Pivot on February 8th: Michael Knox, Dwayne Morgan, and D.S. Stymeist

Pivot is excited to keep it moving into February with three distinct voices for the middle of the winter. Mike Knox is a local favourite poet now turned to fiction, D.S. Stymeist brings a first book with him built on a career spent thinking about poems, and Dwayne Morgan is one of the very best spoken word artists Canada has ever produced. Come get warmed.

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Cast List

Michael Knox’s new novel is Harshly Purring, from Now or Never. He has two previous books, Play Out the Match (2006) and The North End Poems (2008), and his work has appeared in a range of literary journals and magazines. He lives with his wife in Toronto.

Dwayne Morgan began his career as a performer in 1993. In 2014, he received the Renaissance Planet Africa Award for Career Achievement, and was acknowledged by the Ontario Black History Society as a Community Trailblazer, following up on his 2013 Scarborough Walk of Fame Induction. Morgan is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, a 2012 National Team Poetry Slam Champion, and four-time runner up. He has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award, and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts, and is the winner of 3 Canadian Urban Music Awards. In 2008, Morgan’s contribution to the Arts and Canadian society were recognized on the Legacy Black History Month poster.  Meanwhile, Morgan has published 8 books, most recently his first children’s book, Before I was Born. Dwayne has collaborated or shared stages with many of Canada’s top artists including Russell Peters, Kardinal Offishal, Jully Black,  Drake, and Nelly Furtado, and participating in festivities for Super Bowl 46, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

D.S. Stymeist has published poems and articles in many magazines and journals, and currently teaches crime writing, and indigenous literatures at Carleton University. He grew up a resident of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, is the editor and founder of the micro-press, Textualis, and is the current vice-president of VERSe Ottawa, which runs the annual poetry festival, VerseFest. Frontenac House has just released his debut book of poetry, The Bone Weir.

Pivot on February 8th
with Michael Knox, Dwayne Morgan, and D.S. Stymeist
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)

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Pivot on January 25th: Nyla Matuk, D.D. Miller, & Drew HaydenTaylor

Pivot keeps it up with our second show of the year and it has a bit of everything. We have local poet and recent New Yorker contributor Nyla Matuk along with sportswriter and fiction guy D.D. Miller and genre-bending humourist, playwright and author Drew Hayden Taylor. This will be a good one, gang.

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Nyla Matuk is the author of two books of poetry: Stranger (Vehicule Press, 2016) and Sumptuary Laws (Vehicule Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, the New Poetries VI anthology, PN Review, CNQ, The Manchester Review, and other journals in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Sumptuary Laws was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and two of its poems were nominated for The Walrus Poetry Prize.

Originally from Nova Scotia, D.D. Miller is a Toronto-based writer who teaches in the English Department at Humber College. His first book was the 2014 story collection David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories (published through Wolsak and Wynn’s Buckrider Books imprint). His latest is Eight-Wheeled Freedom (Wolsak and Wynn), a social history of the sport of roller derby.

Drew Hayden Taylor is an award winning playwright, author, journalist and filmmaker. He has done practically everything from performing stand up comedy at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C, to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.  An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nation, his 30th book has just been released, titled CREES IN THE CARIBBEAN. He also makes mean stuffed peppers. 

Pivot on January 25th
with Nyla Matuk, D.D. Miller, & Drew Hayden Taylor
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Pivot’s 2017 Opener: Khan, Power, Strimas & Surani

Pivot is proud to kick off our 2017 with four great writers, including recent RBC Emerging Writer Award winner Adnan Khan, Newfoundland novelist Craig Francis Power, and a pair of beloved local poets. Let’s go.

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Toronto’s Adnan Khan won the 2016 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award and was a nominee for a National Magazine Award for his essay “Our Brownness Does Not Belong Here” in Hazlitt.  Having completed creative work under the mentorship Lee Maracle, Djanet Sears, Rosemarie Sullivan and more, he is currently working on a novel and completing his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph.

Craig Francis Power is a writer and visual artist from St. John’s, Newfoundland. His first novel, Blood Relatives, won the 2011 ReLit Award and was short-listed for the BMO Winterset Award. His visual art has shown at galleries across Canada. His newest novel is The.Hope., from Pedlar Press. (tw: Drug or Alcohol Abuse, Mental Illness)

Meaghan Strimas is the author of two poetry collections, Junkman’s Daughter and A Good Time Had By All, and the editor of The Selected Gwendolyn MacEwan. She grew up in Owen Sound, Ontario, and lives in Toronto, where she is a professor in the Department of English at Humber College and the managing editor of the Humber Literary Review.  Her newest is Yes or Nope, this past fall from Mansfield Press.

Moez Surani has travelled, studied, and worked in countries around the world. His writing has been featured in numerous publications, including the Best Canadian Poetry (2013 and 2014), The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, Harper’s Magazine, and PRISM International. His first poetry collection, Reticent Bodies (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2009. In that same year, he won a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and later, attended artists’ residencies in Italy, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Canada. His second poetry collection, Floating Life (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2012. Operación Opération Operation, Surani’s third book, was a finalist for 2014 Les Figues Press Book Prize before being published by Bookthug last year.

Pivot on January 11th
with Adnan Khan, Craig Francis Power, Meaghan Strimas, and Moez Surani
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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Pivot on Nov. 16th: Jan Conn, Hoa Nguyen, Madeleine Thien, and Zoe Whittall

This is a good one, guys. We bring four exceptional women to the stage for a mid-autumn show that Pivot has been looking forward to all summer.

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Cast List:

Canadian poet Jan Conn was brought up in southeastern Quebec. She now lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and is a professor of Biomedical Sciences whose research is focused on the genetics and ecology of mosquitoes. She has published nine books of poetry, most recently Tomorrow’s Bright White Light (Tightrope Books, 2016).

Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the DC area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. She is the author of  As Long As Trees Last, Red Juice,  and Violet Energy Ingots published by Wave Books. An experienced teacher of poetics in numerous settings, Nguyen currently teaches at Ryerson University, for Miami University’s low residency MFA program, in the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College and in a long-running, private poetics workshop.

Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver. She is the author of the story collection Simple Recipes (2001), and three novels, Certainty (2006); Dogs at the Perimeter (2011), and Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016), about musicians studying Western classical music at the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s, and about the legacy of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations. Do Not Say We Have Nothing has won the Governor General’s Award in Fiction, is on the shortlist for the Giller, and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.

Zoe Whittall is the author of the poetry collections The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (2001), The Emily Valentine Poems (2006), and Precordial Thump (2008). Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) made the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads’ Top Ten Essential Novels of the Decade. Her second novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible (2009) won a Lambda Literary Award and was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. She has also worked as a writer and story editor on the TV shows Degrassi and Schitt’s Creek. Born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, she has an MFA from the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto. Her newest novel, The Best Kind of People, was released this year from Anansi and is currently a Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist.

Pivot on November 16th
with Jan Conn, Hoa Nguyen, Madeleine Thien, and Zoe Whittall
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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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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