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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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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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