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Pivot on February 25th: Dionne Brand, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, & Edward Nixon

Pivot brings a big mid-winter show with a former Poet Laureate, a former Pivot host turned big-deal thriller writer (we knew her when!) and the poet behind Livewords, our east end sibling. Come be warm.

Cast List

As a young girl growing up in Trinidad, Dionne Brand submitted poems to the newspapers under the pseudonym Xavier Simone, an homage to Nina Simone, whom she would listen to late at night on the radio. Since then, her 9 books of poetry include winners of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, the Griffin, and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award.  Her novels have won the Toronto Book Award and been named to the New York Times Notable Books list. She was Toronto’s Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2012. Her newest is the novel Love Enough, published last year by Knopf.

Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s first book of short stories, How to Get Along with Women, was longlisted for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published in magazines across Canada. In 2013, her story “Kiss Me Like I’m the Last Man on Earth” was shortlisted for a National Magazine Award. She lives in St. John’s but, prior to that, spent time in Toronto and for two years served as co-host and co-director of the Pivot Reading Series.

Edward Nixon was born and grew up in British Columbia. He has hosted and curated the monthly Toronto reading series Livewords since 2008. He is the author four poetry chapbooks – Nights in the City of the Dead, Arguments for Breath, Free Translation, and Instructions for Pen and Ink. The Fissures of Our Throats, his first full collection, was recently released by Guernica Editions.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Dionne Brand, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, and Edward Nixon
Wednesday, February 25th
8 PM
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on February 11th: Ken Babstock, David B. Goldstein, & Sheniz Janmohamed

Pivot continues on unafraid into the meat of winter. We bring three diverse poets to the microphone for what should be a highlight in the middle of Nature’s Worst Month. Local favourite Ken Babstock is joined by another experimental sonneteer, David B. Goldstein, and Sufi-inspired performer Sheniz Janmohamed breaks through Pivot’s long-standing Spoken Word barrier. There are no rules in 2015.

Cast List:

Ken Babstock was born in Burin, Newfoundland, i and grew up in the Ottawa Valley. His first collection, Mean, won the Milton Acorn Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize. In 2006, he published Airstream Land Yacht, which was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, and won the Trillium Book Award. Babstock received the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2012 for his fourth poetry collection, Methodist Hatchet. His fifth collection of poetry, On Malice, was published by Coach House Books last year and was named a Globe and Mail Best Book for 2014. Babstock was previously the poetry editor for the House of Anansi Press and currently sits on the poetry board for McClelland & Stewart.

David B. Goldstein’s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout North America, including The Paris Review, The Malahat Review, filling Station, CV2, and Octopus. As a literary critic, food writer, and translator, he has published on a wide range of subjects, including Shakespeare, contemporary poetry, translation, cannibalism, philosophies of food, and the politics of Martha Stewart. Goldstein lives with his family in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor of English at York University. His first full-length collection Laws of Rest was published in 2013 by BookThug.

Sheniz Janmohamed has performed nationally and internationally for 10 years, including features at the TedXYouth Conference, the Indian Summer Festival,  and the Jaipur Literature Festival Her work has been published in various print and online journals and anthologies including South Asian Ensemble, The Hart House Review, West Coast Line (Vancouver), SUFI Journal (UK) and Catamaran Literary Reader (California). Her first book, Bleeding Light (TSAR) was published in 2010 and her follow-up Firesmoke (TSAR) came out last year. Sheniz is also the founder of Ignite Poets, a spoken word initiative with an emphasis on collaboration, innovation and social awareness.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Ken Babstock, David B. Goldstein, & Sheniz Janmohamed
Wednesday, February 11th
8 PM
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot’s Year Opener on January 28th: Guy Gavriel Kay, Mia Grace Kim, & Michael Prior

Pivot’s year openers have a long history of large crowds and large times. We think we have put together an interesting bill this time and one that will continue those traditions. Up and coming playwright, personal essayist, and author Mia Grace Kim is joined by twenty-something wunderkind poet Michael Prior. And then we add in a bestseller, as Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the country’s most successful novelists and a recent addition to the Order of Canada.

Cast List:

GUY GAVRIEL KAY is the author of twelve novels (most recently River of Stars), and a book of poetry. He has written book reviews and social and political commentary for the National Post and the Globe and Mail in Canada, and The Guardian in England. Translations of his fiction exceed twenty-five languages and his books have appeared on bestseller lists in many countries. Kay has spoken and read on behalf of his publishers and at literary events around the world. He was been nominated for and has won numerous literary awards and is the recipient of the International Goliardos Prize for his contributions to the literature of the fantastic. In 2014 he was named to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour.

MIA GRACE KIM is a playwright, author, and essayist. Her work has been staged during fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company Potluck Festival.

MICHAEL PRIOR’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in publications such as Canadian Literature, The Collagist (USA), Cv2, The Fiddlehead, Geist, Grain, The Malahat Review,  and Tin House (USA) (online) Michael was the recipient of The Walrus‘ 2014 Poetry Prize, Grain Magazine‘s 2014 Short Grain Prize, Vallum Magazine‘s 2013 Poetry Prize , and Magma Poetry‘s 2013 Editors’ Prize.  Michael’s first chapbook, Swan Dive, came out from Frog Hollow Press in late 2014. His first full-length collection will be published by Véhicule Press’ Signal Editions in 2016.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Guy Gavriel Kay, Mia Grace Kim, and Michael Prior
Wednesday, January 28th
8 PM
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on November 12th: Megan Gail Coles, Elyse Friedman, Paul Vermeersch, & Deanna Young

We are in the midst of fall book season and have four authors here with new work to share. Locals Paul Vermeersch and Elyse Friedman come joined by Ottawa’s Deanna Young and St. John’s’ Megan Cole. Let us gather as we do in a biweekly manner.

Cast List

Megan Gail Coles is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland and the National Theatre School of Canada. She is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Poverty Cove Theatre Company. Megan is currently working on a trilogy of plays examining resource exploitation in Newfoundland and Labrador titled The Driftwood Trilogy: Falling Trees, Building Houses andWasting Paper. She is a member of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, Playwrights’ Atlantic Resource Centre (NL Rep) and Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal. Her completed plays include Our Eliza (Playwrights’ Canada Press & Breakwater Books), The Battery andBound. Megan is originally from Savage Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. She currently resides in St. John’s where she works at Breakwater Books Ltd. Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome is Megan’s first book of fiction.

Elyse Friedman is the Toronto-based author of three previous books of fiction: Long Story Short, Waking Beauty and Then Again. Her fiction has won a Gold National Magazine Award, has been shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award and the Toronto Book Award, and has appeared in Best Canadian Stories, The Journey Prize Anthology and Darwin’s Bastards (Zsuzsi Gartner, editor). A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, she has had two feature films produced and has two films in active development: The Relationship Experiment and A Bright Tragic Thing. Her newest is The Answer to Everything (HarperCollins).

Paul Vermeersch is the author of several poetry collections, including the Trillium–award nominated The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010) and Don’t Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something (ECW, 2014). Vermeersch holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph for which he received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. His poems have been translated into Polish, German and French and have appeared in international anthologies. He has taught creative writing at the University of Guelph and Sheridan College, and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. He was, from 2001 to 2012, the Poetry Editor for Insomniac Press, and he is now Senior Editor for Wolsak & Wynn Publishers Ltd. He lives in Toronto.

Deanna Young is the author of three books of poetry, House Dreams, published by Brick Books in 2014,  Drunkard’s Path, and The Still Before a Storm. Young’s poetry has won 1st prize in the Atlantic Writing Competition (1996) and the Grand Prize in the Prism international Poetry Contest (2013). Two selections of poems from House Dreams were longlisted for the CBC Poetry Contest in 2012, while another poem from the book was a finalist for The Malahat Review’s Open Season Awards in 2014. Originally from southwestern Ontario, she lives in Ottawa.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Megan Gail Coles, Elyse Friedman, Paul Vermeersch, & Deanna Young
Wednesday, November 12th
8 PM
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on October 29th: R. Kolewe, Michael Lista, Mike Spry, & Jess Taylor

We have a lot of momentum, we think. Pivot would like to thank everyone for coming out these past few shows and especially would love to thank our readers for the steady diet of really memorable nights.

Next, we have two Mikes and two Bookthugs. Come early.

Cast List:

R. Kolewe is a writer and photographer. His photographs have been shown as part of the CONTACT photography festival in Toronto in 2009 and 2011, at several shows at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto from 2008 to 2011, and can be found in numerous private collections (Director’s Note: R also provided the cover image for Pivot’s Facebook page). His first book of poems, Afterletters, is available from BookThug

Michael Lista’s books are Bloom (House of Anansi Press, 2010) and now The Scarborough (Vehicule, 2014). He is poetry editor of the Walrus and poetry columnist for the National Post. He lives in Toronto.

Mike Spry has written for The Toronto StarThe National Post, The Sports Network, and Maisonneuve. He is the author of JACK, which was shortlisted for the 2009 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and he was nominated for the 2010 Journey Prize for a story from his collection Distillery Songs, which was shortlisted for the 2012 ReLit Award. His latest work is Bourbon & Eventide from Invisible Publishing. He lives in Montreal.

Jess Taylor is the host and founder of The Emerging Writers Reading Series. Her full-length chapbook, Never Stop, is forthcoming from Anstruther Press this fall. Recently, she received the Gold 2013 National Magazine Award in Fiction for her short story, “Paul,” and was named “one of the best alt-lit reads coming out of Canada” by Dazed and Confused Magazine. Her debut short story collection, Pauls, will be released October 2015 by BookThug.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring R. Kolewe, Michael Lista, Mike Spry, and Jess Taylor
Wednesday, October 29th
8 PM
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on October 15th with Marianne Apostolides, andrea bennett, & Ricardo Sternberg

Pivot keeps moving into its Fall season with a trio of authors. Novelist and memoirist Marianne Apostolides is here with her new Bookthug novel, CWILA Interviews editor and debuting Nightwood poet Andrea Bennett, and much-loved Brazilian-Canadian poet Ricardo Sternberg. Come on over.

Cast List:

Marianne Apostolides is the author of five books and one play. She’s a recent recipient of the Chalmers Arts Fellowship; her previous book, Voluptuous Pleasure: The Truth About the Writing Life, was listed among the Top 100 Books of 2012 by Toronto’s Globe & Mail. She lives in Toronto with her two children.

andrea bennett’s writing has appeared in several literary journals and magazines across North America; her poetry has been anthologized in books from McGraw-Hill Ryerson and Ooligan Press. In 2012, she received a National Magazine Awards honourable mention in the Politics and Public Interest category. She is a contributing editor at Geist, and a former editor at Adbusters, This magazine and PRISM international. Originally from Hamilton, andrea now lives in Vancouver with her partner, Will. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s MFA program in Creative Writing.

Ricardo Sternberg was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1948 and moved to the United States with his family when he was fifteen. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA. Between 1975 and 1978, he was a Junior Fellow with the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. His poetry has been published in magazines such as The Paris Review, The Nation, Poetry (Chicago), Descant, American Poetry Review, The Virginia Quarterly and Ploughshares. Vehicule Press (Montreal) published The Invention of Honey (1990, republished 1996), Map of Dreams (1996) and McGill-Queen’s University Press published Bamboo Church (2003, republished 2006). Cyclops Press released a CD of his readings, Blindsight, in 1998. Some Dance, his fourth collection, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in April of 2014.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Marianne Apostolides, andrea bennett, & Ricardo Sternberg
Wednesday, October 15th
8 PM
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on October 1st: James Arthur, Jonathan Bennett, Guadalupe Muro, & Judith Thompson

Pivot is off and kicking for another year. Our second show features an international group of poets and authors, and also brings the rescheduled Judith Thompson. Advice is to get there early, again.

Cast List:

James Arthur was born in Connecticut and grew up in Canada. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a residency at the Amy Clampitt House, and a Discovery/The Nation Prize. Charms Against Lightning, his debut poetry collection, is available from Copper Canyon Press as a Lannan Literary Selection.

Jonathan Bennett is a novelist and poet. He is the author of six books, the most recent of which is The Colonial Hotel (ECW Press, 2014). His previous work includes the critically acclaimed novels, Entitlement and After Battersea Park, two collections of poetry, Civil and Civic, and Here is my street, this tree I planted, and a collection of short stories, Verandah People, which was runner up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. He is a winner of the K.M. Hunter Artists’ Award in Literature. Jonathan lives near Peterborough.

Guadalupe Muro is an Argentinian writer, producer and artist. Her first collection of poems, Con quién dormías? was published in 2007. Air Carnation is her first novel. She is currently working with musicians to compose a soundtrack to the novel, a project called “Songs for Runaway Girls,” which can be heard at https://www.facebook.com/songsforrunawaygirls. Muro lives in Sc. de Bariloche, a small town in Patagonia, where she directs the collaborative literary project “Las Cartas de Guadalupe.”

One of Canada’s best-known contemporary playwrights, Judith Thompson’s dramatic work has won two GG Awards, a Toronto Arts Award, and many Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Her newest productions are Borne and Watching Glory Die.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring James Arthur, Jonathan Bennett, Guadalupe Muro, and Judith Thompson
Wednesday, October 1st
8 PM
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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