Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome Pivot’s Incoming Hosts & Directors

Thanks to everyone who helped us search for people to take over running Pivot once Jake exits after this season. We went into it thinking that we’d struggle to find any willing candidates and ended up with the opposite problem: several of them and no real “good” way to pick between them. We hope everyone who put their name forward keeps up with the work they’re doing now, to support and grow the community and make good spaces for bookwork.

That being said, we’re happy to tell you about the two women who will take over the series full-time as of September 2017, after a gradual hand-off of responsibilities over our Winter/Spring 2017 season.

michellecanisia

Pivot’s new Hosts and Directors are Michelle Brown and Canisia Lubrin.

Michelle Brown works as a copywriter in Toronto. Recently longlisted for the CBC poetry prize, and shortlisted for the CV2 Young Buck poetry prize, her first chapbook came out in May with Desert Pets Press and her first full-length collection will come from Palimpsest in 2018. She read at Pivot on March 9th, 2016 with Gary Barwin and Melissa Bull.

Canisia Lubrin’s work has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, The Puritan, Room, Prairie Fire, and The City Series Anthology (Toronto) from Frog Hollow Press.‎ Her first colletion of poetry Voodoo Hypothesis will be out from Wolsak & Wynn in Spring, 2017.  She’s also working on a novel. Canisia has an MFA from the University of Guelph and teaches writing at Humber College. She guest directed and hosted for Pivot on September 21st, 2016.

You can follow both Michelle and Canisia on Twitter, at @michelleshares and @canislau, respectively.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pivot on November 30th: Adèle Barclay, Mat Laporte & Eric Beck Rubin

Pivot closes down its 2016 with another equal pairing of poets and novelists. A couple of visitors from points west and a couple of local gentlemen. Goodbye, 2016. You were the worst and no one will miss you.

nov30

Cast List:

Adèle Barclay’s writing has appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Puritan, PRISM, The Literary Review of Canada, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016 Lit POP Award for Poetry and has been shortlisted for the 2016 Walrus Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, (Nightwood, 2016) was nominated for the 2015 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. She is the Interviews Editor at The Rusty Toque, a poetry ambassador for Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Rachel Rose, and the 2017 Critic-in-Residence for Canadian Women In Literary Arts. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Victoria and researches modern and contemporary American poetry

Mat Laporte, born in Sault Ste. Marie, is a Toronto-based writer and co-founder of the micropress Ferno House. Laporte is the author of a tetralogy of chapbooks: Demons, Billboards from Hell, Life Savings (nominated for the 2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award), and Bad Infinity. His poetry has been featured in numerous publications, including Poetry is Dead and Lemon Hound. Rats Nest (Bookthug, 2016) is Laporte’s first full-length book.

Eric Beck Rubin is a cultural historian who writes on architecture, literature, and psychology – and is currently teaching at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. School of Velocity is Eric’s first foray into fiction, and he is currently at work on a second: a family saga spanning pre-World War II Germany to present-day Los Angeles and Western Canada. He is also the creator of the Burning Books Literary Podcast, which can be found on iTunes and Litopia.

Pivot on November 30th
with Adèle Barclay, Mat Laporte & Eric Beck Rubin
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pivot on November 2nd: Leesa Dean, Stevie Howell, Rob Taylor & Erin Wunker

Pivot enters the back half of its Fall season with four writers from all genres and coasts. We have the Nova Scotia-based essayist and CWILA Chair Erin Wunker, along with BC blogger and poet Rob Taylor, transplanted ex-Torontonian and story writer Leesa Dean, and the return of a Constant Pivot Favourite in Stevie Howell.

pivotnov2

Cast List:

Leesa Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program and a Creative Writing instructor at Selkirk College in Nelson, British Columbia. Her first book, Waiting for the Cyclone, was recently published by Brindle and Glass. She is currently working on a poetry collection about an unhinged Brazilian man who does things like burn down his house because he fears it’s been taken over by cucarachas with moth-like wings.

Stevie Howell’s first collection of poetry, Sharps (Goose Lane, 2014), was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. A second book is forthcoming from Penguin Random House. Stevie’s poetry has appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry (2014 and 2015), Hazlitt, The Walrus, Geist, Eighteen Bridges, The Best American Poetry site, The Moth, and Maisonneuve. Critical writing has been published in the National Post, The Globe & Mail, Quill & Quire, Ploughshares, and The Rumpus. Stevie grew up in Scarborough, once owned a small-town bookstore, lives by the Mink Mile, and works in a hospital. She has a new chapbook called Summer out with Desert Pets Press.

Rob Taylor lives in Vancouver with his wife and son. He is the author of two books of poetry: The News (Gaspereau Press, 2016) and The Other Side of Ourselves (Cormorant Books, 2011), as well as four chapbooks. In 2014 he was named one of the inaugural writers-in-residence at the Al Purdy A-frame, and in 2015 he received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for the Literary Arts, as an emerging artist. In 2007 Rob co-founded One Ghana, One Voice, Ghana’s first online poetry magazine. He was also the poetry editor at Red Fez from 2007 – 2010, and the poetry editor at PRISM international in 2014-15. Rob has run a blog devoted to Canadian (especially Vancouver) poetry, Roll of Nickels, since 2006. In 2011 Rob was part of the team that “resurrected” Vancouver’s Dead Poets Reading Series, which he still coordinates today. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Erin Wunker is Chair of the Board of the national non-profit organization Canadian Women in the Literary Arts (www.cwila.com) and co-founder, writer, and managing editor of the feminist academic blog Hook & Eye: Fast Feminism, Slow Academe. She teaches courses in Canadian literature and cultural production with a special focus on cultural production by women. She lives in Halifax with her partner, their daughter, and Marley the dog. Notes from a Feminist Killjoy (Bookthug) is Wunker’s first book.

Pivot on November 2nd
with Leesa Dean, Stevie Howell, Rob Taylor, and Erin Wunker
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pivot on October 19th: Adebe DeRango-Adem, Amber McMillan, Nathaniel G. Moore, & Vincent Pagé

Pivot keeps going into the middle of our Fall set with two more visiting West Coasters (ex-Torontonians, the both) plus friendly Pivot regular and talented poet Vincent Pagé and the arrival of AmeriCanadian academic and award-winning poet Adebe DeRango-Adem.

Cast List:

Adebe DeRango-Adem was called a young Canadian author to watch in 2016 by Canada’s current parliamentary poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke.  A former student of Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Adebe is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Ex Nihilo and Terra Incognita.  Ex Nihilo was nominated for the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize, while her most recent book, Terra Incognita, published in 2015, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther award. Terra explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings both buried in the grand narratives of history and the everyday experiences of being mixed-race. Poems from the collection were also longlisted for the inaugural Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, as judged by Claudia Rankine.

Amber McMillan is the author of The Woods: A Year on Protection Island (2016) and the poetry collection We Can’t Ever Do This Again (2015). Her work has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Contemporary Verse 2, PRISM International, Best Canadian Poetry and other journals across North America. She lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast.

Nathaniel G. Moore is the author of Savage 1986-2011 winner of the 2014 Relit Award for best novel. A lifelong Torontonian, Moore left our fair city in 2014 for sparse pastures in British Columbia and *didn’t* write a book about it. His new book Jettison is his debut collection of short stories, out now with Anvil Press. He currently works and lives (with Amber McMillan) on the Sunshine Coast as a full-time book publicist.

Vincent Pagé has work published in Prism International, Event, The Malahat Review, Geist, Vallum, Metatron, and The Puritan, among other journals. He was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2015, and his first chapbook, Veinte was published with Vallum Chapbook Series. His second chapbook, IN A BURNING BUILDING THE AIR INSIDE IS HEATED BY FIRE AND SO BECOMES LIGHTER is forthcoming with Desert Pets Press. He lives in Toronto.

Pivot on October 19th
with Adebe DeRango-Adem, Amber McMillan, Nathaniel G. Moore, and Vincent Pagé
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pivot is on its Summer Hiatus

Pivot is done for the year. Our 2015-16 season closed this week and we are on hiatus until September 7th.

Jake would like to thank The Steady Cafe for being a friendly home this season. He also wants to say thanks to Alexis von Konigslow for her support and to Bianca Spence for filling the dual role of Supply Teacher and Guidance Counselor at Pivot Middle School. Pivot also thanks its friends at The Scope, especially Juanita Muwanga and Emily Joveski.

But mostly, Pivot thanks its readers. In chronological order (deep breath): Mathew Henderson, Cat Kidd, Liz Howard, Raoul Fernandes, James Grainger, Sabrina Ramnanan, Dina del Bucchia, Daniel Zomparelli, Margaret Christakos, Liz Worth, Meira Cook, Kevin Hardcastle, George Murray, Chad Campbell, Elena Johnson, Cara-Lyn Morgan, Catriona Wright, Faith Vanessa Arforful, Matt Cahill, Maureen Hynes, Karen Solie, Jonathan Ball, Amina Farah, Laura Clarke, Derek McCormack, Andy McGuire, Janue Munro, Jean Marc Ah-Sen, James Lindsay, Carolyn Smart, Madhur Anund, Trevor Cole, Lana Pesch, Kim Trainor, Jeff Blackman, Patrick Warner, Zachariah Wells, Gary Barwin, Melissa Bull, Michelle Brown, Tajja Isen, A.F. Moritz, Alessandro Porco, Daniel Kincade Renton, Rahat Kurd, Cassidy McFadzean, Brent Raycroft, Laurie D. Graham, Adrienne Gruber, Soraya Peerbaye, Talya Rubin, Jordan Tannahill, Carmine Starnino, Vivek Shraya and Arleen Pare.

That’s fifty-five readers. Forty-one of them read (mostly or only) poetry and fourteen (mostly or only) read prose. Our CWILA count for the season (using self-identified genders and guided by pronouns) was 31 women and 24 men, or a 56/44 split towards women. This moves Pivot’s all-time CWILA count to a somewhat uncanny and not-entirely planned 50.00/50.00 split.

Pivot should have some of its early Fall 2016 ready to publicize on Facebook in June or July. In the interim, watch pivotreadings.ca and follow us on iTunes as we’re going to post The Scope’s podcasts over the course of the summer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

150 Pivots Later: Season Finale of May 4th with Arleen Paré, Vivek Shraya, Carmine Starnino and Jordan Tannahill

This is not just the end of our 2015-16 season, but represents Pivot’s 150th show since the series began. To celebrate, we’ve planned something of a builders’ ball, with four readers who, beyond the quality of their work itself, have gone out and made new communities and worlds: performative, critical, aesthetic ones, and have improved Canadian Book Stuff by doing so. Come see us off for the summer among friends.

Cast List:

Arleen Paré is a Victoria poet and novelist. Her first book, Paper Trail, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award and won the Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2008. Her second book, Leaving Now, a mixed genre novel, was released in 2012.  Lake of Two Mountains, her first collection of poetry, won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2014; it was also nominated for the Victoria Butler Book Prize and won the CBC Bookie Award.  Paré’s latest poetry collection, He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car was released in September, 2015. (tw: mental illness & suicide)

Vivek Shraya is a Toronto-based artist whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. She is also one half of the music duo Too Attached and the Associate Editor of Heartbeats, a website that features racialized artists and stories. Her first novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2014, and will be followed by her debut collection of poetry, even this page is white, out this spring. Vivek has read and performed at shows, festivals and post-​secondary institutions internationally, sharing the stage with Tegan & Sara and Dragonette, and has appeared at NXNE, Word on the Street, and Yale University. Vivek is a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, a 2015 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award finalist, and a 2015 recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize Honour of Distinction. Vivek’s first children’s picture book, The Boy & the Bindi, will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2016. Her book on recording artist M.I.A. will be published in 2017 by ECW Press, as part of their Pop Classics series.

Carmine Starnino is a poet, essayist, and critic. He has published four volumes of poetry. His previous, This Way Out (2009), was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award and his newest is Leviathan, from Gaspereau Press His other books include two collections of critical reviews and essays–Lazy Bastardism and A Lover’s Quarrel and The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry, which he edited. Starnino lives in Montreal where he edits the poetry for Vehicule Press’s Signal Editions imprint.

Jordan Tannahill is a playwright, theatre director and filmmaker, recently described by The Globe and Mail as “…the poster child of a new generation of artists for whom “interdisciplinary” is not a buzzword, but a way of life”. In collaboration with William Ellis, Jordan runs the alternative art-space Videofag out of their home in Kensington Market. His plays and films have been presented across Canada and internationally. Jordan received the 2014 Governor Generals Award for Drama for his book Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays, the 2014 John Hirsch Prize for directing, and a Dora Award for rihannaboi95 in 2013 and for Concord Floral in 2015His book Theatre of the Unimpressed was published by Coach House Press in 2015.

Pivot’s Season Finale: Arleen Paré, Vivek Shraya, Carmine Starnino and Jordan Tannahill
Wednesday, May 4th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pivot on April 20th: Laurie D. Graham, Adrienne Gruber, Soraya Peerbaye, and Talya Rubin

Pivot continues its all-poetry April with four of the countries most exciting poets. We have visitors Talya Rubin and Adrienne Gruber, plus London’s Laurie D. Graham and our own Soraya Peerbaye. This is the penultimate Pivot of the 2015-16 season, so get out for this one if you’ve been missing us!

Cast List:

Laurie D. Graham’s second book of poetry, called Settler Education, is out now with McClelland & Stewart. Work from this collection was shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize and won The Puritan‘s Thomas Morton Prize. Her first book, Rove, was published in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. Laurie is an editor of Brick magazine, and she lives in London, Ontario. (tw: violence)

Adrienne Gruber is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Buoyancy Control (BookThug) and This is the Nightmare (Thistledown Press), and three chapbooks, Mimic (Leaf Press), Everything Water (Cactus Press) and Intertidal Zones (Jack Pine Press). She has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards in poetry, Descant’s Winston Collins Best Canadian Poem Contest and twice for ARC’s Poem of the Year Contest. Her poem Gestational Trail was awarded first prize in the Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest in 2015 and she won the bpNichol Chapbook Award for Mimic in 2012. Originally from Saskatoon, Adrienne lives in Vancouver with her partner Dennis and their daughters Quintana and Tamsin.

Soraya Peerbaye is the author of Tell: Poems for a Girlhood (Pedlar Press, 2015); her first collection, Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (Goose Lane Editions, 2009) was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. Her poetry has also been published in Translating Horses (eds. Jennifer Hiemstra & Gillian Sze, Baseline Press, 2015), and Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women’s Poetry (eds. Rishma Dunlop & Priscilla Uppal, Mansfield Press, 2004). She works extensively in the field of dance, and is the co-curator, with Brandy Leary, of the Contemporaneity series of contemporary expressions of Asian, African, Arab, Latin American, and Indigenous dance, coming soon.

Talya Rubin is a writer and performance maker. Her poetry won the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and was short-listed for the Winston Collins/Descant prize for Best Canadian poem and the Montreal International Poetry Prize. She won the “Battle of the Bards” at Harbourfront and was invited to attend IFOA in 2015. Her first book of poetry, Leaving the Island, was published with Véhicule Press in April 2015. She also runs an interdisciplinary performance company, Too Close to the Sun. Talya holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. She currently lives in Montreal. (tw: mental illness (anorexia))

Pivot on April 20th: Laurie D. Graham, Adrienne Gruber, Soraya Peerbaye, and Talya Rubin
Wednesday, April 20th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized