Monthly Archives: August 2020

BWS 09.09.20: Brian Francis

Brian Francis WEB RES

Brian Francis’s most recent work, Box 4901, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2020 to sold-out audiences. His YA novel, Break in Case of Emergency, was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His previous novels are Natural Order and Fruit. The book version of Box 4901 will be published by McClelland & Stewart in 2021.

COVID Turned Me into a Fashion Designer

During this time of COVID-19, many people picked up new hobbies to alleviate the boredom and stress. For some, that new hobby was drinking. For others, it was baking bread that looked like giant boulders. For others, their new hobby was deciding not to wear pants during online work meetings. Definitely more comfortable, but you better hope the fire alarm doesn’t go off.

My new hobby was making hats. That’s right I became a milliner. Okay, so I didn’t actually “make” the hats. But I did add my personal flair, resulting in one-of-a-kind creations that would make Karl Lagerfeld green with envy.

It all started when I was on eBay one night and came across some old badges. Who knew there were so many abandoned badges out there looking to be resewn on something? I ordered some and decided to sew them onto baseball hats.

Hat 1 Sarnia

Here’s the first hat I made. Sarnia is my hometown and I really like the teal and gold colours in this badge. For those unaware, that’s the Bluewater Bridge. My sewing skills aren’t the best and I sewed the badge on a bit crooked, but I think this makes my hat more charming. It screams “ARTISINAL!!!

Hat 2 Pollution Stinks

The second hat I made was “Pollution Stinks. Have you ever seen a badge with a person with a clothespin on their nose? Me, neither! A word to the wise If you decide to sew badges onto trucker hats, put a thimble on your thumb because pushing needles through stiff material will have you inventing all kinds of new swear words.

Hat 3 Happy Camper

The third hat I made was “I’m a Happy Camper. Between you and me, I’m not much of a camper, but I wore it to a cottage this summer, so that counts for something. Besides, being a happy camper extends to more than just burnt marshmallows and Deep Woods Off. It’s a life philosophy.

Beaver Lumber Badge

Here’s my latest badge. It arrived in the mail last week. For any Generation Z people reading this, Beaver Lumber was the best hardware store ever. And where else have you seen a beaver mascot in white coveralls? I haven’t found a hat to sew this onto yet, but believe me, I will.

I hope you found a new hobby during COVID-19. And if you didn’t, it’s never too late to discover your arts and crafts side. The sky really is the limit. Just watch your thumbs.

 

Brian Francis visits Brockton Writers Series via GDTV on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Fereshteh Molavi, Cyn Rozeboom, and Cassidy McFadzean. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.

 

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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BWS 09.09.20: Cyn Rozeboom

CRozeboomElephant

Cyn Rozeboom has worked in the arts sector for over 30 years, as a fundraiser, communications specialist, artist, and administrator. In her current role as Executive Director of Tangled Art + Disability, she delights in working with her team to subvert the status quo with joy and love.

 

Musings on an Upcoming Presentation

I’ll warn you now. I am going to start one place and end somewhere completely different.

I am delighted to be presenting some of my poetry publicly this September 9. I’m also delighted to be offered some blog space to promote the series. The opportunity was presented just as I was heading off for a vacation into cottage country a couple weeks ago and so I went into northern Ontario hoping find organic metaphors that would support the theme I’m working around with the collection of poems I intend to present.

Specifically, I was looking for dichotomies, either/or choices that break the world into an eternal battleground between opposing forces. I thought I’d be inspired by nature into some profound assemblages of words that justify the divides I feel constantly pulling me in contradictory directions.

ohImGonnaBeProfound1

I was confident at first – looking around, the turbulent blue of a freshwater lake rose up from my feet to meet the thin calm cyan of the sky and there – there, in the middle – AHA! That chaotic green band! Surely there, THERE it was – the messy in-between… between… air and water? Which was…. Trees? Ground? Movement? Wait a moment, that sounds deep but… is it really now? Earth is just another element. What about fire? And no one can fault either sky or lake for lack of change. The more I thought about it the more forced, and painful, then… pretentious my efforts felt.

In fact, the more I relaxed, the more the divides blurred. The water was just water – home for a whole slew of living mayhem, the mayflies drying out on the screen doors weren’t doing much besides moulting, even the tiny frogs who scattered before my feet did not seem conflicted, despite their amphibiousness. They were perfectly positioned for where and what they were.

mrCroak

Any contradictions I felt in this scenario were my own making – my brain wanting to pull what is whole apart, to assert my cleverness through dissection and unravelling. This restless tension was coming from inside, my own internal whirring.

Stop imposing your conflictedness on the world Cyn. Let it be what it is, and be in it.

A breath, a slowing, and a looking around. And what did I actually find? Mr Croak.

Mr Croak

don’t like other dudes
being in his space
Mr Croak
Owns this nook

Fear his shine
His massive bones shifting under supple skin

Mr Croak says
You get the fuck out, you
Or I’ll

JUMP

At you

Scared?
I bet you are.

 

Cyn Rozeboom visits Brockton Writers Series via GDTV on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Fereshteh Molavi, Brian Francis, and Cassidy McFadzean. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.

 

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

 

 

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BWS 09.09.20: Fereshteh Molavi

b.headshot

Born in Tehran in 1953, Fereshteh Molavi lived and worked there until 1998 when she immigrated to Canada. She worked and taught at Yale University, University of Toronto, York University, and Seneca College. A fellow at Massey College and a writer-in-residence at George Brown College, Molavi has published many works of fiction and non-fiction in Persian in Iran and Europe. She has been the recipient of awards for novel and translation. Her most recent novel, Thirty Shadow Birds, was published by Inanna Publications in 2019. She lives in Toronto.

THE TALE OF A TAIL

Mr. Other, having gone to bed at night and gotten up in the morning, found out, not that the world had become upside down, but that he had developed an itching around his tailbone — a maddening itch that could drive anyone wacko.

For a couple of days, Mr. Other ignored it in the hope that it would be nothing important. It turned out, though, that it was.

Mr. Other thought that maybe it was an abscess or a boil, popping out right at the worst spot; he decided to get to the bottom of it.

First, the right hand, and then the left, both came and went again and again with their examination and investigation at the right time and the wrong time, appropriately and inappropriately. Eventually they reported to Mr. Other that what popped out on the wrong spot was neither a boil nor an abscess, but a tail.

Aghast, Mr. Other feverishly tried to deny it. He held a hand mirror back and front, right and left, to see it with his own eyes. He didn’t see anything. That he didn’t, along with the itching, drove him nuts. At last, he surrendered to fate. The itching instantly went away. He sighed with relief and sent his right and left hand to verify that he no longer had a tail. They reported back that it was still there.

Mr. Other wanted to die, but he didn’t. The more he thought about why such a thing had happened, the less he understood. Finally he made up his mind to stop questioning and to try to find an answer.

Mr. Other, as long as he could remember, had always seen himself among tailless people, which meant that either he had not seen their tails, or had not heard them claim to have any. Such being the case, he had to hide his secret. He used many tricks to do it.

However, Mr. Other was devoutly thankful that the tail did not dangle from the middle of his forehead. He lived cautiously, fearful that his secret would be revealed. But the damned tail wouldn’t cooperate. It grew too long to be kept hidden.

Mr. Other took time off work to devote himself to finding a cure. But Western and Eastern medicine were no help. He started to think about docking his tail, and sought out the best surgeon in town, who worked in private practice.

After the surgeon examined him, he nodded and said, “I’m very sorry.” Mr. Other neither understood why the surgeon was sorry nor pulled up his pants. The surgeon said, “It’s not my area of expertise.” Mr. Other stared at him.

The more the surgeon explained why he couldn’t do anything, the less Mr. Other understood, and the more he was determined not to pull up his pants until he did. The surgeon said, “I just don’t dock tails.” Mr. Other protested that he was going to pay him a hefty fee. “You pay to pull your pants down.” Their dispute grew so heated, the surgeon called his assistant, a big guy with a moustache, to eject Mr. Other.

Before the assistant arrived, Mr. Other thought he would cover his tail so that no stranger’s hand and eye could reach it, and focus on what he should do. With his tail between his legs, he might rush into the street, only to be arrested for the crime of having a tail. Or, tail covered, he might maintain a respectable appearance and head home to hang himself with his own long tail. And the third option was…

Mr. Other’s thread of thought was interrupted by the assistant’s arrival, and the third option got lost like a fugitive part of the elastic band around the waist of his underpants. But then he was inspired by the thought that he could pull down the pants of others.

When two burly cops arrived and escorted the now calm and proud Mr. Other out of the office, the surgeon, bewildered, was scratching hard his itching tailbone.

 

Fereshteh Molavi visits Brockton Writers Series via GDTV on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Cyn Rozeboom, Brian Francis, and Cassidy McFadzean. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.

 

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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Brockton Writers Series 09.09.20

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 – 6:30pm

Brockton Writers Series presents readings by

Fereshteh Molavi

Cyn Rozeboom

Brian Francis

Cassidy McFadzean

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

The reading is PWYC (suggested $3-$5) and features a Q&A with the writers afterward. Books are available for sale.

 If you’d like to donate, please do so here.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

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GUEST SPEAKER

“Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”

ElhamAli

Elham Ali is a writer and publishing professional based in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2014, and since completing the Humber College publishing program in 2015 she has worked in marketing and publicity at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, Penguin Random House Canada, and Dundurn Press.

READERS

b.headshot

Born in Tehran in 1953, Fereshteh Molavi lived and worked there until 1998 when she immigrated to Canada. She worked and taught at Yale University, University of Toronto, York University, and Seneca College. A fellow at Massey College and a writer-in-residence at George Brown College, Molavi has published many works of fiction and non-fiction in Persian in Iran and Europe. She has been the recipient of awards for novel and translation. Her most recent novel, Thirty Shadow Birds, was published by Inanna Publications in 2019. She lives in Toronto.

CRozeboomElephant

Cyn Rozeboom has worked in the arts sector for over 30 years, as a fundraiser, communications specialist, artist, and administrator. In her current role as Executive Director of Tangled Art + Disability, she delights in working with her team to subvert the status quo with joy and love.

Brian Francis WEB RES

Brian Francis’s most recent work, Box 4901, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2020 to sold-out audiences. His YA novel, Break in Case of Emergency, was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His previous novels are Natural Order and Fruit. The book version of Box 4901 will be published by McClelland & Stewart in 2021.

Bodri_CassidyM_web-4

Cassidy McFadzean is the author of two books of poetry: Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart 2015), which won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Drolleries (M&S 2019), a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award. She lives in Toronto.

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