(Bonus) Pivot on March 12th: Irish poets Rita Ann Higgins and Matthew Sweeney read in Toronto

Two of Ireland’s best contemporary poets will be at The Press Club on Dundas St. West on Tuesday, March 12th to read from new work. They will be joined by two local Toronto poets, drinks and stories and will be shared, and we will get to hear from their most recent collections. The event will be free of charge and open to all poetry fans, pub fans, and Irishophiles.

Made Possible through the Generous Support of Cultures Ireland.


Rita Ann Higgins was born in 1955 in Galway, Ireland. She divides her time between Galway and Spiddal. Her first five collections were published by Salmon Publishing: Goddess on the Mervue Bus (1986), Witch in the Bushes, (1988), Goddess and Witch (1990), Philomena’s Revenge (1992), and Higher Purchase (1996). Bloodaxe Books published her next three collections, includingThrow in the Vowels” New & Selected Poems in May 2005 to mark her 50th birthday. Her plays include: Face Licker Come Home (1991), God of the Hatch man (1992), Colie Lally Doesn’t Live in a Bucket (1993) and Down All the Roundabouts (1999). She was Galway County’s Writer-in-Residence in 1987, Writer in Residence at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 1994-95, Writer in Residence for Offaly County Council in 1998-99. She was Green Honors Professor at Texas Christian University, in October 2000. Other awards include a Peadar O’Donnell Award in 1989, several Arts Council bursaries ‘Sunny Side Plucked’ was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She was made an honorary fellow at Hong Kong Baptist University Nov 2006.

Matthew Sweeney was born in Donegal, Ireland in 1952. He moved to London in 1973 and studied at the Polytechnic of North London and the University of Freiburg. His poetry collections include A Dream of Maps (1981), A Round House (1983), Blue Shoes (1989), Cacti (1992), The Bridal Suite (1997) and A Smell of Fish (2000). Selected Poems, representing the best of 10 books and 20 years’ work, was published in 2002. He won a Cholmondeley Award in 1987 and an Arts Council Writers’ Award in 1999. He has also published poetry for children, collections including The Flying Spring Onion (1992), Fatso in the Red Suit (1995) and Up on the Roof: New and Selected Poems (2001). His novels for children include The Snow Vulture (1992) and Fox (2002). Matthew Sweeney has held residencies at the University of East Anglia and the South Bank Centre in London, and was Poet in Residence at the National Library for the Blind as part of the ‘Poetry Places’ scheme run by the Poetry Society in London. His latest poetry collections are Black Moon (2007) and a new selection of poems: The Night Post (2010).

Our two visitors will be joined by local Toronto poets and Pivot favourites Damian Rogers and Paul Vermeersch, who will offer short readings to set-up the visitors’ sets. Damian and Paul are both well-known to Pivot, Paul having read at our season opener (as well as founding the IV Lounge Reading Series, Pivot’s predecessor) this year and Damian back in 2010.

Details: Rita Ann Higgins and Matthew Sweeney, with Damian Rogers and Paul Vermeersch

The Press Club, 850 Dundas West

8:00 (Readings likely to begin around 8:30)

Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney


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