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Past Events (2024)

Updated: Mar 19


Date: March 18, 2024


Features:


Catriona Wright's most recent poetry collection, Continuity Errors, was published by Coach House Books in spring 2023. She is also the author of the poetry collection Table Manners and the short story collection Difficult People. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Walrus, and Magma, and they have been anthologized in The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry.


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D.A. Lockhart is the author of multiple collections of poetry and short fiction. His most recent work includes North of Middle Island (Kegedonce Press, 2023), Bearmen Descend Upon Gimli (Frontenac House, 2021), and Breaking Right: Stories (Porcupine’s Quill, 2021). Bearmen Descend Upon Gimli was shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award. Breaking Right was a finalist for the ReLit Award for Short Fiction and shortlisted for the 2022 Indiana Author’s Awards in Fiction. His work has appeared widely throughout Turtle Island including Best Canadian Poetry 2019, the Malahat Review, Grain, CV2, TriQuarterly, The Fiddlehead, ARC Poetry Magazine, and Belt. Along the way his work has garnered numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, National Magazine Award nominations, and Best of the Net nominations. He is a graduate of the Indiana University – Bloomington MFA in Creative Writing.


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Gordon Taylor (he/him) is a queer emerging poet who walks an ever-swaying wire of technology and health care. A 2022 Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Narrative, Rattle Poet's Respond, Nimrod, Arc, and CV2. Gordon was the winner of the 2022 Toronto Arts & Letters Club Foundation Poetry Award. He writes to invite people into a world they may not have seen.



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Date: March 11, 2024


Features:


Atom Cheung (he/him) spent his teens and twenties in Toronto before moving to Hong Kong in 2009. After launching his broadcasting career on CIUT, he went on to work for over a decade as radio presenter on RTHK, Hong Kong’s public broadcasting service. Atom is the curator and voice of Atomic Heart, a bilingual radio program featuring Hong Kong’s music and poetry, now airing on York Region’s CFMS 105.9 FM with each episode archived on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Atom has manuscripts amounting to four books of poetry and is deciding whether to seek a publisher or to continue self-publishing. Website: www.atomcheung.com


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Carolyne Van Der Meer is a Montreal journalist, public relations professional and university lecturer. Her articles, essays, short stories and poems have been published internationally. Her five published books are: Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience (WLUP, 2014); Journeywoman (Inanna, 2017); Heart of Goodness: The Life of Marguerite Bourgeoys in 30 Poems | Du Coeur à l’âme : La vie de Marguerite Bourgeoys en 30 poèmes (Guernica Editions, 2020; Sensorial (Inanna, 2022) and All This As I Stand By (Ekstasis Editions, 2023). Chapbook publications include One Week’s Worth but a Lifetime More (Local Gems Press, 2022) and Broken Pieces: Hospital Experiences (2023); Communing with Sparrows is forthcoming from Cactus Press in 2024. 


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Sam Cheuk is the author of Love Figures. Deus et Machina and Postscripts from a City Burning. His work has appeared in the Fiddlehead, Malahat Review, Literary Review of Canada, Prairie Fire, among others. Postscript from a City Burning has been recommended by CBC, Globe and Mail, Hamilton  Review of Books, and others. Cheuk is currently living in Vancouver, trying to schmooze his way back to Toronto.



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Date: March 4, 2024


Features:


Bruce Kauffman lives in Kingston and is a poet, editor, and organizer of literary events. His written work has appeared in several anthologies and journals, four chapbooks, and five collections of poetry that include an evening absence still waiting for moon (2019) and still arriving (2023). Beyond writing and editing, he facilitates intuitive writing workshops. In 2009 he founded, and still organizes and hosts the monthly ‘and the journey continues’ open mic reading series. In 2010 he debuted his weekly spoken word radio show, ‘finding a voice’ on CFRC 101.9fm, and continues to produce and host, and has a personal blogspace for it at findingavoiceoncfrcfm.wordpress.com

You can find him on Facebook.      Email:  bruce.kauffman@hotmail.com     


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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.


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Michael Fraser is published in Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 and 2018. He has won numerous awards including: the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize, the 2018 Gwendolyn Macewen Poetry Competition, and the League of Canadian Poets’ 2022 Lesley Strutt Poetry Prize. His latest collection is With My Eyes Wide Open.



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Date: February 26, 2024


Features:


Jamie Quinn Mader (they/them) is a queer, mad, fat, non binary femme who writes from what is colonially known as Toronto, Ontario. They have written all their life to cope but only began taking writing seriously in 2017. They believe that good writing is transformative and magical. They truly think that literature can open doors to new ways of understanding one another's experiences. They've been published in a few magazines for poetry and self published a hybrid collection of essays and poetry called “Velcro Hearts: Queer Notes on Love and Healing.” They thoroughly enjoy creating communities centered on love and care and this inspires their writing on a daily basis. 


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Sue Chenette lives with her husband near Toronto’s Humber River, where on morning walks she watches for egrets near the site of the Haudenosaunee village Teiaiagon. A poet, editor, and classical pianist, she grew up in northern Wisconsin and has made her home in Canada since 1972. She is the author of five collections of poetry, including the documentary poem What We Said, based on her time as a social worker in Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, and her recently-launched collection So That We Might Finger the Words: The Biography of Eleanor Jones Bussey. Sue’s chapbooks include The Time Between Us, which won the Canadian Poetry Association’s Shaunt Basmajian award. Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2019.


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marty smith is a poet and artist living in the kensington market neighbourhood since 1987. he grew up in ohio, where he attended ohio university in the early 70's. there he studies fine arts and literature. his influences at ohio u were Walter Tevis and AEthelred Eldridge. afterward, marty spent two decades working with activist against nuclear war, and uranium mining in Canada and the u.s.a. while traveling, writing and drawing he read at open mic poetry venues in Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Boston. in the 90's marty was a regular contributor to the Kensington Market Drum, and The Spirit of Kensington Artzine. from 1997 to 2010 marty produced a number of artist books to showcase his painted poems along side short verse.  he has showed his paintings in several kensington market cafes, as well as on the sidewalk since the 80's and in a group show at the secret hand shake gallery in 2023. he self published  two chap books,  'poetry and paintings by onecloud'   2013, and 'sophia's dream' , 2018. currently, marty produces a newsletter on substack named, 'a passionate creation', where he publishes articles, stories, poetry and shares video of his painting process.



marty presents his poetry and paintings in the name onecloud,  to acknowledge the source voice that informs his work. 



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Date: February 19, 2024


Features:


charles c. smith has written and edited sixteen books. he studied poetry with William

Packard at New York University, 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.   His recent books

include: travelogue of the bereaved (2014), whispers (2014) destination out (2018)

and searching for eastman (2021).


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Andrea Thompson is a writer, editor, educator and spoken word artist. Her recent

collection, A Selected History of Soul Speak, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther,

Raymond Souster and Robert Kroetsch awards, and she is the recipient of the 2021

Pavlick Poetry Prize. Andrea currently teaches the first spoken word course at the

University of Toronto through their English and Drama Department. Her recent

album, The Good Word, is a critically acclaimed exploration in Black history and

faith. 

To find out more or watch one of her videopoems, visit her on YouTube at

AndreaThompsonPoet, or check out her website: andreathompson.ca


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Jennifer Walcott, mother, grandmother, retired teacher, writer, was born and raised in

Jamaica and England before she adopted Canada where she has lived most of her

adult life. She has worked in community development and secondary education

inspiring an appreciation for language and ideas in young people. Her poems have

been published in Calling Cards: New Poetry from Caribbean/Canadian Women, Your

Daily Poem.com, Calabash, The Antigonish Review, as well as in two

chapbooks, Poems from Ocean Wilderness.  She has published a memoir, How Many

Miles to Yesterday? and her work appears in Mother Load published by Demeter

Press.


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Dubzz/poet/at-Large Clifton Joseph is a Toronto-based poet and journalist. A founding member of the dub poetry movement in Canada, he has performed widely across Canada, the USA, UK, Caribbean and Europe. He’s published “Metropolitan Blues” and released “Oral Trans/Missions” and “Shots On Eglinton”, two albums of poetry&music. His sonic approach to poetry attempts to bring out the power and musicality of words. He toured his last album in Egypt, Paris, London, Southampton, Wales and Berlin. His latest release is a 7-inch vinyl “Subtarrenean Dub” on the BSMT Local 254 label.


*****


Date: February 12, 2024


Features:


H Nigel Thomas is the author of six novels, three collections of short stories, and a previous collection of poems, in addition to dozens of essays. His novels Spirits in the Dark and No Safeguards were nominated for the Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award, and Des vies cassées, the French translation of Lives: Whole and Otherwise, was shortlisted for Le prix Carbet des lycéens. He holds the 2000 Professional of the Year Jackie Robinson Award, the 2013 Université Laval’s Hommage aux créateurs, and the 2020 Black Theatre Workshop’s Martin Luther King, Jr Achievement Award. He is also the founder and English-language coordinator of Lectures Logos Readings. A Vincentian Canadian, he has lived in the province of Quebec since 1968 and is a retired professor of United States literature.


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Linzey Corridon is a mixed race (Afro-Euro-Indo Caribbean) educator, and a Vincentian-Canadian poet and critic. He is the 2021 recipient of Canada’s Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and is currently completing doctoral work on the nuances of the Queeribbean quotidian at McMaster University. His writing has been published in The Puritan, Kola, SX Salon, Hamilton Arts and Letters, Montreal Writes and more. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.


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Dannabang Kuwabong is a Ghanaian Canadian born in Nanville in the Upper West Region of Ghana. He was educated in Ghana, Scotland, and Canada, and teaches Caribbean literature at the University of Puerto Rico, San Juan. His publications include Konga and other Dagaaba Folktales; Visions of Venom; Caribbean Blues & Love’s Genealogy; Echoes from Dusty Rivers; and Voices from Kibuli Country. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.


*****


Date: February 5, 2024


Features:


David Clink’s poem, “A sea monster tells his story”, won the 2013 Aurora Award for Best Poem/Song. His poetry has appeared in 50+ journals, including The Dalhousie Review and The Literary Review of Canada, six times each. His fifth book-length collection of poetry is: The Black Ship (Aeolus House, 2023).


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Karen Mulhallen has published several books of poetry the most recent being in 2022 a book of elegies, "The Scent of Spring, Elegies Out of Season”,  Black Spring Press Group, UK, and " In Memory”,  Axiom Publishing.


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Norman Allen does a lot of different things.  His editor doesn't like the word "polymath", but he a scientist, a healer, a painter, an essayist, and a poet. He's been writing poetry, when the muse has moved him, for a long, long time now, and he think's that some of them are clever, and some of them are good.  He hopes that he is on his game tonight.



*****


Date: January 29, 2024


Features:


Katerina Vaughan Fretwell's ninth poetry collection is We Are Malala, Inanna 2019; her eighth, Dancing on a Pin, Inanna 2015, was longlisted for the Lowther Prize, part of the IFOA's Battle of the Bards, and 5 of the poems placed Runner Up in subTerrain's Outsider Poetry Contest; her

seventh, Class Acts, Inanna 2013, was listed in Kerry Clare's blog as one of the Notable Poetry Books of 2013. Her poems are in over 70 journals and over 90 anthologies, including Poets who came to Canada during the Vietnam Era, Heartwood, Another Dysfunctional Cancer Anthology, Love Lies Bleeding …


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Darby Minott Bradford is a poet and translator. They are the author of Dream of No One but Myself (Brick Books, 2021), which won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and Governor General’s Literary Awards. House Within a House by Nicholas Dawson (Brick Books, 2023), Bradford's first translation, won the VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award, the John Glassco Translation Prize, and was a GG finalist. Bottom Rail on Top is their second book.


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Richard-Yves Sitoski was the 2019-2023 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, on the territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. His poems have appeared in Arc, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Train, and elsewhere. He has given performances in industrial ruins, has composed a chapbook in collaboration with earth worms, and has written verse on snow with biodegradable dye. He is co-editor, with Penn Kemp, of Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine (profits from which went to displaced Ukrainian cultural workers). His one-person fringe show, Butterfly Tongue, has played to sold-out houses. His most recent works are the chapbook How to Be Human and the full-length of collection (and 2nd place Don Gutteridge Award-winner), Wait, What?.



*****


Date: January 22, 2024


Features:


D.S. Stymeist’s newest collection of poetry, Cluster Flux, appeared this past fall with Frontenac House. His well-received debut collection, The Bone Weir, was a finalist for the Canadian Author’s Association Poetry Award. Alongside living with the disabling effects of chronic disease (Crohn’s), he currently teaches creative writing at Carleton University. As former president of VERSe Ottawa, he helped organize VERSeFest, Ottawa’s international poetry festival.


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Domenico Capilongo is a Toronto high-school creative writing teacher and Karate instructor. His first three books of poetry, I thought elvis was italian, Hold the note, send, and short fiction collection, Subtitles were shortlisted for several awards such as the Bressani and Relit Award. His latest book of poetry, 1972, is inspired by the words added to the dictionary. His work has been featured in several anthologies as well as national and international literary journals. He’s currently working on a series of poems in an old lost form called the Sicilian Octave.


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Heather Cadsby is the author of five books of poetry. The most recent is Standing in the Flock of Connections (Brick Books, 2018). In the 1980s along with Maria Jacobs she produced the monthly periodical Poetry Toronto and founded the press Wolsak and Wynn.



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Date: January 15, 2024


Features:


Ronna Bloom is the author of seven books of poetry. She has led initiatives to bring

poetry into health care settings and health care education, developing the Poet in

Residence program at Sinai Health. Ronna has collaborated with filmmakers,

choreographers, musicians and architects and in 2018, her poem “The City,” was

painted by PLANT Architects 35 meters wide on King Street in Toronto. Her most recent book is A Possible Trust: The Poetry of Ronna Bloom, selected with an Introduction by Phil Hall published by Wilfred Laurier University Press in 2023. In 2025, a new collection, In a Riptide, will be published by Brick Books.


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Jean Eng is a visual artist and poet. She’s the author of the poetry collection “Festival of All Souls” published by Inanna Publications. Her writing has appeared in literary journals from Canada, the U.S. and United Kingdom. These include Contemporary Verse 2, Fiddlehead, Grain, Queen’s Quarterly, Room, Vallum and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2024. Her paintings have been exhibited in public, institutional and commercial galleries in Canada, the U.S. and Japan. They are also housed in private and public collections including the Government of Ontario.


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Qurat Dar was the City of Mississauga’s third Youth Poet Laureate (2021-2023) and the 2020 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam National Champion. Her work has appeared in Canthius, Augur Magazine, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and in virtual reality, among other places.



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Date: January 8, 2024


Features:


Kate Rogers co-authored the chapbook Homeless City with her long-time friend Donna Langevin. Kate recently won subTerrain magazine’s Lush Triumphant Contest for her suite of poems, “My Mother’s House” and her work recently appeared in Where Else? An International Hong Kong Poetry Anthology. Her next poetry collection, The Meaning of Leaving, is forthcoming with Montreal-based publisher, Ace of Swords (AOS Publishing), mid-winter 2024. Kate taught at City University of Hong Kong for two decades. She is currently a Co-Director of Art Bar. More at: katerogers.ca/


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Dakota Phillips is a 23-year-old queer poet from the Treaty 13 region of Richmond Hill, Ontario. She has published two full-length poetry collections, Forbidden and Forgotten and Flourish, Norma Jeane, as well as two chapbooks, Dream, Norma Jeane and Witchery. She currently resides in another region of Treaty 13 territory, Scarborough, Ontario and is pursuing a modeling career.


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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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Michelle Hillyard is an award-winning poet, the workshop coordinator of the Mississauga Writers Group, and co-director of the Art Bar Poetry Series. As a spoken word poet, she’s performed across Canada and the US, sharing stages with poets such as George Elliot Clarke, Lillian Allen and Saul Williams. To this day she remains grateful, yet confused about how this has happened. If she’s not writing, making something awkward, or posting memes on the internet, it’s probably because she’s been distracted yet again by a fascinating bug. She will always, and she means always, want to see a picture of your dog.


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