Monday, December 2, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Dec 1 Reading: Dave Haskins, Jan Conn, Mark Goldstein, and the winners of the gritLIT Contest Winner (Alexandra Missett, Raymond Beauchemin, and Janet Turpin Myers.)
Dave Haskins emigrated from England to Beamsville in 1953 at the age of eight, and now lives in Grimsby with his wife and his 1970 MGB. He holds an Honours B. A. in English from McMaster University and an M. Ed. from University of Toronto. His teaching career spans 35 years, mostly in secondary schools, five as Department Head of English, but also in Brock University, and for Ontario Ministry of Education correspondence courses in writing and journalism. Other writings include a Creative Writing text, theatre reviews for a Toronto arts newspaper, and memoir pieces. He is currently preparing books of recent poems, and a children’s fantasy novel.
Wolsak & Wynn writes: This House is Condemned is equal parts elegy, portraiture and exploration of a life lived at the edge of Lake Ontario. In prose both hard-hitting and heart-felt, David Haskins writes essays of immigrating to Canada and building his life as a teacher and writer. Currents of poetry run through the book, which is as touched with humour as it is with sadness. He writes of indestructible garden forks, rafts that bear him away unexpectedly and of the loves that ebb and flow throughout a life. This House is Condemned is a powerful collection that picks the reader up and places them beside the author, walking along the shores of the lake.
Born in Asbestos, Quebec, Jan Conn received her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Toronto. She has lived in Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Caracas (Venezuela), Gainesville (Florida), and Burlington (Vermont). Since 2002 she has been living in western Massachusetts, conducting research on insects that transmit pathogens. Her book South of the Tudo Bem Cafe, Vehicule Press, 1990, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award. A suite of her poems, Amazonia, won 2nd prize in the CBC literary awards for 2003. Her poetry has been featured in many anthologies and journals, and broadly reviewed across Canada. She is a member of both the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers' Union of Canada.
Toronto writer Mark Goldstein is the author of three books of poetry published by the award-winning BookThug: Form of Forms (2012); Tracelanguage (2010); and After Rilke (2008). His poetry and criticism have also appeared in periodicals such as Matrix Magazine and Jacket2. He has taught transtranslation workshops at the Toronto New School of Writing, SUNY Albany and lectured on translation in Paris at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. Before becoming a full-time writer, Goldstein played drums alongside Leslie Feist and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning in the indie rock band By Divine Right.
gritLIT Contest Winners
Despite being advised as a teenager to pursue office work rather than writing, Janet Turpin Myers has been writing all her life: novels, poems, short stories. Her poetry has appeared in Hammered Out and Tower Poetry. Her debut novel, Nightswimming was published in 2013 by Seraphim Editions. She resides in Burlington.
Alexandra Missett has been writing for ten years and staring in an annoyed way at blank pages throughout. She has had work published at the University of Indiana and, in 2009, she won Best Fiction at Humber College. She loves tea, and dogs, and listening to Neil Gaiman speak.
Raymond Beauchemin of Hamilton is the author of the novel Everything I Own and Salut! The Quebec Microbrewery Beer Cookbook. His anthologies include 32 Degrees and Future Tense, edited with his wife, the writer Denise Roig. His poems "Watershed," "Rapture" and "Words for Snow" are part of the novel Doctor Lavigne.
Monday, November 4, 2013
December 1 Reading: Jan Conn, Mark Goldstein, Dave Haskins, and winners of the gritLit Writing Contest.
Note: Michael Mirolla was scheduled to read this December, but—tough luck for him—his publisher is sending him to Riga, Latvia for the launch of the translation of his book, Berlin. We'll reschedule his appearance and look forward to hearing him read for us then.
But, we still have six great readers and an excellent host. As always, it'll be a great evening.
Monday, October 21, 2013
November's reading features lost canoes, ranches, bullets, broken china, epithalamiums, nervous cities, moon howling, and Epic hosting. Not to mention good food (new menu at Homegrown Hamilton!) and drink and the always warm and convivial audience.
Who are the authors? What are
there they're their books?
Ahh. Look below and all will be known.
Sean Johnston’s latest book is the novel Listen All You Bullets. His work has been nominated for the Journey Prize and a Saskatchewan Book Award, and he’s been shortlisted three times for the ReLit Award, winning it in 2003 for his short story collection A Day Does Not Go By. He teaches literature and creative writing at Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC. He can be found online at www.seanjohnston.ca
Listen All You Bullets tells the story of a young boy named Billy who is trapped on a hardscrabble North Dakota ranch with his lonely mother and his wheelchair-bound father. But Billy isn’t just any boy stuck on any ranch: Billy and his family are the creations of Jack Schaefer’s popular 1949 Western novel, Shane. Long after that novel’s action has concluded and its plot and characters have seemingly solidified into popular myth, Sean Johnston sets out to explore the possibilities of a story’s resistance to its own arrested afterlife.
Amanda Jernigan is a poet, playwright, essayist and editor. Her first book of poems, Groundwork, published by Biblioasis, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award and named to National Public Radio's list of "Best Books" of 2011. Her new book, All the Daylight Hours, was published by Cormorant Books in the spring. She currently lives in Hamilton, where she is at work on a Ph.D. in English at McMaster University, her dissertation project a critical edition of the poems of Richard Outram.
All the Daylight Hours, Amanda Jernigan’s second poetry collection, took shape over the course of twelve years, through many changes of setting and amid a changing cast of characters encountered both face to face and in the pages of books long lived-with and loved. The poems themselves ring changes on nature and artifice, love and loss, the power of language and the limitations of language, returning to these themes in a wide variety of registers. No less moving for being meticulously crafted, these elegies, epithalamiums, dramatic monologues, and meditations trace a human journey through time.
Stan Rogal's work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US and Europe, some in translation, including: Rampike, The Fiddlehead, Grain and Exquisite Corpse. He is the author of 18 books: 4 novels, 3 story and 11 poetry collections. A poem of his placed third in the 2012 GritLIT contest. He is also a playwright with productions mounted variously across Canada, generally in fringe venues. His new collection is Howl Down the Moon, and his next, Love's Not The Way To is due in April 2013.
Chris Pannell serves on the board of Hamilton's annual gritLIT literary festival. He has published four poetry books: Under Old Stars, Sorry I Spent Your Poem, Drive, and his most recent, A Nervous City. He is also the author of a set of three poetry broadsheets entitled Fractures, Subluxations and Disclocations, which won the Hamilton and Region Arts Council poetry book award in 1997. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos People's Poet award and the Arts Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year. From 1993 until 2005 he ran the New Writing Workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. and edited two book-length anthologies for the group. He has been published in literary magazines across Canada and internationally as well.
In A Nervous City is an array of poems that explore the depth and breadth of the city, capturing both its darkness and its charm.
Ann Shin’s writing has been published in anthologies and magazines in Canada and the US, including Crossroads Cant , Broken Jaw Press On a Bed of Rice, Anchor Books, and Geography of Encounters, Rowman and Little Press and IV Lounge Reader, Insomniac Press, and The Last Thing Standing, by Mansfield Press. Her latest book of poetry, The Family China was published in 2013, by Brick Books and has won the Anne Green Award for innovation in story and narrative form. Some of the poems from the book were produced for broadcast on the CBC Radio One program ‘Living Out Loud.’
Barbara Fradkin has been writing since she was six and has always had an affinity for the dark side. Her work as a child psychologist provides ample insight and inspiration for stories. She is a two-time winner in Storyteller Magazine's annual Great Canadian Short Story Contest, as well as a four-time nominee for the Crime Writers' of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, including "Voices from the Deep" in 2007.
However, she is best known for her award-winning police procedural series. There are nine books in the series, starting with Do or Die in 2000. The sequel Once Upon a Time (2002) was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' of Canada's Arthur Ellis award for Best Novel, while both Fifth Son (2004) and Honour Among Men (2006) won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in their respective years.
Whisper of Legends begins in the wake of a violent summer storm when a broken canoe washes up on the rocky shore of the Nahanni River. Four canoeists are missing. Has the mighty river claimed another life? Or has greed, revenge and a family legend led to murder?
The MC for the evening, Jaime Krakowski is the owner of the popular Epic Books located at 226 Locke Street South in Hamilton. The store hosts many readings of its own, details of which can be found at their website.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Chris Laing is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He worked in private business for twenty years before joining the Federal Public Service, where he served in the Department of the Secretary of State and National Museums of Canada until his retirement. In the past few years he has expanded his long-time interest in detective stories from that of avid reader to writing in this genre. His short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals. His first novel, A Private Man, was published by Seraphim Editions in 2012. He now lives in Kingston, Ontario with his wife, artist Michèle LaRose.
Kate Cayley’s first collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End, is published by Brick Books. Her poetry and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in various places, including Descant, CV2, The Fiddlehead, The Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire and The New Quarterly. She is the artistic director of Stranger Theatre, and has co-created, directed and written eight plays with the company. She is a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre, and her play After Akmatova was produced there in 2011. Her first short story collection, How You Were Born, is forthcoming from Pedlar Press.
Farzana Doctor is a novelist and psychotherapist. Her most recent novel Six Metres of Pavement was named one of Now Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2011. Publishers Weekly described Six Metres of Pavement as “...a paean to second chances.” It also won the Lambda Literary and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award. Farzana was named as one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now.” She is currently working on her third novel and co-curates the Brockton Writers Series. www.farzanadoctor.com
Lois Lorimer was born in Brockville, Ontario and now lives in Toronto. Her poetry chapbook Between the Houses (2010) was published in Edinburgh. Her poems have appeared in literary journals including: Arc, Literary Review of Canada, Hart House Review and in the anthologies: The Bright Well (Leaf Press:2012) and Connectivism (Variety Crossing Press: 2012). Her new book, Stripmall Subversive was published in 2013 by Variety Crossing Press. Molly Peacock has said, “In Lois Lorimer’s radiant debut volume, innocence gleams inside experience. The stripmall is all too real, but the subversion of Lorimer’s poetry is subtle, shining and sophisticated.”
John Terpstra has published many books and chapbooks of poetry, the most recent of which, Disarmament, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004. A retrospective of his work, Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, was published in 2006. Terpstra has also published three prose projects: Falling Into Place, a creative investigation of a giant glacial sandbar which lies beneath one of Canada’s busiest transportation corridors; The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, the story of his wife’s three brothers, who lived with muscular dystrophy until their early twenties; and Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations, a frank reflection on faith and church in a secular era. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
The host for the evening, Stephen Near, is a playwright, performer and educator living in Hamilton. He is Co-Artistic Director of Reaching Symmetry Theatre and has worked with a number of theatre companies in Toronto as a playwright or dramaturge. He is currently the Operations Officer for the Hamilton Arts Council, a member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwrights Unit and sits on the PGC's National Forum as the representative for the Ontario South caucus.