Author Archives: aoldfield18

Pivot on September 27th- Tucker, Swan and Liem

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A HUGE thank you to everybody who came out and packed the Tranzac club for our first Pivot of the season! We hope to see all your beautiful faces at our next reading on Thursday, September 27th- we’re bringing you candy coloured covers and Aaron Tucker, Dane Swan and Tess Liem!

Aaron Tucker is the author of the novel Y: Oppenheimer, Horseman of Los Alamos (Coach House Books) as well as two books of poetry, Irresponsible Mediums: The Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp (Bookthug Press) and punchlines (Mansfield Press), and two scholarly cinema studies monographs, Virtual Weaponry: The Militarized Internet in Hollywood War Films and Interfacing with the Internet in Popular Cinema (both published by Palgrave Macmillan). His current collaborative project, Loss Sets, translates poems into sculptures which are then 3D printed (; he is also the co-creator of The ChessBard, an app that transforms chess games into poems (

Currently, he is an uninvited guest on the Dish with One Spoon Territory, where he is a lecturer in the English department at Ryerson University (Toronto), teaching creative and academic writing. He began his doctorate as an Elia Scholar in the Cinema and Media Studies Department at York University.

Dane Swan is a spoken word artist, an emerging editor and author of poetry and shorter works of fiction. Of note, his second book, A Mingus Lullaby was a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Prize for Poetry. Currently, Dane is co-editing the inaugural edition of Quattro’s Best New Poets in Canada Series with Kate Marshall-Flaherty and editing an anthology for Guernica Editions– which is scheduled to be published in 2020. Dane can regularly be seen performing with multi-arts collective Mixtape Cultures (MXTP_CLTRS), of which he is a founding member.

Tess Liem is a queer writer living in Montreal, Tiotia:ke, unceded Mohawk territory. She is the author of the chapbook Tell everybody I say hi and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Plenitude, Room Magazine, PRISM, Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and elsewhere. Her essay “Rice Cracker” won the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize in 2015. Her first full length poetry book is Obits.

Just like last season, meet us in the Tiki Room of the Tranzac Club (an inclusive & accessible venue!). Doors at 8, words at ~8:30. Pivot is generously funded by the Toronto Arts Council and Viewers Like You, so please PWYC (suggested donation $5). As always, Pivot is hosted by the brilliant and talented Canisia Lubrin and Michelle Brown Colistro.


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Pivot on September 13 – Kamal, Warner and du Plessis


We survived this long hot summer, and YOU survived three whole months without the hottest reading series in town! We all deserve a reward, so on September 13th we’re bringing you Sheena Kamal, Stephanie Warner and Klara du Plessis.

Klara du Plessis is a poet residing in Montreal. Her debut collection, Ekke,was released from Palimpsest Press, Spring 2018; and her chapbook, Wax Lyrical—shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award—was published by Anstruther Press, 2015. Klara is the editor-in-chief for carte blanche, and pursing a PhD in English Literature at Concordia University.

Stephanie Warner was born in Kamloops, and grew up in British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon. Her poetry has appeared in numerous Canadian literary journals, including the Montreal Poetry Prize Global Anthology, and was awarded second place in the 2015 Prism international poetry contest. She was awarded a faculty studentship at the University of Manchester in 2016, and is working towards a PhD in poetry.

Sheena Kamal is normally not allowed to have a fun bio. She received the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Strand Magazine Critics Award for her debut thriller The Lost Ones, which was a national bestseller. America’s most beloved cultural critic Roxane Gay has called The Lost Ones “An elegant, finely wrought thriller with a frustrating but compelling protagonist” and gave it 5-stars on Goodreads! It was possibly the best thing to ever happen to a Canadian. The sequel It All Falls Down was released July 2018, and the third installment of the Vancouver-set series is expected summer 2019. In 2020, you can expect Sheena’s first YA novel with Penguin Random House, which is called Fight Like A Girl . It is set in her hometown of Toronto and explores the connection between domestic violence and violence through the contact sport of Muay Thai.
 It’s all a bit much and Sheena fears that, at 35, she has reached both her professional and sexual peak. She hopes there’s another peak to look forward to and will continue writing until Roxane Gay tells her to stop.

Just like last season, meet us in the Tiki Room of the Tranzac Club (an inclusive & accessible venue!). Doors at 8, words at ~8:30. Pivot is generously funded by the Toronto Arts Council and Viewers Like You, so please PWYC (suggested donation $5). As always, Pivot is hosted by the brilliant and talented Canisia Lubrin and Michelle Brown Colistro.

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Pivot on May 17- Buffam, French and Sinclair


Time flies when you’re what’s happening in literature right now. After a season filled with breathtaking talent, we have reached our very LAST Pivot of the season!

Join us on Thursday, May 17th for our grand finale, featuring Suzanne Buffam, Whitney French and Safiya Sinclair.

Suzanne Buffam was born in Montreal and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She earned an MA in English literature from Concordia University in Montreal, and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently A Pillow Book, which was named one of the ten Best Poetry Books of 2016 by The New York Times. Her other books are The Irrationalist, a finalist for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize, and Past Imperfect, winner of Canada’s 2006 Gerald Lampert Award. She has lived in Chicago since 2003.

Whitney French is storyteller and a multi-disciplinary artist. She is a certified arts educator who has executed over 100 workshops in schools, community centres, prisons, group-homes and First Nations’ reserves. Her debut collection 3 Cities was self-published in April 2012. Additionally, her writing has been published in Descant Magazine and anthologized in The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry. Whitney French is also the founder and co-editor and of the nation-wide publication From the Root Zine. She writes in trees often.

Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the 2017 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, and selected as one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year.”
Sinclair received her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia, and is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

Meet us in the Tiki Room of the Tranzac Club. Doors at 8, words at ~8:30, PWYC (suggested donation $5!). As always, Pivot is hosted by Canisia Lubrin and Michelle Brown Colistro at an inclusive & accessible venue!

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Pivot on May 3- Venart, Rhodes and Yee


Our next Pivot will be a BIG MOOD, so mark your calendars for Thursday May 3rd! We’ll be hosting the brilliant and talented Sarah Venart, Shane Rhodes and Sennah Yee!

Sarah Venart used to write under her initials, S.E., but screw that. Sarah’s writing has been published in Numero Cinq, Concrete and River, New Quarterly, Malahat Review, Fiddlehead, This Magazine, Prism International and on CBC Radio. She is the author two books: Neither Apple Nor Pear/Weder Apfel Noch Birne and Woodshedding. A new collection, I am the Big Heart, is coming out soon-ish. Sarah lives in Montreal and teaches at John Abbott College.

Shane Rhodes is the author of six books of poetry, including his most recent Dead White Men (2017, Coach House Books). Other titles include Err, which was nominated for the City of Ottawa Book Award in 2012, X, which created poetry out of Canada’s post-Confederation treaties, and The Wireless Room, which won the Alberta Book Award. Shane has also been awarded the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry as well as the P. K. Page Founder’s Award for Poetry. Shane lives in Ottawa.

Sennah Yee is from Toronto. She writes poetry, writes about films, and writes poetry about films. Her debut poetry/non-fiction collection, HOW DO I LOOK?, was published by Metatron Press in 2017. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Cinema & Media Studies at York University, focusing her research on gendered robot design in media and technology. She is the Arts Editor at Shameless, a magazine for young women and trans youth; and co-Editor and contributor to The Fuck of the Century, a web-based pop culture journal.

Meet us in the Tiki Room of the Tranzac Club. Doors at 8, words at ~8:30, PWYC (suggested donation $5!). As always, Pivot is hosted by Canisia Lubrin and Michelle Brown Colistro at an inclusive & accessible venue!

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Pivot on April 19- Richardson, Latosik + Howell

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Can we talk about the stunning jackets for our next Pivot? Go ahead and judge us by these covers!

Join us on Thursday, April 19th in the Tiki Room at the Tranzac Club to buy a copy for yourself, and listen to Robin Richardson, Jeff Latosik and Stevie Howell!

Robin Richardson is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work has appeared in Salon, Poetry Magazine, The Walrus, and Tin House, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Richardson’s latest collection, Sit How You Want, is out now with Véhicule Press.

Jeff Latosik’s third full-length collection of poetry, Dreampad, was released in March of 2018. He is also the author of Helium Ear, a chapbook from Anstruther Press. He’s the former poetry editor of the Humber Literary Review and is a current Collective Member of InkWell Workshops. 

Stevie Howell is an Irish-Canadian writer & editor. Stevie’s work has appeared in Prairie SchoonerThe Michigan Quarterly Review, & Gigantic Sequins. Their second book of poetry, I left nothing inside on purpose, was just released from McClelland & Stewart. Stevie Howell is the poetry editor at THIS Magazine, & is an MFA candidate in creative writing at NYU.

Doors at 8, words at ~ 8:30. Hosted by the beautiful and talented @michellebrown and @canisialubrin. PWYC at the door (suggested donation $5). As always, the Tranzac Club is an accessible & inclusive venue.

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Pivot on April 5 – Konchan, Bramer + Couture

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It’s 50 Shades of Pivot on THURSDAY April 5th! That’s right, from now on we’ll be coming to you live every second Thursday at the Tranzac Club.
To kick off our first Pivot Thursday, we have three authors (with three beautifully moody book covers) that we’re super excited to share with you:

Virginia Konchan is the author of a collection of poetry, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and two chapbooks, including That Tree is Mine (dancing girl press, 2017). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and Best New Poets, and her honours include an NEH fellowship and an Illinois Arts Council Award. Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she teaches at Marist College.

Shannon Bramer a poet and playwright. Precious Energy (Book*hug, September 2017) is her forth book of poetry. Her plays (Monarita, The Collectors and The Hungriest Woman in the World) have appeared in juried festivals across the country, among them: New Ideas (Toronto) The Women’s Work Festival (St.John’s) and Sarasvati FemFest (Winnipeg). A full production of The Hungriest Woman in the World premiered at Theatre Passe Muraille in December 2017, with PENCIL KIT PRODUCTIONS. An illustrated collection of poems for young children, entitled Climbing Shadows, is forthcoming from Groundwood Books in 2019.

Dani Couture is the author of several collections of poetry and the novel Algoma (Invisible Publishing). Couture’s work has been nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, received an honour of distinction from the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBTQ Writers, and won the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her new collection of poetry, Listen Before Transmit, was published by Wolsak and Wynn in March.

We’re still at the Tiki Room in the Tranzac Club (first door to your left).
Doors at 8, first reader on around 8:30.
PWYC (Suggested $5)
The Tranzac is an accessible & inclusive venue
Hosted by Michelle Brown Colistro & Canisia Lubrin

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Pivot on March 21- Dixon, Sinaee, Johnstone + Botha


We have a jam-packed, superstar line up for our second March Pivot! 💫

Beau Dixon is a multi-award winning actor, playwright, composer, director, and producer. His writing credits include Once A Flame, From Here To Africville (Factory Theatre), Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story (Thousand Islands/Firebrand Theatre/Lunchbox Theatre/Theatre Collingwood), which received three DORA nominations and was awarded for best new play and best individual performance, two Calgary Critic’s nominations (winning for best solo performance), and a Betty Mitchell nomination. Dixon is also a KM Hunter Award Finalist. He has four solo albums and was recently inducted into Peterborough’s Pathway of Fame for his leadership in the arts. See more at

Bardia Sinaee was born in Tehran, Iran, and lives in Toronto. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Maisonneuve, The Walrus, as well as the anthologies Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2017) and Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem (Mansfield Press, 2018). He will be selling copies of a new chapbook, Salamander Festival.

Jim Johnstone is a Canadian poet, editor, and critic. He’s the author of five books of poetry, including The Chemical Life (Véhicule Press, 2017), Dog Ear (Véhicule Press, 2014). He’s also the recipient of a CBC Literary Award, The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and Poetry’s Editors Prize for Book Reviewing. Johnstone is currently the poetry editor at Palimpsest Press, and an associate editor at Representative Poetry Online. He lives in Toronto.


Danila Botha is a fiction writer based in Toronto. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, she has also lived in Israel, and in Nova Scotia. Her first collection of short stories, Got No Secrets, was praised by the Globe and Mail, the Chronicle Herald and the Cape Town Times. Her debut novel, Too Much on the Inside, was shortlisted for the 2016 ReLit award, and won a Book Excellence Award for Contemporary Novel. Her critically acclaimed sophomore collection of short stories, For All the Men (and Some of the Women)I’ve Known was named a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Awards and the Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Guelph University. She is also working on her second novel and on a new collection of short stories.

We’re at the Tiki Room in the Tranzac Club (first door to your left).
Doors at 8, first reader on around 8:30.
PWYC (Suggested $5)
The Tranzac is an accessible & inclusive venue
Hosted by Michelle Brown & Canisia Lubrin

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