Thursday, December 19, 2013

January 5: Julie Joosten, Roger Greenwald, Gregory Betts, Jane Silcott, Alexander Dolinin, Jason Dickson, and host, Chris Pannell

A great line-up for January. Read about the authors and their books below:

Alexander Dolinin was born and raised in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in the former Soviet Union, where he earned an MA in Iranian philology from the State University of Leningrad. After emigrating to Canada, he earned a BA in Honours History from McMaster University, with Russian history as one of his areas of specialization. Against Destiny, his first novel, joins his experience of living in the Soviet Union with a specialist’s knowledge of the history, realities and circumstances that shape its main characters and plot. He is a Canadian citizen and a member of the Writers Union of Canada. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Gregory Betts is an award-winning author, editor and professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. He has been teaching literature for a dozen years now at four different universities in Canada and Germany. He has published five books of poetry, edited five books of experimental Canadian writing, and recently published Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies and Graduate Program Director of Canadian and American Studies at Brock.

Jane Silcott grew up in Toronto and moved west to find out why her father's voice always got softer when he spoke of the mountains. She's still finding out. Jane’s writing has been called "fearless," "honest," "compelling," and "cheeky," and has been recognized by the CBC Literary Awards, the National and Western Magazine Awards, Room Magazine, and the Creative Nonfiction Collective of Canada. Her first book, Everything Rustles, is a collection of personal essays about love, wrinkles, death, fear and laundry – the usual things.

Jason Dickson is a bookseller, publisher and writer who lives in London, Ontario. He is the editor of Clearance: Selected Journals of Dr. Michael Purdon, Parapsychologist (BookThug 2002). He also publishes the London arts and letters magazine, The London Reader.

Julie Joosten has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a PhD from Cornell University.  Her first book Light Light was published by Book Thug (2013).  Her poems and reviews can be found in Jacket 2, Tarpaulin Sky, The Fiddlehead, and The Malahat Review

Roger Greenwald grew up in New York, attended The City College and the St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie Poetry Project workshop, and then took graduate degrees at the University of Toronto. He has won two CBC Literary Awards, one for his poetry and one for travel literature, as well as numerous awards for his translations. He has published one book of poems, Connecting Flight, and several volumes of poetry in translation, most recently North in the World: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen; Picture World, by Niels Frank; and Meditations on Georges de La Tour, by Paal-Helge Haugen.  


Chris Pannell serves on the board of Hamilton's annual gritLIT literary festival. He has published four poetry books: Under Old Stars, Sorry I Spent Your Poem Drive, and his most recent, A Nervous City. He is also the author of a set of three poetry broadsheets entitled Fractures,Subluxations and Disclocations, which won the Hamilton and Region Arts Council poetry book award in 1997. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos People's Poet award and the Arts Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year. From 1993 until 2005 he ran the New Writing Workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. and edited two book-length anthologies for the group. He has been published in literary magazines across Canada and internationally as well.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rob Ford, semi-colons, poetry, short stories, and prize-winners: Report from The LitLive Reading Series, December 1.

It’s amazing really: each month in Hamilton, actual real live writers—well known nationally or locally—participate in a lively reading of their work live on stage. And it’s free. The series is called Lit Live, not only because it's ‘live’ (as opposed to recorded) but because it makes literature come alive and I don’t mean in a Frankensteinian way.

The reading series is held the first Sunday of each month at Homegrown Hamilton. It features six writers—novelists, short story writers, poets, memoirists, and non-fiction writers, including, this December, three winners of the GritLit Writing Contest. The audience and the guest writers are always impressed at the size of the crowd and how congenial the series is. And no hipster posing (though I try, I try) or cliquishness.  Just fantastic writing in a friendly atmosphere. This evening, as usual, we had to get out extra chairs for the full house. All found their way to a libation and got comfortable.

Writer/educator/cartoonist Jen Jones was the entertaining host. (Each month, there's a different host from the arts community.) Jen explained how she had recently met Margaret Atwood (I think she's a hockey star or something) at Bryan Prince, Bookseller event and, after talking cartooning, Atwood drew a cartoon for her mother for Christmas. (Jen’s mom: if you’re reading this: we’ll make sure that she gives it to you and doesn’t keep it for herself!)

The first reader was poet/biologist Jan Conn who travelled from Albany, NY to read. Jan Conn has written eight books of poetry and is also a Research Scientist at the Wadsworth Center, Division of Infectious Diseases in Albany. She read a series of dark and darkly humorous poems, some of which incorporated her interest in biology, from her recent collection, Edge Effects.

Second was Toronto writer, Mark Goldstein. Before becoming a full-time writer, he played drums alongside Leslie Feist and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning in the indie rock band By Divine Right. Mark read hauntingly from his book on ‘motherloss,’ Form of Forms as well as some of his inventive translations of Celan.

Next up was writer and teacher Dave Haskins who has been involved with the local writing community for many years.  He read from his recently published memoir, This House is Condemned (just out from Hamilton publisher Wolsak & Wynn.) The passage was an evocative account of his English boyhood vision of Canada and of a recent trip to Haida Gwaii.

Then we heard from three winners of the 2013 GritLit Literary Festival writing contest.

Burlington writer Janet Turpin Myers, read her short story, “Crashing,” a dramatic and humorous piece which involved some cars. Crashing. The story placed third in the contest. Her debut novel, Nightswimming was recently launched by Seraphim Editions.

Hamilton writer Alexandra Missett gave a vivid and dynamic reading of her story, "Fire," which won the GritLit short fiction contest.

Raymond Beauchemin, now of Hamilton, closed the evening with a charming reading of three poems (which were part of his 3rd place GritLit-winning poetry entry) and which appear in the novel he is currently writing. Raymond set the scene with some funny stories and read with a beautifully resonant voice.

Then Jen Jones the host asked everyone to look under their chair. We each received a new car and a cruiseship! Alright, so maybe that didn’t happen, but she did let everyone know that all of the GritLit winning writing is available in a chapbook. And that details of the next reading  (Sunday, January 5th, 2014 at 7:30 at Homegrown Hamilton) can be found at the LitLive blog. 

The writers stuck around to chat with the audience, many of whom visited the booktable to buy books and have them signed.  Before we all left, Rob Ford who was in the audience, suddenly stood up and said, “This kind of reading series is great opportunity to hear a diverse range of both new and familiar writers in an intimate setting (as opposed to those poetry readings at the ACC); it is an experience of writing that is vivid, fun, engaging, and often moving.” Then he said, “Did I just use a semi-colon?”  “I can’t comment on a semi-colon that may or may not exist,” Mayor Bratina said. “But this was a really great night of literature in Hamilton.” OK, so if you’ve read this far, you deserve to know that that none of this paragraph is true, except for the great night of literature part. And the part telling you that none of it was true except for that part. And, you know, this part.

I do invite you to come out to a LitLive Reading. The series really is a great opportunity to hear great writing in a welcoming and congenial setting; and semi-colons.

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.

Monday, November 4, 2013

December 1 Reading: Jan Conn, Mark Goldstein, Dave Haskins, and winners of the gritLit Writing Contest.

Note: Michael Mirolla was scheduled to read this December, but—tough luck for him—his publisher is sending him to Riga, Latvia for the launch of the translation of his book, Berlin. We'll reschedule his appearance and look forward to hearing him read for us then.

But, we still have six great readers and an excellent host. As always, it'll be a great evening.

Monday, October 21, 2013

November 3rd Reading" Johnston, Pannell, Jernigan, Fradkin, Rogal, Shin

November's reading features lost canoes, ranches, bullets, broken china, epithalamiums, nervous cities, moon howling, and Epic hosting.  Not to mention good food (new menu at Homegrown Hamilton!) and drink and the always warm and convivial audience.

Who are the authors? What are there they're their books?

Ahh. Look below and all will be known.

Sean Johnston’s latest book is the novel Listen All You Bullets. His work has been nominated for the Journey Prize and a Saskatchewan Book Award, and he’s been shortlisted three times for the ReLit Award, winning it in 2003 for his short story collection A Day Does Not Go By. He teaches literature and creative writing at Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC. He can be found online at

Listen All You Bullets tells the story of a young boy named Billy who is trapped on a hardscrabble North Dakota ranch with his lonely mother and his wheelchair-bound father. But Billy isn’t just any boy stuck on any ranch: Billy and his family are the creations of Jack Schaefer’s popular 1949 Western novel, Shane. Long after that novel’s action has concluded and its plot and characters have seemingly solidified into popular myth, Sean Johnston sets out to explore the possibilities of a story’s resistance to its own arrested afterlife.

Amanda Jernigan is a poet, playwright, essayist and editor. Her first book of poems, Groundwork, published by Biblioasis, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award and named to National Public Radio's list of "Best Books" of 2011. Her new book, All the Daylight Hours, was published by Cormorant Books in the spring. She currently lives in Hamilton, where she is at work on a Ph.D. in English at McMaster University, her dissertation project a critical edition of the poems of Richard Outram.

All the Daylight Hours, Amanda Jernigan’s second poetry collection, took shape over the course of twelve years, through many changes of setting and amid a changing cast of characters encountered both face to face and in the pages of books long lived-with and loved. The poems themselves ring changes on nature and artifice, love and loss, the power of language and the limitations of language, returning to these themes in a wide variety of registers. No less moving for being meticulously crafted, these elegies, epithalamiums, dramatic monologues, and meditations trace a human journey through time.

Stan Rogal's work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US and Europe, some in translation, including: Rampike, The Fiddlehead, Grain and Exquisite Corpse.  He is the author of 18 books: 4 novels, 3 story and 11 poetry collections.  A poem of his placed third in the 2012 GritLIT contest.  He is also a playwright with productions mounted variously across Canada, generally in fringe venues.  His new collection is Howl Down the Moon, and his next, Love's Not The Way To is due in April 2013.

Chris Pannell serves on the board of Hamilton's annual gritLIT literary festival. He has published four poetry books: Under Old Stars, Sorry I Spent Your Poem Drive, and his most recent, A Nervous City. He is also the author of a set of three poetry broadsheets entitled Fractures, Subluxations and Disclocations, which won the Hamilton and Region Arts Council poetry book award in 1997. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos People's Poet award and the Arts Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year. From 1993 until 2005 he ran the New Writing Workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. and edited two book-length anthologies for the group. He has been published in literary magazines across Canada and internationally as well.

In A Nervous City is an array of poems that explore the depth and breadth of the city, capturing both its darkness and its charm.

Ann Shin’s writing has been published in anthologies and magazines in Canada and the US, including Crossroads Cant , Broken Jaw Press On a Bed of Rice, Anchor Books, and Geography of Encounters, Rowman and Little Press and IV Lounge Reader, Insomniac Press, and The Last Thing Standing, by Mansfield Press.  Her latest book of poetry, The Family China was published in 2013, by Brick Books and has won the Anne Green Award for innovation in story and narrative form. Some of the poems from the book were produced for broadcast on the CBC Radio One program ‘Living Out Loud.’

Barbara Fradkin has been writing since she was six and has always had an affinity for the dark side. Her work as a child psychologist provides ample insight and inspiration for stories. She is a two-time winner in Storyteller Magazine's annual Great Canadian Short Story Contest, as well as a four-time nominee for the Crime Writers' of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, including "Voices from the Deep" in 2007.

However, she is best known for her award-winning police procedural series. There are nine books in the series, starting with Do or Die in 2000. The sequel Once Upon a Time (2002) was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' of Canada's Arthur Ellis award for Best Novel, while both Fifth Son (2004) and Honour Among Men (2006) won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in their respective years.

Whisper of Legends begins in the wake of a violent summer storm when a broken canoe washes up on the rocky shore of the Nahanni River. Four canoeists are missing. Has the mighty river claimed another life? Or has greed, revenge and a family legend led to murder?

The MC for the evening, Jaime Krakowski is the owner of the popular Epic Books located at 226 Locke Street South in Hamilton. The store hosts many readings of its own, details of which can be found at their website.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Oct 6 Reading: Terpstra, Cayley, Colman, Doctor, Laing, Lorimer

Chris Laing is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He worked in private business for twenty years before joining the Federal Public Service, where he served in the Department of the Secretary of State and National Museums of Canada until his retirement. In the past few years he has expanded his long-time interest in detective stories from that of avid reader to writing in this genre. His short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals.  His first novel, A Private Man, was published by Seraphim Editions in 2012. He now lives in Kingston, Ontario with his wife, artist Michèle LaRose.

Kate Cayley’s first collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End, is published by Brick Books. Her poetry and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in various places, including Descant, CV2, The Fiddlehead, The Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire and The New Quarterly. She is the artistic director of Stranger Theatre, and has co-created, directed and written eight plays with the company. She is a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre, and her play After Akmatova was produced there in 2011. Her first short story collection, How You Were Born, is forthcoming from Pedlar Press.

Farzana Doctor is a novelist and psychotherapist. Her most recent novel Six Metres of Pavement was named one of Now Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2011. Publishers Weekly described Six Metres of Pavement as “...a paean to second chances.” It also won the Lambda Literary and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award. Farzana was named as one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now.” She is currently working on her third novel and co-curates the Brockton Writers Series.

Lois Lorimer was born in Brockville, Ontario and now lives in Toronto. Her poetry chapbook Between the Houses (2010) was published in Edinburgh. Her poems have appeared in literary journals including: Arc, Literary Review of Canada, Hart House Review and in the anthologies: The Bright Well (Leaf Press:2012) and Connectivism (Variety Crossing Press: 2012). Her new book, Stripmall Subversive was published in 2013 by Variety Crossing Press. Molly Peacock has said, “In Lois Lorimer’s radiant debut volume, innocence gleams inside experience. The stripmall is all too real, but the subversion of Lorimer’s poetry is subtle, shining and sophisticated.”

Robert Colman is a Newmarket, Ont., writer and editor. His work has been published in journals across Canada.His first full-length collection of poems, The Delicate Line (Exile Editions, 2008), was nominated for the ReLit Award. His second collection of poems, Little Empires, was published with Quattro in October 2012.

John Terpstra has published many books and chapbooks of poetry, the most recent of which, Disarmament, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004. A retrospective of his work, Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, was published in 2006. Terpstra has also published three prose projects: Falling Into Place, a creative investigation of a giant glacial sandbar which lies beneath one of Canada’s busiest transportation corridors; The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, the story of his wife’s three brothers, who lived with muscular dystrophy until their early twenties; and Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations, a frank reflection on faith and church in a secular era. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

The host for the evening, Stephen Near, is a playwright, performer and educator living in Hamilton. He is Co-Artistic Director of Reaching Symmetry Theatre and has worked with a number of theatre companies in Toronto as a playwright or dramaturge. He is currently the Operations Officer for the Hamilton Arts Council, a member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwrights Unit and sits on the PGC's National Forum as the representative for the Ontario South caucus.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

September reading: Smith, Starnino, Wood, Blume, Fazlul & Maguire

Look who is excited about September's LitLive!!!!

September's LitLive features six fantastic writers -- novelists, poets, anthologists -- from near and far, reading from a diverse array of work. This month's reading is hosted by Graham Crawford of Hamilton HIStory + HERitage. 

Here is some information about our readers and hosts. And, we wonder, will Stephen Harper attend? Will even a single Mountie? Who knows, but we're sure that this season will be another convivial, inspiring, engaging, and welcoming year of readings.

7:30 pm Sunday, September 8
Artword Artbar
15 Colbourne Street, Hamilton
(west off James Street Norht, one block south of Barton)


Brad Smith was born and raised in southern Ontario. He has worked as a farmer, signalman, insulator, truck driver, bartender, schoolteacher, maintenance mechanic, roofer, and carpenter. He lives in a eighty-year-old farmhouse near the north shore of Lake Erie. His novel, One-Eyed Jacks was nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Prize.

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.

Heather J Wood was born and raised in Montreal and now makes her home in Toronto. She is the author of the coming of age novel Fortune Cookie, and of Roll With It, a teen-oriented novel about roller derby. Heather is a writer, editor & copywriter who wears many hats, including that of Artistic Director of the Rowers Reading Series, Moosemeat Writing Group organizer and Managing Editor of the Best Canada Poetry series.

Lil Blume is a Hamilton-area writer who, together with Ellen Jaffe, has created three Hamilton festivals of Jewish writing.  Letters and Pictures from the Old Suitcase was the theme of the 2012 literary festival and this anthology was created to accompany the festival. Lil’s poetry and short fiction have been published in local publications, such as Kairos and Hammered Out. She was also one of the first community columnists for the Hamilton Spectator.   Her writing workshops and retreats have been described as “transformative.” Lil's reading will be from the recent anthology, which features writing inspired by letters, pictures, or objects passed down from another era, and sometimes discovered in old suitcases.

Safia Fazlul of Bangladeshi background, was raised in Scandinavia and now lives in Toronto, where she attends the University of Toronto. When she was eighteen she found work as a “phone girl” for a high-end escort agency, an experience that inspired her novel, The Harem.

Shannon Maguire is a Northern Ontario grrrl who has long made Toronto home. She studied playwrighting at the National Theatre School of Canada, holds a degree in English and Drama from York University (Glendon College) and is working on her MFA in Creative Writing through the University of Guelph. She also co-cultivates AvantGarden, a new reading series which foregrounds innovative text and sound based performance by women. Her poetry and work for theatre has appeared in various places including: Nightwood Theatre's 4x4 Off Road Festival and Write-From-The-Hip, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Gulch: An Assemblage of Poetry and Prose (Tightrope, 2009) and is forthcoming online in EOAGH: A Journal Of The Arts. She won the FuitLupz Award (Supporting Our Youth) for emerging queer playwright in 1999. Her latest book Fur(l) Parachute is published by Book Thug.
Our host for tonight is Graham Crawford of Hamilton HIStory + HERitage. Hamilton HIStory + HERitage is a unique exhibition and meeting space combining historical content (architectural, social and cultural) and new technology (mini-computers and flat screen monitors) to share the story of Hamilton. We are dedicated to celebrating the lives of the men and women who have helped to shape the city of Hamilton.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy summer & a look forward to next year's readings

Poetry is like fish: if it's fresh, it's good; if it's stale, it's bad; and if you're not certain, try it on the cat.  - Osbert Sitwell

LitLive has gone fishing for the summer, metaphorically speaking,  but we will resume in September with a fantastic line-up of readers of fiction, poetry, and other things. Check out this partial list of who is reading in the coming season:

Aisha Sasha John
Amanda Jernigan
Angie Abadou
Ann Shin
Ayelet Tsabari
Barbara Fradkin
Brad Smith
Carmine Starnino
Chris Laing
Chris Pannell
Christine McNair
Dave Haskins
Don McKay
Erin Mouré
Farzana Doctor
Heather Wood
Jan Conn
John Steffler
John Terpstra
Julie Joosten
Kate Cayley
Laurelyn Whitt
Lil Blume
Lisa Moore
Lois Lorimer
Mark Goldstein
Michael Mirolla
Rhea Tregebov
Roger Greenwald
Safia Fazlul
Sean Johnston
Shannon Maguire
Stan Rogal
Susan McCaslin
Waheed Rabbani

We look forward to seeing you at the readings. And check back here for more details and updates of coming events, biographies of the readers, and various literary tomfoolery.

Have a happy summer!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

June 2: Reading! ! ! !

Literature is a donkey braying over a wall. Or is it a writer communicating with a donkey? Is literature the deep green of a field, a stone fence, trees, leaves, or is literature the photograph itself? Maybe writing is the photographer? Or the manifold possibility of pixels ready to signal to the rods and cones of the eyes. We are are here, the pixels say. We are also here, the eyes say. And somewhere, maybe on a planet, scudding behind an exploding star, literature unwraps its little sandwich, sits down on the girder high up on the scaffolding of a construction site and has lunch. "You know," it finally says, "June LitLive looks fantastic. You should see the amazing writers that we have. Just look below.  Come to the reading and I'll share my baloney sandwich with you. And you'll hear some great writing."

Marilyn Gear Pilling lives in Hamilton, Ontario and has roots in Huron County. She is the author of two collections of short fiction and four of poetry. A finalist for the CBC Literary Awards and the Western Magazine Awards, she has won nine Hamilton and Region Arts Council awards for her poetry and short fiction. Most recently, one of her poems won Descant’s “Best Canadian Poem” Winston Collins Award and appeared in Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010. Pilling has read her work in many venues, including Eden Mills, Harbourfront, the Banff Centre in Alberta, and at the historic Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, France.


Beatriz Hausner started writing about Raccoon long before it was established that Toronto was host to the largest population of raccoons in the world. Hausner has written about other creatures also, mostly in verse, which she has published as poetry collections and chapbooks. When not writing or translating surrealist literature, she edits journals, publishes books for others and works full-time as a public librarian in Toronto.

Jay MillAr is author of the several collections of poetry including his most recent Other Poems (2010). He is also the author of many chapbooks and privately published editions such as Woods|Pages and Lack Lyrics, which tied to win the 2008 bpNichol Chapbook Award. In 2006 he published Double Helix, a collaborative “novel” written with Stephen Cain. In addition, MillAr is also an editor, publisher, teacher and the shadowy figure behind BookThug, an independent publishing house dedicated to exploratory work by well-known and emerging North American writers. MillAr teaches creative writing and poetics at George Brown College and Toronto New School of writing.

Stephen Gill, Poet Laureate of Ansted University, has authored more than twenty books, including collections of poems, fiction and literary criticism. Once in a while, he writes poetry in Urdu, Hindi, and Panjabi. His works have appeared in more than five hundred publications. He works as a freelance English/Urdu interpreter and examines doctoral dissertations for universities in India. He was born in Panjab.

Ian Williams is the author of Personals, shortlisted for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award; Not Anyone's Anything, winner of the 2011 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada; and You Know Who You Are, a finalist for the ReLit Prize for poetry. He was named as one of ten Canadian writers to watch by CBC. Williams completed his Ph.D. in English at the University of Toronto and works as an English professor.

M. E. Csamer is widely published in Canadian literary magazines. Her books include Paper Moon (watershedBooks, 1998), Light is What We Live In (Artful Codger Press, 2005), and A Month Without Snow (Hidden Brook Press, 2007). Presently, she serves on the Council of The League of Canadian Poets. Csamer lives on a small bay near Kingston, Ontario.