Monday, December 17, 2012

January 6th reading: Sheard, Nason, Dickinson, McDonald, Baxter, Day

Playwright Stephen Near hosts!

David Day was born and raised in Victoria British Columbia. He is a poet and author who has published over 40 books of poetry, ecology, history, fantasy, mythology and fiction. David Day has also written for theatre and television. He was a writer in residence at the Aegean School of Fine Arts in Paros, Greece, and worked for the Canadian Publishers McClelland Stewart in Toronto. He subsequently travelled extensively, and lived in England, Greece, Spain and Canada. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

Anne McDonald has an MA in Psychology, has studied improv at Second City in Toronto, and has attended Sage Hill (Poetry Colloquium, Fiction Workshop) and the Humber School for writers. She facilitates creative writing and theatre workshops and also provides training in collaboration, communication, and creativity for organizations across the country. Anne is a published author whose work has been produced by CBC radio. Her novel To the Edge of the Sea, published with Thistledown Press in March 2011, won the First Book Award at the Saskatchewan Book Awards April 2012. Anne grew up just down the road in Grimsby and moved to the Prairies 13 years ago. The toboggan ‘bowl’ at the end of her street is the closest thing to the escarpment. Her website. 

Mary Lou Dickinson is a Toronto author who comes originally from northern Quebec and Montreal. Her short story collection, One Day It Happens, was published in 2007. Her novel, Ile D’Or, was published in 2010. She has had short stories published in such literary periodicals as Descant, Grain, The Fiddlehead and the University of Windsor Review. Dickinson participated in the summer program at the Humber School for Writers in 2005 and prior to that a writing studio at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 1992.

Jean Rae Baxter writes both for an adult general audience and for young adults. Freedom Bound is the third volume in a trilogy about the United Empire Loyalist experience. The Way Lies North (2007) won the Arts Hamilton Award for a young adult book and was nominated for the Red Maple and Stellar awards. Broken Trail won the Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Awards. Jean lives in Hamilton.

Sarah Sheard is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Almost Japanese (Coach House Press), The Swing Era (A.A. Knopf Canada) and The Hypnotist (Doubleday Canada). She is in private practice as a Gestalt psychotherapist and writing coach. She also owns a horse and is writing a nonfiction book about the western reining scene. Sarah's blog.

Jim Nason is the author of two books of poetry, If Lips Were as Red and The Fist of Remembering, the latter a emotionally rich and honest account of the death of his partner from cancer. And while his subject matter has often been about death and dying, his poetry is filled with light. In many ways his is the truly philosophical view that wastes no time mourning what might have been but is eager to embrace all that life might teach even in the deepest of sorrows. Educated in Montreal (McGill), and Toronto (Ryerson and York), Jim Nason currently lives and works as a social worker in Toronto. His work, praised by writers such as John Ashbery in the United States and Laura Lush here, has appeared in many literary journals across North America.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

December 2nd Reading: Starnino, Favro, Burgham, Tamerg, Rogal, and Lawson. Hosted by Jeff Mahoney.


Carmine Starnino is a poet, essayist, critic and editor of Signal Editions (an imprint of Véhicule Press). His first poetry collection, The New World, was nominated for the 1997 QSPELL A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and the 1997 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. His second collection, Credo, won the 2001 Canadian Authors’ Association Prize for Poetry and the 2001 David McKeen Award for Poetry. His recent publications include With English Subtitles (GP, 2004), Lover’s Quarrel on criticism of Canadian poetry, and an anthology called The New Canon. He lives in Montreal. 

JonArno Lawson is a two-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. His most recent books are Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box, Old MacDonald Had Her Farm, and There Devil, Eat That. He was born in Hamilton, grew up in Dundas, and now lives in Toronto with his wife, Amy, and three children, Sophie, Ashey, and JoJo. 

Ian Burgham has lived in both the UK and the South Pacific. He has been engaged in publishing as an editor, sales rep and publisher working in Scotland for Canongate Publishing and Macdonald Publishers, and in Canada, helped to found Grosvenor House Press. He has degrees in literature from both Queen’s University and the University of Edinburgh. Burgham’s The Grammar of Distance (Tightrope Books), was published in April of 2010. The publication follows two previous collections; A Confession of Birds, (MacLean Dubois, 2003) and The Stone Skippers, (Tightrope, 2007) which was nominated for a ReLit Award. His work has been published in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and has appeared in most Canadian literary journals over the past few years. Burgham is working on a fourth collection, A Weight of Bees (Tightrope Books) which will be launched in London, England, and in Toronto, in 2012. He is also working on two public art projects with internationally renowned artist and sculptor, Uno Hoffmann. 

Terri Favro is a winner of the McMaster Medal for the Creative and Performing Arts. Her work has appeared in Prism, Geist, and Riddle Fence, among others, and she collaborated on the graphic novel Bella, published by Grey Borders. Favro’s new book, The Proxy Bride, won the Quattro Books Ken Klonsky Award and was published in 2012. Set in 1960s Niagara, it tells the operatic tale of an Italian woman who marries a candy shop owner with crime connections, only to fall in love with his son. Favro lives in Toronto and blogs at 

Stan Rogal wonders what he can say about himself knowing that lies are ultimately more interesting. He left Vancouver for Toronto many years ago and doesn’t regret the choice. He has poems in three separate anthologies this fall, which is fun. His published books include poetry, short stories and novels, and he has a new collection of poems (perhaps two) coming out in spring 2013. He dabbles in theatre and is currently working on another collection of short stories as well as a play. Raised in St. Catharines, 

Urve Tamberg grew up in Toronto as the daughter of Estonian immigrant parents. With a B.Sc. (Physical Therapy) and a M.B.A., her management career spanned both the public and private sectors of health care. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, travelling, spending time with family and, of course, reading. Urve lives in Oakville, Ontario. The Darkest Corner of the World is her first novel.

Popular Hamilton Spectator writer and columnist, Jeff Mahoney has written with insight, sensitivity, and humour about practically everything in Hamilton, probing its quirks, mysteries, triumphs, disappointments, diagonal arachnid poets, wrong-way parking kerfuffles, politicians, moustaches, heroes, and unique culture.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lit Live on November 4th at Homegrown Hamilton

Please join us at Homegrown Hamilton cafe, on the first floor of the Skydragon Centre, 27 King William Street on Sunday, November 4th for our next reading. Here are the wonderful authors who will be entertaining you that night!

Nicole Dixon will be reading from High-Water Mark, her debut short-story collection from The Porcupine's Quill.

Patrick Friesen will be reading from his most recent book, Jumping in the Asylum from Quattro Press.

David Livingstone Clink will be reading poems from his collections from Tightrope Books, Eating Fruit Out of Season and Monster, as well as some of his newer poems.

Betsy Struthers is reading from All That Desire: New and Selected Poems, her newest collection of poetry from Black Moss Press.

Todd Swift will be reading from his most recent collection, England is Mine.

Royston Tester will be reading from his new book with Tightrope Books, Fatty Goes to China.

Nicole Dixon

Nicole Dixon has lived in Toronto, Sarnia, Windsor, North Bay, and Halifax. Her work has been nominated for the Journey Prize and a CBC Literary Award and appeared in The New Quarterly, Grain, The Fiddlehead, and Canadian Notes and Queries. In 2005 she won the Writers’ Trust of Canada RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for short fiction. A teacher, librarian, and web designer, Nicole currently lives beside the Bay of Fundy in rural Nova Scotia. For more information, please visit her website.

Patrick Friesen

Patrick Friesen, formerly of Winnipeg, lives on Vancouver Island. He writes poetry, drama, songs, and text for dance and music. In 1994 Blasphemer’s Wheel (Turnstone Press) won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year award in Manitoba. A Broken Bowl was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award in 1996. He has also been short-listed twice for the Dorothy Livesay Award in the BC Book Awards. Friesen has also collaborated with Marilyn Lerner in jazz and literary festivals and on two CDs of spoken word and improv piano. His most recent book is Jumping in the Asylum (Quattro Press, 2011). Patrick is on the ReLit poetry shortlist this year.

David Livingstone Clink

David Livingstone Clink has two collections of poetry published by Tightrope Books: Eating Fruit Out of Season (2008) and Monster (2010). He edited an anthology of environmental poetry called: A Verdant Green (The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, 2010). Fall 2012 will bring a third collection, Crouching Yak, Hidden Emu, a book of humorous poems from The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box. He has poems forthcoming in Guernica's Poet to Poet Anthology, and PRISM International, and has had recent poems in Chizine, The Literary Review of Canada, The Toronto Quarterly, Existere, Tesseracts 16, and, Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing.

Betsy Struthers

Betsy Struthers has published nine books of poetry – most recently All That Desire: New and Selected Poems (Black Moss Press, 2012) – three novels, and a book of short fiction. She also co-edited and contributed to a book of essays about teaching poetry. She is a past president of the League of Canadian Poets. Winner of the 2010 GritLit Poetry Award, the 2004 Lowther Award for the best book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and silver medalist for the 1994 Milton Acorn Award, her poems and fiction have been published in many literary journals and anthologies. Struthers lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where she works as a freelance editor.

Todd Swift

Todd Swift was born in Montreal, but grew up in St-Lambert, Quebec. Swift's poetry is translated into and published in many languages, including French, Croatian, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Arabic, and Korean. In 2003, Swift edited the chapbook series (In English, French, German and Brazilian versions) 100 Poets Against The War. Salt Publishing in Cambridge, UK, released a print version, March 5, 2003. In 2004 he was Poet-in-residence for Oxfam, and ran the Oxfam summer poetry festival, which featured Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, and Wendy Cope (and other major poets) with a grant from the Arts Council, England. He lives in Marylebone Village, London.

Royston Tester

In 2012, Royston Tester became Associate Editor for Hong Kong-based Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. He organized the launch of Cha in mainland China on August 31st, 2009, in Beijing. Prior to his appointment, he was a frequent contributor to the journal. His first collection of short fiction, Summat Else (Porcupine’s Quill) is set in England, Spain, and Canada. It explores the coming-of-age of Enoch Jones. Tester’s work has appeared in Asian, Canadian and U.S. journals and anthologies. Two stories, “Seriously” and “Face” were shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Awards. Tester has been jury member for the Commonwealth Fiction Prize, and first reader for the Writers’ Union of Canada “Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers.” In Canada, he has taught ESL at McMaster University, and fiction-writing at the Humber School for Writers, Toronto. In China, he has been a frequent writer-in-residence at the Red Gate Gallery, Beijing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lit Live Line-Up for October 7th

The Lit Live Reading Series presents the following authors on Sunday October 7th. Hosted by Gary Barwin, the start time is 7:30 p. m. and the venue is our regular fabulous spot: Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William Street, Hamilton, Ontario.

Sue Chenette -- The Bones of his Being (poetry, Guernica Editions)

Eva Stachniak -- The Winter Palace (fiction, Doubleday Canada)

Scott Fotheringham -- The Rest is Silence (fiction, Goose Lane)

Philip Roy -- Ghosts of the Pacific (travel writing, Ronsdale)

Julie McIsaac -- Entry Level (fiction, Insomniac Press)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lit Live Cancelled for September

It's sad, but true. We've had to forgo the pleasure of your company at the Lit Live reading series on Sunday September 2nd. We've had some unavoidable problems behind the scenes, but are fully confident on mounting a super show on Sunday, October 7th. Time: 7:30 p.m. Place: Hamilton's happening eatery, Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William Street.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jumping for Joy on June Third!

Lit Live ends its reading season with a juicy June line-up at Homegrown Hamilton, at 27 King William Street. Oh, what a hot-bed of literary fascinations for the first Sunday of the month! Cocktails at 7:30 p.m. Entrées for the mind, shortly after.

Noah Richler leads the way with What We Talk About When We Talk About War, published in 2012 by Goose Lane Editions.

George Amabile brings both prose (Dancing with Mirrors, Porcupine's Quill) and poetry (Small Change, Libros Libertad) published in 2011.

Ruth Roach Pierson reads from her latest poetry collection Contrary, published by Tightrope Books in 2011.

Lillian Necakov brings us Hooligans, the title of her latest book of poems from Mansfield Press.

Nico Rogers presents The Fetch, a collection of tales and prose poems, published in 2011 by Brick Books.

Carey Toane guides us through The Crystal Palace, her first poetry collection, published by Mansfield Press in 2011.

Noah Richler

Raised in Montreal and London, England, Noah Richler is a former books editor and literary editor for the National Post and has contributed to publications on both sides of the pond—from the Guardian, Punch, and the Daily Telegraph to The Walrus, Maisonneuve, Saturday Night, and The Globe and Mail. He is also the author of This Is My Country, What’s Yours? A Literary Atlas of Canada—a bold and impassioned literary travelogue that looks at the country through the work of its contemporary writers. That book won the B.C. National Award for Canadian Nonfiction and was shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Non–fiction Prize.
In his latest publication, What We Talk About When We Talk About War, he argues that in the past decade, Canada has gone from being a peacekeeping nation to a “warrior” nation, and he examines what this says about us as a country.

George Amabile

George Amabile lives in Winnipeg and has published poetry, fiction and non-fiction in over a hundred anthologies, magazines, journals and periodicals. He is the author of eight poetry books. The Presence of Fire (McClelland & Stewart), won the CAA National Prize for literature; his long poem Durée placed third in the CBC Literary Competition in 1991; his poem entry`What We Take with Us, Going Away' was short-listed in the CBC competition in  2003. From October 2000 to April 2001 he was Writer in Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library. His most recent book is Dancing, With Mirrors (Porcupine's Quill, 2011).

Ruth Roach Pierson

Ruth Roach Pierson is the author of three poetry collections:
  • Where No Window Was (BuschekBooks, 2002)
  • Aide-Mémoire (BuschekBooks, 2007), which was short-listed for the 2008 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Poetry
  • Contrary (Tightrope Books, 2011).
With Sue MacLeod, she is presently editing an anthology of poems about films entitled I Found It at the Movies, to be published by Tightrope Books in spring 2013.

Lillian Necakov

Lillian Necakov has been writing and publishing for over 30 years. Her work has appeared in publications in Canada, the United States, China, and Serbia. She is the author of Sickbed of Dogs, Wolsak and Wynn (1989), Polaroids, Coach House Books (1997), Hat Trick, Exile Editions (1998), The Bone Broker, Mansfield Press (2007), and Hooligans, Mansfield Press (2011). She was the editor of the very small press the Surrealist Poets Gardening Association for years. During the 1980s she sold her books on the streets of Toronto and was one of the subjects of the documentary film “Street Writers, Lucky to be Here”. Lillian runs the Boneshaker Reading Series on St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto.

Nico Rogers

Nico Rogers is a storyteller and performance artist, and has appeared at writing and folk festivals across the country, as well as on TV and radio. He has taught writing and literature in post-secondary institutions in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton and now lives in Toronto, where he is working on a novel which will be a thematic continuation of The Fetch. The Fetch is his first collection. Drawing on family recollections, interviews with elders and extensive research in archives and regional museums, The Fetch is neither a novel nor a collection of short stories. It is a compelling volume of tales and prose poems, powered by a broad range of characters. The Fetch was recently short-listed for a Northern LIT award.

Carey Toane

Carey Toane has worked as a journalist, copy editor, ESL instructor and librarian. Her poems and translations have appeared in Canadian journals and anthologies since 2007. She is the co-founder of the Toronto journal Poetry Vendors, and the original host of Toronto reading series Pivot at the Press Club. Originally from Alberta, she has also lived in Finland, the Middle East and New York City. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Her first collection, The Crystal Palace, was published by Mansfield Press in 2011. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

May We Bend Your Ear?

May is one of Lit Live's best months, with the flowers blooming and the writers visiting. On May 6th, at 7:30 p.m. Lit Live presents six outstanding writers for your enjoyment. The thrills (and erudition!) are at Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William Street in Hamilton. Don't be late! We'd hate to have to start without you.

Karen Connelly will recount Burmese Lessons: a love story, published by Nan Talese.

John B. Lee selects from a variety of recent and forthcoming publications, including his poetry collection Let Us Be Silent Here, from Sanbun Publishing (2012).

Matt Lennox reads from his first novel The Carpenter, recently released by Harper Collins Canada.

Alexander MacLeod brings his acclaimed collection of short fiction Light Lifting, published by Biblioasis.

Sara Ries presents her first poetry collection Come In, We're Open, published by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, in 2010.

Claire Tacon takes us into her first novel In the Field, published in 2011 by Biblioasis.

Karen Connelly

Karen Connelly is the author of nine books of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry, the most recent being Burmese Lessons, a love story, a memoir about her experiences in Burma and on the Thai-Burma border. She has won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry, the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction, and Britain’s Orange Broadband Prize for New Fiction for her first novel The Lizard Cage. Published in 2005, The Lizard Cage was compared in the New York Times Book Review to the works of Orwell, Solzhenitsyn, and Mandela, and hailed in the Globe and Mail as “one of the best modern Canadian novels.” Her other books include Grace and Poison, One Room in a Castle, This Brighter Prison, The Disorder of Love, and The Small Words in My Body. Married with a young child, she divides her time between a home in rural Greece and a home in Toronto.

John B. Lee

John B. Lee is the author of over sixty published books. His most recent book, Let Us Be Silent Here, recounts an eighteen-day journey through Israel and Jordan. Israeli poet and Novelist Yosef Gotlieb praises these poems as "highly laudable... resonant with transcendence ...soulful wanderings amidst the ruins of Israel." 2012 will also see the publication of:

  • Lee's memoir on his experiences as an enthusiastic player of pickup hockey, "You Can Always Eat the Dogs: the hockeyness of ordinary men" (Black Moss Press)
  • An Unfinished War, an anthology of War of 1812 literature (Black Moss Press)
  • Beyond the Seventh Morning, an anthology co-edited by Cuban poet Manuel Leon, (Hidden Brook Press)
  • In This We Hear the Light, a collection of poems written in Cuba with photographs by Tai Grove (Hidden Brook Press).

Lee lives in Port Dover where he serves as Poet Laureate of Norfolk (2011-2014). He is also Poet Laureate of Brantford in perpetuity.

Matt Lennox

Matt Lennox is the author of a collection of short stories (Men of Salt, Men of Earth, Oberon Press) that was shortlisted for the 2010 ReLit award; the title story was published in Best Canadian Stories for 2006. His latest book is a novel, The Carpenter, which came out in 2012. His nonfiction has appeared in Toronto Life and The National Post. He is a recent graduate of The University of Guelph's MFA in creative writing, and continues to serve and train as an officer in the Canadian Forces Army Reserves. Lennox enjoys travel, carpentry, and amateur boxing. He lives in Toronto, and is working on his next novel.

Alexander MacLeod

Alexander MacLeod was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His bestselling fiction debut (Light Lifting, Biblioasis 2010) was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor Award, and was the winner of an Atlantic Book Award. Light Lifting was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. Macleod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill; he currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Sara Ries

Sara Ries was born in Buffalo, New York, where her parents have owned a diner since she was two years old. She holds an MFA from Chatham University, where she received the Best Thesis in Poetry Award. Her first poetry book, Come In, We're Open, won the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition and was published in June 2010 by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (USA). Her poem, “Fish Fry Daughter,” was selected by Ted Kooser for his American Life in Poetry column. She currently hosts the Poetry & Dinner Night Reading Series at the Woodlawn Diner and teaches at Erie Community College.

Claire Tacon

Claire Tacon is the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke award for her first novel, In the Field. Her fiction has been short-listed for the Bronwen Wallace Award and the CBC Literary Awards and has appeared in journals such as The New Quarterly and sub-TERRAIN. Several of her works were anthologised in recent editions of Coming Attractions and Best Canadian Short Stories. She is a past fiction editor of the magazine PRISM international and is a lecturer at St. Jerome’s University. You can learn more about Claire at her website.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lit Live and gritLIT Make a Crowd

Pictures speak almost as well as the words of the writers who came to Lit Live and the gritLIT Literary Festival on April 1, 2012. Book-lovers make quite a crowd, don't they? Some folks have their back to the camera, but we can see Bryan Prince chatting with Stuart Ross (left side), Pamela Hensley (almost centre), and in the foreground we see (left to right) Glen Downie in red jacket, Chris Banks planning his reading, and gritLIT volunteer Adam Getty beside him. Click on the image for a larger view.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lit Live Joins Hamilton's Literary Festival!

April is always a special month in our year. On Sunday April 1st Lit Live shares the stage with the gritLIT Literary Festival, presenting authors who have been invited to the biggest writerly shindig in the city. For your pleasure . . .

Glen Downie brings you his most recent poetry book: Local News , published by Wolsak & Wynn in 2011.

Susan Evans Shaw will introduce you to Canadians at War: A Guide to the Battlefields of World War One, from Goose Lane Editions in 2011.

Stuart Ross presents his new novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew, published in 2011 by ECW Press.

Amanda Jernigan lays the Groundwork in her new collection of poetry from Biblioasis

Chris Banks provides poetry from his latest collection, Winter Cranes, released in 2011 by ECW.

Trevor C. Smith tackles head on the world that the alienated youth face today in his first novel Year of the Rooster, published by Rebel Satori Press in 2010.

Glen Downie

Glen Downie has published half a dozen books of poetry and in 2008 he was awarded the Toronto Book Award for his collection, Loyalty Management. His work has appeared in the secondary school textbook Inside Poetry, as well as in many anthologies and journals. Formerly a social worker in cancer care, he served a term as writer-in-residence at Dalhousie University’s Medical Humanities Program before returning to a life of anonymity in Toronto as an at-home father. His most recent poetry book is Local News (Wolsak & Wynn, 2011).

Susan Evans Shaw

Until 1999, Susan Evans Shaw was a research technician in Health Sciences at McMaster University. She now applies herself to writing and history. Her father and husband were both geologists. Their influence helped cultivate her interest in the past, but the real catalyst was the discovery of her grandfather’s letters, written home during World War I. Susan and photographer Jean Crankshaw co-authored Heritage Treasures: The Historic Homes of Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, East Flamborough, Hamilton, Stoney Creek and Waterdown published by James Lorimer & Company. The book won the 2004 Arts Hamilton Award for non-fiction. Susan’s second book, Canadians at War: A Guide to the Battlefields of World War I, with photographs by Jean Crankshaw and others, was published by Goose Lane Editions in 2011. (Photo by Janice Jackson.)

Stuart Ross

Stuart Ross published his first literary pamphlet on the photocopier in his dad’s office one night in 1979. Through the 1980s, he stood on Toronto’s Yonge Street wearing signs like “Writer Going To Hell: Buy My Books,” selling over 7,000 poetry and fiction chapbooks. A tireless literary press activist, he is the co-founder of the Toronto Small Press Book Fair and now a founding member of the Meet the Presses collective, Editor at Mansfield Press and Fiction & Poetry Editor at This Magazine. He is the author of two collaborative novels, two story collections and six full-length poetry books. He has also published a collection of essays, Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer (Anvil Press), and edited the anthology Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence (The Mercury Press). His poetry collection Farmer Gloomy’s New Hybrid (ECW Press, 1999) was shortlisted for the 2000 Trillium Book Award. His story collection, Buying Cigarettes for the Dog (Freehand Books, 2009), won the 2010 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. In spring 2011, ECW Press released his first novel, Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew.

Amanda Jernigan

Amanda Jernigan is a poet, playwright, essayist, and editor. With her husband, the artist John Haney, she has produced limited-edition pamphlets and broadsides under the imprint Daubers Press. Her work has been published and performed in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, and is featured online in the archive of the Poetry Foundation. Her first book, Groundwork, was published by Biblioasis in 2011, and named to the National Public Radio list of Best Books of the year. She is currently at work on a new book of poems, slated to be published by Cormorant Books in 2013. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario. (Photo by John Haney.)

Chris Banks

Raised in the Ontario communities of Bancroft, Sioux Lookout, and Stayner, award-winning poet Chris Banks has published three poetry books. His first book was Bonfires (2003, Nightwood Editions) which received the 2004 Jack Chalmers Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. His second book was The Cold Panes of Surfaces (2006, Nightwood). His latest poetry collection is Winter Cranes (ECW, 2011).

Trevor C. Smith

Trevor C. Smith is an artist in as many facets as he can manage. He is a commissioned painter and a tattoo artist. He is a graduate of the University of Hard Knocks with honors. Trevor lives in Toronto with his family. His first novel, Year of the Rooster dismantles the illusions of security, predictability and anonymity that pacify humankind. It exposes the common incarcerating binds of society: greed, the cubicle effect, and our contentious relationship with money.

Friday, February 17, 2012

March Declares Its Winners

On Sunday March 4th -- in addition to the stellar threesome of poets we've booked for you -- we'll be presenting the winning stories from the Creative Keyboards competition, that annual race to the heavens that is sponsored by the Hamilton Arts Council.

Maureen Hynes will read from Marrow, Willow, her latest collection of poems, recently released by Pedlar Press.

Shane Neilson presents selections from Gunmetal Blue, his at-times-painful, but always lyrically honest memoir, published by Palimpsest Press.

David Haskins reads from poetry, published and new. Also, if we're lucky, we'll hear some of his fiction too.

Maureen Hynes

Maureen Hynes's first book of poetry, Rough Skin (Wolsak and Wynn), won the League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry. Her second collection, Harm's Way, was published by Brick Books, and her third, Marrow, Willow, arrived in April, 2011 from Pedlar Press in Toronto. She is a winner of the Petra Kenney Poetry Prize (London, England), and her poem, "The Last Cigarette" was chosen for the anthology Best Canadian Poems 2010, edited by Lorna Crozier. Hynes' poem, "The Poison Colour" was longlisted for the same collection for 2011. Maureen is the poetry editor for Our Times magazine.

Shane Neilson

Shane Neilson is a physician who practices Family Medicine in Erin, Ontario. He has published two poetry collections, Mensicus and Complete Physical, the latter of which was nominated for a 2011 Trillium Award. In 2010 he won Arc's Poem of The Year contest. Gunmetal Blue is his second nonfiction book, his first being a collection of essays entitled Call Me Doctor.

David Haskins

David Haskins has published poetry and fiction in over thirty literary journals (Windsor Review, Fiddlehead, Canadian Forum, Journal of Canadian Fiction), anthologies (Saving Bannister, Voices from the Niagara), and books (Canadian Children’s Annual, The Fruits of Experience, This Little Light of Mine). His earlier poems are collected in his book Reclamation (Borealis Press, 1980). He has won first prizes from the CBC Short Story Competition, the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara), the Ontario Poetry Society, and Arts Hamilton. Haskins emigrated to Canada from England at the age of eight. His teaching career spans 35 years, in secondary schools as Department Head of English, for Brock University College of Education, and as author and teacher for the Ontario Ministry of Education. He is currently preparing two books of recent poems and memoir stories, and a fantasy young adult novel. He lives on the shores of Lake Ontario, and drives a red 1970 MGB on top-down days.

Creative Keyboards Winning Stories!

On Sunday, March 4th, we'll announce -- and hear -- the winning stories in the Creative Keyboards competition, sponsored by The Hamilton Arts Council. The readers who will grace our stage and read these stories will be announced in this space, in a few Internet minutes . . .

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Six @ Lit Live, Feb 5

New year, new books, new literary fun!

Come one, come all to Lit Live on February 5th at the Skydragon Centre, Homegrown Hamilton division, at 27 King William Street. 7:30 p.m. we start. Please don't be late!

Russell Smith might make us all Girl Crazy, reading from his novel of the same name, published by Harper Collins Canada.

Gary Barwin pops out Franzlations and The Obvious Flap, recent collaborative poetry published by New Star Books and Bookthug publishers, respectively.

Rebecca Rosenblum awakes us to The Big Dream, her latest collection of short fiction from Biblioasis.

Adam Sol takes us towards and beyond Jeremiah, Ohio, his novel in verse published by House of Anansi Press.

Maria Meindl reads from recent work and her most recent book, Outside the Box: the Life and Legacy of Writer Mona Gould, published by McGill-Queens University Press.

Laura Lush presents her much-anticipated fourth book of poetry, Carapace, newly published by Palimpsest Press.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Russell Smith

Russell Smith is a novelist and cultural commentator. He is also the author of eight books, seven of them fiction. His early novels, How Insensitive (1994) and Noise (1998), are satirical, comic portrayals of big-city life and the sexual mores of young people. How Insensitive was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. His book of short stories, Young Men, followed in 1999. The opening story in that collection, "Party Going", won the Canadian National Magazine Award for fiction in 1997. His 2004 novel Muriella Pent was shortlisted for the Rogers Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Impac Dublin Award, and named as Best Fiction of 2004 by

Smith writes two weekly columns for The Globe and Mail: one on culture and the arts, and the other, an advice column for men. His most recent novel, Girl Crazy (HarperCollins Canada), a darker work with thriller elements, was called “hot, steamy, ruthlessly lucid” by Barbara Gowdy and “chatty, funny, sex-loving” by David Gilmour. Quill and Quire called it “a story of scathing insight.” He is now adapting it for the screen for New Real Films of Toronto.

Gary Barwin

Gary Barwin writes and performs fiction, visual and concrete poetry, music for live performers and computers, text & sound works, and literature for children and young adults. He has performed in Canada, the USA, Japan, and in Europe. Barwin was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and emigrated to Ottawa in the early 1970s. He graduated from York University with a BFA in Music and a BA in Creative Writing in 1985 where he studied writing with bpNichol and Frank Davey and music with David Mott, James Tenney, and Trichy Sankaran. Barwin received a PhD in Music Composition from SUNY at Buffalo in 1995. Barwin has been a teacher at Hillfield Strathallan College and at McMaster University. His most recent books are:
  • The Porcupinity of the Stars, 2010.
  • The Obvious Flap, a poetry collaboration with Gregory Betts, 2011.
  • Franzlations: the Imaginary Kafka Parables, a poetry collaboration with Hugh Thomas and Craig Conley, 2011
He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, and pamphlets, many from his own serif of nottingham editions. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies. He lives in Hamilton with his wife and three children where he directs the Niagara Regional Rhyme Gland Laboratory for the National Rhyme Institute.

Rebecca Rosenblum

Rebecca Rosenblum’s fiction has been short-listed for the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Danuta Gleed Award. She was herself a juror for Journey Prize number 21. Her short-story collection Once, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award and was one of Quill and Quire’s list of 15 Books That Mattered in 2008. Her first chapbook Road Trips, was published by Frog Hollow Press in 2010. Her second collection The Big Dream, was recently published by Biblioasis. The Big Dream is a collection of stories linked by the office building where all the characters work, and the trials of the company that employs them. Rebecca blogs at

Adam Sol

Adam Sol is an Associate Professor of English at Laurentian University in Sudbury. He is also the author of three poetry books. His first, Jonah's Promise (2000) was published by Mid-List Press in Minneapolis after winning their First Series Award. His subsequent books were published by House of Anansi Press. His second, Crowd of Sounds (2003), won the Trillium Award for Poetry. His latest, Jeremiah, Ohio (2008) is a novel in verse, wherein the poet reinvents the Biblical prophet and doomsayer Jeremiah for the postmodern age, and sends him on a reeling road trip through the strip malls and back roads of the United States with an ordinary, everyman for a companion. He is also the author of numerous essays and reviews.

Maria Meindl

Maria Meindl is the author of Outside the Box: the Life and Legacy of Writer Mona Gould, the Grandmother I Thought I Knew from McGill Queens University Press, a story “The Last Judgment” from Found Press, and “Rules,” an essay in an anthology on death published by Creative Non Fiction. Other essays by Maria have appeared in The Literary Review of Canada, Descant, and Musicworks. She has made two radio series for CBC’s program Ideas: Parent Care, and Remembering Polio. She is the founder of Toronto’s Draft literary reading series (now in its seventh season) which features work by new and established writers. Maria blogs at Body Language.

Laura Lush

Carapace is Laura Lush’s fourth book of poetry. Her first book, Hometown, was nominated for the 1992 Governor General's Award for Poetry. Her other poetry books are Fault Line (Signal, 1997) and The First Day of Winter (Ronsdale, 2002). She has also written a book of short fiction, Going to the Zoo, which was published by Turnstone Press in 2002. She teaches creative writing and academic English at U. of T.'s School of Continuing Studies. She lives in Guelph with her son, Jack. You can learn more about Carapace, Laura's latest book at her publisher's website.