Monthly Archives: September 2015

Pivot on October 7th: Dina Del Bucchia/Daniel Zomparelli, Margaret Christakos, and Liz Worth

Pivot has a really good one lined up for the first Wednesday in October. Two-headed poetry monster Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli are in from Vancouver with their bittersweet book about romantic comedies. They are joined by Liz Worth’s Andy Warhol appreciation and the work of All Time Pivot Favourite Margaret Christakos.

Cast List:

Dina Del Bucchia is the author of Coping with Emotions and Otters (Talonbooks, 2013) and Blind Items (Insomniac Press, 2014). Daniel Zomparelli is the Editor-In-Chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine and author of Davie Street Translations (Talonbooks, 2012). Together, they make up the duo behind Can’t Lit, a podcast on Canadian literature. Rom Com is their collaborative poetry book forthcoming from Talonbooks, fall 2015.

Margaret Christakos is a still-interested walker in the field of letters. She has published nine collections of poetry, including Multitudes, What Stirs, Sooner and Excessive Love Prostheses with Coach House and Welling with Scrivener. In association with Continuing Studies at U of T, she designed and facilitated Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon from 2006 to 2012. She was Canada Council Writer in Residence at the University of Windsor ten years ago, and in 2012-13 was enabled by a Chalmers Arts Fellowship to explore themes and visit places important to her understanding of her immigrant grandmothers’ lives. Writing from that exploration will be published this coming Spring with Book Thug. Her poetic practice cares about sequence, excess, oration, the body, mothering, relationship, attachment, longing, lament, public speech and social hope. She lives in Toronto surrounded by dozens of pairs of walking shoes, most of them belonging to her three adult offspring.

Liz Worth is a Toronto-based author and tarot reader. Her first book, Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond, was the first to give an in-depth account of Toronto’s early punk scene. She has also released a poetry collection called Amphetamine Heart and a novel called PostApoc. You can reach her at (Trigger Warnings: Drugs and Alcohol, Mental Illness.)

Pivot Readings at The Steady Cafe
Featuring Dina Del Bucchia/Daniel Zomparelli, Margaret Christakos, and Liz Worth
Wednesday, October 7th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney


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A Quick Note About A Trial Change to Pivot’s Event Listings

Hi Everyone,

First off, thanks for coming out to our first couple shows of the season. They have, I think, been worth your time and have made my September.

We’re making a slight change to our reader bios, and you will see this change beginning with the next show’s listing. Essentially, we are inviting our readers to list out any content in their work that audience members might, depending on their personal experience or history, find traumatic or triggering. This is being done after requests from audience members and represents what, we think, is a useful move towards building the best and most welcoming version of the series.

I want to make a couple elements of this new move clear:

  1. Declarations of Trigger Warnings are being made voluntarily by the readers. It isn’t mandatory that they fill out the webform we created. If they want to ignore it, they can, and will still be welcomed to read and will still get paid. This means something important for anyone who scans our listings looking for personal triggers, which is that just because you don’t see a trigger listed, I can’t promise you it won’t be a part of a reader’s set. On the website and Facebook page, readers who submit blank forms indicating no triggering content will not be discernible from readers who refuse to participate in the program. This is, for now, a middle ground we’ve come up with to try and support our audience and make our readers comfortable, at the same time.
  2. The list of possible triggers we consider is very short, and focused on traumatic personal experiences like rape, abuse, and racist/sexist/ableist speech. We are open, hypothetically, to including more (phobias, etc) but are concerned about the list becoming unwieldy or the breadth of triggerable content drifting past the key concerns that lead to the initial adoption of this program. In the interest of transparency, the form we sent to our readers for our 7/10 show, and the guide we included for their assistance, is captured below these points.
  3. We are very much interested in your feedback on this, as an audience member, a reader, or a member of the community. We’re considering the move a trial one for now and will re-evaluate after our Fall, 2015 programming. Maybe you think Trigger Warnings as an idea are an affront to creativity, and contrary to the values something like Pivot should strive towards. Maybe you think that this kind of half-measure we’re attempting isn’t useful and our adoption needs to be more absolute. Please just read the guide and form below first, and let us know about how you feel using either our email ( or the anonymous feedback form located here. Or the comment section of the blog or Pivot’s Facebook Page or my Facebook page or you could call or text us, etc etc etc. For the feedback form, just take Question 3 as your cue to talk about the TW Program.




Voluntary Trigger Warning Disclosure

Hi Everyone.

Pivot is launching a voluntary trigger warning disclosure system for its readers. We are running it as a test for now, and will evaluate whether to keep it up in the months ahead.

What’s a Trigger Warning?
A Trigger Warning is a way for a reader to tactfully identify any content in their reading that might make for a particularly unpleasant experience for a given listener based on some element of that listener’s past experience. Here’s a good resource that explores TWs in more detail.

If My Reading Makes Mention of Something on the List Below, Does this Inherently Mean I Should Leave a Trigger Warning?
Pivot’s opinion here is, no. A reading that mentions, say, sexual abuse in some passing way shouldn’t be tagged under the Sexual Abuse warning. What we are looking for are explicitness or prolonged discussions. Your reading needs to spend some time with the material in question to need a TW. If you are on the fence about a Trigger Warning, we’d suggest checking it off.

What If I Don’t Have Any TWs?
Don’t worry about it. We suspect many readings won’t. Just submit it with your name filled in and nothing checked.

What If I Don’t Want to Fill this In Because I think Trigger Warnings are Stupid?
We hear you. It’s not mandatory and we won’t identify your refusal in any way. Readers who don’t submit a disclosure form and readers who do, but don’t identify any TWs, will look the same on the website. But, between you and me and this form: I think that you’re wrong, and that you are experiencing a very unwriterly failure of empathy. Pivot’s opinion is that Trigger Warnings aren’t baubles for the infantilized, they are support kits for survivors.

Where Will the Trigger Warnings be Seen/Announced?
Trigger Warning won’t be announced from the stage, and we would recommend not identifying them before your readings. They will be made available to our audience via our website for review by anyone who needs them.

Should I Edit My Reading to Avoid Triggering Materials?
You should most definitely NOT do this. We want a reading series that traffics in the difficult, and you should not look at this form as a cue to self-censor. Assume that survivors have accumulated a basal amount of self-regulation, and will be able to approach your reading on its own merits, if they know in advance what to expect.

When Should I Fill This In?
As soon as you can. I’d like to have the TWs available when we post the website, typically two weeks before your reading

We would like you to identify anything from the list that’s likely to be discussed in your reading.


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Pivot on September 23rd: Raoul Fernandes, James Grainger, and Sabrina Ramnanan

Pivot keeps it going with our second show of the year. A move into fiction brings James Grainger and his novel (which has been optioned for the next Atom Egoyan movie) and fellow debut novelist Sabrina Ramnanan. Joining them is BC poet Raoul Fernandes. Come hang out and talk of fall things. 8 PM.

Cast List:

Raoul Fernandes lives and writes in Vancouver, BC.  He completed the Writer’s Studio at SFU in 2009 and was a finalist for the 2010 Bronwyn Wallace Award for emerging writers and a runner up in subTerrain’s Lush Triumphant Awards in 2013.  He has been published in numerous literary journals and is an editor for the online poetry magazine The Maynard. His first collection of poems, Transmitter and Receiver, came out in the Spring from Nightwood Editions.

James Grainger’s debut collection of stories, The Long Slide (2004), was the winner of the ReLit Award for Short Fiction. His reviews and articles have appeared in the Toronto Star, Quill & Quire, the Globe and Mail, Elle Canada, Men’s Fashion, Sharp, and Rue Morgue. His first novel, Harmless, came out this year from McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House.

Sabrina Ramnanan was born in Toronto to Trinidadian parents. She completed her B.A. in English and B.Ed at the University of Toronto. In addition, Sabrina is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education Creative Writing Program and the recipient of the 2012 Marina Nemat award. Her work has appeared in Diaspora Dialogues, Cerulean Rain, Writing in the Margins, The Caribbean Writer and Joyland. Her debut novel, Nothing Like Love, came out this year from McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House.

Pivot Readings at The Steady Cafe
Featuring Raoul Fernandes, James Grainger, and Sabrina Ramnanan
Wednesday, September 23rd
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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