Author Archives: Sachiko

About Sachiko

I wrote three books between long naps.

July 11: Darren Bifford, Stephanie Bolster, Susan Glickman

It’s Sachiko’s last Pivot. Sniff. She’s brought la belle province to Dundas West for her goodbye (or should we say… au revoir) party. Le yay!  Montrealer Darren Bifford will read from his newly released first poetry collection, Wedding in Fire Country. Ex-Montrealer Susan Glickman reads from The Smooth Yarrow (Vehicule 2012). And Stephanie Bolster (of Pointe-Claire, but we’ll call that Montreal) reads from A Page From the Wonders of Life on Earth (Brick 2011). Come on down to the Press Club for farewell hugs and fantastic readings – and to find out who will be your new host in Fall 2012…

Darren Bifford is originally from Summerland, BC. His work has been published in a variety of journals across Canada. He’s also the author of Wolf Hunter, a chapbook published by Cactus Press (2010). Wedding in Fire Country is his first collection of poetry. Darren currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Stephanie Bolster’s first book, White Stone: The Alice Poems, won the Governor General’s and the Gerald Lampert Awards in 1998. Her other books are Two Bowls of Milk won the Archibald Lampman Award, Pavilion, and most recently A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth (Brick 2011). Raised in Burnaby, B.C., she now teaches at Concordia University and lives in Pointe-Claire, Québec.

Susan Glickman has won both the Gabrielle Roy Prize and the Raymond Klibansky Prize for her work of literary criticism The Picturesque & the Sublime: A Poetics of the Canadian Landscape. Her first novel, The Violin Lover (Goose Lane, 2006) won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction. She is the author of six poetry collections with Vehicule Press, most recently The Smooth Yarrow(2012). She teaches creative writing and is a freelance editor. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Darren Bifford, Stephanie Bolster, and Susan Glickman
Wednesday, July 11
The Press Club (850 Dundas Street West)
8 PM
PYWC

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June 13: Tamara Faith Berger, Alessandro Porco, Moez Surani

Get your hot self down to the Press Club on June 13, when three blazing writers – Tamara Faith Berger (Maidenhead), Alessandro Porco (The Minutes I-X) and Moez Surani (Floating Life). Sachiko Murakami hosts – and may just bring her water spritzer to combat the sparks that will be a-flying!

Tamara Faith Berger was born in Toronto. She wrote porn stories for a living and attempted to make dirty films before publishing her first book, Lie with Me, in 1999. In 2001, The Way of the Whore, her second book, was published. In 2004, Lie with Me was made into a film. Maidenhead, recently released from Coach House, is her third book. Berger is presently working on a novel about a Russian hired killer. She is a graduate student at UBC working on her Masters of Fine Arts.

Alessandro Porco is the author of two collections of poetry, The Jill Kelly Poems (2005) and Augustine in Carthage (2008), both published by ECW Press. BookThug recently published a chapbook of poems, The Minutes: I-X (2011). And ECW will publish The Minutes: I-XL, just as soon as he’s finished writing it. He holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is currently employed as a Visiting Assistant Professor in upstate New York, in the shadow of the Adirondacks.

Moez Surani is a poet, reviewer and short fiction author. His writing has been included in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including The Literary Review of Canada and The Walrus. He has attended writing residencies in Finland, Latvia and Switzerland, and his writing has won the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, the Kingston Literary Award and the Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest. He has published two poetry collections: Reticent Bodies (2009) and Floating Life (2012), both with Wolsak and Wynn.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Tamara Faith Berger, Alessandro Porco, and Moez Surani
Wednesday, June 13
The Press Club (850 Dundas Street West)
8 PM
PWYC ($5 suggested donation)
Hosted by Sachiko Murakami

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May 30: Sarah Goldstein, Joshua Harmon, Jamie Popowich

Pivot fans, get in the receiving line! On May 30 we welcome two far-flung visitors, Massachusetts-based writers Sarah Goldstein and Joshua Harmon. We also welcome Jamie Popowich, Metraville’s ambassador to Toronto. Come represent Toronto as we strengthen our international literary relations.

Sarah Goldstein was born in Toronto and now lives in Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in Bateau, Barrow Street, Caketrain, and Denver Quarterly, and is forthcoming in the online journal Anti-. Her first book, Fables, was released in 2011 from Tarpaulin Sky. Originally trained as an artist, she has exhibited her artwork in the US and Canada.

Joshua Harmon is the author of two books of poems-Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie and Scape-and a novel, Quinnehtukqut. His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in journals such as Agni, The Believer, Colorado Review, New England Review, The Normal School, TriQuarterly, and Verse, and he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. He lives in western Massachusetts.

Jamie Popowich is the author of the short fiction collection Metraville (Insomniac Press). Popowich has also produced the documentary Run Run It’s Him.

In Metraville, Popowich creates an absurd and delightful”fake-believe” city. In a recent review, Broken Pencil says: Popowich pulls together an engaging world with an often playful twist. But Metraville is no mere confection piece: underneath all the fun lies some biting social criticism and big questions. By the time we meet the accused thief, his lawyer and the presiding judge who inhabit the centre of the book, we’re shown that for all its absurdities, Metraville is also addressing Toronto’s uncertain fate: “Because whose fault is all this really? And by ‘all this,’ I mean your own befuddled life.”

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Sarah Goldstein, Joshua Harmon, and Jamie Popowich
Wednesday, May 30
The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
8 PM
PWYC
Hosted by Elisabeth de Mariaffi

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May 16: Eric Foley, Nicole Markotić, Natalie Zina Walschots

Come greet  fictioneer Eric Foley, Windsor’s Nicole Markotić, and local hero Natalie Zina Walschots Something tells me that the Press Club back patio will be in full effect this coming Pivot, so be sure to come early and stay late to save a seat inside – and outside!

Eric Foley has been a finalist for the Random House Creative Writing Award and the Hart House Literary Contest, and the winner of Geist Magazine and the White Wall Review’s postcard story contests. Some of his work can be found online at Numero Cinq and InluencySalon.ca. Eric has traveled to over thirty countries on six continents, and currently attends the University of Guelph’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, where he is at work on his first novel, and a memoir about living in Morocco.

Nicole Markotić is a fiction writer and poet. Her latest book, Bent at the Spine Her first novel, Yellow Pages: a Catalogue of Intentions, was a prose narrative about Alexander Graham Bell. She has also published two books of poetry, Connect the Dots and Minotaurs and Other Alphabets and a chapbook, more excess, which won the bpNichol Poetry Chapbook Award. A former resident of Calgary, she now teaches English Literature and creative writing at the University of Windsor. Dr. Markotić specializes in the subjects of Canadian Literature, Poetry, Children’s Literature, Disability in Film and Disability in Literature and she wrote a critical book on disability in film. She is also the Managing Editor of the chapbook series, Wrinkle Press.

Natalie Zina Walschots is a poet and music journalist. Her first book of poetry, Thumbscrews (2007), won the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her second, Doom: Love Poems for Supervillains, is just out with Insomniac Press. She holds an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary and her poetry has appeared widely in literary magazines. She currently serves as the managing editor for Canada Arts Connect and the reviews editor for This Magazine. Her secret lair is located in Toronto. Visit her at www.nataliezed.ca.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Eric Foley, Nicole Markotic, and Natalie Zina Walschots
Wednesday, May 16
8 PM
The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
PWYC.

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April 18: Marianne Apostolides, Gregory Betts, Margaret Christakos

When we read we begin with A B C – When we read at Pivot we begin with Marianne Apostolides, Gregory Betts, and Margaret Christakos (see what we did there?)! What else do our readers have in common besides their place in the alphabet, you might be wondering? All three have recent books with one of Pivot’s favourite small presses, BookThug. Come smack literature around with our Thugs and your host, Sachiko Murakami.

Marianne Apostolides is the author of four books, including Voluptuous Pleasure: The Truth about the Writing Life (BookThug 2012) and The Lucky Child: A Novel (Mansfield Press 2010), which was long-listed for a ReLit Award.  She is a recipient of the 2011 Chalmers Arts Fellowship.

Gregory Betts is the author of five books of poetry, including The Obvious Flap (BookThug 2011), co-written by Gary Barwin, and The Others Raisd in Me (Pedlar 2009), a finalist for the Re-Lit Award. His writing has appeared in hundreds of magazines, journals, anthologies, and chapbooks, and has been taught in schools and universities throughout Canada, the United States, and in many European nations. His history of early Canadian avant-garde activity will be published by the University of Toronto Press in fall 2012. He lives in St. Catharines and teaches at Brock University.

Margaret Christakos is the author of a Trillium-nominated novel and 8 collections of innovative poetry, most recently Welling (Your Scrivener, 2010, a Globe 100 Book) and What Stirs (Coach House Books, 2008, shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award). Some of her other books include Sooner (Coach House, 2005, also nominated for the Lowther) and Excessive Love Prostheses (Coach House, 2002, winner of the ReLit Award). Her work is widely anthologized and she has supported many emerging writers and given seminars and readings across Canada and in the United States since the publication of her first book in 1989. Born and raised in Sudbury, ON, she has three teenaged children and lives in Toronto. She’ll read from her new BookThug chapbook, The Chips & Ties Study, from Tumultetudes.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Marianne Apostolides, Gregory Betts, and Stephen Cain
Wednesday, April 18
8 PM
The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
Hosted by Sachiko Murakami
PWYC.

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March 7: Rob Benvie, Lynn McClory, Angela Szczepaniak

It’s March, and Pivot’s coming in like a lion with readings from Rob Benvie, Lynn McClory, and Angela Szczepaniak. Come revel and roar in the bluster of new poetry and prose at the Press Club!

Rob Benvie is from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Montreal. He has recorded and performed with many musical endeavours, including the rock bands Thrush Hermit, Camouflage Nights and The Dears. He is the author of the novels Safety of War and Maintenance, both from Coach House. Maintenance is a apocalyptic journey to the suburbs of 1999, complete with ex-volleyball champs, Empowerment Expos, Robitussin binges and the Do It Dynamic! self-improvement campaign. But it’s more than just that: it’s a look at a suburban family falling apart, people losing their grip on what it means to live in a world that exists in a continual state of conflict. The National Post, who recently compared the book to works by Coupland, DeLillo and Franzen, said, ‘There is a lively use of language and a well-handled scheme of metaphors throughout … but this is also a novel with a real sting in its tail.”

Lynn McClory attended UWO and graduated with a BA in English from the University of Toronto in the dark ages. She was a member of the collectively managed SCM Book Room in Toronto for close to a decade, later founded a sales agency for university publishers and travelled Canada to its many bookstores twice a year for twenty years, when bookstores were a force for theory and literature in Canada. Since winding down her job in 2007, she spends more hours reading than writing, is a perpetual student at Margaret Christakos’ Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon and has participated in many workshops at the Toronto New School of Writing where she learned more ways to steal than she had imagined. She has had poems published in BafterC poetry magazine, Ars Medica, industrial sabatoge, the Quarry Press anthology, Garden Variety, online with blissfultimes.ca, and writes poetics for the Influency online magazine. Lynn is a member of the Influency magazine Editorial Group.

Angela Szczepaniak is doctoral candidate at the University at Buffalo, where she is neck-deep in a dissertation on innovative poetry, detective fiction, and comic books. Her first book is a novel-in-poems, called Unisex Love Poems. In addition to publishing poetry and critical essays, she recently participated in a hygiene themed poetry-art project with LOCCAL, and as a result her visual poetry can be found on placards in some of the finest public restrooms in Seattle. At the moment, she lives in Toronto, where she thinks about being ravaged by time’s withered claw. Her latest book is The QWERTY Institute of Cosmetic Typographical Enhancements from BookThug, a collection of “visual fictions” that gives insight into the secret lives of letters.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Rob Benvie, Lynn McClory, and Angela Szczepaniak
Wednesday, March 7
850 Dundas Street West
8 PM
PWYC
Hosted by Sachiko Murakami

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January 25: Robert Dayton, Andrew Faulkner, and Andrew McEwan

The excitement continues at Pivot as we welcome Robert Dayton (The Canadian Romantic), Andrew Faulkner (half of The Emergency Response Unit), and Andrew McEwan (the repeater). Come repeat some emergency romance with us at the Press Club!

Robert Dayton is a multidisciplinary writer, entertainer, and artist from BC who resides for the moment in Toronto. His work has appeared in Hunter and Cook, Carousel, The Toronto Onion, Roctober, Cinema Sewer, Paper Rodeo, Bananafish, as well as the book Lost In the Grooves and elsewhere. He originally came from a zine background in the early 90s, wrote a weekly newspaper column of ephemera that soon bordered on experimental fiction and non-fiction, and was a co-creator of the short-lived but well loved newspaper The Drippy Gazette. He is known for being in such curious musical acts as Wet Dirt, Canned Hamm and July Fourth Toilet, as well as acting in the films Male Fantasy, Ivory Tower, and Leslie My Name Is Evil. Robert’s most recent project is his series of videos and performances as the persona of The Canadian Romantic, a melodramatic figure of faded glamour who tries to bridge and explore the gap between Canada and romance with somewhat dubious results. This has now resulted in a  doll as well as an art book of pen-and-ink drawings and writings published by PITT studio/Publication Projects.

Andrew Faulkner lives in Toronto, where he curates The Emergency Response Unit, a chapbook press, with Leigh Nash. He also collects sky metaphors and their ilk at thebigceiling.tumblr.com and is a partner in the editorial services firm Re:word Communications.

Andrew McEwan is the author of repeater, forthcoming in the spring of 2012 from BookThug, and the chapbook Input / Output from Cactus Press. His writing was awarded the E.J. Pratt Poetry Medal. He is currently finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where he has been the Editor-in-Chief at the Acta Victoriana Literary Journal and Poetry Editor at The Hart House Review. repeater is his first book.

Pivot Readings at the Press Club
Featuring Robert Dayton, Andrew Faulkner, and Andrew McEwan
Wednesday, January 25
The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
8 PM
PWYC

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