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Pivot on April 6th: Rahat Kurd, Allison Lasorda, Cassidy McFadzean, and Brent Raycroft.

It’s April, and Pivot is earning its poetry citizenship badge by doing back-to-back All Poets Shows. We have visiting Vancouverite Rahat Kurd and Saskatoonian (?) Cassidy McFadzean, joined by the local Allison Lasorda and the localish Brent Raycroft. Tis the season.

Cast List:

Rahat Kurd’s essays have appeared in The Walrus and Maisonneuve magazines, and she is at work on a memoir about the making of Muslim culture in North America. The poetry sequence “Seven Stones for Jamarat”, published in Exile Literary Quarterly, is currently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist in the 2014 Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize. Rahat was selected as Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category of the 2013 Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards. She’s here with Cosmophilia, out from Talonbooks last autumn.

Allison LaSorda’s work has appeared in The Malahat Review, Riddle Fence, [PANK], and The Fiddlehead, where one of her poems is nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Anstruther Press published her first chapbook, Playdate, in 2015. She’s currently finishing up her MFA at the University of Guelph.

Cassidy McFadzean is the author of Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart 2015), shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her work has appeared in magazines in Canada and the US including Prelude, The Malahat Review, The Walrus, and The Fiddlehead, and has been a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize and the Walrus Poetry Prize. Cassidy graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and now teaches as a sessional lecturer at Luther College in Regina.

Brent Raycroft lives just north of Kingston Ontario, where he and his partner are down to one kid left at home. His poems have appeared in Vallum, Arc, Prairie Fire, Freefall, CV2, Grain, the Walrus, The Broken City and elsewhere. The Subtleties of Divine Creatures, a single-poem chapbook, was published last year by Thee Hellbox Press. This year he has taken the plunge and self-published Sydenham, a brief epic for Canada 175, about our real first Prime Minister.

Pivot on April 6th: Rahat Kurd, Allison Lasorda, Cassidy McFadzean, and Brent Raycroft.
Wednesday, April 6th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

 

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Pivot on March 23rd: Tajja Isen, A.F. Moritz, Alessandro Porco, and Daniel Kincade Renton

There aren’t a lot of Pivots left this year. After this show we’re down to our last three, so think hard about it and maybe come out, okay? Okay.

Cast List:

Tajja Isen is a writer, voice actor, and law student. Her fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, and Room Magazine, and was longlisted for the 2015 CBC Short Story Prize. She lives in Toronto and is currently revising her first novel. Her voice can be heard on such cartoons as Atomic Betty, The Berenstain Bears, and Jane and the Dragon, among others.

A. F. Moritz has written more than twenty books of poetry, and has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Ingram Merrill Fellowship. His collection The Sentinel won the 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, and was a Globe and Mail Top 100 of the Year. His most recent collection is Sequence. He lives in Toronto.

Alessandro Porco is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He received his Ph.D. in Poetics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Porco recently edited the critical edition of Jerrold Levy and Richard Negro’s Poems by Gerard Legro, a collaborative work of prank poetics first composed and performed at Black Mountain College in 1949.

Born in Saint John, NB, Daniel Kincade Renton has been published by Canadian journals and anthologies such as Prism International, Hazlitt, CV2, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, and The Fish Quill Poetry Boat 2010-13. He hosts The Common Reading Series at the Bell Jar Cafe in Toronto and is completing a PhD on Derrida, poetics, and Hypercritical Faith at York University. Frog Hollow Press published his chapbook, Milk Teeth, in late 2015.

Pivot on March 23rd: Tajja Isen, A.F. Moritz, Alessandro Porco, and Daniel Kincade Renton.
Wednesday, March 23rd
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

 

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Pivot on March 9th: Gary Barwin, Michelle Brown, and Melissa Bull

Alright, everybody. It’s the Bs. We have Nelly Arcan translator and poet Melissa Bull in from Montreal, plus Hamilton creative hub Gary Barwin and local favourite Michelle Brown. This is a good one. Maybe we’re done with snow and stuff even? Who knows. But you should come to this one.

Note, the fourth would-be Bee, Sheri Benning, has had to reschedule over a professional commitment. We’ll see her in the fall.

Cast List:

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, multimedia artist, and the author of 20 books of poetry and fiction as well as books for kids. His most recent books are the short fiction collection, I, Dr Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457 (Anvil) and the poetry collections,  Moon Baboon Canoe (Mansfield), and The Wild and Unfathomable Always (Xexoxial). Yiddish for Pirates, a novel, will appear in April 2016 from Random House Canada. A PhD in music, Barwin was 2014-2015 Writer-in-Residence at Western University and the Toronto Public Library Young Voices eWrite-in-residence in 2013. He has taught creative writing at a number of colleges and universities. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario. (tw: violence)

Michelle Brown is currently working as a copywriter in Toronto. Recently longlisted for the CBC poetry prize, and shortlisted for the CV2 Young Buck poetry prize, she’s excitedly awaiting the launch of her first chapbook with Desert Pets Press in May and her first full-length collection, to be published with Palimpsest in 2018.

Melissa Bull is a writer and translator based in Montreal. She is the editor of Maisonneuve’s “Writing from Quebec” Column. Her translation of Nelly Arcan’s Burqa of Skin was published in 2014 by Anvil Press and her collection of poetry, Rue, came out in 2015, also with Anvil.

Pivot on March 9th: Gary Barwin, Michelle Brown, and Melissa Bull
Wednesday, March 9th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on February 24th: Jeff Blackman, Patrick Warner & Zachariah Wells

We’re in the thick of it now, just the last few shows before the annual spring floodgates of new books open up. And we have a really incredible show, with poets and a poet-slash-fictionaut. Folks from Newfoundland and Ottawa and Halifax. Worth coming out for on a winter night, I’d say.

Cast List

Jeff Blackman’s poetry has appeared in periodicals such as Blacklock’s Reporter, In/Words, and the Steel Chisel, the anthology Five (Apt. 9 Press), and Best Canadian Poetry in English 2015 (Tightrope Books). He keeps warm in Ottawa, Ontario, with his growing family.

Patrick Warner was born in Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland in 1963. He has published four collections of poetry: All Manner of Misunderstanding (Killick Press, 2001), There, there (Signal Editions, 2005), Mole (House of Anansi Press, 2009), and Perfection (Goose Lane/Ice House, 2012). He has also published two novels: Double Talk (Breakwater, 2011) and One Hit Wonders (Breakwater, 2015). He is the rare books and special collections librarian for Memorial University Libraries.

Zachariah Wells is the author of several books, most recently the essay collection Career Limiting Moves and the poetry title Sum. Originally from PEI, he has hung his hat on all three coasts and several points in between. He now lives with his wife, writer Rachel Lebowitz, and their son in Halifax, from whence he rides the rails to Montreal aboard Via Rail’s “Ocean” train.

Pivot Readings at The Steady Cafe
Featuring Jeff Blackman, Patrick Warner, and Zachariah Wells
Wednesday, February 24th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on February 10th:Madhur Anand, Trevor Cole, Lana Pesch, and Kim Trainor

Pivot is experimenting a bit with spacing out our winter shows in the interest of season-avoidance. So, the next Pivot is happening three weeks after the last one, instead of the usual two. Hopefully this will not result in a bunch of sad Pivoteers piling into the Steady on Feb 3rd and seeing no poems nor stories.

Cast List:

Madhur Anand’s acclaimed debut collection of poems is A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada, April 2015). Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Rusty Toque and The Walrus. She is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph.

Trevor Cole’s first two books — Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life and The Fearsome Particles — were both short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award and long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His third novel, Practical Jean, was nominated for the Rogers’ Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and won the Leacock Medal for Humour. Trevor’s latest novel, Hope Makes Love, has been called soulful, harrowing, graceful and full of life. He lives in Toronto.

Lana Pesch is a Saskatchewan born, Toronto-based writer and producer. Her debut short story collection, Moving Parts, was published in October 2015 by Arsenal Pulp Press. Lana’s writing has appeared in Elle Canada, Taddle Creek, 49th Shelf, and Little Bird Stories: Volumes I and II. She was long-listed for the 2014 CBC Short Story Prize, and won the Random House of Canada Creative Writing Award at the University of Toronto in 2012.

Over the years Kim Trainor has worked at a campus radio station, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, a biomedical library, and is currently a sessional lecturer at UBC. Her poetry has won the Gustafson Prize and the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and has appeared in the 2013 Global Poetry Anthology and The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2014. She lives in Vancouver. (tw: violence)

Pivot Readings at The Steady Cafe
Featuring Madhur Anand, Trevor Cole, Lana Pesch, and Kim Trainor
Wednesday, February 10th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot on January 20th: Jean Marc Ah-Sen, James Lindsay, and Carolyn Smart

Pivot keeps moving unafraid into what we are told is the winter. We have three great readers on the twentieth, with debuting novelist Jean Marc Ah-Sen and debuting poet James Lindsay joined by the much-loved poet and professor Carolyn Smart.

Cast List:

Jean Marc Ah-Sen is the Toronto-based author of Grand Menteur, a novel about Mauritian street-gangs that the Globe and Mail included in their top 100 books of 2015 and which the National Post hailed as an “inventive escape from the conventional.” He is working on a second novel called The Lost Norman. (tw: violence, racial slurs)

James Lindsay has been a bookseller for more than a decade. He is also co-owner of Pleasence Records in Toronto, a record label specializing in post-punk, odd-pop and avant-garde sound pieces. His debut collection of poems, Our Inland Sea came out this fall from Wolsak & Wynn.

Carolyn Smart has written seven collections of poetry including Careen, Hooked, and The Way to Come Home. She is the founder of the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, poetry editor for McGill-Queen’s Press, and since 1989 has taught Creative Writing at Queen’s University. (tw: violence)

Pivot Readings at The Steady Cafe
Featuring Jean Marc Ah-Sen, James Lindsay, and Carolyn Smart.
Wednesday, January 20th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot’s Year Opener on January 6th: Derek McCormack, Andy McGuire & Jane Munro

Pivot hopes you had a fun and relaxing whatevers with your friends and maybe family. But time moves forward, and soon it’ll be January and time to start up again for the winter. The traditions of Great Big Pivots to kick off the season continue with local hero Derek McCormack, debuting Coach House poet Andy McGuire, and reigning (reigning? I’m going to say “reigning”, I like how it sounds…) Griffin laureate Jane Munro.

Cast List

Derek McCormack is a writer who lives in Toronto. His books include The Show that Smells, Grab Bag, The Haunted Hillbilly, and most recently The Well-Dressed Wound, out last year from Semiotext(e). (TWs: Sexual violence, illness)

Andy McGuire is from Grand Bend and currently resides in Toronto. He is pursuing an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. McGuire’s poems have appeared in Riddle Fence, Hazlitt and The Walrus. His first collection, Country Club, came out in the fall from Coach House.

Jane Munro’s previous books include Active Pass (Pedlar Press, 2010), Point No Point (McClelland & Stewart, 2006) and Grief Notes & Animal Dreams (Brick Books, 1995). Her work has received the Bliss Carman Poetry Award, the Macmillan Prize for Poetry, been nominated for the Pat Lowther Award, and is included in The Best Canadian Poetry 2013. She is a member of the collaborative group Yoko’s Dogs  whose first book, Whisk, was published by Pedlar Press in 2013. Her most recent collection, Blue Sonoma (Brick), won the 2015 Griffin Prize for Canadian Poetry. (TWs: Illness-Alzheimer’s/Dementia)

Pivot Readings at The Steady Cafe
Featuring Derek McCormack, Andy McGuire, and Jane Munro
Wednesday, January 6th
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

 

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