Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our Pre-Christmas, Free-Christmas Literariness!

Won't you join us at 7:30 p.m. on December 4th, for our pre-sneezonal literary get-together, featuring poetry, fiction, and the occasional snide remark? Homegrown Hamilton is the place, 27 King William Street is our address.

Mostly laudatory, always entertaining, pre-Scrooge, we are; expectations are high, for the talent we have. Our early winter line-up includes Jeffrey Donaldson, Jean Rae Baxter, Deborah Panko, Donna Langevin, Hal Niedzviecki, and Clara Blackwood. See you there, readers! We've books a-plenty!

Jeffrey Donaldson

Jeffery Donaldson teaches poetry and American literature at McMaster University. His latest poetry book is entitled Guesswork; he is the author of three previous collections: Once Out of Nature, Waterglass and Palilalia, which was a finalist for the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. In 2011, Donaldson won a City of Hamilton Arts Award as Established Artist in the Writing category. In addition to producing numerous articles on poetry, Donaldson has co-edited a book of essays, Frye and the Word: Religious Contexts in the Writings of Northrop Frye. He lives with his family on the Niagara Escarpment near Grimsby.

Jean Rae Baxter

Jean Rae Baxter was born in Toronto, grew up in Hamilton, and spent much of her adult life in the Kingston area. She started writing full-time a dozen years ago, following a career in education. She writes for both adults and young adults. She has written three young adult novels, the second of which, Broken Trail (Ronsdale Press, 2011) recently received the 2011 Moonbeam Gold Medal, a U.S. award, for Young Adult Historical Fiction. Jean’s debut collection of short stories, A Twist of Malice, was published by Seraphim Editions in 2005; her second collection Scattered Light followed this fall. The Hamilton Spectator described this book as “an award-winning collection waiting to be crowned and one you-shouldn't miss.” Jean lives in Hamilton, where she is Co-chair of Hamilton Arts Council’s Literary Advisory Committee and serves as one of the organizers of the LiT LiVe Reading Series.

Hal Niedzviecki

Hal Niedzviecki is the founder of Broken Pencil Magazine and has published numerous works of social commentary, including

  • The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors
  • Hello I'm Special: How Individuality Became the New Conformity
  • We Want Some Too: Underground Desire and the Reinvention of Mass Culture.

He has also published a novel, The Program, and Smell It, a collection of stories. Hal was the subject of the documentary "Peep Culture" which premiered in Canada and the U.S. in 2011. His most recent book, Look Down, This is Where it Must Have Happened was published in April in the USA and Canada.

Donna Langevin

Donna Langevin’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals such as The Antigionish Review, Arc, and Descant. She won first prize in the 2008 Ontario Poetry Society Spring Contest and first prize in the 2009 Cyclamens and Swords Contest. Her poetry books include Improvising in the Dark (watershed books, 2000) The Second Language of Birds (Hidden Brook Press, 2005), In the Café du Monde (2007), and two chapbooks: Songbirds of the Hours and The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea. In 2010 a suite of her poems appeared in the collection From O to Snow, along with work by Deborah Panko and Kate Marshall-Flaherty.

Clara Blackwood

Clara Blackwood is a Toronto-based poet and professional Tarot reader. Her first poetry collection, Subway Medusa (2007), was the inaugural book in Guernica Editions’ First Poets Series, which features first books by poets thirty-five and under. Her poetry has appeared in the Hart House Review, Quills, Rampike, Carousel, and in the UK magazine Dream Catcher. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto. Her chapbook of tarot-inspired poems, Arcana, was published by Aeolus House in August 2011. Charged with archetypal symbolism, the poems in Arcana take the reader on a spiritual odyssey through the twenty-two major arcana in the Tarot.

Deborah Panko

Deborah Panko retired early from teaching English at the Toronto District School Board and moved east, settling in Cobourg. Hidden Brook Press published her first book of poetry, Somewhat Elsewhere in 2008. In 2010 a suite of her poems entitled “Assumptions” appeared in the collection From O to Snow, along with work by Donna Langevin and Kate Marshall-Flaherty.