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.