Category Archives: Events

Pivot’s 9th Season Finale: Linda Besner, Kate Cayley & Suzannah Showler

Nine years! How bout it. Pivot closes down for another summer with three superstars and it’ll be a great way to end the season. Thanks to everyone who came and supported Pivot, this season and the previous eight.

pivmay17

Cast List:

Linda Besner is the author of The Id Kid, published in 2011 by Vehicule Press and named one of the National Post’s Best Poetry Books of the Year. Her poetry and journalism have appeared in numerous magazines. Her second collection is Feel Happier in Nine Seconds, out now from Coach House.

Kate Cayley is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer living in Toronto. Her newest book is Other Houses, out now from Brick. She is the author of one previous poetry collection (When This World Comes to an End, Brick Books), a young adult novel (The Hangman in the Mirror, Annick Press), and a short story collection (How You Were Born, Pedlar Press), which won the 2015 Trillium Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award. She has been a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto since 2009, and has written two plays produced by Tarragon, After Akhmatova and The Bakelite Masterpiece.

Suzannah Showler is the author of  Thing is (McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House 2017) and Failure to Thrive (ECW, 2014), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award and was named one of the best books of the year by The National Post. A book of cultural criticism about The Bachelor is forthcoming from ECW’s Pop Classic series Spring 2018. Her writing has appeared places like Slate, Buzzfeed, The Walrus, Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist and the Silver award winner in the “One of a Kind” category in 2015.  She is a 2017-2018 Presidential Fellow at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where she lives with her husband, novelist Andrew Battershill.

Pivot’s Season Finale on May 17th
with Linda Besner, Kate Cayley and Suzannah Showler
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

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.

pivotapr5

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

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.

pivotmar22nd

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

Pivot on Nov. 16th: Jan Conn, Hoa Nguyen, Madeleine Thien, and Zoe Whittall

This is a good one, guys. We bring four exceptional women to the stage for a mid-autumn show that Pivot has been looking forward to all summer.

pivotn16

Cast List:

Canadian poet Jan Conn was brought up in southeastern Quebec. She now lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and is a professor of Biomedical Sciences whose research is focused on the genetics and ecology of mosquitoes. She has published nine books of poetry, most recently Tomorrow’s Bright White Light (Tightrope Books, 2016).

Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the DC area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. She is the author of  As Long As Trees Last, Red Juice,  and Violet Energy Ingots published by Wave Books. An experienced teacher of poetics in numerous settings, Nguyen currently teaches at Ryerson University, for Miami University’s low residency MFA program, in the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College and in a long-running, private poetics workshop.

Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver. She is the author of the story collection Simple Recipes (2001), and three novels, Certainty (2006); Dogs at the Perimeter (2011), and Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016), about musicians studying Western classical music at the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s, and about the legacy of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations. Do Not Say We Have Nothing has won the Governor General’s Award in Fiction, is on the shortlist for the Giller, and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.

Zoe Whittall is the author of the poetry collections The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (2001), The Emily Valentine Poems (2006), and Precordial Thump (2008). Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) made the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads’ Top Ten Essential Novels of the Decade. Her second novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible (2009) won a Lambda Literary Award and was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. She has also worked as a writer and story editor on the TV shows Degrassi and Schitt’s Creek. Born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, she has an MFA from the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto. Her newest novel, The Best Kind of People, was released this year from Anansi and is currently a Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist.

Pivot on November 16th
with Jan Conn, Hoa Nguyen, Madeleine Thien, and Zoe Whittall
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

Pivot on October 5th: John Wall Barger, Joe Denham, Susan Perly & Kevin Spenst

 Pivot grows wings and looks around, bringing in some writers from the West Coast and from India (via the East Coast), plus local novelist Susan Perly. It’s our third show of the season, and will be plenty worth your time.

Cast List:

John Wall Barger’s poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, Subtropics, Hotel Amerika, Best Canadian Poetry, and The Montreal Prize’s Global Poetry Anthology. His third book, The Book of Festus (Palimpsest Press), was a finalist for the 2016 JM Abraham Poetry Award. He lives in India.

Joe Denham has written 3 books of poetry and a novel. His most recent book, Regeneration Machine, won the 2016 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. He lives in Halfmoon Bay, BC with his wife and 2 children, where he writes and works as a homebuilder when he’s not captaining commercial fishing boats throughout the coastal waters of BC and Alaska. He is currently at work on another book of poetry, a sequel to the 2009 book-length poem, Windstorm, and is preparing to release his 1st album of songs, Lost at Sea, in the spring of 2017.

Susan Perly has worked as a journalist, war correspondent and radio producer for the CBC. In the early ’80s her Letters from Latin America for Peter Gzowski’s Morningside reported from locales such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Chiapas. During the Iran–Iraq war she broadcast Letters from Baghdad, and she produced many documentaries for the weekly program Sunday Morning. Perly is the author of the jazz novel Love Street, and her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. She lives in Toronto with her husband, the poet Dennis Lee. Her novel, Death Valley, was released this year by Wolsak & Wynn and is on the Longlist for the 2016 Giller Prize.

Kevin Spenst is the author of Jabbering with Bing Bong (Anvil Press) and the chapbooks Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Retractable (the serif of nottingham), Happy Hollow and the Surrey Suite (self-published), What the Frag Meant (100 tetes press) snap (Pooka Press), and Surrey Sonnets (JackPine press). He has done a one-man show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and over a hundred readings of his poetry across the country. His work has won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry and has most recently appeared in BafterC, Poetry is Dead, Lemon Hound and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014.

Pivot on October 5th
with John Wall Barger, Joe Denham, Susan Perly, and Kevin Spenst
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

Canisia Lubrin hosts Pivot on Sept 21st: Cherie Dimaline, Rudrapriya Rathore, Kilby Smith-McGregor, & Jess Taylor

Pivot is off and kicking for 2016-17, and Jake has taken this time to accidentally book a reading of his own out-of-town, but don’t fear, you’re in better hands with this quartet of women curated by emerging poet Canisia Lubrin. Lots to watch out for!

Cast List:

Cherie Dimaline is a member of the Georgian Bay Metis Community in Ontario. Her first award winning book, Red Rooms, was published by Theytus Books in 2007. Her 2013 novel ‘The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy’ was shortlisted for the Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature. Cherie’s latest collection of short fiction “A Gentle Habit” was released by Kegedonce Books, December 2015. Named as the Ontario Emerging Artist of the Year for the 2014 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Cherie was appointed as the first Aboriginal Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library, Spring 2015. Her upcoming YA novel, The Marrow Thieves is forthcoming from Cormorant Books, spring 2017.

Rudrapriya Rathore is currently pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at U of T. She won the Irving Layton award for fiction in 2014 and has published pieces in the Hart House Review, The Puritan, and The Walrus. She lives and writes in Toronto.

Kilby Smith-McGregor spent her early professional life making theatre. Her writing across genres has appeared in Brick, Conjunctions, and The Kenyon Review—among other publications—and been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays, and Best Canadian Poetry. She was recognized with the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2010 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her first collection of poetry is Kids in Triage (Wolsak & Wynn, 2016).

Jess Taylor is a Toronto writer and poet. She founded The Emerging Writers Reading Series (2012-2016) and is the fiction editor of Little Brother Magazine. She’s released two chapbooks of poetry, And Then Everyone: Poems of the West End (Picture Window Press, 2014) and Never Stop (Anstruther Press, 2014). This October, her first collection of short stories, Pauls, was published by BookThug. The title story from the collection, “Paul,” received the 2013 Gold Fiction National Magazine Award. Jess is currently at work on a second collection, Just Pervs;  a novel, Where Everything Glows; and continuation of her life poem, Never Stop.

Pivot on September 21st
with Cherie Dimaline, Rudrapriya Rathore, Kilby Smith-McGregor and Jess Taylor.
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Canisia Lubrin

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

Pivot’s 2016-17 Season Opener: H.D., Islam, Valencia & Whitlock.

Pivot’s Season Openers are an institution. We are excited to continue the built tradition of great new and established authors with another big kick-off show on September 7th. We’ve got emerging poet (and 2016 Arc POTY winner) Doyali Islam, weird-funny novelist Nathan Whitlock, Montreal Poetry Prize winner Eva H.D., and poet & Toronto Poetry Talks Founder Jacqueline Valencia. Come in out of the summer heat and be cool with us again.

Cast List:

Eva H.D. lives and writes in Toronto. She won the 2015 Montreal International Poetry Prize for her poem “38 Michigans” (judged by Eavan Boland). Her books are Rotten Perfect Mouth and the new Shiner (2016, Mansfield Press).

Doyali Islam’s recent poems have won CV2’s 2015 Young Buck Poetry Prize and Arc’s 2015 Poem of the Year contest. She is also the recipient of a 2015 Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and her first collection, Yusuf and the Lotus Flower was released from BuschekBooks in 2011.

Jacqueline Valencia is a poet and film/literary critic. She has written for the Rusty Toque, Lemon Hound, Next Projection, subTerrain, and the Barnstormer, among others. Her chapbook Maybe was selected for the 2012 Arte Factum exhibit by Poetry Is Deadmagazine. She is the founder and organizer of Toronto Poetry Talks and the author of the debut collection There is No Escape Out of Time (Insomniac, 2016) 

Nathan Whitlock’s work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Toronto Life, Report on Business, Flare, Fashion, Geist, Maisonneuve, and Best Canadian Essays, and he is a contributing editor for Quill & Quire. Heather O’Neill called A Week of This, Whitlock’s first novel, “a portrait of people in a small town so intimate that it feels like you are under the covers with them.” His newest is Congratulations on Everything, out this spring from ECW Press.(tw: drug and alcohol abuse)

Pivot’s Season Opener: Eva H.D., Doyali Islam, Jacqueline Valencia, and Nathan Whitlock
Wednesday, September 7th.
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Leave a comment

Filed under Events