Author Archives: Pivot Readings

Pivot on April 5th: Kerry Clare, Aisha Sasha John, Kateri Lanthier, & Jennifer LoveGrove

Well, it’s April. New books everywhere and Pivot kicks up a notch to notice. We have four women with new work at the tip of Canadian letters. You will like that. You should come.

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Cast List

Kerry Clare is a National Magazine Award–nominated writer and editor of the anthology The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood. Her essays, reviews and short fiction have appeared most recently in The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Joyland and Canadian Notes & Queries. Kerry teaches blogging at the University of Toronto and writes about books and reading at her popular website, PickleMeThis.com. She is also Editor at 49thshelf.com. Her first novel, Mitzi Bytes, came out last month from Harper Collins.

Aisha Sasha John is a singing dancer–and the author of the very recently published I have to live. (McClelland & Stewart). Aisha’s previous poetry collection THOU (BookThug 2014) was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the ReLit Poetry Award. Later this spring, Aisha dances the aisha of oz at the Whitney Museum as part of the 2017 Whitney ISP exhibition. This spring will also see Aisha’s video work installed at the GO concourse at Union Station in conclusion of a public art residency Aisha completed with four collaborators, Let’s understand what it means to be here (together) (Art Metropole). She was born in Montreal.

Kateri Lanthier’s poems have been published in Canada, the United States and England, most recently in The Fiddlehead, EVENT, Hazlitt, Great Lakes Review, Green Mountains Review, the Literary Review of Canada, Matrix, and Best Canadian Poetry 2014 (Tightrope Books). She won the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize. Her work was shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year 2016, won third prize in the London, England-based 2016 Troubadour International Poetry competition, and will be included in three anthologies in 2017. Her poetry reviews have appeared in The Rusty Toque. She is a Mentor in the MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. Her first collection is Reporting from Night (Iguana, 2011). Her second collection is Siren (Signal Editions, Véhicule Press, April 2017).

Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of the Giller Prize–longlisted novel Watch How We Walk, as well as two poetry collections: I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel and The Dagger Between Her Teeth. In 2010, LoveGrove was nominated for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature and in 2015, her poetry was shortlisted for the Lit POP Awards. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications across North America.  Her latest book, Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes is now out from BookThug. She divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Ontario.

Pivot on April 5th
with Kerry Clare, Aisha Sasha John, Kateri Lanthier, & Jennifer LoveGrove
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)

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Pivot on March 22nd: Gwen Benaway, Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Robert Chafe, & Shari Kasman

Pivot’s last show before the rush of spring publishing brings four writers at different points along the journey. We have visiting Newfoundlander and past GG winner Robert Chafe, Kingston’s Ashley-Elizabeth Best and a duo of local Toronto writers in Shari Kasman and Gwen Benaway. Will be good; you will like.

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Cast List:

Gwen Benaway is a trans woman of Anishinaabe and Métis descent.  Her first collection of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, was published in 2013, her second collection of poetry, Passage, was released in 2016 from Kegedonce Press and her third collection of poetry, What I Want is Not What I Hope For, is forthcoming from Bookthug in 2018.In 2015, she was the recipient of the inaugural Speaker’s Award for a Young Author and in 2016 she received an Dayne Ogilvie Honour of Distinction for Emerging Queer Authors from the Writer’s Trust of Canada. TWs: Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Rape

Ashley-Elizabeth Best is from Cobourg, Ontario. Her work has appeared in FjordsCV2BerfroisGrist, and Ambit Magazine, among other publications. Recently, she was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. She lives and writes in Kingston, Ontario. Her first collection Slow States of Collapse came out this past April from ECW.

Robert Chafe has worked in theatre, dance, opera, radio and film. His stage plays have been seen in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and in the United States, and include Oil and Water, Tempting Providence, Afterimage, Under Wraps and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. He has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, and he won the award in 2010. He is the playwright and Artistic Director of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland. Two-Man Tent (Breakwater Books) is his first work of fiction. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Shari Kasman is a Toronto-based writer, multidisciplinary artist, and musician. Her work has been shown in public space and private space, but not in outer space. Some of her best material took the form of handwritten letters to Steven Spielberg that she left on a bicycle labelled with the director’s name. Her writing has appeared in Taddle Creek, Joyland, and This Magazine as well as in an eBook entitled The Broken Social Scene Story Contest: Short Works Inspired By You Forgot It In People, published by House of Anansi Press. Her short story collection, Everything Life Has to Offer, was published by Invisible Publishing in 2017. She has been teaching piano for over fifteen years.

Pivot on March 22nd
with Gwen Benaway, Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Robert Chafe, and Shari Kasman
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)

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Pivot on March 8th: Puneet Dutt, Nora Gold, Hal Niedzviecki, & Matt Robinson

Hi Kids. Pivot comes back on March 8th with a wild and wonderful show of very different styles and tones. You’ll like it. Matt Robinson comes from points east and is is joined by some of Toronto’s favourites.

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Cast List:

Puneet Dutt holds a MA in English from Ryerson University. She is the author of the chapbook PTSD south beach (Grey Borders Books), which was a Finalist for the 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize. Her work has been published in a number of journals and in Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. She resides in Toronto with her husband, where she is a creative writing workshop facilitator with the Toronto Writers Collective and is an editorial board member of Canthius, a literary journal. Follow her on twitter @Puneet_Dutt.

Nora Gold is a prize-winning author who has written three books: The Dead Man (which came out this spring), Fields of Exile (winner of the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award and praise from Cynthia Ozick), and Marrow and Other Stories (winner of a Canadian Jewish Book Award and praise from Alice Munro). She is also the founder and editor of the prestigious online literary journal Jewish Fiction .net, which has published 300 works of fiction from around the world (originally written in 14 different languages) and which has readers in over 140 countries. Dr. Gold, at one time a tenured professor, is now the Writer-in-Residence and an Associate Scholar at the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, where she coordinates the Wonderful Women Writers Series.

Hal Niedzviecki is the author of books of nonfiction and fiction, most recently the collection of short stories Look Down, This is Where it Must Have Happened (City Lights Books) and the nonfiction books Trees On Mars: Our Obsession with the Future (Seven Stories Press) and The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors (City Lights Books). The Peep Diaries was made into a television documentary entitled Peep Culture produced for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Niedzviecki is the current fiction editor and the founder of Broken Pencil, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts.  He edited the magazine from 1995 to 2002. Hal’s writing has appeared in newspapers, periodicals and journals across the world including The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Playboy, the Utne Reader, The Globe and Mail, The National Post,  The Walrus and Geist.

Matt Robinson is an Atlantic Canadian poet living in Halifax, NS. His most recent book is Some Nights It’s Entertainment; Some Other Nights Just Work, his fifth collection of poems, which was released by Gaspereau Press in Fall 2016. Other publications include the chapbook a fist made and then un-made (Gaspereau, 2013), which was short-listed for the bpNichol Award, as well as Against the Hard Angle (ECW, 2010), no cage contains a stare that well (ECW, 2005), and A Ruckus of Awkward Stacking (Insomniac, 2000). He’s won the Petra Kenney Prize and The Malahat Review Long Poem Award and been shortlisted for things like the Gerald Lampert Award and the ReLit Award. He has a new chapbook, The Telephone Game, coming out with Baseline Press in Fall 2017.

Pivot on March 8th
with Puneet Dutt, Nora Gold, Hal Niedzvkiecki, and Matt Robinson
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)

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Pivot on February 22nd: Julie Mannell, Jane Ozkowski, and Adam Zachary

Here comes a mid-winter Pivot with three writers who make us feel good about the future of writing in this country. We have Jane Ozkowski’s All-Ages-YA, Adam Zachary’s strange new novel, and works in progress from Toronto/Montreal powerhouse Julie Mannell. This will be a good “I went and saw these people read in a small bar in 2017” kind of story to tell, I promise.

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Cast List:

Julie Mannell is a writer of poetry, fiction and essays, and an editor at Matrix Magazine. She is the recipient of the HarperCollins/Constance Rooke Scholarship, the Mona Adilman Poetry Prize and the Lionel Shapiro Award for Excellency in Creative Writing. Her work has been featured in the National Post, Toronto Star and Huffington Post, among others. At the moment, Mannell is an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in English Literature and Philosophy. Originally from Fonthill, Ontario, she currently splits her time between Montreal and Toronto.

Jane Ozkowski’s YA novel, Watching Traffic, is available now from Groundwood Books/House of Anansi. She can be found online at www.janeozkowski.com and in real life riding her bicycle through the streets of Toronto.

Adam Zachary (1993–present) is an artist and writer. Their debut novel The End, by Anna is out now with Metatron. Adam is also the host of a private reading/party series and an editor at The Puritan.

Pivot on February 22nd
with Julie Mannell, Jane Ozkowski, and Adam Zachary
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)

 

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Pivot on February 8th: Michael Knox, Dwayne Morgan, and D.S. Stymeist

Pivot is excited to keep it moving into February with three distinct voices for the middle of the winter. Mike Knox is a local favourite poet now turned to fiction, D.S. Stymeist brings a first book with him built on a career spent thinking about poems, and Dwayne Morgan is one of the very best spoken word artists Canada has ever produced. Come get warmed.

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Cast List

Michael Knox’s new novel is Harshly Purring, from Now or Never. He has two previous books, Play Out the Match (2006) and The North End Poems (2008), and his work has appeared in a range of literary journals and magazines. He lives with his wife in Toronto.

Dwayne Morgan began his career as a performer in 1993. In 2014, he received the Renaissance Planet Africa Award for Career Achievement, and was acknowledged by the Ontario Black History Society as a Community Trailblazer, following up on his 2013 Scarborough Walk of Fame Induction. Morgan is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, a 2012 National Team Poetry Slam Champion, and four-time runner up. He has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award, and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts, and is the winner of 3 Canadian Urban Music Awards. In 2008, Morgan’s contribution to the Arts and Canadian society were recognized on the Legacy Black History Month poster.  Meanwhile, Morgan has published 8 books, most recently his first children’s book, Before I was Born. Dwayne has collaborated or shared stages with many of Canada’s top artists including Russell Peters, Kardinal Offishal, Jully Black,  Drake, and Nelly Furtado, and participating in festivities for Super Bowl 46, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

D.S. Stymeist has published poems and articles in many magazines and journals, and currently teaches crime writing, and indigenous literatures at Carleton University. He grew up a resident of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, is the editor and founder of the micro-press, Textualis, and is the current vice-president of VERSe Ottawa, which runs the annual poetry festival, VerseFest. Frontenac House has just released his debut book of poetry, The Bone Weir.

Pivot on February 8th
with Michael Knox, Dwayne Morgan, and D.S. Stymeist
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)

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Pivot on January 25th: Nyla Matuk, D.D. Miller, & Drew HaydenTaylor

Pivot keeps it up with our second show of the year and it has a bit of everything. We have local poet and recent New Yorker contributor Nyla Matuk along with sportswriter and fiction guy D.D. Miller and genre-bending humourist, playwright and author Drew Hayden Taylor. This will be a good one, gang.

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Nyla Matuk is the author of two books of poetry: Stranger (Vehicule Press, 2016) and Sumptuary Laws (Vehicule Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, the New Poetries VI anthology, PN Review, CNQ, The Manchester Review, and other journals in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Sumptuary Laws was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and two of its poems were nominated for The Walrus Poetry Prize.

Originally from Nova Scotia, D.D. Miller is a Toronto-based writer who teaches in the English Department at Humber College. His first book was the 2014 story collection David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories (published through Wolsak and Wynn’s Buckrider Books imprint). His latest is Eight-Wheeled Freedom (Wolsak and Wynn), a social history of the sport of roller derby.

Drew Hayden Taylor is an award winning playwright, author, journalist and filmmaker. He has done practically everything from performing stand up comedy at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C, to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.  An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nation, his 30th book has just been released, titled CREES IN THE CARIBBEAN. He also makes mean stuffed peppers. 

Pivot on January 25th
with Nyla Matuk, D.D. Miller, & Drew Hayden Taylor
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot’s 2017 Opener: Khan, Power, Strimas & Surani

Pivot is proud to kick off our 2017 with four great writers, including recent RBC Emerging Writer Award winner Adnan Khan, Newfoundland novelist Craig Francis Power, and a pair of beloved local poets. Let’s go.

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Toronto’s Adnan Khan won the 2016 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award and was a nominee for a National Magazine Award for his essay “Our Brownness Does Not Belong Here” in Hazlitt.  Having completed creative work under the mentorship Lee Maracle, Djanet Sears, Rosemarie Sullivan and more, he is currently working on a novel and completing his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph.

Craig Francis Power is a writer and visual artist from St. John’s, Newfoundland. His first novel, Blood Relatives, won the 2011 ReLit Award and was short-listed for the BMO Winterset Award. His visual art has shown at galleries across Canada. His newest novel is The.Hope., from Pedlar Press. (tw: Drug or Alcohol Abuse, Mental Illness)

Meaghan Strimas is the author of two poetry collections, Junkman’s Daughter and A Good Time Had By All, and the editor of The Selected Gwendolyn MacEwan. She grew up in Owen Sound, Ontario, and lives in Toronto, where she is a professor in the Department of English at Humber College and the managing editor of the Humber Literary Review.  Her newest is Yes or Nope, this past fall from Mansfield Press.

Moez Surani has travelled, studied, and worked in countries around the world. His writing has been featured in numerous publications, including the Best Canadian Poetry (2013 and 2014), The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, Harper’s Magazine, and PRISM International. His first poetry collection, Reticent Bodies (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2009. In that same year, he won a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and later, attended artists’ residencies in Italy, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Canada. His second poetry collection, Floating Life (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2012. Operación Opération Operation, Surani’s third book, was a finalist for 2014 Les Figues Press Book Prize before being published by Bookthug last year.

Pivot on January 11th
with Adnan Khan, Craig Francis Power, Meaghan Strimas, and Moez Surani
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

 

 

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