Friday, December 18, 2009

Lit Live Presents Dream Catcher 23

On Sunday January 3, 2010, Lit Live presents six Ontario writers who were recently published in a special Canadian issue of the U.K. journal Dream Catcher. Along with poems and fiction from the journal, James Deahl, Cornelia Hoogland, Chris Pannell, Clara Blackwood, Kate Flaherty, and Domenico Capilongo will read from their published books and (possbily) new work in progress.

About Dream Catcher
Dream Catcher is an international journal, a small press and a community-based literature organization. Located in the East Midlands, Dream Catcher events draw audiences from across the region and Dream Catcher is increasingly to be found at festivals across the United Kingdom as the reputation of the magazine spreads. The Events link on its website, provides the latest details about the magazine. Recently DC 23 was reviewed by Judy Darley of the website

Dream Catcher magazine offers readers a terrific mix of poetry, prose, artwork and reviews. Its contributors span the globe, making it a truly international magazine. The aim of its editor Paul Sutherland is for Dream Catcher to offer the very best of contemporary writing to the most discerning of contemporary readers.

Chris Pannell

Chris Pannell is part of the organizing committee for the Hamilton reading series Lit Live and also serves on the board of Hamilton’s annual gritLiT literary festival. He has published three poetry books Drive (Wolsak and Wynn, 2009), Under Old Stars (Seraphim Editions, 2002) and Sorry I Spent Your Poem (Watershed Books, 1999). He is also the author of a set of three poetry broadsheets entitled Fractures, Subluxations and Dislocations which won the Hamilton & Region Arts Council poetry book award in 1997. From 1993 until 2005 he ran the new writing workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. and edited two book-length anthologies from the group. In 2009 appeared at Wordfest (the Banff-Calgary International Literary Festival) and at Kitchener's Word on the Street. He has been recently published in Canadian literary magazines such as The Windsor Review and internationally, in Dream Catcher 23.

Cornelia Hoogland

Woods Wolf Girl, Hoogland’s latest manuscript based on the fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, is forthcoming with Wolsak & Wynn in 2011. Hoogland’s poetry has been shortlisted five times for the CBC literary awards. The nominations include selections from Cuba Journal (Black Moss Press, 2003) as well as her second and third books of poetry, You Are Home (Black Moss Press, 2001) and Marrying the Animals (Brick Books, 1995). Her recent awards include 1st place for "Piet the Bat" in the Saving Bannister Poetry Competition (CAA, Niagara, ON), nomination of "Poet’s Familiar" for Descant’s Winston Collins Best Canadian Poem prize (2008), and 1st prize for "Wo ist Die Wolle," in the 2007 Silver Hammer contest, run by Hammered Out magazine (Hamilton, Ontario). Hoogland is the founder and artistic director of Poetry London (, an organization that brings prominent writers into lively discussion with London writers and readers. She teaches at the University of Western Ontario.

Domenico Capilongo

Domenico Capilongo's writing has appeared in publications abroad and in Canadian literary journals such as The New Quarterly, Filling Station, Descant, and Acta Victoriana. In 2005 his work was nominated for the Journey Prize. He received an honourable mention in the Toronto Star Poetry contest in 2004. Capilongo lived in Vancouver and Swift Current before finally settling in Toronto. His first book of poetry was I thought Elvis was Italian came out with Wolsak and Wynn in 2008. He teaches high school, alternative education, and creative writing. His story in Dream Catcher 23, "I got your nose" is his first published work of short fiction.

Clara Blackwood

Clara Blackwood is a Toronto-based writer. Her first poetry collection, Subway Medusa (2007), was the inaugural book in Guernica Editions’ First Poets Series, which features first books by poets aged thirty-five and under. Her poetry has appeared in such Canadian journals as the Hart House Review, Misunderstandings Magazine, and Carousel.

Kate Marshall Flaherty

Kate Marshall Flaherty is grateful to add Where We Are Going to her other books of poetry, Hobbeldehoy, String of Mysteries and Tilted Equilibrium. Her poems have been published in journals such as CV2, The Windsor Review, Quills, Ascent Aspirations, Other Voices, and Freefall, as well as in several Canadian and international poetry anthologies. She was short-listed for Descant’s Best Canadian Poem and for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize. She recently first place in THIS Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt and she also received honorable mention in CV2’s 48-hour poetry contest and the GritLIT 2009 Literary Awards. For the last three years, Kate has participated in the annual National Random Acts of Poetry, where she “poemed” unsuspecting people in hospitals, cafes, parks, libraries, and on the street. She lives with her family in Toronto where she teaches yoga and guides teen retreats on the Golden Rule. Poetry is her life-line.

James Deahl

James Deahl was born in Pittsburgh in 1945 and grew up there and in the Laurel Highlands area of the Appalachian mountains. He moved to Canada in 1970. He has published eighteen books, most recently The River's Stone Roots: Two Dozen Poems by Tu Fu (Serengeti Press, 2005) and If Ever Two Were One (Aeolus House, 2008).

Friday, November 6, 2009

Literary Stars Guide the Way in December at Lit Live

On Sunday, December 6th at 7:30 p.m. you're invited to a stellar line-up of poetry, history, and a powerhouse performance duo.

Anne Compton reads from her newest book of poems Asking questions indoors and out (Fitzhenry and Whiteside).

James Elliott takes us into battle during the War of 1812, with his latest book Strange Fatality: The Battle of Stoney Creek, recently published by Robin Brass Studio.

Allan Briesmaster brings the poetry of his new collection Confluences to Hamilton, released this month by Seraphim Editions.

The well-anthologized Shane Neilson brings his book Meniscus (Biblioasis) and his latest poetry to the Lit Live stage.

Liisa Ladouceur and Liz Worth (of Pack Animal) will read poetry in a special collaborative performance created exclusively for Lit Live.

Rocco de Gaicomo premieres his Quattro Books poetry collection Ten Thousand Miles Between Us.

Lit Live is a monthly reading series hosted by The Bread and Roses Cafe, in the Skydragon Centre, 27 King William Street, Hamilton, Ontario.

Anne Compton

Anne Compton's first poetry collection, Opening the Island, was nominated for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award and won the Atlantic Poetry Prize in 2002. Thereafter, she won the Governor General's Award in 2005 for her collection Processional. Compton has also published criticism, including a book of interviews, Meetings with Maritime Poets (2006).

Her latest poetry book is Asking Questions Inside and Out (2008). She is an assistant professor at the University of New Brunswick. She is also the Director of the Lorenzo Reading Series at UNB, and serves on the New Brunswick Arts Board. She was a featured writer at the 2007 Maritime Writers' Workshop & Literary Festival in Fredericton. In 2008, she was awarded the Alden Nowlan Award for excellence in English language literary arts.

James Elliott

James Elliott is a Canadian journalist and author with a keen and abiding interest in early North American history. With the Hamilton Spectator he wrote widely on the War of 1812 on subjects ranging from the Bloody Assizes to the Burlington Races. He worked on several episodes of the CBC’s Gemini Award-winning Canada: A People’s History both as a consultant and a special skills extra. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book If Ponies Rode Men. Elliott lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife, Irene, four miles from the Stoney Creek battlefield.

Allan Briesmaster

Allan Briesmaster is a poet, freelance editor, and publisher, who lives in Thornhill, Ontario. He was the main organizer of the weekly Art Bar Poetry Reading Series in Toronto from 1993 to 2002, and has organized and hosted a variety of other literary events in the GTA over the past twenty years. He is the co-editor of the anthology Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era (Seraphim Editions, 2008). As an editor, he has been instrumental in the production of more than 70 books of poetry and non-fiction since 1998. Allan’s new book Confluences (Seraphim Editions (2009) represents his most wide-ranging and adventurous work to date. Its four parts have overlapping themes: reflections on what has come down to us from antiquity, encounters with the Canadian landscape, homages to eminent and writers and musicians, and explorations of such subjects as friendship, desire, and aging.

Shane Neilson

Shane Neilson published his first trade book of poems with Biblioasis this year, titled Meniscus. He has been anthologized in Braid and Shreve's In Fine Form and Carmine Starnino's The New Canon. He has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for poetry. He won the New Brunswick leg of the most recent CBC Poetry Face Off.

Liisa Ladouceur and Liz Worth

Liisa Ladouceur is a poet and arts reporter from Toronto. She is a member of the gothically-inclined Royal Sarcophagus Society collective, for which she has edited the anthology Nuit Blanche: Poems for Late Nights and curated literary/art special events. She likes to read aloud and has performed across North American on the Perpetual Motion Roadshow tour and in many Toronto venues from Harbourfront to the Bloor Cinema. A former zine editor, her culture reporting has has been widely published, she has been a regular contributor to MuchMoreMusic, CBC Radio and the like and she can be heard weekly on the all-horror podcast Rue Morgue Radio. Her first poetry collection, On Tenterhooks, a collection of verse about wanderlust, real-life monsters and dead relatives was published by Burning Effigy Press in 2008. She is currently completing a manuscript of pop music-inspired glosas.

Liz Worth is a Toronto-based writer who has written surreal punk fiction about death and debauchery, an example of which is her new book Eleven: Eleven (Trainwreck Press). Worth is also the author of Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond, released in September 2009 (Bongo Beat). Her poetry can be found on the website ditch,. Worth has worked as a freelance writer and music journalist for numerous publications. She is one-half of the spoken word/experimental electronic music project Pack Animal.

Rocco de Giacomo

Rocco de Giacomo is a widely published poet whose work has most recently been accepted in the literary journals Vallum and The Carolina Quarterly and was recently published in The Antigonish Review and the Tower Poetry journal. In October 2009, his first full poetry collection, Ten Thousand Miles Between Us came out from Quattro Books. Also, Catching Dawn’s Breath (LyricalMyrical Press, Toronto) was launched in March of 2008. Rocco has also been a regular contributor of personal essays to Toro magazine. He is a member of the council for the Art Bar Poetry Series and a member of the bpNichol Coordinating Committee.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Six Great Writers for November 2009!

Jeanette Lynes, Moez Surani, Timothy Quinn, John Terpstra, Eva Tihanyi, and John Calabro take the stage

on Sunday November 1st,

to woo and wow the Lit Live crowd with readings from new books.

Start time is 7:30 p.m.

at 27 King William Street, Hamilton, Ontario.

Jeanette Lynes

Jeanette Lynes has been a writer-in-residence at Saskatoon Public Library and Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, B.C. as well as a Visiting Writer with the Women's Studies Department at Queen's University. She teaches at St. Francis Xavier University where she co-edits The Antigonish Review. Lynes has published four collections of poetry: most recently The New Blue Distance (Wolsak and Wynn), in which she distills Canada into poetry. Curling, spring in Saskatoon, and grape vines in Antigonish bind the country into the book. She also brings her debut novel from Coteau Books, The Factory Voice, which is rife with the ambition, friendship and loyalty of four strong women at a mysterious military factory. The Factory Voice was recently selected for the 2009 Giller Prize long list.

John Terpstra

John Terpstra is the author of eight books of poetry, including Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems. An earlier work, Disarmament, was short-listed for Canada’s Governor General’s Award. His poetry has won the CBC Radio Literary Prize and the Bressani Prize, and several Arts Hamilton Literary Awards. A previous non-fiction book, The Boys, or Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter was short-listed for both the Charles Taylor Prize and the BC Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. His latest book, Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations, appeared in 2009 from Gaspereau Press. John lives in Hamilton and divides his working life between writing and carpentry.

Moez Surani

Moez Surani is a poet and writer from Toronto. His writing has been included in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including Vallum and Prairie Fire. He has served as a writer-in-residence for the Toronto Catholic District School Board and as the curator for the Strong Words reading series. His multi-lingual upbringing is reflected in his award-winning writing. His debut collection of poetry is Reticent Bodies, recently released by Wolsak and Wynn.

John Calabro

John Calabro’s first novella Bellecour, published in 2005 by Guernica Editions, was named by The Globe and Mail’s First Fiction reviewer as one of the top five books in that category for 2005. He published a collection of short stories called Somewhere Else in 2006. His short stories and essays have appeared in Italian Canadiana, Strange Peregrination, and More Sweet Lemons (2010). The Cousin is his second novella and was recently published by Quattro Books.

Eva Tihanyi

Eva Tihanyi was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1956 and came to Canada at the age of six. She grew up in Windsor, lived in Toronto from 1981 to 1989, and then moved to Welland, Ontario, where she teaches at Niagara College. Tihanyi has published five books of poetry and one short story collection, Truth and Other Fictions. Throughout a freelance journalism career that began in 1978 and ended in 2008 when she decided to devote more time to her own work, Tihanyi reviewed over 250 books. Currently, she is at work on her sixth poetry volume and a second short story collection. She is the former editor of In Retro magazine.

Timothy Quinn

Timothy Quinn is a writer, photographer, and editor who’s published on such diverse subjects as technology, psychology, education, law, and politics. His work has appeared in Z Magazine, The New Orleans Review, Red Wheelbarrow, and The Antigonish Review, among others. His novel Octopus Intelligence was published in 2009 by Guernica Editions.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On October 4th, Literature Lives at the Skydragon!

Barry Dempster reads from two poetry books he has published this year, Love Outlandish (Brick Books) and Ivan's Birches (Pedlar Press).

Creative Keyboards Short Fiction Contest! The top three stories will be read by their authors (or a designate) this evening. Congratulations to Dave Haskins, Judith Millar, and Alvin G. Ens on their prize-winning entries.

Christopher Willard presents excerpts from Sundre, his new novel from Vehicule Press.

Mary Frances Coady will help us sample stories from The Practice of Perfection, her new collection from Coteau Books.

Barry Dempster

Barry Dempster is the author of fourteen books, including a novel, a children's book, two volumes of short stories, and ten collections of poetry. He has been nominated for the Governor General's Award twice and has won a Petra Kenney Award, a Confederation Poets Prize, a Prairie Fire Poetry Contest and the Canadian Authors Association Chalmers Award for Poetry for his 2005 collection, The Burning Alphabet. In 2009, he published two new books of poetry: Love Outlandish, from Brick Books in April, and Ivan's Birches, from Pedlar Press in September. You can visit Barry Dempster at

Winners of the 2009 Creative Keyboards Short Story Contest

David Haskins, “Story Stealing in the Hungry Side of Winter”

Judith Millar, “Partners in Paradise”

Alvin G. Ens, “Licorice”

Congratulations to all who entered. Lit Live is extremely happy to present these stories on our stage on October 4th!

Winner Biographies

David Haskins has published poetry and fiction in over 30 literary journals and anthologies. His earlier poems are collected in his book Reclamation (Borealis, 1980). He has won first prizes from the CBC Short Story Competition, the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara), and the Ontario Poetry Society. His work has been broadcast coast to coast and is posted on several internet sites.

Judith Millar is a writer of short stories, essays, poems and song lyrics. She has won numerous awards for her creative writing, and is a frequent presenter at spoken-word events on Vancouver Island. Judith moved to Nanaimo from Kitchener, Ontario in 2007. Website:

Christopher Willard

Christopher Willard makes his home in Calgary where he works as a writer and visual artist. His art appears in collections worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His recent novel Sundre explores the limits of love; an unsettling secret joins husband and wife as they sift through layers of recollection in a quest to find comfort, philosophical acceptance, and ultimately forgiveness. Set on a family farm in Alberta during the late 1960s, at a time of transition when farming was shifting away from tradition, Sundre is a haunting meditation on the limits of love and mercy, on the natural and the unnatural. Told in a tone that is as dignified as it is unsettling, this novel builds to a foreboding and fundamental revelation, in a mood reminiscent of Sam Shepard’s best drama. Sundre is an homage to a way of life bygone and to lasting hard-earned truths.

Mary Frances Coady

Mary Frances Coady is the author of six books. She writes fiction and biography and teaches at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her most recent book is a collection of short fiction called The Practice of Perfection, published this year by Coteau Books. The Globe and Mail review of the book said that the characters in these stories, “striving, doubting, stumbling, defying, are drawn with great care and touching humanity.”

Short-List for 2009 Creative Keyboards Contest

Carl Zvonkin
Carol Davies
Tambu Kahari
Jim Spicer
Margo Karolyi
Debra Porter
Anthony D. Markin
Cameron Smith

The Creative Keyboards Short Story Contest was held for the first time in 2008. It has two purposes:
  • to raise money for honoraria for authors who appear at Lit Live who might not have received Canada Council funding for their reading
  • to identify high quality short stories and draw attention to their authors.

The next contest deadline will be May 15, 2010.

Stories submitted must not exceed 1,500 words and must be unpublished.

For more information write to

Full details will also appear in The Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar 2010, published by White Mountain Publications and distributed by Brian Henry.

Friday, August 7, 2009

On September 6th, Lit Live Returns to the Skydragon

Join us to celebrate the winners of the 2009 gritLIT Poetry Competition and to hear thought-provoking readings from writers on tour Bill Howell, Sheila James and Andreas Gripp.

Bill Howell presents new work and his latest book of poems Porcupine Archery from Insomniac Press.

Katherine Lawrence took First Prize in the gritLIT Poetry Competition and will read from the winners' chapbook, Start with the Answer.

Sheila James reads from her latest collection of short fiction In the Wake of Loss, a set of short stories focusing on the conflicts and challenges experienced by diasporic South Asian characters.

Charmaine Cadeau took Second Prize in the gritLIT Poetry Competition and will read from the winners' chapbook, Start with the Answer.

Andreas Gripp delves into his latest book, Anathema: Poems Selected & New, published by Harmonia Press in 2009.

Emily Silbert took Third Prize in the gritLIT Poetry Competition and her poems in the winners' chapbook, Start with the Answer, will be read by one of the contest judges, Adam Getty.

Bill Howell

One of the original Storm Warning poets, Bill Howell has enjoyed an award-winning literary career spanning four decades. He has published four poetry collections, including The Red Fox (1971), In a White Shirt (1982), and Moonlight Saving Time (1990). His latest book, Porcupine Archery, was released in May 2009 by Insomniac Press. Last year, his work Ghost Test Flights (Rubicon Press) was a winner in the WCDR Chapbook Challenge. His writing has appeared in literary magazines across Canada, in the United Kingdom, and the USA. Bill has recent work in The Antigonish Review, Existere, Magma (UK), New Quarterly, Nthposition (UK), Rampike, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2008 edition. Howell was a network producer-director with CBC Radio Drama for almost three decades; his plays have garnered multiple ACTRA and international awards. He lives in Toronto.

Katherine Lawrence

Katherine Lawrence won First Prize in the 2009 gritLIT Poetry Competition for Heartland of the Dominion. She is a fund development consultant and writer. Her first collection of poetry, Ring Finger, Left Hand (Coteau Books, 2001) won the Brenda Macdonald Riches Award for best first book with the Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her second collection, Lying to Our Mothers (Coteau Books, 2006) was a finalist for the Saskatchewan Book Award for poetry and a runner-up for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize for poetry. She also has a short story published as a chapbook with Jack Pine Press (2005) titled Split-ends. Katherine is originally from Hamilton and currently lives in Saskatoon.

Sheila James

Sheila James was born in the UK, grew up in Nova Scotia and presently lives in Ottawa. She has trained in the arts in India, England and Canada and completed a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Theatre from the University of British Columbia. Sheila has worked as a writer, director and performer in music, theatre and media arts. Her videos, including the award-winning Unmapping Desire, have been screened around the world. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in Canadian anthologies and journals.

Charmaine Cadeau

Charmaine Cadeau’s first book of poems, What you used to wear, was published by Goose Lane Editions in 2005. She took Second Prize in the 2009 gritLIT Poetry Competition for Dog star and Argo. Her work has also appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Smartish Pace, and Poetry on the Way (Toronto). In 2007, she attended a residency at Banff Centre for the Arts to work on her second book. Currently, she is completing her PhD in contemporary poetry.

Andreas Gripp

Andreas Gripp is the author of 11 books of poetry. His work has appeared in Ascent Aspirations, Carousel, Van Gogh's Ear, The Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Zen Haiku and a number of anthologies and small magazines. His newest release is Anathema: Poems Selected & New (Harmonia Press, 2009). His work has been recognized for its accessibility, cadence, and its topical renderings of the human condition. He lives in London, Ontario, and is a great admirer of Hamilton's vibrant arts and literature community.

Emily Silbert

Emily Silbert is a poet, freelance writer, translator and teacher from Hamilton, Ontario. She took Third Prize in the 2009 gritLIT Poetry Competition for The Infinity Poems, Valentine's Day Opera, and An Offering.

Scared of permanent scarring from her poetry sucking in public, this was only her second submission. Now that she has her big girl underwear on, she is encouraged to continue writing poetry that may see the light of day. Currently on a leave of absence from the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, she lives in Cali, Colombia, where she teaches English Literature and Art & Ethics at the high school level. Educated at the University of Toronto and the Sorbonne in Literary Studies and French, she has translated literary works for award-winning French author Anne-Sophie Brasme and she won the the Pilot Guide's (producer of the
Lonely Planet television show) Travel Writer of the Month award while exploring and blogging about India, Pakistan, Thailand and Cambodia. She is currently learning how to ask her landlord to fix her broken windows, in Spanish.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Looking Forward to September 6, 2009

Hello fans of Lit Live!
The series is on holiday during the months of July and August.
We'll be back on September 6th with Sheila James, Bill Howell, Andreas Gripp, and the winners of the gritLIT Poetry Contest. Contest results have been posted here.
See you on the 6th!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pick Up Your Summer Reading in June at Lit Live!

Before you cruise to the cottage, be sure to stop by at Lit Live on Sunday June 7th at 7:30 p.m. for a fabulous collection of summertime books, brought to you by our talented line-up.

Steven Mayoff sings from Fatted Calf Blues, his collection of short stories published this year by Turnstone Press.

J.J. Steinfeld reads from Word Burials, his recent novel, published this year by Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink.

Kate Braid performs poems from A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems, released in 2008 by Caitlin Press.

Isa Milman brings us her poetry collection, Prairie Kaddish, published this year by Coteau Books.

Michael Blair reads selections from his latest mystery novel, Depth of Field from Dundurn Press.

Sharon Nelson speaks to This Flesh These Words, her 2002 poetry collection from Ekstasis Editions.

Steven Mayoff

Steven Mayoff was born in Montreal, lived in Toronto for seventeen years, and now makes Prince Edward Island his home. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines across Canada and also in international journals such as Vocabula Review, Euphony, Mobius Magazine, (U.S.A.), The Dublin Quarterly (Ireland), The Arabesque Review (Algeria) and Upstairs At Duroc (France). He has written drama for the stage and for CBC Radio. As a lyricist he has collaborated in various genres with musicians such as Ted Dykstra, Melanie Doane, and David R. Scott. In 2003 he won the David Adams Richards Prize for an early portion of an unpublished novel. A later draft was a semi-finalist for the 2008 Breakout Novel Award. His first collection of fiction, Fatted Calf Blues, was published this year by Turnstone Press. You can visit him at

J.J. Steinfeld

J.J. Steinfeld is a fiction writer, poet, and playwright who lives on Prince Edward Island. He has published two novels, the first of which was Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (Pottersfield Press, 1987) and nine short story collections, the last three by Gaspereau Press—Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized?, Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown, and Would You Hide Me? His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over thirty of his one-act and full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States. His latest work, Word Burials, is a novel.

Kate Braid

Kate Braid has written four books of poetry that have won or been nominated for various prizes including the Pat Lowther Award, the BC Book Prize, the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Prize and the Vancity Book Prize. In 2005 she co-edited with Sandy Shreve, In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry (Raincoast). She has also published three books of non-fiction and her poems and personal essays have been widely published and anthologized. Her next book of poems, Turning Left to the Ladies will be published this month by Palimpsest. She has recently moved to the heart of Vancouver where she lives with her partner. The book Braid will be reading from, A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems, explores an imagined correspondence between Glenn Gould, one of Canada’s great musicians, and an admiring fan who, in struggling with her sudden loss of hearing in one ear, finds comfort in Gould’s music.

Isa Milman

Isa Milman is a poet, artist and occupational therapist who lives in Victoria, B.C. Born in a displaced persons camp in Germany in 1949, she emigrated with her family to Boston in 1950, where she grew up and was educated at Tufts University. She has lived in Canada since 1975; over a period of 21 years she lived in Montreal, where she completed a Masters degree in rehabilitation and taught occupational therapy at McGill. She is also a visual artist whose paintings and prints are found in private collections in Canada, the United States, Europe and Israel. For three days a week, she coordinates the epilepsy program at the Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson's Centre. In 2005 she won the Canadian Jewish Book Awards Poetry Prize. She has published Between the Doorposts (Ekstasis Editions, 2004) and Seven Fat Years (Frog Hollow Press, 2002) Her latest book is Prairie Kaddish (Coteau Books, 2009) where she uses historical and personal awakening, and archival sleuthing, to create a "kaddish" - a Jewish prayer of mourning and commemoration - for a prairie community that exists now only through remembrance.

Michael Blair

If Looks Could Kill was Michael Blair’s first mystery, published in March 2001 by McClelland & Stewart after being shortlisted (in manuscript and under a different title) for the 1999 Chapters/ Robertson Davies Prize. It was also shortlisted for the 2001 Quebec Writers’ Federation First Book Award. Since then, Blair has written four books for Dundurn Press: A Hard Winter Rain (2004), Overexposed (2006), The Dells, (2007), and his latest, Depth of Field, which was released in February 2009. To support his writing habit, he’s held a wide variety of jobs. Since 1994 he has been a freelance technical writer/editor. He lives in Montreal but if you can’t make it there, you can visit him at

Sharon Nelson

Sharon H. Nelson is a poet and essayist with a theatre and dance background. She has written for stage, newspapers, journals, and technical publications; worked as an editor and managing editor, and occasionally has taught writing and editing. She is the author of many books and chapbooks of poems, and her writing has appeared in a variety of anthologies, including Voices Within the Ark: the Modern Jewish Poets and At Our Core: Women Writing About Power. Her poetry book, This Flesh These Words, addresses how we use language to form and deform as well as to sustain community. It was published by Ekstasis Editions in 2002. You can visit Sharon Nelson at

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Writers Bloom in May at Lit Live!

Join us for a literary bouquet of six writers on May 3rd at 7:30 p.m at the Skydragon Centre.

Robert Bringhurst presents his latest publication Ursa Major, recently re-issued by Gaspereau Press.

Karen Connelly brings her award-winning novel The Lizard Cage, awarded the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for New Writers.

Helen McLean sees art from the artist's perspective in Just Looking and other essays, her latest publication from Seraphim Editions.

Asa Boxer reads from his debut collection of poetry, The Mechanical Bird, from Signal Editions.

Ross Pennie presents Tainted, his first medical mystery, published in 2009 by ECW Press.

Barbara Pelman invites us into Borrowed Rooms, her second collection of poetry, recently published by Ronsdale Press.

Robert Bringhurst

Robert Bringhurst’s collections of poetry include The Calling: Selected Poems 1970-1995; Pieces of Map, Pieces of Music (1987) and The Old in Their Knowing (2005). He is an accomplished linguist, well-known for his translations of the Haida storytellers Skaay and Ghandl, and for his translations of the early Greek philosopher-poet Parmenides. His manual The Elements of Typographic Style has itself been translated into ten languages and is now one of the world's most influential texts on typographic design.

His book Everywhere Being is Dancing | Twenty Pieces of Thinking was published by Gaspereau in 2007. In this companion volume to The Tree of Meaning (2006), Bringhurst collects pieces of thinking under the principle that “everything is related to everything else.” His studies of poetry, polyphonics, oral literature, storytelling, translation, mythology, homogeny, cultural ecology, literary criticism and typography all build upon this sense of basic connection. His latest book is a new-edition of his polyphonic masque: Ursa Major. Shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2004, the National Post called Ursa Major “a typically majestic and dedicated piece of work.”

Karen Connelly

Karen Connelly was born in Calgary, Alberta. She is the author of seven books of best-selling nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She has read from her work and lectured in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Her latest book, the novel The Lizard Cage, was published to international acclaim and won the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for New Writers.

Helen McLean

Helen McLean’s novel Significant Things (Dundurn Press) was shortlisted for the 2004 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize in the Canada and Caribbean division. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Quill & Quire, and many other periodicals. Her paintings have been exhibited across Canada and are part of several important collections including that of the Bank of Canada. Her portrait of Margaret Laurence hangs in the Margaret Laurence Home in Neepawa, Manitoba.

In Just Looking and other Essays McLean meditates on the world with a painter's eye. She examines the puzzle of why an artist feels compelled to paint. What is it that captures the attention, and how does the artist reproduce that first perception in the studio, days or weeks later? Does an artist record what is seen or what experience teaches? She inveighs against phoniness in art and the contemporary lack of rigour that Umberto Eco has called an “orgy of tolerance.”

Asa Boxer

Asa Boxer won first prize in the 2005 CBC/ enRoute poetry competition for his poem cycle entitled “The Workshop.” This work was included in The Mechanical Bird, his debut poetry collection published in 2007. His poems, articles, and reviews have appeared in London Magazine, Arc, Books in Canada, Maisonneuve and CNQ. He lives in Montreal.

Ross Pennie

Ross Pennie’s career as a physician specializing in infectious diseases has taken him around the globe. He is a professor at McMaster University and practises at Brantford General Hospital, caring for hockey stars and donut lovers alike. He started writing at age ten, chronicling his four-day solo train trip across the Prairies and Rockies between Medicine Hat and Vancouver. His award-winning memoir of Papua New Guinea, The Unforgiving Tides, has delighted readers with its grit and charm. It was also nominated for a Governor-General's Award. Tainted, his first medical mystery, was released in March 2009 by ECW Press. It is set in Hamilton and is already receiving widespread critical acclaim.

Barbara Pelman

For many years Barbara Pelman has taught English at high school and college, primarily in British Columbia. Born in Vancouver, she has degrees from the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. She has been an active participant in the Victoria writing community: as a member of the Random Acts of Poetry team, a regular reader at Planet Earth Poetry, and the instigator of Victoria’s “Poetry Walls,” created by her students, in the downtown core. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Event, Fiddlehead, Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review and CV2. Borrowed Rooms is her second book of poetry; her first, One Stone was published in 2005 by Ekstasis Editions.

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