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Pivot on December 5th- Benaway, Leung, Wilmot and Philip

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We’re bringing you 30% more Pivot this week with FOUR superstar readers! This Wednesday, December 5th, join us at the Tranzac club to welcome Gwen Benaway, Carrianne Leung, Andrew Wilmot and M. NourbeSe Philip!

Gwen Benaway is a trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She has published three collections of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, Passage and Holy Wild. Her fourth collection of poetry, Aperture, and a creative non-fiction book, trans girl in love, are forthcoming in 2020.

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo (Inanna Publications) was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You, was published in 2018 by Harper Collins Canada and also shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards. Her work has also appeared in The Puritan, Rice Paper, Globe and Mail, Open Book and others.

Andrew Wilmot is a writer and editor based out of Toronto. He has won awards for screenwriting and short fiction, with credits including Found Press, The Singularity, Glittership, Turn to Ash, Augur, and a small handful of spec fic anthologies. As an editor, he’s worked with small and mid-sized presses across Canada, and is Co-Publisher and Co-EIC, alongside editors Michael Matheson and Chinelo Onwualu, of the online magazine Anathema: Spec from the Margins. Books he’s worked on have themselves taken home multiple awards from the Sunburst Awards, the Eisner Awards, and most recently the Shirley Jackson Awards. The Death Scene Artist is his first novel. Find him online at: andrewwilmot.ca, and on Twitter, hating everything about Twitter, @AGAWilmot.

M. NourbeSe Philip is an unembedded poet, essayist, novelist and playwright who lives in the space-time of the City of Toronto. She practiced law in the City of Toronto for seven years before becoming a poet and writer. She has published four books of poetry including the seminal She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks, one novel and four collections of essays. Her book-length poem, Zong!, is a conceptually innovative, genre-breaking epic, which explores the legal archive as it relates to slavery. Her most recent work is BlanK, a collection of essays on racism and culture. Among her awards are numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants, as well as the Pushcart Prize, the Case de las Americas Prize, the Lawrence Foundation Prize, the Arts Foundation of Toronto Writing and Publishing Award, and Dora Award finalist. Her fellowships include Guggenheim, McDowell and Rockefeller (Bellagio). In 2001 she was an awardee of both the YWCA Woman of Distinction (Arts) and the Elizabeth Fry Rebels for a Cause awards. She has been Writer-in-Residence at several universities and a guest at writers’ retreats.

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 November 21st- Berger, Ramji + Sharpe

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Check out these red hot titles! For our next Pivot on Wednesday, November 21st, we’re welcoming Tamara Faith Berger, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, and Cason Sharpe to the Tranzac club.

Tamara Faith Berger was born in Toronto. She published her first book, Lie with Me, in 1999, and it was made into a film in 2004. In 2001, A Woman Alone at Night was published. These two novels were collected in Little Cat. Her third book, Maidenhead, won the 2012 Believer Book Award. She is also the author of Kuntalini and is writing for film and television.

Shazia Hafiz Ramji’s first book, Port of Being, received the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry (Invisible Publishing, October 2018). She was a finalist for the National Magazine Awards and the Alberta Magazine Awards, and her poetry and fiction have appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and The Humber Literary Review, respectively. Her criticism has appeared in venues such as Canadian Literature, Quill & Quire, and the Chicago Review of Books. Shazia has appeared on CBC North by Northwest and will be a writer in residence with Open Book in spring 2019. She lives on unceded Coast Salish land (Vancouver).

Cason Sharpe is a writer currently based in Toronto. His fiction and criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, PRISM International, C Magazine, The Hart House Review, and GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine, among others. His first collection of short stories, Our Lady of Perpetual Realness, was released by Metatron in 2017.

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 November 7th- Freure, Ott and Wright

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The ultimate #tbt? Throwing Pivot back to its original time slot on WEDNESDAY, November 7th! Join us at the Tranzac club where Jason Freure, Teresa Ott and Catriona Wright will be making Wednesdays cool again. 

Jason Freure is originally from Kitchener. He is the operations manager of The Puritan. Everyone Rides the Bus in a City of Losers is his first collection of poetry. He lives in Toronto’s east end.

Teresa Ott grew up in southern Pennsylvania and has lived in Toronto since 2007. Her poems have appeared internationally, in publications including The Moth, The Fiddlehead and Subtropics. In the spring of this year, she was shortlisted for The Moth Poetry Prize in Ireland. Previously, her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a National Magazine Award, and shortlisted for Arc Poetry Magazine’s Poem of the Year Award. She recently completed a poetry manuscript, Mother Cake, which follows two women linked by place and biology across a century, and she is currently at work on a second collection of poems.

Catriona Wright is the author of the poetry collection Table Manners (Véhicule Press, 2017) and the short story collection Difficult People (Nightwood Editions, 2018). Her short stories have appeared in GeistThe New QuarterlyJoylandGrain and Room. Her poems have appeared in Prism InternationalPrairie FireFiddlehead, and Lemon Hound, and they have been anthologized in The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry and in The Best Canadian Poetry 2015 & 2018. She is the poetry editor for The Puritan and a co-founder of Desert Pets Press.

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 October 11th- Tennant, Ibrahim + Vermeersch

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Can we have a moment of appreciation for these beautiful, colour-coordinated covers? Also, join us on Thursday, October 11th for several moments of appreciation as we welcome Jamie Tennant, Djamila Ibrahim and Paul Vermeersch!

Jamie Tennant is a long-time freelance journalist, broadcaster and writer He is currently the Program Director at 93.3 CFMU FM, and the host of the literature program Get Lit. He was a National Magazine Award nominee, Hamilton Literary Awards finalist, and was awarded the Hamilton Arts Award for Writing in 2018. ‘The Captain of Kinnoull Hill’ is his debut novel.  www.jamietennant.ca

Djamila Ibrahim’s debut short story collection Things Are Good Now was one of Now Magazine’s 10 Books To Be Excited About in 2018, and has made several CBC lists of Books/Writers To Watch For in 2018. Things Are Good Now has been reviewed favourably in many publications including the Toronto Star, Literary Review of Canada (LRC), Quill and Quire, This Magazine, the Globe and Mail, and Toronto Life. Djamila’s stories have been shortlisted for the University of Toronto’s Penguin Random House Canada Student Award for Fiction and Briarpatch Magazine’s creative writing contest.

Paul Vermeersch is a poet, professor, artist, and editor. He teaches in the Creative Writing & Publishing program at Sheridan College and is senior editor of Wolsak & Wynn publishers where he runs the Buckrider Books imprint. Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is his sixth collection of poems. He lives in Toronto.

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 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 (http://aarontucker.ca/3-d-poems/); he is also the co-creator of The ChessBard, an app that transforms chess games into poems (http://chesspoetry.com).

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

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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

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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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