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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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 on October 5th: John Wall Barger, Joe Denham, Susan Perly & Kevin Spenst

 Pivot grows wings and looks around, bringing in some writers from the West Coast and from India (via the East Coast), plus local novelist Susan Perly. It’s our third show of the season, and will be plenty worth your time.

Cast List:

John Wall Barger’s poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, Subtropics, Hotel Amerika, Best Canadian Poetry, and The Montreal Prize’s Global Poetry Anthology. His third book, The Book of Festus (Palimpsest Press), was a finalist for the 2016 JM Abraham Poetry Award. He lives in India.

Joe Denham has written 3 books of poetry and a novel. His most recent book, Regeneration Machine, won the 2016 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. He lives in Halfmoon Bay, BC with his wife and 2 children, where he writes and works as a homebuilder when he’s not captaining commercial fishing boats throughout the coastal waters of BC and Alaska. He is currently at work on another book of poetry, a sequel to the 2009 book-length poem, Windstorm, and is preparing to release his 1st album of songs, Lost at Sea, in the spring of 2017.

Susan Perly has worked as a journalist, war correspondent and radio producer for the CBC. In the early ’80s her Letters from Latin America for Peter Gzowski’s Morningside reported from locales such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Chiapas. During the Iran–Iraq war she broadcast Letters from Baghdad, and she produced many documentaries for the weekly program Sunday Morning. Perly is the author of the jazz novel Love Street, and her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. She lives in Toronto with her husband, the poet Dennis Lee. Her novel, Death Valley, was released this year by Wolsak & Wynn and is on the Longlist for the 2016 Giller Prize.

Kevin Spenst is the author of Jabbering with Bing Bong (Anvil Press) and the chapbooks Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Retractable (the serif of nottingham), Happy Hollow and the Surrey Suite (self-published), What the Frag Meant (100 tetes press) snap (Pooka Press), and Surrey Sonnets (JackPine press). He has done a one-man show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and over a hundred readings of his poetry across the country. His work has won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry and has most recently appeared in BafterC, Poetry is Dead, Lemon Hound and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014.

Pivot on October 5th
with John Wall Barger, Joe Denham, Susan Perly, and Kevin Spenst
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Canisia Lubrin hosts Pivot on Sept 21st: Cherie Dimaline, Rudrapriya Rathore, Kilby Smith-McGregor, & Jess Taylor

Pivot is off and kicking for 2016-17, and Jake has taken this time to accidentally book a reading of his own out-of-town, but don’t fear, you’re in better hands with this quartet of women curated by emerging poet Canisia Lubrin. Lots to watch out for!

Cast List:

Cherie Dimaline is a member of the Georgian Bay Metis Community in Ontario. Her first award winning book, Red Rooms, was published by Theytus Books in 2007. Her 2013 novel ‘The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy’ was shortlisted for the Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature. Cherie’s latest collection of short fiction “A Gentle Habit” was released by Kegedonce Books, December 2015. Named as the Ontario Emerging Artist of the Year for the 2014 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Cherie was appointed as the first Aboriginal Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library, Spring 2015. Her upcoming YA novel, The Marrow Thieves is forthcoming from Cormorant Books, spring 2017.

Rudrapriya Rathore is currently pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at U of T. She won the Irving Layton award for fiction in 2014 and has published pieces in the Hart House Review, The Puritan, and The Walrus. She lives and writes in Toronto.

Kilby Smith-McGregor spent her early professional life making theatre. Her writing across genres has appeared in Brick, Conjunctions, and The Kenyon Review—among other publications—and been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays, and Best Canadian Poetry. She was recognized with the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2010 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her first collection of poetry is Kids in Triage (Wolsak & Wynn, 2016).

Jess Taylor is a Toronto writer and poet. She founded The Emerging Writers Reading Series (2012-2016) and is the fiction editor of Little Brother Magazine. She’s released two chapbooks of poetry, And Then Everyone: Poems of the West End (Picture Window Press, 2014) and Never Stop (Anstruther Press, 2014). This October, her first collection of short stories, Pauls, was published by BookThug. The title story from the collection, “Paul,” received the 2013 Gold Fiction National Magazine Award. Jess is currently at work on a second collection, Just Pervs;  a novel, Where Everything Glows; and continuation of her life poem, Never Stop.

Pivot on September 21st
with Cherie Dimaline, Rudrapriya Rathore, Kilby Smith-McGregor and Jess Taylor.
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Canisia Lubrin

 

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Pivot’s 2016-17 Season Opener: H.D., Islam, Valencia & Whitlock.

Pivot’s Season Openers are an institution. We are excited to continue the built tradition of great new and established authors with another big kick-off show on September 7th. We’ve got emerging poet (and 2016 Arc POTY winner) Doyali Islam, weird-funny novelist Nathan Whitlock, Montreal Poetry Prize winner Eva H.D., and poet & Toronto Poetry Talks Founder Jacqueline Valencia. Come in out of the summer heat and be cool with us again.

Cast List:

Eva H.D. lives and writes in Toronto. She won the 2015 Montreal International Poetry Prize for her poem “38 Michigans” (judged by Eavan Boland). Her books are Rotten Perfect Mouth and the new Shiner (2016, Mansfield Press).

Doyali Islam’s recent poems have won CV2’s 2015 Young Buck Poetry Prize and Arc’s 2015 Poem of the Year contest. She is also the recipient of a 2015 Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and her first collection, Yusuf and the Lotus Flower was released from BuschekBooks in 2011.

Jacqueline Valencia is a poet and film/literary critic. She has written for the Rusty Toque, Lemon Hound, Next Projection, subTerrain, and the Barnstormer, among others. Her chapbook Maybe was selected for the 2012 Arte Factum exhibit by Poetry Is Deadmagazine. She is the founder and organizer of Toronto Poetry Talks and the author of the debut collection There is No Escape Out of Time (Insomniac, 2016) 

Nathan Whitlock’s work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Toronto Life, Report on Business, Flare, Fashion, Geist, Maisonneuve, and Best Canadian Essays, and he is a contributing editor for Quill & Quire. Heather O’Neill called A Week of This, Whitlock’s first novel, “a portrait of people in a small town so intimate that it feels like you are under the covers with them.” His newest is Congratulations on Everything, out this spring from ECW Press.(tw: drug and alcohol abuse)

Pivot’s Season Opener: Eva H.D., Doyali Islam, Jacqueline Valencia, and Nathan Whitlock
Wednesday, September 7th.
8 PM
1051 Bloor St West
PWYC (Suggested: $5)
Hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney

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PIVOTcast Episode 6: Renton, Moritz, and Porco

The newest episode of PIVOTcast brings you our January 24th show, with recordings from three of our four readers: Daniel Kincade Renton, A.F. Moritz, and Alessandro Porco.

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