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.