Monday, December 8, 2014

January's readers! Bonnie Lendrum, Nicholas Power, Kerry-Lee Powell, Phlip Arima, Eric Bronson, Kate Hargreaves!!!!

Kate Hargreaves is a writer and roller derby skater. Her first book, Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels (2012), is a collection of short prose vignettes inspired by women's flat-track roller derby. Her poetry has been published in literary journals across North America, including Descant , filling Station, The Puritan, Drunken Boat, The Antigonish Review, Canada and Beyond, Carousel , and Rampike, in the anthologies Whisky Sour City (2012), Detours (2012), as well as in the Windsor Review's "Best Writers Under 35" issue. Hargreaves was the recipient of a Windsor Endowment for the Arts Emerging Literary Artist Award in 2011 and a Governor General's Gold Medal in Graduate Studies at the University of Windsor in 2012, where she obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English and Creative Writing. Kate grew up in Amherstburg, Ontario, but now lives in Windsor, where she works as a publishing assistant and book designer. Follow her on Twitter @TalkingDerby.

Bonnie Lendrum began creative writing in 2002, but her personal writing projects were soon hijacked by a community issue: a proposed industrial mining operation that would negatively affect the quality and quantity of her community's water supply. For ten years, writing time was re-directed to the production of annual reports, community flyers, web updates, and attendance at meetings. She was happy if she managed to write a few days per month on her own project…a series of linked short stories about a family managing their way through palliative care. The short stories never materialized, but a novel did. Autumn’s Grace was published in June 2013 by Inanna Publications and Education. Lendrum attained a BScN and an MScN from the University of Toronto. She worked in senior nursing roles in Ontario and Quebec teaching hospitals and volunteered extensively in health care and education.

Nicholas Power is a founding member of the Meet the Presses literary collective, and has performed with the storytelling duo The Wordweavers and the sound poetry ensemble Alexander’s Dark Band. He works as a psychotherapist in private practice. He has been published by Teksteditions (Melancholy Scientist), Underwhich Editions (wells), The Writing Space (a modest device), and Battered Press (No Poems). He has been editing and publishing with his own Gesture Press for 30 years.

Phlip Arima is the author of five books, the most recent being Pin Pricks (Quattro Books). He has also produced an audio CD, and directed and performed a poetry/music/dance collaboration for part of the Figure of Speech series at Majlis Multidisciplinary Arts. His work has been adapted to stage by Newfoundland's Neighbourhood Dance works in collaboration with RCA Theatre, and to video by Vision Television. He is a former Artistic Director of the Art Bar poetry series and was a co-organizer/host of The Basement Reading series. For more about Phlip and to read samples of his work please visit

Kerry-Lee Powell was born in Montreal and grew up in Antigua, Australia and the United Kingdom. Her work has appeared in The Spectator, Ambit and the Virago Press Writing Women series. In 2013, she won The Boston Review fiction contest and The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons prize for short fiction. Her debut collection of poetry is forthcoming from Biblioasis Press in 2014. A short story collection and a novel are forthcoming from HarperCollins.

Eric Bronson is a visiting professor in the Humanities Department at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is the editor of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy (2011), Poker and Philosophy (2006), Baseball and Philosophy (2004), and co-editor of The Hobbit and Philosophy (2012), and The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy (2003). He was producer and co-editor for the film, My Lazy White Friends, winning Best Documentary awards at the Hermosa Beach Film Festival, Atlantic City Film Festival, Newport Beach International Film Festival, Saguaro Film Festival and an Audience Award winner at the Brooklyn Film Festival. In 2007 he served as the "Soul Trainer" for the CBC radio morning show, "Sounds Like Canada."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

December reading: Jean Rae Baxter, John Terpstra, Waheed Rabbani, Stuart Ross, David Lee, and Marilyn Gear Pilling

Jean Rae Baxter was born in Toronto, grew up in Hamilton, and spent many years in the Kingston area. She started writing seriously after a career in education.  Her first three young adult historical novels, all set during the American Revolution, focus on the impact of that war on three disparate populations: the white colonists, the native people, and the black slaves. All three novels won or were shortlisted for awards in Canada and the United States. Her new book, The White Oneida, published by Ronsdale Press in September 2014, explores the dream of the First Nations to gain a country of their own. For adult readers, Jean has published two collections of short stories and a literary murder mystery. Since 1996 she has lived in Hamilton. She is one of the organizers of Lit Live.

Marilyn Gear Pilling lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and is the author of eight
books of poetry and short fiction. Her most recent poetry is A Bee Garden
(Cormorant, 2013) and her most recent fiction is linked stories, On Huron's
 (Demeter, 2014). Her work in three genres has won and been shortlisted
for many national awards, and has won 11 Hamilton Arts Council Literary
Awards. She has read her work widely across Canada and at "Shakespeare &
Company" in Paris, France.

David Lee's most recent book The Battle of the Five Spot was launched last
spring at the New School in New York City. He has just returned from the
Sound Changes conference in Amsterdam, where he presented on the Artists'
Jazz Band, who are the subject of his PhD dissertation for the University of
Guelph. His books include the novel Commander Zero and the award-winning
Chainsaws: A History. At LitLive David will be talking about horror,
Hamilton, improvisation and fiction, and he will read from The Midnight
, his upcoming "Lovecraftian YA novel," coming this spring from Wolsak
& Wynn.

John Terpstra's poetry and non-fiction has been short-listed for the Governor General's Award, the Raymond Souster Award, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction, and has won the CBC Radio Literary Prize for Poetry, the Bressani Poetry Prize, and several Hamilton Arts Book Awards. He'll be reading from latest book of non-fiction, The House With the Parapet Wall. It's about his mom, and his neighbourhood. He lives in downtown Hamilton, and works out of a shop in his backyard as a cabinetmaker and carpenter.

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,” selling over 7,000 chapbooks. He is the author of fourteen books of fiction, poetry and essays, most recently Our Days in Vaudeville (Mansfield Press), collaborations with 29 other poets from across Canada. His many chapbooks include three released in 2014: Nice Haircut, Fiddlehead (Puddles of Sky Press), A Pretty Good Year (Nose in Book Publising) and In In My Dream (BookThug). In spring 2014, Stuart publishes a new full-length poetry collection, a book of personal essays, and a co-translation of a Montreal poet. Stuart is a member of the improvisational noise trio Donkey Lopez. He lives in Cobourg, Ontario, and blogs at

Waheed Rabbani was born in India, near Delhi. He obtained his bachelor's
degree from Loughborough University in England and a Master's degree from
Concordia University in Canada. Although and engineer by profession,
Waheed's other love is reading and writing historical fiction that led him
to receive a Creative Writing Certificate from McMaster University and
embark on his writing journey. Waheed and his wife, Alexandra, are residents
of the historic town of Grimsby, on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Waheed's writing project is a series of historical fiction novels titled:
The Azadi Trilogy. The series cover the exciting events and turmoil that
enflamed India from 1857 to 1947, and led to her independence. Those
incidences engulf the characters of this story at that time, and then later
their descendant's lives, again in the 1960s. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nov 2: Who's reading: dee Hobsbawn-Smith, Katerina Fretwell, Stan Rogal, Donato Mancini, angela rawlings,Laura Clarke, Ryan Pratt

This month's LitLive features some amazing writers from as far away as Vancouver and Iceland. We are also beginning a new initiative: we are reserving several places in the series to feature talented emerging writers. What are they emerging from? A vat of literary possibility? Coleridge soup? For our purposes, emerging means 'not having a full length book (yet)'. We are most excited to feature two emerging writers in this month's series—Laura Clarke and Ryan Pratt. 

There's some information about them and all the writers below.

angela rawlings’s research in acoustic ecology, counter-mapping, and ecopoetics informs her artistic output. She is the recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship (Canada, 2009) and held the prestigious position of Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence (Australia, 2012). In 2013, her work Áfall / Trauma was shortlisted for the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Playwrights. rawlings’ 2012 digital publication Gibber amassed sound and visual poetry from Australian bioregions. Her literary debut Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006) received an Alcuin Award for Design; the book is currently being adapted for stage production by VaVaVoom, Bedroom Community, and Valgeir Sigurðsson. rawlings is an active collaborator and improvisation enthusiast. She works frequently with Maja Jantar and Matt Ceolin. She is also penning a reactive libretto for Longitude in collaboration with composer Davíð Brynjar Franzson and new media artists Davyde Wachell and Halldór Arnar Úlfarsson.

Stan Rogal was born in Vancouver and moved to Toronto in 1987. He is the author of fifteen books of fiction and poetry, and his plays have been produced across Canada. He was co-creator of Bald Ego Theatre, artistic director of Bulletproof Theatre and on the lit scene, he ran the legendary Idler Pub Reading Series for ten years. His 2011 collection is an amazing retrospective of his poetry work, Dance, Monster: Fifty Selected Poems!, published by Insomniac Press.

Katerina Fretwell’s seventh book, which includes her art, Class Acts, was published by Inanna in 2013. Kerry Clare included in her online article for 49th Shelf: “Most Anticipated Books for Fall 2013: Poetry” and Heather Spears, Governor General Award Winner, calls it “addictive ... one of the most authentic voices in contemporary Canadian poetry.” Class Acts confronts social injustice in Mary Wollstonecraft’s era during the French Revolution, in the 2008 meltdown and in her Fifties childhood during the McCarthy repression. Her poem “Kissing Cousins” was a finalist for Descant’s Winston Collins Poetry Prize 2012.

dee Hobsbawn-Smith’s poetry, essays, fiction and journalism have appeared in literary journals including The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, CV2, Vallum, Numero Cinq, Gastronomica and Prairie Fire, and in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines in Canada, the USA and Scotland. Her sixth book and first collection of poetry, Wildness Rushing In, was published by Hagios Press in 2014. Her first collection of short fiction, What Can’t Be Undone, will be published by Thistledown Press in 2015. Dee is a graduate of the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Her essay collection, Bread & Water, was awarded second place in the Saskatchewan Writer’ Guild’s 2014 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award. Her fifth book, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, earned Best Culinary Book at the 2013 High Plains Book Awards; Best Food Literature book (Canada-English) at the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards; and 3rd in Les Dames D’Escoffier’s 2014 MFK Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing, open to women writers in North America and Great Britain. She’s at work on her first novel.

Donato Mancini

The interdisciplinary practice of Donato Mancini focuses mainly on poetry, bookworks, text-based visual art and cultural criticism. Two of his New Star books of procedural and visual writing, Ligatures (2005) and Æthel (2007) were each nominated for the ReLit Award, and Ligatures received honourable mention in the Alcuin Society book design awards. Other publications include 105 posbL resons 4t ;; of thot, an artist's book from BookThug (Toronto, 2010); Fact 'N' Value, a book edition from Fillip (Vancouver, 2011); Buffet World (New Star, 2010); You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence (BookThug, 2012); as well as poetic and critical writings in publications such as The Capilano Review, Open Letter, West Coast Line, Rampike, W, The West Wind Review, Parser, ditch, Area Sneaks, Poetry is Dead and Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing.

Laura Clarke grew up in Hamilton, and now lives and writes in Toronto. She is a graduate of University of Toronto’s MA in Creative Writing program and the winner of the 2013 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers from the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Her first full-length poetry collection is forthcoming from ECW press in 2015.

Ryan Pratt lives in Hamilton, Canada. A contributing writer for The Town Crier and Ottawa Poetry Newsletter, Ryan’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Quiddity, Bywords Quarterly Journal, Contemporary Verse 2, and In/Words Magazine, among others.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Readers for October 5th @ LitLive

Hailed as a “Writer to Watch” by the CBC, Spencer Gordon is the the author of Cosmo (Coach House Books, 2012), a short story collection called “startling and invigorating” by Quill and Quire, “rare [and] brave” by the National Post, “poignant and hilarious” by This Magazine, and “both heartwarming and heartbreaking” by The Winnipeg Review. He is also the author of the poetry chapbooks Conservative Majority (Apt. 9, 2013) and Feel Good! Look Great! Have a Blast! (Ferno House, 2011, shortlisted for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook). He's co-founder/editor of the online literary magazine The Puritan and the defunct micro-press Ferno House.

Paula Eisenstein was born and raised in London, Ontario. She was a champion swimmer. She is contributor to and editorial member of Her prose was recently published in Black Moss Press’s The White Collar Anthology. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. The novel, Flip Turn (Mansfield Press) is her first book.

Richard Scarsbrook is a Canadian author, teacher, and entertainer. He grew up in the tiny rural community of Olinda (near Leamington, Ontario) and now makes his home in Toronto where he teaches creative writing courses at Humber College and George Brown College. Richard's first novel was Cheeseburger Subversive (Thistledown Press, 2003). The sequel is Featherless Bipeds (Thistledown Press, 2006). Destiny's Telescope, a collection of short stories, was published in 2006 by Turnstone Press. His novel The Monkeyface Chronicles, was published in  2010 and was the winner of the Ontario Library Association's 2011 White Pine Award. Richard'a first book of poetry is Six Weeks (Turnstone Press, 2014). Scarsbrook's new book, The Indifference League (Dundurn) was released in this fall.

Michael Mirolla

Novelist, short story writer, poet, and playwright, Michael Mirolla's publications include a punk-inspired novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; two novels: Berlin (a Bressani Prize winner as well as a finalist for the Indie Book and National Best Book Awards), and The Facility, three short story collections: The Formal Logic of Emotion (translated into Italian), Hothouse Loves & Other Tales and The Giulio Metaphysics III; and three collections of poetry: Light and Time, the English-Italian bilingual Interstellar Distances — Distanze Interstellari, and 2013's The House on 14th Avenue. A new collection of short stories, Lessons In Relationship Dyads, is scheduled for publication with Red Hen Press in the U.S. His short story, "A Theory of Discontinuous Existence," was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology, while another short story, "The Sand Flea," was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His poem, "Blind Alley," was shortlisted for the Winston Collins/Descant Prize for Best Canadian Poem in 2007. His short fiction and poetry has been published in numerous journals in Canada, the U.S. and Britain. Along with partner Connie Guzzo McParland, Michael runs Guernica Editions, a Canadian literary publishing house.

Julie Joosten  is originally from Georgia. She has an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from Cornell University.Her poems and reviews can be read in Jacket 2, Tarpaulin Sky, the Malahat Review, and The Fiddlehead.  Light Light is her first book. It was shortlisted for the 2014 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and explores nature and human thought from the Enlightenment science of natural history to the contemporary science of global warming. She lives in Little Italy in Toronto.

Sharon BaltmanDr. Sharon Baltman began writing creatively at age 45, using a manual typewriter during a year-long stay on an Israeli kibbutz in an attempt to win a computer in a writing contest. She lost the competition, bought a computer and pursued the long path of studying the craft. Escape from the Beside is her first full-length book. She lives in Toronto working as a physician psychotherapist.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Readings Sept 7: A new season of LitLive

Rob Colman reading last season

LitLive begins its 21st season with six diverse writers reading from their books of short stories, poetry, novels, and possibly from new work.

It's really quite remarkable that we've have the opportunity to hear such writers each month—and for free!—in Hamilton, Ontario.

Our guests tell us that they love to read for LitLive. They tell us that our audiences are enthusiastic, receptive, and intelligent. They tell us that they like that we feature a wide range of genres and styles of writing and often mix major literary icons with emerging writers. They like the venue, Homegrown Hamilton, its ambience and its great food and drink. They find our hosts entertaining and well prepared. They like that we have a book table of their works for sale. They like the dapper sense of dress of the author of these blog posts. Ok. I lied about that last part.

But it is true that this season promises to be a excellent one, beginning with our first reading in September. Below you'll find bios about those readers and a list of ALL THE UPCOMING READERS for the entire season.

We hope to see you there!


Shannon Maguire grew up on the mouth of Lake Superior and now lives in Guelph Ontario. Her poetry has appeared in CV2, Ditch, Gultch: An Assemblage of Poetry and Prose (2009), as well as other places. She is the author of three chapbooks: Vowel Wolves & Other Knots (2011), Fruit Machine (2012), and A Web of Holes (2012). A selection of poems from fur(l) parachute, her debut book (BookThug 2013) was a finalist for the Manitoba Magazine Awards in the category of Best Poem or Suite of Poems (2012) and it was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry (2011). fur(l) parachute was a finalist for the 2014 Goldie Award for Poetry. Her second collection of poetry is forthcoming from BookThug in April 2015.

David B. Goldstein's poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout North America, including The Paris Review, The Malahat Review, filling Station, CV2, Epoch, Harp & Altar, Jubilat, 6x6, and Octopus. His first chapbook, Been Raw Diction, was published by Dusie Press in 2006. As a literary critic, food writer, and translator, he has published on a wide range of subjects, including Shakespeare, contemporary poetry, translation, cannibalism, philosophies of food, and the politics of Martha Stewart. His first book of criticism, Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare's England, is due out this fall. His translations from Italian poetry appear in The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry, among other publications. Goldstein lives with his family in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor of English at York University. His most recent poetry collection is Laws of Rest (BookThug, 2014)

Ellen S. Jaffe's second poetry collection, Skinny-Dipping with the Muse, was recently published  by Guernica Editions.  Ellen's previous books include poetry, a young-adult novel, and a book about writing, all of which have won awards.  Her work has been translated into Finnish and published in journals and anthologies.  She grew up in New York, moved to Canada in 1979, and has lived in Hamilton for 15 years.  Ellen is Hamilton Contributing Editor for Great Lakes Review, a journal for writers on both sides of the border. She teaches writing with Living for the Arts, and has received grants for writing and arts education from the Ontario Arts Council.  She and Lil Blume have co-organized three Jewish Literary Festivals in Hamilton.

Hugh Cook earned an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.  He’s retired from teaching Canadian Literature and Creative Writing at Redeemer University College in Ancaster. Hugh’s first book was Cracked Wheat and Other Stories (1985).  His second book, a novel titled The Homecoming Man, was published in 1989.  Then came a book of linked stories titled Home In Alfalfa, which was awarded first prize in the 1998 City of Hamilton Book Awards for fiction. Hugh’s latest book is a novel titled Heron River.

K.D. Miller’s stories and essays have appeared in a variety of Canadian literary magazines. Her work has been anthologized in Oberon’s Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Anthology, and has been broadcast by the CBC. She has published three collections of stories: A Litany in Time of Plague, Give Me Your Answer and The Other Voice; an essay collection, Holy Writ: A Writer Reflects on Creation and Inspiration; and a novel, Brown Dwarf.  Her latest collection of stories, All Saints, was published by Biblioasis in 2014.  All Saints was long-listed for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and has been nominated for The Story Prize.

Laurelyn Whitt lives in Minnedosa, Manitoba and is a Professor of Native Studies at Brandon University. Her poems have appeared in various North American journals, including Nimrod International, The Tampa Review, Puerto Del Sol, The Malahat Review, PRISM International, Rattle, Descant and The Fiddlehead. She is the author of four award-winning poetry collections. Her recent book, Tether (Seraphim Editions), won the 2013 Lansdowne Prize. To tether is to join or hold together. Many things serve to tether: memory and history; language and listening; gravity and touch. Ultimately, tethering has to do with coherence and continuation, rather than separation or dissipation.


Ellen Jaffe
David Goldstein
Shannon Maguire
Laurelyn Whitt
K.D. Miller
Hugh Cook
Richard Scarsbrook
Paula Eisenstein
Michael Mirolla
Julie Joosten
Sharon Baltman
Spencer Gordon
dee Hobsbawn-Smith
Katerina Fretwell
Stan Rogal
Angela Rawlings
Jane Eaton Hamilton
David Chariandy
Jean Rae Baxter
John Terpstra
Waheed Rabbani
Shane Rhodes
Elizabeth Bachinsky
Kerry-Lee Powell
Phlip Arima
Eric Bronson
Bonnie Lendrum
Kate Hargreaves
M.A.C. Farrant
Kathy Page
Jim Nason
Bill Kennedy
Gary Barwin
Elisabeth de Mariaffi
George Murray
Nancy Jo Cullen
Diane Schoemperlen
Ray Robertson
Ariel Gordon
Andrew Forbes
Patrick Friesen
Michael Crummey
Kate Marshall Flaherty
Chad Norman
Yvonne Blomer
Norm Sibum
Michael Hingston
Dani Couture
Colette Maitland