and chapbooks.


Jovan Shadd is a Black, queer poet creating from the gta. They spend their time between meditations in poetry, revelations in literacy, and aggressively throwing video games on accident as stoically as possible.


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, McGill, UBC, and Harvard. His recognitions include the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre Fellowship (US), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), and International Fellow Poet of the Year, Encyclopedic Poetry School [2019] (China). 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), Traverse (2015), and Canticles II (MMXX) (2020), Canticles III, J'Accuse.



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Date: September 11, 2023


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James Collier is a poet living in Toronto with their cat. The poems in The Twelve Labours (Anstruther Press) were written in Edmonton—on Treaty 6 territory, the southern banks of the North Saskatchewan, stolen Papaschase and Métis lands.


Melissa Schnarr is the author of Secondhand Moccasins (Anstruther Press, 2023). She is an Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee writer from Bkejwanong Territory (Walpole Island First Nation), with family ties in Six Nations of the Grand River. She is a PhD candidate at Western University whose research focuses on Land education practices within local First Nation communities. Her work has appeared in the Temz Review, TNQ, Luna Station Quarterly and the Yellow Medicine Review. She also serves as the chair for the Indigenous Writer’s Circle at Western.


Shannon Quinn has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alberta. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Questions for Wolf, Nightlight for Children of Insomniacs (shortlisted for the Relit Award) and Mouthful of Bees. She has published in CV2, The Malahat Review, ARC, Prairie Fire, Room, Grain, Qwerty, SubTerrain and The Literary Review of Canada. More of her work can be found at www.shannonquinnpoetry.com.


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Date: August 28, 2023


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Lindsay Soberano Wilson’s debut full-length poetry collection, Hoods of Motherhood (Prolific Pulse Press) celebrates those who ever had to learn how to love themselves the way they love others. As a high school English teacher and editor of Put It To Rest, a mental health magazine, Lindsay believes in writing poetry and prose to put personal stories to rest--to write it out to let it go! Her chapbook, Casa de mi Corazón: A Travel Journal of Poetry and Memoir, explores how her sense of community, Canadian Jewish identity, and home was shaped by travel. Lindsay’s poems have appeared in Fine Lines Journal, Embrace of Dawn, Poetry 365, Fevers of the Mind, PoetryPause, Quills Erotic Canadian Poetry Magazine, Canadian Woman Studies Journal, Running with Scissors, and Poetica Magazine. She holds a MA in English Literature and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and an Honours BA in Creative Writing and English from Concordia University.


Layla Rose Roche grew up in Caledon ON, when she turned seventeen a battle with her mental health inspired her to become a certified meditation and yoga instructor during the pandemic. Her mission has always been one of inspiring people to grow, and especially to empower young women to love their bodies, and deepen their self worth. She later went on to complete her Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica and began co-hosting retreats, leading trauma informed healing and poetry workshops and even curating speeches and meditations for women and girls to find true embodiment and empowerment. Poetry was the portal into her own trauma, and it serves as a catalyst to her healing.


Toronto’s Robin Harvey latest book, a poetry collection entitled, PTSD Poems to Slay Demons, is available through Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads. Harvey, a graduate of the Humber School for Writers, is currently the pop culture and arts critic at Not The Public Broadcaster http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com/do-androids-dream-of-pop-culture and a book reviewer for IndieReader and Discovery. She’s been published in many online sites and literary journals and one nominated her as a runner-up for the 2022 Pushcart. Harvey was managing editor at a York University online literary magazine. She been featured live at many Toronto, Canada venues, including The Middle of Nowhere’s performance series, (podcast from Toronto’s Alchemy Restaurant), at Toronto's Hirut Café’s literature series, Old Words Story Telling at Toronto’s Free Times Cafe, and at Toronto’s Sneaky Dee poetry slams. Formerly an award-winning reporter, editor, critic and public editor at The Toronto Star, she’s been published in Toronto’s Globe and Mail and National Post as well as throughout Canada’s Southam and Sun news chains. Before becoming a journalist, she was an actor who performed in Canadian theatre at Bastion Theatre, Stage West, Actor's Trunk, Buddies in Bad Times and the Shaw Festival.


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Date: August 21, 2023


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David Bateman is a freelance arts journalist, painter, and performance poet. He has published numerous books of poetry and has taught literature and creative writing at post-secondary institutions across Canada. He lives in Toronto, Ontario


Khaleefa ‘Apollo the Child’ Hamdan is a spoken word poet, hip hop artist, former radio host, youth worker and is the former co director of the Urban Legends Poetry Collective. Apollo created the free after school youth writing program Youth Speak with the Ottawa Public Library. His cinepoem 'My Hero Drives a Cab' was featured on Button Poetry and he was part of the CBC documentary 'In Their Words'. Apollo has represented Ottawa a total of 9 times nationally. Apollo continues to be an active part of the art scene as he continues to mentor and spread positivity.


Robyn Kaur Sidhu (she/he/they) is a queer, mad, disabled, Punjabi poet. They have had feelings publicly, and have performed them on stages across Turtle Island and the United Kingdom. They are the creative director of Hot Damn it’s a Queer Slam, and is a current member of the League of Canadian Poets. They are a youth educator of consent, 2SLGBTQ+ identity, poetry and visual arts. They will occasionally break out into poetry on the street, and they are trying to be the adult they needed as a kid. You can find Robyn on the internet if that’s your thing @Robyn_Sidhu



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Date: August 14, 2023


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Emma Rhodes (she/her) is an emerging queer writer currently living and working in and around Tkaronto/Toronto. Her work has been published in Contemporary Verse 2, Prism International, Plenitude, Riddle Fence, and elsewhere. Her debut chapbook, Razor Burn, is available through Anstruther Press.


Silvia Falsaperla is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She has published poetry and prose in Canadian and American literary journals and anthologies. She was one of the winners of the Accenti Writing Contest 2020, Venera Fazio Poetry Contest 2021, Venera Fazio Poetry Contest 2022, Carmen Ziolkowski Poetry Prize 2023, as well as an Honourable Mention in The Ontario Poetry Society's 'Provoked By Places' Contest 2022. She has completed a first collection of poetry entitled "Persephone's Summer" and a hybrid poetry and prose chapbook entitled "Sicily Poems and Stories". Currently, she working on another collection of poetry and a collection of linked short stories.


Guy Elston’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Literary Review of Canada, Vallum, The Moth, Periodicities and other places. His first chapbook Automatic Sleep Mode was published by Anstruther Press this year.




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Date: July 31, 2023


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Willow Loveday Little's work has appeared in such places as The Dalhousie Review, The Selkie's Very Much Alive: Stories of Resilience anthology, HA&L, The League of Canadian Poets chapbook series, yolk literary, and On Spec. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and is the author of (Vice) Viscera (Cactus Press). Willow is currently working on a novel thanks to the generosity of the Canada Arts Council.


Devon Gallant is a writer, editor, copyeditor, publisher, book designer, typesetter, and food historian. He is the founder of Cactus Press, a Canadian micro-press specializing in limited edition poetry chapbooks, as well as the author of 5 full length poetry collections: The Day After, the flower dress and other lines, His Inner Season, S(tars) & M(agnets), and Bootleg Sake. His work has been featured in Carousel Magazine, Misunderstandings Magazine, Vallum, Graphite Publications, and elsewhere. He is the co-host of the Montreal based literary series Accent and editor of the online literary magazine Lantern. In 2006, he made a cameo appearance in his mentor Rudyard Fearon’s episode of Bravo’s documentary series Heart of a Poet.


Fannon Holland comes to us from Pittsburgh, via Chicago, where he maintains that there are only two differences between the States and Canada; Canadians have an indelible belief in universal healthcare, and better beer.


Spoken word has allowed Fannon to travel across Canada, and on one fateful trip, earned himself a national title with the Guelph spoken word team, at CFSW, Winnipeg.


Fannon is a husband, father, poet, rabble rouser, loud mouth, agitator and good trouble.



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Date: July 24, 2023


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Kevin Lee is a Chinese-Canadian, self-described "weird" "person" who was born, raised, and situated in Toronto, Ontario. Kevin holds a HBSc in Human Biology from the University of Toronto and is currently in progress to be a Masters of Teaching candidate. As an "educator" Kevin can usually be found overstaying his office hours, where the majority of their metaphors take place, lives, and dies.

In the poetry scene, Kevin has been active and performing their own work at the Toronto Poetry Slam since he was 17 years old. Nowadays you can likely spot Kevin doing cover poems on open mics or volunteering his time by scorekeeping, though they would say numbers are not his forte.


Fira (they/he) is a disabled queer settler artist currently residing in Fergus, Ontario on the lands of the Attawandaron, Huron-Wendat, and Grand-River Metis nations. His relationship with poetry began in 2016, when he in love with how three minutes can uplift the soul. His work focuses on messages of queerness, mental health, and healing through art. You can find his work in Alt-Minds magazine, the Disabled Voices Anthology, and on stage for you tonight! When not writing, he is working hard at making his local LARP welcoming and accessible to those who share his intersections of adversity, and doing his best to get his pet bird Chica to hate him slightly less. He can be found on Instagram @fira_astrali, where he encourages you to reach out!


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Date: July 17, 2023


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Chris Pannell’s A Nervous City (2013) won the Kerry Schooley Book Award from the Hamilton Arts Council. In 2010, his book Drive (2009) won the Acorn-Plantos Award for Peoples Poetry and the Hamilton Literary Award for Poetry. From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop and published two anthologies of work by that group. He is a former board member of the gritLIT Literary Festival and a former DARTS bus driver. He hosts and helps organize the monthly Hamilton reading series Lit Live. His latest book of poetry – Love, Despite the Ache (2016) – won the 2017 Literary Award for Poetry from the Hamilton Arts Council.


Ayomide Bayowa is an award-winning Nigerian Canadian poet, actor and filmmaker. He holds a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto and is the (2021–24) poet laureate of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He has appeared in a long list of literary magazines, including Windsor Review, Kalahari Review, IceFloe Press, Barren Magazine, Agbowó, Guesthouse, Stone of Madness Press, Ampersand Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Offing and Beyond Words Literary Magazine. He is the editor-in-chief of Echelon Poetry and currently reads poetry for Adroit Journal.


J.B. Stone (he/they) is a Neurodivergent/Autistic slam poet, writer, critic, and editor from Brooklyn, NY now residing in Buffalo, NY. They serve as EIC/Reviews Editor at Variety Pack. He is also the author of three chapbooks including, Fireflies And Hand Grenades (Bottlecap Press 2022). Their work has appeared in Hamilton Arts & Letters Magazine, Peach Mag, The Buffalo News, Noctua Review, Atticus Review, Chicago Review of Books, among other spaces. J.B. has performed and competed everywhere from Aukland, NZ to venues all-across Western NY. He recently represented Buffalo, NY as part of Pure Ink Poetry at the 2022 Southern Fried Poetry Slam in Louisville, KY, and will once again be representing Buffalo at the 2023 Southern Fried Poetry Slam in Knoxville, TN. They are currently the reigning Pure Ink Poetry Slam Champion in Buffalo, and has won multiple tag-team slam poetry bouts alongside TPS winner, Brandon Williamson.



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Date: July 10, 2023


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Jake Byrne is a poet and writer based in Toronto, Canada. Their work has been published in journals and anthologies in North America. Their poem “Parallel Volumes” won CV2’s Foster Poetry Prize for 2019, and their first two books of poetry are forthcoming in 2023 with Wolsak & Wynn and in 2024 with Brick Books, respectively. Find them @jakebyrnewrites.


Patrick Connors first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013, and charted on the Toronto Poetry Map. Other publication credits include: The Toronto Quarterly; Spadina Literary Review; Sharing Spaces; Tamaracks; and Tending the Fire. His first full collection, The Other Life, was released in 2021 by Mosaic Press. His new chapbook, Worth the Wait, was released this Spring by Cactus Press.


Brandon Williamsonwas born and raised in Buffalo NY. He has made it his life goal to reach out to students in inner city neighborhoods similar to the one he grew up in, painting a path for them to follow to their future. In this process, Brandon spent time as a high school teacher before creating the Pure Ink Poetry Slam. Brandon works hard to build a community of art that everyone can be a part of. He has performed, competed, and won poetry slams and been featured around the world.



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Date: June 26, 2023


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Natasha Ramoutar is a writer of Indo-Guyanese descent from Toronto. Her debut poetry collection Bittersweet was published in 2020 by Mawenzi House and she was a co-editor of FEEL WAYS, an anthology of Scarborough writing. Her second poetry collection, It Keeps Us Here, will be released by Wolsak & Wynn in 2024.



Joshua Chris Bouchard is the author of BURN DIARY forthcoming in fall 2023 from Buckrider Books (Wolsak & Wynn). Bouchard's collection of poems and photographs, LET THIS BE THE END OF ME (Bad Books Press), was short-listed for the 2019 bpNichol Chapbook Award. His poetry has appeared in EVENT, CV2, Carousel, Poetry is Dead, PRISM international, Arc, and more.


Ayomide Bayowa is an award-winning Nigerian Canadian poet, actor and filmmaker. He holds a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto and is the (2021–24) poet laureate of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He has appeared in a long list of literary magazines, including Windsor Review, Kalahari Review, IceFloe Press, Barren Magazine, Agbowó, Guesthouse, Stone of Madness Press, Ampersand Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Offing and Beyond Words Literary Magazine. He is the editor-in-chief of Echelon Poetry and currently reads poetry for Adroit Journal.


Brenda Clews is a Zimbabwe-born Canadian multimedia poet, painter, videopoet and photographer. With two books, Tidal Fury (Guernica, 2016) & Fugue in Green (Quattro, 2017), she's published in CrossBridge, Synchronized Chaos, Juniper, & Movement, Our Bodies in Action Anthology. Her artwork has appeared on journal covers, in solo (York University, Urban Gallery and Q Space) and group shows, it is also featured on her book covers. She hosts Minstrels & Bards, a soirée at the Tranzac Club in Tkaronto/Toronto. Her website is https://brendaclews.com.


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Date: June 19, 2023


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Catherine Graham is an award-winning poet, novelist and creative writing instructor based in Toronto. Her eighth book, Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, Toronto Book Award, and won the Fred Kerner Book Award. The Celery Forest was named a CBC Best Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Poetry. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award, leads the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Book Club, co-hosts The Hummingbird Podcast—part of the WNED PBS Amplify app, and is a judge for the CBC Poetry Prize. Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems is her latest book. Visit her online at www.catherinegraham.com and @catgrahampoet


Kate Cayley is the author of two previous poetry collections, a young adult novel, and two short story collections, including How You Were Born, winner of the Trillium Book Award and shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. A tenth anniversary edition of How You Were Born is forthcoming from Book*hug Press in 2024. She has also written several plays which have been performed in Canada, the US, and the UK, and is a frequent writing collaborator with the immersive company Zuppa Theatre. Cayley has won the O. Henry Short Story Prize, the PRISM International Short Fiction Prize, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, and a Chalmers Fellowship. She has been a finalist for the K. M. Hunter Award, the Carter V. Cooper Short Story Prize, and the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize, and the CBC Literary Prizes in both poetry and fiction. In 2021, she won the Mitchell Prize for Faith and Poetry for the title poem in Lent. Cayley lives in Toronto with her wife and their three children.


Kevin Spenst is the author of Ignite, Jabbering with Bing Bong, and Hearts Amok: a Memoir in Verse (all with Anvil Press), and over a dozen chapbooks including Surrey Sonnets (JackPine Press), Upend (Frog Hollow Press) and A Video Tape Swaddled in Purple Wool (845 Press). He writes a chapbook column in subTerrain magazine and is an occasional co-host for Wax Poetic on Co-op Radio. He teaches poetry at Simon Fraser University and lives in Vancouver on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory.



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Date: June 12, 2023


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David Stones is an award-winning poet and performer with some 400 poems in print in Canada and internationally. His one-man show, Infinite Sequels, based on his inaugural collection of poetry, continues to charm audiences at festivals, theatres and poetry events throughout Ontario (“brilliant and beautiful theatre”- London Free Press). His celebrated second collection, sfumato, has been a best seller in Canadian poetry and has led to a song series based on his poetic works. Show credits featuring David’s performance poetry include Expressions Of Love, Infinite Sequels, and WordSong. David’s newest collection, Essays Of Light, hits book stores in early 2024. David lives in Stratford, Ontario, and is a proud member of the League Of Canadian Poets, The Ontario Poetry Society, and Canadian Beat Poets… www.DavidStonesPoet.com


Lisa Shen (she/her) is a writer and spoken word artist based in the Toronto area. Her work centers on feminism and gender-based violence, with secondary focuses on Chinese-Canadianism, disability, and queer identity. Lisa was the winner of the 2021 Mississauga Poetry Slam, the 2022 Ink Movement Slam, and the May 2020 Open Drawer Poetry Contest. She was also a Speaker at TEDx McMasterU 2022. She has featured at arts festivals and events across North America, including Word Humboldt, Hamilton Youth Poets, and the JAYU Human Rights Film Festival. Her work has been published by Brickyard Spoken Word and Voicemail Poems, and is forthcoming in Rattle. Lisa is the Director of Sauga Poetry, Mississauga’s hub for spoken word events. She is dedicated to uplifting spoken word across the Greater Toronto Area.


Simon Constam is a Toronto poet and aphorist. Since late 2018, Simon has been publishing, under the moniker Daily Ferocity, an original aphorism every day on Instagram and for an email subscriber base. His first book, BROUGHT DOWN, was published in 2022. His second book, DOMESTIC RECUSALS will be published by AOS Publishing in early 2024.


Simon and his wife, Janice Waugh live in the Beach where they operate Solo Traveler, www.solotravelerworld.com.



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Date: June 5, 2023


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David C. Brydges is a cultural entrepreneur and community legacy builder based in Cobalt,

Ontario. He is the artistic director of the Spring Pulse Poetry Festival in Northern Ontario.

Memberships include Stroll of Poets, Parkland Poets, Ontario Poetry Society, Haiku Canada, and League of Canadian Poets. In 2021 he was appointed the first “Poet Emissary” for the Ontario Poetry Society replacing a yearly recognition of the “Poet of the Year.” David has six chapbooks published including his latest “Vaulting to Venus” and one full-length book, “Vagabond Post Office.”


Jacqueline d'Amboise, is a poet, literary translator, editor and literary consultant. She has been published in numerous literary magazines, including Exile, The Malahat Review, Descant, and Canadian Literature. Mother Myths, a book of her poems, was published by Fiddlehead Press. She has managed and served as advisor to several poetry festivals and conferences across Canada, was the Coordinator of the First International Poetry Festival held at Hart House at U of T in 1975 and organized and coordinated the Collingwood Poetry Festival at Blue Mountain in 1976. She was the Literary Officer in the Canada Council in the early 80s, taught French Language and Literature at the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University. At UBC, she taught poetry and translation in the Creative Writing Department, where she was also Director of the Literary Translation Program. SheI was George Faludy’s “Reader” from 1975 until 1988, when he returned to Hungary. She now lives in the Hastings Highlands on a farm.


Wesley Rickert is a writer, director & producer of no-budget art house films and has written & produced 5 arthouse features that defy easy categorization. Between film projects he is a performance poet, noise musician, DIY audio producer, visual artist and sculptor. His writing and sound poetry embraces the irrational, cherishes original experience and strives for personal transformation at any cost. He is a regular contributor to "Maintenant -A Journal of Contemporary Dada", Three Rooms Press, NYC, has performed with the legendary sound poet bill bissett at the Poets House, NYC, The Players Club, NYC, for Versefest, Ottawa, and is the director of Liberty Manor, an informal and rural artist residency in the Thousand Islands dedicated to furthering all forms of challenging expression.



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Date: May 29, 2023


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John Oughton grew up in Guelph, but has also lived in Nova Scotia, Baghdad, Alexandria, and Kyoto. He calls Toronto's Beaches home now, and takes out his kayak in good weather. John is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Time Slip, with another one on the way from Ekstasis Editions titled The Universe and All That. He has also written the mystery novel Death by Triangulation and Higher Teaching: A Handbook for New Postsecondary Faculty. He was Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College until retiring seven years ago. He also fools around with photography and guitars.


Carellin Brooks is a lifelong Vancouverite, unless you count a piddling ten or fifteen years back East or overseas. She has written five books: Every Inch a Woman, an academic monograph about the phallic woman in twentieth-century texts, Wreck Beach, a cultural history of the best nude beach in the world, Fresh Hell: Motherhood in Pieces, creative nonfiction about the horror of baby's first year, and One Hundred Days of Rain, a novel in bits about Vancouver's most pervasive condition.

Learned is her first book of poetry: it conflates, in left- and right-justified poems, the experience of attending Oxford University on scholarship with the reclamation of the narrator's own body through the discovery and practice of lesbian sadomasochism.


A lifetime immersed in the performing arts has made Joshua “Scribe” Watkis devoted to the gift of storytelling. The Scarborough born poet has performed across Canada, won a national Poetry Slam Championship, appeared on CBC and opened for the legendary Hip-Hop band ‘The Roots’. Scribe is an Arts Educator, member of the Up From The Roots collective, and is half of Rapper/Producer duo S.O.A.P (Scribe & Onglish Aren’t Perfect). His goal is to bring his audiences through his story, and to gift them with the courage to share their own stories, in their words, out loud.




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Date: May 15, 2023


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Shelly Grace is a Toronto-based spoken word poet, photographer, and arts educator. She uses her art for community building and healing and focuses on the experiences of women and the Black community. In 2022 she was named Toronto’s Breakthrough Artist by Toronto Arts Foundation, and JAYU's Emerging Artist of the Year.


In 2019 she won the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word while on the Up From The Roots slam team, becoming a National Spoken Word Champion. She is currently on the Toronto Poetry Slam team. She is also actively involved with VIBE Arts on their emerging artist roster, where she works as an art educator and performer. She is an artist and organizer with IBLV Tv, founded by celebrated Toronto artist Jermaine Henry. She has competed internationally as well, representing Canada in three American competitions.


A. F. Moritz's most recent books of poems are As Far As You Know (2020) and The Sparrow: Selected Poems (2018), both from House of Anansi Press. He has published twenty volumes of poetry and his work has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bess Hokin Award of Poetry magazine, and has three times been selected a finalist for the Governor General's Award, among other recognitions. As Far As You Know was a finalist for the 2020 Trillium Award. Moritz served as the Poet Laureate of Toronto from March 2019 through May 2023.


Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi (They/Them) is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. They were shortlisted for the 2021 Austin Clarke poetry prize, 2022’s Arc Poem of the year award, Prism magazine’s 2023 Open Season awards for poetry and they are the winner of the 2021 Vallum Poetry Prize. They are the author of four poetry chapbooks and three translated poetry chapbooks. They have released two full-length collections of poetry with Gordon Hill Press. Their full-length collaborative poetry manuscript "G" is forthcoming with Palimpsest press Fall 2023, and their full-length collection of experimental dream-poems "Daffod*ls" is forthcoming from Pamenar Press Fall 2023.



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Date: May 8, 2023


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Mike Madill’s poetry has been published in literary journals across Canada, including in The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Event, The Fiddlehead, The New

Quarterly, Vallum and The Windsor Review. He was shortlisted for Freefall’s 2020 Poetry Contest, and an Honourable Mention in the inaugural 2022 Don Gutteridge Poetry Award Contest earned him publication of his debut, full-length collection, The Better Part of Some Time. When not writing, Mike pursues freelance editing, and has also taken turns as a social worker, computer analyst and home contractor. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from York University, is a member of the League of Canadian Poets and has a tendency to daydream out windows.


Emilio D. Puerta has been writing for over a decade, and still striving for a name in the backlots as he vents his eclectic voice to whomsoever would listen. His determination through it all can be found in the words he writes and the soul he conveys. Toronto-born with Colombian roots, Emilio is as multifaceted in his personality as he is in his writing, but you’ll never know his story if you never read him through.




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Date: May 1, 2023


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Hollay Ghadery is a multi-genre writer living in rural Ontario on Anishinaabe land. She has her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Her work has been published in various literary journals. Fuse, her memoir of mixed-race identity and mental health, was released by Guernica Editions’ MiroLand imprint in Spring 2021. Her debut collection of poetry, Rebellion Box, is due out with Radiant Press in spring 2023 and her collection of short fiction, Widow Fantasies, is due out with Gordon Hill in spring 2024.


Stedmond Pardy is a self educated, left handed poet of Mixed ancestry ( Newfoundland and st.kitts/ Nevis) raised in the lakeshore mimico area. His first book "the pleasures of this planet aren't enough" was published by mosaic press in 2021.and his 2nd "beached whales" will be released in late... 2023.


Jade Wallace (they/them) is the book reviews editor for CAROUSEL and co-founder of the collaborative writing entity MA|DE with Mark Laliberte. Wallace's debut poetry collection, Love Is A Place But You Cannot Live There is available now from Guernica Editions.




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Date: April 24, 2023


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Rocco de Giacomo is a widely published poet whose work has appeared in literary journals in Canada, Australia, England, Hong Kong and the US. The author of numerous poetry chapbooks and full-length collections, his latest, Brace Yourselves – on the representation of the individual as it relates to the Zeitgeist – was published in January, 2018, through Quattro Books. His fourth collection, Casting Out, is out in April, 2023 via Guernica Editions. Rocco lives in Toronto with his wife, Lisa Keophila, a fabric artist, and his daughters, Ava and Matilda.


Ashley-Elizabeth Best is a disabled poet and essayist from Kingston, Ontario. Her work can be found in New Welsh Review, CV2, Ambit Magazine, Mslexia, and Chatelaine. Her debut collection of poetry, Slow States of Collapse, was published with ECW Press. Best’s chapbook Alignment was published with Rahila's Ghost Press in 2021.!

Born and raised in India, Ayesha Chatterjee has lived in five countries on three continents. She is the author of The Clarity of Distance, and Bottles and Bones. Her poems have appeared in journals across the world, including The Moth, The Bombay Review, Magma Poetry, Exile Literary Quarterly and CV2, and been translated into French, Slovene and Russian. Several have been set to music by Canadian composers David Jaeger, D.D. Jackson and James Rolfe. Chatterjee is a past president of the League of Canadian Poets. She lives in Toronto.



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Date: April 17, 2023


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Paul Edward Costa is an award-winning poet, spoken word artist, and teacher. He is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets, a Poet Laureate Emeritus for the City of Mississauga, and a former Director of Toronto's Art Bar Poetry Series. He has published many poems and stories in journals such as Train: A Poetry Journal, Subterranean Blue Poetry, and Blank Spaces Magazine. His full-length poetry collection, The Long Train of Chaos, was released by Kung Fu Treachery Press and his book of flash fiction, God Damned Avalon, was published by Mosaic Press. As a spoken word artist, Paul has featured at many poetry readings online and in-person across Canada such as The Victoria Poetry Project and Shab-e She'r.


Edward Anki's poetry has appeared in Rejection Letters, The Feathertale Review, (parenthetical), Qwerty, The Chaffin Journal, and others. A chapbook of his poetry, Remote Life, was published by BareBackPress. His first full-length poetry collection, Screw Factory, was released in 2022 by Anxiety Press. A former stand-up comic, bartender, and agonized telemarketer, Edward is currently engaged in part-time studies to become a psychotherapist.


Ariane Blackman is a writer and poet who loves the unexpected. Her previously published works include two books of poetry—No One Sleeps (LyricalMyrical Press, 2013) and The River Doesn’t Stop (Aeolus House, 2018)—and a quirky novel, The Unexpected Journeys of Lawrence Tyrone (LE Press, 2018).

She has planned innovative poetry workshops on ‘Poetry and the Art of Seeing’, and, as a former co-editor of an on-line poetry publication, she’s read thousands of excellent poetry submissions from many fine poets.

Her latest poetry book, Learning to Leave, was published by Aeolus House in 2022.

Forthcoming works include a new collection of poetry and a memoir about her mother, a Jewish survivor of the soul destructive Holocaust of World War II, and also a clandestine member of the Polish underground (otherwise known as the A K, or the Polish Home Army).



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Date: April 3, 2023


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Charles Taylor was born on a farm in north western Saskatchewan. His formative years were spent in the Battlefords. He later moved to Saskatoon and attended The University of Saskatchewan, majoring in English Literature and minoring in Fine Art. Since 1987 he has lived in Toronto. Over the years his poems have appeared in various anthologies and journals. And in 2017 he had my first book of poems published. For his livelihood he has a painting/renovation company. And in his spare time he writes poetry and prose, and creates art and has had many art shows throughout Canada. As well, he has also finished two novels and a book of short stories about hockey.


Mike Lipsius ran the Rochdale Rhymes and Readings poetry series in Toronto from 2008-2013. He also occasionally hosted the Art Bar during its first run at Free Times Cafe. His last poetry chapbook was Lessons in Gravity (Publisher: Stone's Throw). He works as a technical writer in the fintech industry.


Concetta Principe is an award-winning poet, and writer of creative non-fiction, short fiction, as well as scholarship that focuses on trauma literature. Stars Need Counting: Essays on Suicide came out with Gordon Hill Press in 2021. Her first poetry collection, Interference (1999) with Guernica Editions, won the Bressani Award for poetry in 2000. Her poetry collection, This Real, published by Pedlar Press, was long-listed for the Raymond Souster Award in 2017. Her latest project, Discipline N.V.: A Lyric Dictionary, will be coming out with Palimpsest Press in spring 2023. She teaches at Trent University.


*****


Date: March 27, 2023


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Paola Ferrante is a writer living with depression. Her chapbook, The Dark Unwind, was published Fall 2022 by knifeforkbook and her debut poetry collection, What to Wear When Surviving a Lion Attack (Mansfield Press, 2019), was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize. She has won Grain’s Short Grain Poetry Award, Room’s Fiction Prize and The New Quarterly’s Peter Hinchcliffe Award for Fiction. She was longlisted for the 2020 Journey Prize, and has been anthologized in After Realism: 24 Stories for the 21st Century (Véhicule Press, 2022), The Journey Prize Stories 32, (McClelland & Stewart, 2020), Best Canadian Poetry 2021 (Biblioasis, 2021) and The Master’s Review Anthology IX (2021). Her first collection of short fiction, Her Body Among Animals, is forthcoming from Book*hug Press in Fall 2023.



The author of a clutch of novels, plays, film scripts and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA’s publications include a novella, The Last News Vendor, winner of the 2020 Hamilton Literary Award for fiction, as well as three Bressani Prize winners: the novel Berlin (2010); the poetry collection The House on 14th Avenue (2014); and the short story collection Lessons in Relationship Dyads (2016). Two short stories – “The Sand Flea” and “Casebook: In The Matter of Father Dante Lazaro” – are Pushcart Prize nominees while a poetry collection, At the End of the World, was short-listed for the 2022 Hamilton Literary Award for poetry. In the fall of 2019, Michael served a three-month writer’s residency at the Historic Joy Kogawa House, during which time he finished the first draft of a novel, The Second Law of Thermodynamics. A symposium on his writing is scheduled to take place in Toronto in May of 2023. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now lives in Hamilton, Ontario.


Tom Gannon Hamilton (Urban Folk Art Salon — Founder/Curator/Host) has been published extensively in literary periodicals and anthologies: Dalhousie Review, Vallum (Canada) Lummox (USA), Verse&Voice (Hong Kong), Voices of Israel and numerous others. His poem Non-Consultant won First Prize in The Ontario Poetry Society (2021) “As Love Lies Bleeding” competition, judged by George Elliot Clarke. El Marillo was awarded First Prize in the 2018 Big Pond Rumours Chapbook Contest. Tom’s full length collections are the critically acclaimed Panoptic (2018) and The Mezzo Soprano Dines Alone (2021), both from Aeolus House. 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, Netflix production American Gods and feature film Shape of Water which swept the Oscars in 2018.




*****


Date: March 20, 2023

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Valentino Assenza has been a published poet and spoken word artist for over two decades. He has published four chapbooks of poetry: Wandering Absence, Il Ritorno (Labour Of Love Productions), Quiet Confessions of a Loudmouth and Make Our Peace With Rattlesnakes (Lyricalmyrical Press). In 2019 he published his first full length book of poetry “Through Painted Eyes” (Piquant Press). He has had numerous pieces of poetry published in anthologies such as Labour Of Love and Descant Magazine. He has read and performed his poetry throughout Canada and the U.S.A. Valentino was a member of the Toronto Poetry Slam team in 2009 and 2010 and has performed his poetry at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and The National Poetry Slam. Valentino sat on the committees for the Art Bar Poetry Series and Toronto Poetry Project. Since 2015 Valentino has been the host & producer of Howl on CIUT 89.5FM where he has gotten to talk to the likes of Maestro Fresh Wes. Sook-Yin Lee, Ron Sexsmith, Bif Naked, George Elliott Clarke, & Margaret Atwood. He lives in Grimsby Ontario with his wife Angela.


Cassandra Myers (My’z) (they/she/he) is an award winning poet, performer, dancer, illustrator, and counselor from Tkaronto, Ontario. As a queer, non-binary, South-Asian-Italian, crip, mad, surviror of sexual violence, Cassandra's work is cinematic and juicy with it's critical anti-oppressive eye. Cassandra’s work has won national literary and spoken word titles including the National Magazine GOLD Award in Poetry and Champion of the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Their work is the kind that tugs concepts into frays, tieing new solar systems in their wake. Find their poetry in ARC Poetry Magazine, Canthius, the Tahoma Literary Review, and elsewhere.


Allen Sutterfield is a poet, writer, visual artist, editor and teacher. His publications include: Stone Soup, a children’s book; We Missed Each Other When We Were Together, Korean poems translated with Jong Nan Kim; Children of Fire, a collection of poems. He is a founding member of the Art Bar.


*****


Date: March 13, 2023

Features:


Surpana Ghosh: A writer, painter and retired adjudicator, Suparna Ghosh has published three books of poetry and two musical CDs based on her poems. Her words are often integrated into her visuals. 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 California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. In 2022, on the occasion of UNESCO World Poetry Day, her works were published for an anthology by Print Publications, India, and for award winning anthology A River of Stars, Poets of the Vineyard, San Francisco. Suparna’s pen and ink drawings were selected for provincial and national painting competitions by the Arts and Letters Club. She has exhibited her paintings in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Mumbai and New Delhi. She was one of the founding members of the Art Bar. Please visit suparnaghosh.com and watch the ghazal video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMnIbkn_vjo.



Margaret Code: A Toronto poet published in various poetry collections and anthologies, Margaret Code won a Best Originals contest in 2013. In 2015 she took second in Big Pond Rumours’ poetry contest. Over time, she received three Hot Sauced Words Best Poem awards. Margaret is past Director the Art Bar Poetry Series and current President, Toronto Writers’ Co-op.


Kate Marshall Flaherty: Kate Marshall Flaherty: Kate Marshall Flaherty just launched her seventh book of poetry, “Digging,” with Aeolus House Press in 2022. She writes “poems of the extraordinary moment,” (p.o.e.m.s) — spontaneous poetry for charity, including Sick Kids hospital, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, and the League of Canadian Poets. She gives StillPoint prompted writing workshops and poetry editing circles. See her performance poetry to music, books and online poetry workshops at katemarshallflaherty.ca



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Date: March 6, 2023

Features:


Jeff Cotrill: Jeff Cottrill is a fiction writer, poet, journalist and spoken-word artist based in Toronto. He has headlined in countless literary series throughout Canada, the U.K., the U.S., France and Ireland over the last twenty years. His poetry and flash fiction have appeared in several international anthologies from New York to Australia, as well as in The South Shore Review and The Dreaming Machine. Last year, he launched Hate Story, his seventh or eighth attempt at a first novel, and his poem "This Is Not Real Poetry" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021. Jeff likes movies, travel, and puppies. http://www.JeffCottrill.com



Laurie Macfayden: Laurie MacFayden is an award-winning writer, visual artist and journalist

who has lived in Edmonton since 1984. In addition to three books of poetry published by Frontenac House, her work has appeared in Alberta Views, The New Quarterly, FreeFall, and DailyHaiki I, A Daily Shot of Zen; and been performed in Edmonton's Loud & Queer Cabaret, the Skirts AFire Arts festival, and Calgary’s Queer the Arts cultural festival. Her short story Haircut won the Howard O’Hagan prize at the 2017 Writers Guild of Alberta literary awards. Her debut poetry collection, White Shirt, was a finalist in the 2011 Lambda Literary Awards, lesbian poetry category.


She is one of eight Edmonton-based women featured in She, The River, a 2020 film showcasing multigenerational writers whose work speaks to women's identity, culture and resilience.


Visual arts exhibition highlights include Fighting Normal, a multi-discipline installation exploring the stigma of mental illness (CARFAC Alberta Gallery); and The Poetry of Water (solo exhibition, Kaasa Gallery, Edmonton).


www.lauriemacfayden.com


email: macfading@shaw.ca



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Date: February 27, 2023

Features:


Ruth Panofsky’s latest book of poetry is Bring Them Forth, issued in 2022 by Ekstasis Editions. Her other books include Radiant Shards: Hoda’s North End Poems (2020), which won a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award; Laike and Nahum: A Poem in Two Voices (2007), which won the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award; and Lifeline (2001) which was awarded an Ontario Arts Council Writer’s Reserve Grant. Laike et Nahum appeared in French translation by Antonio D’Alfonso (2022). Her poems and essays have appeared in various journals, including Dalhousie Review, Descant, the Literary Review of Canada, and White Wall Review. Originally from Montreal, she now lives and writes in Toronto and teaches Canadian Literature at Toronto Metropolitan University.


Ms Bobbie The Art Pixie is the artist name of Bobbie Kumar, a transgender, disabled artist from Brampton, Ontario. Immersed in art her whole life, Bobbie wrote her first story at the age of 11. She started making short films at the age of 15, and music a year later.



*****


Date: February 20, 2023

Features:


Maureen Hynes lives in Dish with One Spoon territory/Toronto, and has published five books of poetry. Her most recent is Sotto Voce, a finalist for the Golden Crown Award in poetry for lesbian writers (U.S.) and the Pat Lowther Award. Her first book won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award, and other collections have also been shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, and the Pat Lowther Award. Her poems have appeared three times in Best Canadian Poems in English (2010, 2016 and 2020), and in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2021).She has a new collection forthcoming in the fall from McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Lois Lorimer is a poet, actor and educator who was born in Brockville and after over 30 years in Toronto has found her way back to her hometown in Eastern Ontario. Her poems have appeared in literary journals: Arc, Literary Review of Canada, Juniper, and Hart House Review. Her work has been included in many anthologies: The Bright Well (Leaf Press), and Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press). She’s published two chapbooks: Between the Houses, and Last Fall Showing. Her first collection, Stripmall Subversive, was published by Variety Crossing Press. Her forthcoming book, Rivermore, explores her return to the St. Lawrence River and will be published in 2023.



*****


Date: February 13, 2023

Features: (In partnership with Exile Editions)


Michael Fraser is published in various national and international journals and anthologies. His manuscript The Serenity of Stone won the 2007 Canadian Aid Literary Award Contest and was published by Bookland Press in 2008. He is published in Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 and 2018. He has won numerous awards, including Freefall Magazine's 2014 and 2015 poetry contests, the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize, and the 2018 Gwendolyn Macewen Poetry Competition. His fourth book My Eyes Wide Open, will be published in April 2023.


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 lastest book, J’Accuse, was published in 2021.


Richard Atkinson will be reading from his book “The Life Crimes of Ricky Atkinson, Leader of the dirty tricks gang” published by exile editions in 2017. Now in his 60s, Richard is a free man, out on full parole. Today, after reconciling his past and life, he actively works to educate youth and people from all backgrounds about the no-win choice of being a criminal.


David Swartz: Born and raised in Toronto, David moved to Lisbon Portugal in 2014 where he studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon (“The Hands´ Self-Reflection”, MFA, 2016) and Literary Studies at NOVA University Lisbon (“Shake-speares Tenth Muse: The Will To Nothing”, PhD, 2022). His recent publications include two translations from Portuguese: The Religious Mantle by Nuno Júdice (New Meridian Arts, 2019) and Orpheu Literary Quarterly Volumes 1 & 2 (New Meridian Arts, 2022).


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Date: February 6th, 2023


February 6, 2023


Features:


Allan Briesmaster is a poet, freelance editor and publisher who has been active on the Toronto literary scene for many years. He was one of the organizers of the Art Bar Poetry Series in the 1990s until 2002. The most recent of his nine books of poetry are The Long Bond: Selected and New Poems (Guernica Editions, 2019) and Windfor (Ekstasis Editions, 2021). A Life Member of The Ontario Poetry Society and the League of Canadian Poets, Allan has read his work, given talks and hosted literary events from St. John’s to Victoria. He was a partner in Quattro Books from 2006 to 2017, and currently runs his own small press, Aeolus House, specializing in limited-edition books of poetry. He lives in Thornhill, Ontario.


Donna Langevin: Poet/playwright Donna Langevin is a retired ESL teacher. The latest of her six poetry collections include Timed Radiance, Aeolus House 2022 and Brimming, Piquant Press 2019. A Story for Sadie is also forth-coming from Piquant Press in the spring of 2023. Published in many Canadian and American journals over the years, she won second prize in the 2014 GritLIT contest, first prize in the Banister Anthology Competition 2019, and first place in the Ontario Poetry Society Pandemic Poem contest, 2020. Her plays The Dinner and Bargains in the New World won first prizes for script at the Eden Mills Festival in 2014 and 2015. If Socrates Were in My Shoes was produced at the Toronto Alumnae Theatre NIF Festival in 2018, and Remember Him Chasing Squirrels was performed there in 2020. Winner of a second place Stella Award from Act II Studio, Donna’s play Summer of Saints (about the 1847 typhus epidemic) was produced by Toronto Metropolitan University at their Fresh Picks: The Sandra Kerr New Plays Festival 2022. She is very happy that Art Bar has returned to the FABULOUS FREE TIMES CAFÉ.


*****


Jan 24


Lisa Richter is a Toronto-based poet, writer, editor, and ESL teacher. She is the author of two full-length collections, Closer to Where We Began (Tightrope Books, 2017) and Nautilus and Bone (Frontenac House, 2020), winner of the National Jewish Book Award for the Poetry in the US, the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry, and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry. She has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, Best of the Net, and longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in Augur, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, EXILE, and other places. She is currently working on her third collection of poetry and hybrid forms.


Laura Zacharin is the author of Common Brown House Moths (Frontenac House 2019), longlisted for the 2020 Gerald Lampert Award. She has been the recipient of University of Toronto’s Marina Nemat Award for Poetry and in 2022 she was a finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in The Fiddlehead, CV2, The Malahat Review, Prism, Arc Poetry, and other Canadian literary journals. She lives in Toronto, Canada.


*****


Jan 17


Sylvia Falsaperla: Silvia Falsaperla is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She has published poetry and prose in Canadian and American literary journals and anthologies. She was one of the winners of the Accenti Writing Contest 2020, Venera Fazio Poetry Contest 2021, and Venera Fazio Poetry Contest 2022. She has currently completed a first collection of poetry and a hybrid poetry and prose chapbook. She is working on another collection of poetry, as well as a collection of linked short stories. Recently, she received an Honourable Mention in The Ontario Poetry Society's Provoked-By-Places Contest 2022.


Mary Nyquist: An award-winning scholar of Early Modern literature, political theory, Euro-colonialism, and Atlantic slavery, Mary Nyquist has for many years taught at the University of Toronto. A while back she returned to her first love, the writing of poetry. Though her poems have appeared in a number of Canadian collections and literary journals, Wet Toes is her first book.



*****


Jan 10


Edward Anki: Edward Anki's poetry has appeared in Rejection Letters, The Feathertale Review, (parenthetical), Qwerty, The Chaffin Journal, and others. A chapbook of his poetry, Remote Life, was published by BareBackPress. His first full-length poetry collection, Screw Factory, was released in 2022 by Anxiety Press. A former stand-up comic, bartender, and agonized telemarketer, Edward is currently engaged in part-time studies to become a psychotherapist.


Norman Allan: https://www.normanallan.com/


*****


Jan 3


Honey Novak: https://www.honeynovick.com/about.htm

Simon Constam: https://simonconstam.com/about/

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