Past Events (2022)
Updated: Jan 28
Dec 20: Dead Poet's Night!
Kent Bowman: In 1970, Ted Plantos encouraged me to write poetry (i.e., Purple Cowboy, Glasseaters’ Banquet and section in The House Poets). In 2007, my essay on “The Creative Process (Songwriting, Composing, Writing Poetry)” was accepted by Imagination in Action. In 2008, I contributed “Plate Spinning in America” to Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era. In 2009, And Left a Place to Stand On accepted “Zen River Memories.” In 2010, my collection, On the Other Side of Paradise, was published. Recent poems appeared in Arborealis and Decabration. In summer, 2022, my second poetry collection entitled Looking into the Fish Tank was published and is now available.
Mori McCrae: A visual artist as well as a poet, Mori McCrae is a founding member of the Jordan Art Gallery, where she currently exhibits her own work and actively promotes artists from the Niagara region. A member of the Canadian Authors Association, and the League of Canadian poets, she is the author of two chapbooks: Shelf Life and Passersby, as well, a third book of poems with figurative drawings called Sex & Death in Canada: Land of No Middle Ground, published by Grey Borders Books. Love and Lunch which she’ll read from tonight was published by Aeolus House in 2022. Mori lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Vironika Wilde: Vironika Wilde is a poet, activist, spoken word artist, life coach, immigrant, tree hugger, and cat fanatic. Those who have read her poetry books, Love and Gaslight and the blood in her honey, call her raw, honest, and willing to spill tough truths about trauma, society, and the human condition. As a nomadic stage poet, she's performed many cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, Honolulu, Portland, Sydney, and Melbourne. Her debut spoken word album, Too Much For You, released in 2020 on all streaming platforms. When Vironika isn't writing, she loves getting lost, looking at the stars, dancing, and eating pickles (sometimes, all at once). You're welcome to visit her website and follow her on Instagram.
Jessica Robinson: Jessica Anne Robinson is a Toronto writer and, more tellingly, a Libra. Her poetry is featured with Hobart, West Trade Review, filling station, and Room magazine, among others. Her debut chapbook, OTHER MOTHERS’ FUNERALS, was published with Frog Hollow Press in 2021. You can find her anywhere @hey_jeska.
Louis Cabri: Louis Cabri's latest poetry book is Hungry Slingshots (New Star Books)
Laurence Hutchman: Laurence Hutchman has published 11 books of poems, co-edited Coastlines The Poetry of Atlantic Canada and edited In the Writers’ Words. This year he published The House of Shifting Time. He received the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence and was recently named poet laureate of Emery.
Ali Ibrahimi: Ali is a former host of the Art Bar. He makes good use of his degrees in Biology and Biotechnology by incorporating the sciences into his work. In 2019, he was shortlisted for the Quebec Writers' Federation Mairuth Sarsfield Mentorship Program for Emerging Writers. Originally from Afghanistan, Ali currently lives in Brampton, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.
Valery Brosseau: Valéry was born in Montréal and grew up speaking French. She has always been a writer. She learned English in a hurry when she moved to Toronto at the age of 9 and quickly developed a love for the language, exploring its nuances through poetry and storytelling, and finding her own voice and story. She writes to express, release and connect. She has always said that her goal is to write something that means something to somebody. She is a passionate public speaker and mental health advocate and much of her poetry explores what she experiences as a person with mental illness. She is also a public speaker on this topic, having delivered a TEDx talk and offering workshops and talks for various events, organizations and companies. She is currently completing a Masters of Social Work.
Nov 15 Gary Barwin
Host: Kate Rogers
Nov 08 Shane Neilson
Host: Michelle Hillyard
Nov 01 Carolyn Van Der Meer
Host: Kate Rogers
Oct 25 Michelle Hillyard
Host: Brett Campbell
Featuring: Norman Cristofoli & Elisha Alladina
Host: Brenda Clews
Open Mic: Yes
Featuring: "Poets in Response to Peril" Anthology poets
Host: Kate Rogers
Featuring: Brendon McLeod
Host: Michelle Hillyard
Featuring: Daniel Scott
Host: Paul Edward Costa
Featuring: Ned Baeck & Jaclyn Piudik
Host: Paul Edward Costa
Mike Madill has been published widely across Canada in literary journals, including in The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Event and The New Quarterly. In 2019, one of his poems was shortlisted for Freefall’s annual Poetry Contest. In December, 2021, his debut, full-length poetry manuscript was one of four finalists in the inaugural 2021 Don Gutteridge Poetry Award Contest, earning him publication of his first book, The Better Part of Some Time. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from York University 83 years ago, and enjoys an ongoing mentorship with the celebrated poet Barry Dempster. When not writing, he pursues freelance editing, and has also taken turns over the years as a social worker, computer analyst and home contractor. He loves the world of the absurd, and has been known to talk to animals.
Katherine Lawrence is the author of five books: Black Umbrella, poetry (Turnstone Press, 2022); Stay, a young adult verse novel (Coteau Books, 2017; Shadowpaw Press, 2022); Never Mind, poetry (Turnstone Books: 2016), Lying to Our Mothers (Coteau Books: 2006), and Ring Finger, Left Hand (Coteau Books: 2001). She is also the author of two chapbooks: Start with the Answer (gritlit Press: 2009) and Split-ends (Jackpine Press: 2005). Among Katherine Lawrence’s other awards and honours, Black Umbrella was winner of the John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award, and Stay received the Moonbeam Award (Gold) in Children’s Poetry and was nominated for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Never Mind was nominated Book of the Year (2016) by Saskatchewan Book Awards. Katherine's work has also received Best First Book, Saskatchewan Book Awards; City of Regina Writing Award; and Lying to Our Mothers was a finalist for a Saskatchewan Book Award. Her poems have been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010 and in Nelson English Grade 10 Academic Edition and Elements of English 12 by Harcourt Canada. Katherine is a former writer-in-residence with Saskatoon Public Library. She coaches emerging and established writers, offers writing workshops, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Saskatchewan. She lives in Saskatoon with her husband.
Jessica Moore: Jessica Moore is an author and literary translator with a particular interest in spaces-between. Her first book, Everything, now (Brick Books 2012), is a love letter to the dead and a conversation with her translation of Turkana Boy by Jean-François Beauchemin, for which she won a PEN America Translation award. Jessica’s most recent book—The Whole Singing Ocean (Nightwood 2020)—is a true story blending long poem, investigation, sailor slang and ecological grief, and was longlisted for the League of Canadian Poets’ Raymond Souster Award. She is currently at work on a memoir in fragments about the intersection of motherhood (to twins) and art. Adi Dasgupta: Adi Dasgupta is a new generation creative writer and educator who resides in Scarborough. Adi creates written work that focuses on themes of existential angst and the pursuit of identity. He is inspired by the transience and temporality of minority bodies in ghettoized spaces within urban communities. Primarily expressing his message through creative writing and photography, Adi uses his experience working with youth in Toronto's most vulnerable neighbourhoods, and personal lived experiences, to shine light on shadowed narratives of life in the city. Tanis MacDonald: Tanis MacDonald (she/her) is a free range-literary animal and the author of seven books, including her latest, Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female (Wolsak and Wynn, 2022). Her 2019 book Mobile: poems was longlisted for the Toronto Book Award. Tanis hosts the podcast Watershed Writers and teaches Canadian literature and creative writing at Wilfrid Laurier University. She lives as a grateful guest on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples on the Haldimand Tract in SW Ontario. Host: Paul Edward Costa Open Mic: Yes
Manahil Bandukwala is a writer and visual artist originally from Pakistan and now settled in Canada. She works as Coordinating Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, and is Digital Content Editor for Canthius. She is a member of Ottawa-based collaborative writing group VII. Her debut poetry collection is MONUMENT (Brick Books). See her work at manahilbandukwala.com
Jim Nason is the author of seven 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. His poetry book Rooster, Dog, Crow was Shortlisted for the 2019 Raymond Souster Award, and his poems have been included in anthologies across Canada, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, 2010 and 2014. His book, Blue Suitcase: Documentary Poetics was recently released by Mansfield Press, Toronto, and longlisted for the 2022 Raymond Souster Award. Jim is also an artist. A series of his collages and poems are currently on display at The Tenor building in Dundas Square, Toronto.
Host: Michelle Hillyard
Open Mic: Yes
Sean McDermott: Sean McDermott is an Irish-Canadian poet and songwriter living in Toronto. His first collection of poetry, published by Mosaic Press, “I Was Just Thinking” was written during the quiet of 2020-2022. His poems examine universal notions of identity, nostalgia, boundaries and optimism.
Karen Shenfiel: Karen Shenfeld has published three books with Guernica Editions: The Law of Return (1999), which won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry in 2001, The Fertile Crescent (2005), and My Father's Hands Spoke in Yiddish (2010). Her poetry has also appeared in well-known journals and anthologies published in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Bangladesh. It has been featured on Canada's CBC Radio and CKLN, and on 39 Dover Street, a short-wave radio programme produced on the Isle of Wight, England. She has been awarded Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Council Grants. In March of 2010, she travelled to Linares, Mexico to participate in the first Festival Internacional de Literatura. Shenfeld has also brought her poetic sensibility to the writing of feature magazine stories, for publications such as Saturday Night and The Idler, and to documentary filmmaking. Her personal documentary, Il Giardino, The Gardens of Little Italy, was screened at the 2007 Planet in Focus Environmental Film & Video Festival. Shenfeld lives in the heart of Toronto's Little Italy. In the writing of My Father's Hands Spoke in Yiddish, the poet flies home from far-flung lands to explore the re-imagined terrain of Bathurst Manor, the Toronto suburb in which she was raised.
Host: Kate Rogers
Heather Cadsby is the author of five collections of poetry. The most recent is titled "Standing in the Flock of Connections" (Brick Books, 2018).
Anna Veprinska is a poet and scholar. She is the author of the poetry collection Sew with Butterflies (Steel Bananas, 2014); the chapbooks Stone Blossom (Anstruther Press, 2022) and Spirit-clenched (Gap Riot Press, 2020); and the monograph Empathy in Contemporary Poetry after Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), which received Honourable Mention in the Memory Studies Association First Book Award. Her poetry was shortlisted for the 2021 Austin Clarke Prize in Literary Excellence and was finalist for Best of the Net in 2022.
Carol Harvey Steski:
Carol Harvey Steski’s debut poetry collection, rump + flank, launched in September 2021 with NeWest Press. Her poems have appeared in the poetry anthology Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology and literary magazines including The Temz Review, CAROUSEL, FreeFall, untethered, Room, Prairie Fire and Contemporary Verse 2. She won first place in FreeFall’s 2019 poetry contest and was nominated for The Pushcart Prize. Her work has also been featured in Winnipeg Transit’s “Poetry in Motion” initiative.
Carol grew up in Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg). She now lives in Tkaronto (Toronto) with her husband, daughter and crazy French bulldog. She works in corporate communications.
Aaron Kreuter is the author of the short story collection You and Me, Belonging and the poetry collection Arguments for Lawn Chairs. His writing has appeared in places such as Grain Magazine, The Puritan, The Temz Review, and The Rusty Toque. Aaron is a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Shifting Baseline Syndrome, his second book of poems, came out this spring. He lives in Toronto.
Alexei Ungurenasu & Vilma Blenman
Fareh Malik has erupted forth into the field of written poetry like fresh-water does an estuary. Originally a spoken word poet, he has been recognized internationally by many literary presses and has won several poetry awards in little over a year. His debut book “Streams That Lead Somewhere” is forthcoming in 2022 with Mawenzi House Publishers. He recently won the 2022 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award.
Stanya Vara is a creative writer that excels in poetry, imaginative writing, and romantic storytelling. She started her writing career in 2020 and has published over 5 pieces of literature, even ranking as a best seller on Amazon. She has published pieces around the world and has touched the hearts of many readers with her captivating words. Google her to find out more!
Amoya Reé: Amoya (she/her) is a Jamaican-Canadian performance poet and 2018 Canadian National Champion. Her writing is rooted in her lived experiences as an immigrant, mother, & community worker. Exploring the cultural significance of things like race, mothering and love, she often blends historical fact with present realities, making for a poetic experience that is both informational and inspirational. She began exploring performance poetry in 2008 & since then she has shared her stories in classrooms & boardrooms across Ontario. Affectionately known as Reé, she sat as captain of the 2018 Toronto Poetry Slam team who were semi-finalists at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago and went on to win the Canadian National Championship in Guelph, Ontario. She has had featured performances at the coveted When Sisters Speak (2019) and at Toronto Poetry Slam (2019). Reé was recently crowned the 2021Toronto Grand Slam Champion and is currently working on her debut 2022 collection funded by the Ontario Arts Council and the coveted Canada Council for the Arts titled, “I Never Asked you to Love me”.
Mari-Lou Rowley: Eco-science poet, essayist, and interdisciplinary scholar, Mari-Lou Rowley has published ten collections of poetry, most recently Catastrophe Theories (Anvil Press), which was a CBC Books choice for Canadian poetry (spring 2022). Her previous book Unus Mundus, also from Anvil, was nominated for three Saskatchewan Book Awards. Rowley’s poetry, essays, book chapters and multimedia work have appeared internationally in literary, arts and science-related books and journals, including Fractured Ecologies (Denmark), the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (US) and Aesthetica Magazine’s (UK) Creative Works Competition. Rowley is currently the Editor of Grain Magazine and is working on a novel and poetic memoir.
Clara Blackwood: Born and raised in Toronto, Clara Blackwood is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of two poetry books, Subway Medusa (2007) and Forecast (2014), with Guernica Editions. Her work has appeared in Canadian and international journals. She is currently revising a third book of poetry.
Archna Sahni: Archna Sahni is a Toronto poet who lives between India and Canada. She was born in India and raised in the cities of Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Kuala Lumpur. She immigrated to Canada in 1991 to make Toronto home, but often unexpectedly finds herself back in India for long periods, only to head back to Canada again. She is the author of First Fire (Calicut, India: Yeti, 2005) and Another Nirvana (Toronto: Mawenzi, 2018). Archna has published widely in literary magazines and performed her work in Canada, India, and USA. In her other avatar as life coach Archna empowers persons by helping them shift from self-doubt to self-trust. Her book Another Nirvana can be purchased at https://www.mawenzihouse.com/product/another-nirvana/ and she can be reached at email@example.com.
Host: Suparna Ghosh
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). 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. He currently lives in Grimsby and is the co-host and co-producer of Howl, a spoken word, literary radio show, Tuesday nights at 10pm on CIUT 89.5 FM.
Zen Alladina (she/her) is a South Asian writer of speculative fiction and poetry. Her writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Solarpunk Magazine, Asian American Writers' Workshop, and anthologies from UKAI Projects, Ayaskala Magazine, and Soap Box Press. She is the 2022 winner of Art Bar Poetry's Discovery Night, and she is so excited to be back as a feature! You can catch her as a regular at 6City Poetry, where she does live improvised poems biweekly, and at Reset Retreat Centre, where she will be leading a Tea Stories workshop for creators of all mediums on July 10th.
Denis Stokes was born in Toronto and grew up in Scarborough. A graduate of University of Toronto and Vermont College, he has lived and taught in various northern situations in Canada, often working with First Nations Communities. He now lives in northern Ontario with his wife with whom he has been graced with four almost grown-up children. His work has appeared in journals and anthologies in Canada, the U.S., and Ireland. He is an avid sports and outdoors enthusiast and has been involved in theatre and social justice organizations. He teaches at Nipissing University.
Our Last Lost Launches!
Laura K McRae
Host: Kate Marshall Flaherty
Jamie Urquhart is a developing poet living in Toronto. Hailing from Cork, Ireland, Jamie came to Canada in 2017 after earning a master’s degree in biochemistry and a certification in music; he has been honing his writing skills using his background in science and his love of the arts as inspiration for his reflective verse. His work has been featured in The Penny Dreadful, an Irish literary journal, and he is currently shaping a collection of both classic and experimental poems focusing on the metaphysical aspects of the quotidian.
A published novelist and an award-winning writer of poetry and creative non-fiction, Sue has been writing all her life. Her first novel was published in 1992 and won the Canadian Library Association’s YA Novel of the Year award but she never gave up studying the craft of novel writing. She read everything she could get her hands on and took many courses. Through experiencing workshops with Natalie Goldberg, she realized she needed to find community to write with. And so, she began passing on what she had learned. In 2002 she took the AWA Certification to lead writing workshops with Pat Schneider (The Writer as an Artist and Writing Alone and With Others) and Patricia Lee Lewis, and she’s never looked back.
James Dewar is a publisher, producer, teacher, editor and writer. He teaches poetry and fiction workshops in the Metropolitan Toronto area and at Uplands Writing Retreats located in the heart of The Oak Ridges Moraine near Uxbridge, Ontario.
Allen Sutterfield is a Toronto, Canada-based poet, writer, visual artist, editor, and teacher.
Open Mic: Yes
Host: Brenda Clews
Featuring: Andrea Josic and Pierre L'Abbe
Host: Paul Edward Costa
Featuring: Hana Shafi and Stan Rogal
Host: Kate Rogers
May 31 LOST LAUNCHES
Toronto Poet Laureate Al Moritz, the City of Toronto, The Art bar and the League of Canadian Poets are teaming up to create a series of book launches to celebrate the Toronto poets and poetry collections that were published throughout the pandemic. This series aims to highlight the work of these poets and their works, which were not celebrated in person as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
This will be a free event.
Featuring: Edward Carson, Beatriz Hausner, James Lindsay, Jessica Moore, Al Moritz, Stedmond Pardy, Tyler Pennock, Adam Sol and Andrea Thompson
Host: Al Moritz
Open Mic: No
May 24 Art Bar Team Reading
Featuring readings by current and past team members, with an anthology by the poets on sale to raise money for the Art Bar.
Host: Paul Edward Costa
May 17 Featuring:
Allan Briesmaster has been active on the Toronto-area literary scene for many years as a workshop leader, reading series organizer, editor, and publisher.
Since 2003 he has been publishing chapbooks and full-length books with his micro press, Aeolus House. He was an editor for Seraphim Editions (2000-08) and a partner and editor in Quattro Books (2006-17). The author of seven books of poetry and eight chapbooks, Allan has given readings and talks and hosted literary events at venues across Canada. He is a Life Member of the League of Canadian Poets.
He lives in Thornhill, Ontario.
Carole Giangrande is the author of ten books, including four novels, a short story collection and three novellas — the award-winning A Gardener On The Moon as well as Midsummer and Here Comes the Dreamer. Her third novel, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air was named by the Miramichi Reader as the “Very Best” book of 2017 and was awarded an Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Literary Fiction (2018). Her latest novel, The Tender Birds, was also named by the Miramichi Reader as the “very best” book of 2020 and was awarded an Independent Publisher Silver Medal for Literary Fiction (2020). Her first children’s book, Do I Have To Go To Sleep? was published by Penumbra Press in 2020. Her first poetry collection, This May Be The Year, will be published by Inanna in 2023.
She's read her fiction at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, at the Banff Centre for the Arts, at the University of Toronto, on radio and at numerous libraries and schools. She's also appeared on TV and has addressed university and high school audiences and citizens’ groups across Canada. She's twice served as a Writer-in-Residence in Ontario’s libraries and has taught Media Writing at Ryerson University in Toronto. Between 2009 and 2013, she hosted and produced Words To Go Podcast, a series of fifty shows promoting up-and-coming writers and the spoken word. They were downloaded over twenty thousand times in thirty-five countries.
Elana Wolff has published six solo collections of poetry with Guernica Editions, including You Speak to Me in Trees, awarded the F.G. Bressani Prize for Poetry, and, most recently, Swoon, winner of the 2020 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry. She is also the author of Implicate Me, a collection of essays on contemporary poems; co-author with the late Malca Litovitz of Slow Dancing: Creativity and Illness (Duologue and Rengas); co-editor with Julie Roorda of Poet to Poet: Poems written to poets and the stories that inspired them; and co-translator with Menachem Wolff of Poems and Songs of Love by Georg by Mordechai Langer (from Hebrew), half of the joint volume, A Hunger Artist and Other Stories, by Franz Kafka, translated by Thor Polson (from German). A bilingual edition of Elana’s selected poems, Helleborus & Alchémille (Éditions du Noroît) was awarded the 2014 John Glassco Prize for Translation (translator: Stéphanie Roesler). Elana has taught English for Academic Purposes at York University in Toronto and at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently divides her professional time between writing poetry and creative nonfiction, literary editing, and designing and facilitating social art courses.
Born in Montreal and raised in Hudson, Quebec, Louise Carson studied music in Montreal and Toronto, played jazz piano and sang in the chorus of the Canadian Opera Company. Carson has published eleven books: Rope, a blend of poetry and prose; Mermaid Road, a lyrical novella; A Clearing, a collection of poetry; Executor, a mystery set in China and Toronto; In Which: Book One of The Chronicles of Deasil Widdy, historical fiction set in 18th century Scotland; book two, Measured; and her Maples Mysteries series: The Cat Among Us, The Cat Vanishes, The Cat Between and The Cat Possessed. Her second collection of poetry -- Dog Poems -- has just been published in 2020.
Her poems appear in literary magazines, chapbooks and anthologies from coast to coast, including The Best Canadian Poetry 2013. She’s been short-listed in FreeFall Magazine’s annual contest three times, and one poem won a Manitoba Magazine Award. Her novel In Which was shortlisted for a Quebec Writers’ Federation award in 2019. She has presented her work in many public forums, including Hudson’s Storyfest 2015, as well as in Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Saskatoon and New York City.
She lives in St-Lazare, Québec, where she writes, teaches music and gardens.
Marvyne Jenoff was born in Winnipeg. She began publishing poems in Canadian
literary journals as a student at the University of Manitoba in the early 1960s. She
is now a long-time resident of the Toronto area.
Marvyne’s poetry books are
--No Lingering Peace, The Fiddlehead Press, 1972;
--Hollandsong, Oberon Press, 1975; and
--The Orphan and the Stranger, Wolsak and Wynn Publishers, 1985.
In 1995 she published The Emperor’s Body, Ekstasis Editions, a book of
experimental fiction based on folktales.
Marvyne has returned to writing over the last five years. For the previous 20 years
she focused on visual art, creating and exhibiting works in watermedia and
collage. One of these pieces, called “Hush, the Sibilant Rain,” has been used as the
cover image of her new book, Climbing the Rain.
Keith Garebian is a widely published, award-winning freelance literary, theatre, and dance critic, biographer, and poet. Among his many awards are the Scarborough Arts Council Poetry Award (2010), the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara Branch) Poetry Award (2009), the Mississauga Arts Award (2000, 2008 and 2013), a Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Award (2006), the Lakeshore Arts/Scarborough Arts Council Award for Poetry (2003), and an Ontario Poetry Society Award for Haiku (2003). He is the author of 7 collections of poetry.
Host: Brett Campbell
Open Mic: Yes
Dwayne Morgan is a two-time Canadian National Poetry Slam Champion. He began his career as a spoken word artist in 1993. In 1994, he founded Up From The Roots entertainment, to promote the positive artistic contributions of African Canadian and urban influenced artists. In 2019, he founded and co-produced the inaugural Toronto Spoken Soul Festival.
Morgan is the 2018 winner of the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Career Achievement in the Spoken Word. In 2016, Morgan was a finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2013, Morgan was inducted in to the Scarborough Walk of Fame. Morgan has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award, and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2012, Morgan performed at Super Bowl 46, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Morgan is the winner of 3 Canadian Urban Music Awards (2001, 2003, 2005). In 2005, Morgan was recognized as Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Vancouver, and in 2008 his contribution to the Arts and Canadian society were recognized on the Legacy Black History Month poster.
Catherine Graham is a poet, novelist and creative writing instructor. She is the author of six acclaimed poetry collections, including The Celery Forest, a CBC Best Book of the Year and finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Poetry Award and her debut novel, Quarry, was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award and won the Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Award and an Independent Publisher Book Awards’ gold medal for Fiction. She holds an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University (UK). Her poems have been translated into Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Bangla, Chinese and Spanish and have appeared internationally. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Poetry NOW, she leads their monthly book club. Visit her online at www.catherinegraham.com and @catgrahampoet.
Host: Michelle Hillyard
An exciting opportunity for fledgling poets! Anyone who shows up and wants to read and who has never had a feature can read! We encourage Art Bar newbies to come out and showcase your talents for this magical evening at Clinton's!
Marc di Saverio
Marc di Saverio hails from Hamilton, Canada. His poems and translations have appeared internationally. In Issue 92 of Canadian Notes and Queries Magazine, di Saverio's Sanatorium Songs (2013) was hailed as "the greatest poetry debut from the past 25 years." In 2016 he received the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Best Emerging Writer. In 2017, his work was broadcasted on BBC Radio 3, and he published his first book of translations: Ship of Gold: The Essential Poems of Emile Nelligan (Vehicule Press). On May 1st, 2020, Guernica Editions published Crito Di Volta. Di Saverio studied English and History at McMaster University, but never took a degree, due to illness. He is the son of Carlo Di Saverio, the scholar and teacher who studied Linguistics and Languages at University of Toronto (M.A.,1981). Di Saverio's poem, "Weekend Pass", was adapted into the movie, CANDY -- directed by Cassandra Cronenberg, and starring the author himself -- which was selected to the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. In 2021 received Pushcart Prize nomination.
Suparna Ghosh is a writer, painter and retired adjudicator, has published three books of poetry: Sandalwood Thoughts, a collection of poems and drawings; Dots and Crosses, a prose poem with CD, and Occasionally, which features poems in free verse and ghazals in classical Indo-Persian style, one of which has been translated into Urdu and set to music. She is one of the founding members of the Art Bar, the longest-running poetry series in Canada. Her poems have been published in local and international literary journals.
Suparna was short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and published in their Global Poetry Anthology. A grand-prize winning poem was choreographed and staged in California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. In February 2019 and 2021, she participated in Poetry in Union, a partnership between the League of Canadian Poets and Union Station, and wrote instant personal poems for passengers for their Valentine. Her words are often integrated into her visuals. Suparna’s paintings were chosen for the Canadian Art of Imagination featuring international artists. She was one of the finalists in the Arts and Letters Club competition, NEXT! 2015, as well as their National show. N3XT! 2020. She has exhibited her paintings in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Visit suparnaghosh.com for further information and watch the ghazal video: https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMnIbkn_vjo
Zach da Costa
Host: Shayona Panth
LOST LAUNCHES #1
George Elliott 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, 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  (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).
Jean Eng is a visual artist and writer from Toronto. Her first collection of poetry “Festival of All Souls” was produced by Inanna Publications. Her writing has appeared in journals from Canada, the U.S. and United Kingdom. They include Canadian Literature, Contemporary Verse 2, The Dalhousie Review, The Nashwaak Review, Grain, The New Quarterly, Room, Stand, Vallum, WomenArts Quarterly. She has work forthcoming in The Fiddlehead. Her paintings have been exhibited in Canada, the U.S. and Japan. They are also housed in several private collections as well as the Government of Ontario.
Joe Fiorito was born in Fort William, Ontario, in 1948. He has been a CBC Radio producer, and a city columnist for the Montreal Gazette, The National Post, The Globe&Mail, and the Toronto Star newspapers.
He won the National Newspaper Award for Columns in 1995; the Brassani Prize for Short Fiction in 2000; and the City of Toronto Book Award in 2003.
He is the author of eight books, including two collections of poetry.
He is married and lives in Toronto.
Catherine Graham’s most recent book, Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, was a finalist for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards and The Celery Forest was named a CBC Best Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award. Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Poetry Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award and is a previous winner of TIFA’s Poetry NOW. Author of the award-winning novel Quarry, her second novel, The Most Cunning Heart, appears this spring and her seventh poetry book will appear in 2023. She hosts the TIFA book club, interviews for By the Lake book club and co-hosts The Hummingbird Podcast: Conversation & Inspiration. Visit her online at www.catherinegraham.com @catgrahampoet
Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi (He/They) is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. They were shortlisted for the 2021 Austin Clarke poetry prize, they are the winner of the 2021 Vallum Poetry Prize and the author of three poetry chapbooks and two translated poetry chapbooks. Their debut poetry collection "Me, You, Then Snow" is out with Gordon Hill Press. Their second book “WJD” is forthcoming in a double volume with the translation of Saeed Tavanaee’s “The OceanDweller” from Gordon Hill Press fall 2022. Their collaborative poetry manuscript with poet Klara Du Plessis is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press Fall 2023.
Ray Robertson is the author of nine novels, four collections of non-fiction, and a book of poetry. His latest novel, Estates Large and Small, will be published fall 2022. His work has been translated into several languages. Born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, he lives in Toronto.
Lisa Richter is the author of two books of poetry, Closer to Where We Began (Tightrope Books, 2017) and Nautilus and Bone (Frontenac House, 2020), winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry (US), the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry, and the Robert Kroestch Award. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Malahat Review, Literary Review of Canada, and The New Quarterly. She lives and teaches English as a Second Language in Toronto.
Host: Kate Marshall Flaherty
Stedmond Pardy is a self educated, left handed Poet of Carribean Canadian ancestry (Newfoundland and st.kitts/ Nevis) from the lakeshore Mimico area. His first full length book of poetry "the pleasures of this planet aren't enough" was published by Mosaic press in spring of 2021.
D.S. Martin is the author of five poetry collections, including Ampersand (2018), Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013), and his newly-released book Angelicus (2021) — all from Cascade Books. He is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College. He is also the Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series, where he has edited more than thirty poetry collections and three anthologies. He curated the poetry for Crossings 2022, an art exhibition (on until April 14th) in downtown and midtown Toronto, encouraging reflection on the Stations of the Cross in anticipation of Easter. He is currently teaching a Writing Poetry course at Redeemer University.
Rocco de Giacomo
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 next collection, Casting Out, will be published in 2022 via Guernica Editions. Rocco lives in Toronto with his wife, Lisa Keophila, a fabric artist, and his daughters, Ava and Matilda.
Carmelo Militano Carmelo Militano is the author of three books of poetry- Morning After You The Stone Mason’s Notebook, & Archeologia Eros- and four books of prose- Sebastiano’s Vine, The Fate of Olives, Lost Aria & Catching Desire.
He is the winner of the F.G.Bressani award for poetry and the San Bernardo Literary Prize. ( Italy)His latest work is an erotic mystery novel called The Patina of Melancholy to be released fall, 2022 by Ekstasis Editions.
More biographical information can be found on his webpage: carmelomilitano.com
Militano lives and works in Winnipeg.
Host: Suparna Ghosh
Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi
Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi (He/They) is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. They were shortlisted for the 2021 Austin Clarke poetry prize, they are the winner of the 2021 Vallum Poetry Prize and the author of three poetry chapbooks and two translated poetry chapbooks. Their debut poetry collection "Me, You, Then Snow" is out with Gordon Hill Press. Their second book “WJD” is forthcoming in a double volume with the translation of Saeed Tavanaee’s “The OceanDweller” from Gordon Hill Press fall 2022. Their collaborative poetry manuscript with poet Klara Du Plessis is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press Fall 2023.
(Photo Credit: Manahil Bandukwala)
Ellen Chang-Richardson is an award-winning poet of Taiwanese and Chinese Cambodian descent. The author of three poetry chapbooks, their multi-genre work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, the FOLD Festival Program (Year Six), and Watch Your Head, among others. They sit on the editorial boards of long con magazine and Room magazine; and currently live/work on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg (Ottawa, ON) where they co-curate Riverbed Reading Series and write collaboratively as part of the poetry collective VII. Find them online @ehjchang and www.ehjchang.com.
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.
Host: Brett Campbell
Simon Constam is a Toronto poet and aphorist. His poetry has been published in a number of magazines and websites among them: LongCon Mag, The Jewish Literary Journal, Poetica, and The Mark Literary Review. His first book of poetry, a book of Jewish poems, entitled Brought Down was published in January by Wipf and Stock Publishers.
As an aphorist, he publishes, on Instagram, under the moniker Daily Ferocity, an original aphorism every day. He also sends these out to an email subscriber list.
Simon and his wife, Janice own and operate Solo Traveler, www.solotravelerworld.com, the world’s premier solo travel website.
Frances Roberts Reilly
Frances Roberts Reilly is an internationally recognized Romani/Gypsy poet and author, and the producer of Watershed Writers, a radio documentary and podcast series featuring writers of the Grand River region that airs on Midtown Radio KW. Reilly also contributes to CBC network’s flagship documentary series, Ideas. Parramisha: A Romani Poetry Collection, is Reilly’s first poetic volume (Cinnamon Press), inspired by her mixed-race Welsh Romany/Gypsy English ancestry. Parramisha in Romanus means our story. She is a Contributor to the Roma Peoples Project at Columbia University. Her poetry has been featured by League of Canadian Poetry's National Poetry Month and Fresh Voices online. Recently, Tartan Turban Secret Readings #32: A Political Poetry Reading selected her as a contributor on diasporic literature. Frances makes her home in Kitchener, Ontario.
DM Lafortune, is a Toronto-born/based artist of Cree-Métis, (Treaty 6), and Jewish ancestry. A published songwriter, poet, and essayist, studio produced CD, Beauty and Hard Times was nominated for several awards, including Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year, 2013. My Grandfathers’ Skin, a Canada Council funded photography project, is well underway. In September 2020, Diem began a 4-year conservatory style theatre training program with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT), in Toronto. Having “retired”, DM’s in a position to finally be a full-time creator - it’s proof of the benefits of a GLI!” Diem acknowledges and thanks the Ontario Arts Council’s Deaf & Artists with Disabilities, Artist Development Program for its support.
Host: Kate Rogers