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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 www.lizworth.com. (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 (pivot.readings@gmail.com) 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.

Best,

Jake.

****

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.

tw2

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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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Pivot’s Season Opener on September 9th: Lynn Crosbie, Liz Howard, & Cat Kidd

Do you hear that? School’s starting again soon. The great big shiny history of Pivot Opener Shows continues with Toronto iconoclast Lynn Crosbie, incredible new poet Liz Howard, and the great Montreal poet and performer, Cat Kidd. Buy yourself a new wardrobe and practice your look in the mirror. This year is different and you will be one of the cool kids.

LAST-SECOND UPDATE, SEPT 9: Lynn Crosbie won’t make it tonight and has been swapped out for poet Mathew Henderson. We’ll rebook Lynn soon hopefully.

Cast List:

Lynn Crosbie’s books collections include VillainELLE, Liar, and her selected poems Queen Rat. Her novels include Paul’s Case and the ReLit winner Life is About Using Everything. Her newest book is Where Did You Sleep Last Night? from House of Anansi. It’s a love story about a teenager and the reincarnated spirit of Kurt Cobain.

Liz Howard was born and raised in northern Ontario.  Her poetry has appeared in Canadian literary journals such as The Capilano Review, The Puritan, and Matrix Magazine. Her chapbook Skullambient (Ferno House Press) was shortlisted for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award. She’s a graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA in Creative Writing through and works as a Research Officer in cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto. Her debut collection Infinite Collection of the Shaking Tent, came out this spring from M&S/Penguin Random House, was called “gorgeously heretical” by Lisa Robertson.

Catherine Kidd’s solo show Sea Peach won a Montreal critics’ award for Best New Text, touring to Toronto Harbourfront’s World Stage, Singapore’s Esplanade on the Bay, and the Edinburgh Fringe. A graduate of Concordia’s MA program in Creative Writing, she has taught writing at Concordia, through the QWF, and through Fondation Metropolis Bleu. Her work appears in Matrix, This Magazine, Toronto Quarterly, Branch, and P.E.N. International. A section of her novel Missing the Ark was nominated for the Journey Prize. Her poem Human Fish opened the Spier Arts Poetry Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2007, that trip becoming the inspiration for her current work, Hyena Subpoena.

Pivot Readings at The Steady
Featuring Lynn Crosbie, Liz Howard, and Cat Kidd
Wednesday, September 9th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Presented with the financial assistance of the Toronto Arts Council.

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Pivot is on Summer Hiatus

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your support of Pivot during our seventh season. We put together 16 shows, with 57 great readers spread over two venues. Pivot returns to The Steady Café (our official home now, going forward!) on September 9th, 2015. You should see a list of Fall 2015 events sometime in the months ahead on our Upcoming Pivots page.

Also, Pivot is happy to announce that our application for Project Funding through the Toronto Arts Council has been successful and our 2015-16 season will be co-funded by our audience (via our usual pitcher-passing) and the TAC. This will let us pay our authors a larger and more reliable sum and hopefully free up some audience cash for the purchasing of more books.

Thank you all so much for your generosity to the authors this year. It is appreciated by Lex and I as well.

Best wishes for the summer,

Jacob McArthur Mooney

Alexis von Konigslow.

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Pivot’s Season Finale: David McGimpsey, Sachiko Murakami, & Shannon Webb-Campbell

After ten great shows, our Winter/Spring season closes down for the summer with three distinct and challenging readers. Thanks for supporting Pivot this year.

Cast List:

David McGimpsey is the author of five collections of poetry including Li’l Bastard which was named one of the ‘books of the year’ by both the Quill & Quire and the National Post and was shortlisted for Canada’s Governor General’s Award. He is also the author of the short fiction collection Certifiable and the award-winning critical study Imagining Baseball: America’s Pastime and Popular Culture. Named by the CBC as one of the ‘Top Ten English language poets in Canada,’ his work was also the subject of the book of essays Population Me: Essays on David McGimpsey. He lives in Montréal and his newest is Asbestos Heights, from Coach House Books this season.

Sachiko Murakami is the author of the poetry collections The Invisibility Exhibit (Talonbooks, 2008), a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Rebuild (Talonbooks, 2011). She is the creator of the online poetry projects Project Rebuild (projectrebuild.ca), HENKO (powellstreethenko.ca), WIHTBOAM (whenihavethebodyofaman.com), and co-creator of FIGURE (figureoracle.com), an online poetry oracle, with Angela Rawlings. She founded Montreal’s Pilot Reading Series in 2005 and served as co-host and director of the Pivot Reading Series from 2010-2012. Her newest collection is Get Me Out of Here, published in 2015 from Talonbooks.

Shannon Webb-Campbell is an award-winning poet, writer, and journalist of mixed Aboriginal ancestry. She is the inaugural winner of Egale Canada’s Out in Print Award and was the Canadian Women in Literary Arts 2014 critic-in-residence. Still No Word (Breakwater, 2015) is her first collection of poems. She lives in Halifax.

Pivot Readings at The Steady
Featuring David McGimpsey, Sachiko Murakami & Shannon Webb-Campbell
Wednesday, June 3rd
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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May 20th, Pivot at The Steady Café: Matthew Henley, Ben Ladouceur, Jeff Latosik, & Jimmy McInnes

Pivot is approaching its season end now, and we have a penultimate show set up with four poets of very different styles. British poet and diplomat Matthew Henley is joined by three local favourites: Trillium-winner Jeff Latosik and debuting voices Ben Ladouceur and Jimmy McInnes.

Cast List:

Matthew Henley was born in Colchester, Essex. He holds a first class honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of York and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Simon Fraser University. In his non-writing life, Matthew works as a British diplomat. He has spent much of his career working on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Balkans, including time spent as Political Advisor to the UN High Representative in Sarajevo. He speaks French, Bosnian and Russian. Matthew’s first collection of poetry, Beetle, was released in fall of 2014 from Templar Poetry.

Ben Ladouceur is a writer originally from Ottawa, now based in Toronto. His work has been featured in Arc, The Malahat Review, PRISM international and The Walrus, and in the Best Canadian Poetry anthology. He was awarded the Earle Birney Poetry Prize in 2013. His first collection of poems, Otter, came out through Coach House Books in April 2015.

Jeff Latosik debut collection Tiny, Frantic, Stronger won the 2011 Trillium Award for poetry and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert and Relit awards. His work has been published widely in Canada in magazines such as The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and the Literary Review of Canada, and journals such as the Malahat Review, Grain, and Prairie Fire. He is the winner of This Magazine’s Great Literary Hunt (2008) and the P.K. Page Founder’s Award (2010), and appeared on the shortlist for the Bronwen Wallace award (2009). His second collection, Safely Home Pacific Western, came out this Spring from Ice House.

Jimmy McInnes was born and raised on Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula. His first chapbook, Begin Speech With, was released by Ferno House in the fall of 2013. His poetry has appeared in various journals, including This Magazine, ditch, The Puritan, Descant, and the Capilano Review Web Folio. His work has been shortlisted for the Great Canadian Literary Hunt and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. He lives in Toronto, where he completed his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, and is currently employed as a political hack. A More Perfect [ is his first book-length work of poetry.

Pivot Readings at The Steady
Featuring Matthew Henley, Ben Ladouceur, Jeff Latosik, & Jimmy McInnes
Wednesday, May 20th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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