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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.

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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

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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

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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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