Monthly Archives: August 2022

Brockton Writers Series 14.09.22: Jennifer Hosein

Jennifer Hosein is a Montreal-born writer, artist and educator of Trinidadian and South Asian ancestry. Her collection of poetry, A Map of Rain Days, was longlisted for the 2021 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her poems, fiction and non-fiction have been published in The Fiddlehead, The Quarantine Review, Event, and more.

HEART

As a writer and visual artist, my work tends to overlap. In difficult times, I lean into one or the other, or both, for sustenance. Therefore, when my mother’s aortic valve needed replacing, I began to write frantically about our time together.

After her passing, I did not know how to survive, so I painted. Madly. I painted my mother from old black-and-white photos and found her in the hours that I spent looking into her face. I am still painting her, nine years later, still privileged to be in her company. She never leaves me!

I’d like to share a video of the poem “Heart” from my book A Map of Rain Days, as well as an excerpt from a work-in-progress:

Excerpt:   

January 5th:

Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday. I promised her a cake before midnight, and I do everything I can to stop the car from turning me back home, my heart pounding against the steering wheel. But my mother is waiting by the window. She doesn’t know, and then she does, tossing fragments of her old life into plastic bags: a handful of photographs, a miscellany of yellowed papers, a tattered jewelry box, too-tight clothes, slippers.

I am paralyzed. I cannot pull myself up off the floor where I spent much of the summer in a pile of sleeping bags and pillows, paper and pencils. There will never be another summer like that: doctor’s waiting rooms, Chinese supermarkets, creamy popsicles from the Pakistani grocer’s, trips to the lake. Sometimes, then, I felt caged. Now, it’s all I want.

My aunt’s house is warm, but my mother’s new bedroom is wintry and smells of mothballs and cat. I spray perfume into corners, place a few of my mother’s photographs on the dresser top, tune the clock radio to the jazz station we listened to on dusk drives from my aunt’s house back to my mother’s apartment. How I will miss those drives! Helping my mother dress for bed, I take her socks off, pull a flannel nightgown over her head, kiss her and tuck her into the cold, stinking night before I go.

I race down the Don Valley Parkway toward January 6th, but there is a car rolled over on the highway. I run in the door at 11:54 p.m., just in time to put candles on the cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to my daughter. Love fills me up like a balloon, so full and stretched and thin am I.

Here is the link to my book and website:  www.jenniferhosein.ca  

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Brockton Writers Series 14.09.22: Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is a Tkaronto-based author, activist, and a Registered Social Worker Psychotherapist. She has published four critically acclaimed novels, including Seven, which Ms. Magazine described as, “fully feminist and ambitiously bold,” and was shortlisted for the Trillium and Evergreen Awards. Her new poetry collection, You Still Look The Same, which Quill & Quire has called, “a powerful and necessary collection that breaks silences,” was just released in May 2022. 

Back to BWS

I co-founded BWS in November 2009 a year and half after my first novel, Stealing Nasreen, was published. Back then, I was looking for community, and over the nine years of curating the series, I connected with many writers and neighbours.

Each event inspired my own writing and I would never have imagined that all these years later, I’d have five published books, a large writing community, and that BWS would have grown and developed into the fabulous series it is today. I’m so grateful to the volunteers who took over when I officially “retired” back in 2018.

In September, I’ll be reading at BWS from my recent poetry collection, You Still Look The Same. I wrote or rewrote most of these poems during my forties, a decade that provided a great deal of fodder for this book, including a long-term relationship’s break-up, a first crack at online dating, old trauma resurfacing, and falling in love. All of this accompanied by perimenopause!

My BWS colleagues witnessed some of these adventures, so I’m happy to be returning to share some of the poems inspired by them!

Here’s the book’s trailer: https://youtu.be/B_u96qdDcbM

And here’s a little more info about the book from a feature from the Globe & Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books/article-novelist-farzana-doctor-pours-a-decade-of-love-loss-and-life-into-her/

It’s available in paperback, e-book and audiobook.

I hope to see some of you on September 14th.

@farzanadoctor

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Next Event:

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022 – 6:30pm

Brockton Writers Series presents readings by:

Oubah Osman

Jennifer Hosein

Kimia Eslah

Farzana Doctor

Special note: As we adapt with current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted in-person at the Glad Day Bookshop, located at 499 Church St., Toronto. We will also live stream the event on the Brockton Writers Series YouTube channel! The event starts at 6:30PM.

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

“Writing & Survival: Some Tips for Mad, Sad, and Neurodiverse Folks”

Kathy Friedman is a writer, teacher, editor, and the co-founder of InkWell Workshops, which delivers free literary programming to people with mental health and addiction issues. She studied creative writing at UBC and the University of Guelph, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Grain, Geist, PRISM international, Canadian Notes & Queries, and the New Quarterly. In 2022, her short fiction debut, All the Shining People, was published by House of Anansi. She lives in Tkaronto/Toronto, where she is at work on a collection of essays about travel, music, and mental health. Find out more at http://www.kathyfriedman.com.

READERS

Oubah Osman is a writer and poet. She has been published in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The New Quarterly, and CV2, among others. Her chapbook titled Hereditary Blue was published by Anstruther Press in 2019, and was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. She is an MFA graduate from the University of Guelph. Oubah is based in Scarborough, Canada.

Jennifer Hosein is a Montreal-born writer, artist and educator of Trinidadian and South Asian ancestry. Her collection of poetry, A Map of Rain Days, was longlisted for the 2021 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her poems, fiction and non-fiction have been published in The FiddleheadThe Quarantine Review, Event, and more.

Kimia Eslah is a feminist writer and a queer woman of colour. Her work has been featured on CBC BooksMs. Magazine, and The Miramichi Reader. She is the author of Sister Seen, Sister Heard and The Daughter Who Walked Away. Her novels explore the effects of bigotry, rape culture, mental illness, and queerphobia on Canadian women of colour. Catch her on The Feminist Podcast (Season 2: Episode 5), YouTube, and Instagram @kimiaeslah. Email her at author@kimiaeslah.com. Meet her at local events.

Farzana Doctor is a Tkaronto-based author, activist, and a Registered Social Worker Psychotherapist. She has published four critically acclaimed novels, including Seven, which Ms. Magazine described as, “fully feminist and ambitiously bold,” and was shortlisted for the Trillium and Evergreen Awards. Her new poetry collection, You Still Look The Same, which Quill & Quire has called, “a powerful and necessary collection that breaks silences,” was just released in May 2022. 

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