Thursday, March 26, 2009

News Flash -- David McFadden

David McFadden will read at the Lit Live/gritLIT Wrap Up at 7:30 p.m. on April 5th. His latest book is Be Calm Honey from Mansfield Press. More information about David McFadden can be found here, at the gritLIT website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mixin' It Up with gritLIT -- Sunday April 5, 2009

Once a year Lit Live collaborates with gritLIT and every year the show is a thrill. Come to Hamilton for the gritLIT Literary Festival and stay for the wrap-up at Lit Live!

Derek McCormack guides us into The Show That Smells, his latest novel, from ECW Press.

Dannabang Kuwabong sings of Caribbean Blues and Love's Genealogy, his new collection of poetry from TSAR Publicatons.

Carmine Starnino will present poetry from his latest Gaspereau Press collection, This Way Out.

Alice Major shows us the hidden places and back rooms of The Office Tower, her latest collection of poems from the University of Alberta Press.

Mike Barnes reads from his memoir, The Lily Pond, published in 2008 by Biblioasis Editions.

Derek McCormack

Derek McCormack, who lives in Toronto, is the author of the critically acclaimed Haunted Hillbilly, as well as two short story collections set in his hometown, Peterborough. He also co-authored Wild Mouse, which was nominated for the 1999 Toronto Book Award.

The Show That Smells (ECW Press, 2008) is his most recent book. Of this novel, Zoe Whitall, writing in Now magazine said, “Smells good...probably the creepiest, funniest, most inventive and, yes, smelliest blood-spurtin’ novel you’ve ever read. And it’s funny... In short, there are many ways to get floored by McCormack’s imagination and technique. The author of nine books, he’s known for his aggressively minimalist style and playful relationship to traditional narrative...If the Canadian publishing industry weren’t infested with scaredy-cats, [McCormack would] be a much bigger deal.”

Dannabang Kuwabong

Dannabang Kuwabong is a Ghanaian Canadian born in Nanville in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Formerly a teacher of Caribbean literature at the University of Puerto Rico, his first two books of poetry were entitled: Konga and other Dagaaba Folktales, Visions of Venom and Echoes from Dusty Rivers.

His third book, published by TSAR in 2008, is Caribbean Blues and Love's Genealogy. In the first part of this collection the love that is celebrated emerges from a deep sense of historical reconnection with the poet's African ancestors who were taken captive and sent to the Caribbean. In the second part, Kuwabong takes the reader through a Prufrockian maze of relationships complicated by expectations and disappointments. The city of Hamilton provides the social and physical landscape that initiates the personae's responses to love made tricky by the extreme challenges of the mundane. Though the poems silently scream with pain and disappointment, these moods are calmed by epiphanies of extreme tenderness that bind the relationships.

Carmine Starnino

Carmine Starnino's first book, The New World (1997) was nominated for the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. His second collection Credo (2000) won the Canadian Authors Associate Prize for Poetry and the David McKeen Award for Poetry. He has also written A Lover's Quarrel (2004), a book of essays on Canadian poetry. His third collection of poems is entitled With English Subtitles (Gaspereau Press, 2004). He lives in Montreal. His latest book is This Way Out (Gaspereau, 2009)

Alice Major

Alice Major won the inaugural Poet's Corner Award (sponsored by Broken Jaw Press) for Tales for an Urban Sky, and two of her books have been runners-up for the City of Edmonton Book Prize. Major has published eight collections of poetry and a novel for young adults, and served as the first poet laureate for the city of Edmonton from 2005-2007. She was born in Scotland and her family came to Canada when she was eight. She grew up in Toronto before moving west to work as a reporter on The Williams Lake Tribune in British Columbia. She is an active supporter of the arts and writing community, having served as president of the League of Canadian Poets, president of the Writers Guild of Alberta, chair of the Edmonton Arts Council, and as a founder of the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

Her latest book is The Office Tower Tales (University of Alberta Press, 2008). “This long poetic work is both extremely readable and erudite.” (Shawna Lemay, Edmonton Journal) “Alice Major’s tremendous new book of poetry takes a cue from a sprawling epic of English literature, The Canterbury Tales, but grounds its pilgrims in present-day Edmonton and the meaningless office drudgery of the 9-to-5 life….Each story has a five-line stanza form, and each stanza contains a rhyme and closes with a short line. ‘I needed something that would sound conversational and give me strong rhythmic presence as well,’ Major said. ‘It’s a project where you’re solving all the problems and challenges of poetry as well as the challenges of fiction.’” (Richard Helm, Edmonton Journal). You can learn more about Alice Major’s writing at

Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes is the author of Calm Jazz Sea, (a poetry book shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award) and Aquarium, a collection of short fiction which won the 1999 Danuta Gleed Award. His stories have appeared twice in Best Canadian Stories, three times in The Journey Prize Anthology, and he won the Silver Medal for Fiction at the National Magazine Awards. His most recent book is The Lily Pond (Biblioasis, 2008), a memoir that explores the author's thirty-plus years of living with bipolar disorder. It chronicles unflinchingly the destructiveness of an illness that infiltrates thinking, feeling and acting in ways that change the very fabric of identity. It is equally searching in its exploration of the psyche's resources in healing and reknitting that identity. Born in Minnesota, a joint U.S.-Canadian citizen, Barnes lives and writes in Toronto.