Author Archives: farzanadoctor

BWS Bonus Content: Farzana Doctor Interviews Daniel Perry

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Daniel Perry is the author of the short story collections Hamburger (Thistledown, 2016) and Nobody Looks That Young Here (Guernica, 2018). His fiction has been short-listed for the Carter V. Cooper Prize, and has appeared in more than 30 publications in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. the Czech Republic. Dan lives in Toronto, and on Twitter @danielperrysays, and you might also know him as BWS’s co-host and blog co-ordinator.

He recently sat down and answered some interview questions instead of asking them!

Farzana: I was interested in how you structured the collection into the three parts of Coarse, Medium and Fine. What was your inspiration behind that?

Dan: Hamburger wasn’t written with a structure in mind: the oldest story in the book was drafted in 2006, published in 2010, and when in late 2013, I sent Thistledown Press this one and 11 more published stories that didn’t fit in my other collection (Nobody Looks That Young Here), I intended them for New Leaf Editions, Thistledown’s imprint that publishes first-time authors in 64-page books. To my surprise and elation, Thistledown asked if I had enough material for a full-length collection, so I finally fixed some abhamburger-1andoned drafts and wrote some new ones, too, after which I found myself with 23 stories—one a single sentence, one nearly 40 pages long, and the rest landing somewhere between—and no idea how make more than nine years of wildly different material “flow”. In the end, I settled on length: I knew “Hamburger” had to be the first story, so my thinking was that stacking the shortest pieces up front might build some momentum for the reader. “Hamburger” ends on the image of a grinder, so I came to think of these flashes as the coarse grind, a kind of “first pass” over the material. “Medium” came to represent the medium-length pieces once I realized that the only place I could possibly put the very long, detailed, historical “Three Deaths of James Arthur Doole” was at the end of the book; it seemed to make sense to call this fullest story the finest grind.

Farzana: I savoured the microfiction, reading these really short stories the way I would poetry. I needed to pause after each, and process the feelings and thoughts that arose. One question that recurred was about the alchemy of the ending. How do you decide when and how to end stories that are so short?

Dan: Microfiction (or “flash”) is, to me, a form that deals with a moment. At the risk of over-simplifying, in a lot of these pieces the stimulus simply stops: in “Eclipse”, the cathedral bells stop ringing; or in “The Locked Out”, the main character’s done all he can think to do for the moment and he has to just sit down and wait.

Farzana: Just for fun, show us a photo of your writing space.

Dan: I contemplated cleaning up first, but that would misrepresent how it actually looks most of the time… Surly cat included…

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Farzana: I noticed that writers appear in a number of the short stories. Can you tell me about this choice and what it’s like to be a writer writing about writers?

Dan: In other interviews etc. around Hamburger, one discussion topic has been characters’ relationships to their work. For writers, “inspiration” plays such a small role compared to actually doing the writing: the crafting, the shaping, the whittling; the attempt to say exactly what you mean, to make some little thing perfect so that someone else might find it beautiful. It’s a lot less romantic than a lot of people who don’t write think it is. If I can mix metaphors, it reminds me of the proverbial sausage factory: the cliché is, “You won’t like sausage once you’ve seen how it’s made,” but who says that sausage-making isn’t interesting? I’ve always liked writers as characters and the porous fourth walls in Henry Miller’s novels or the last line of Charles Bukowski’s Post Office (“Maybe I’ll write a novel, I thought. And then I did.”). Maybe part of it is some kind of self-affirmation, some acceptance of the idea that people (yes, people like me, too!) actually try to make a living writing fiction. Myself, I’ve been lucky, in the sense that I have university degrees and a job and haven’t found myself starving in Paris or Brooklyn scrounging for any buck I could get (nor down-and-out drunk in L.A., for that matter…), but I think the writer’s labour is as interesting and valid to depict in fiction as any work that people do.

Farzana: How did you research the stories that take place outside of Canada? Do you have a favourite research/travel experience that came from writing this collection?

Dan: I have visited a lot of the places that appear in the stories, though not all of them, and certainly not in the day-to-day, neighbourhood detail of the Cleveland of “Chaser” or the Philadelphia of “Rocky Steps”. A completely factual scene I could point to would be the glimpse in “Vaporetto” at the perplexed tourist family of four in the square in Venice. I don’t claim that I could read the parents’ mind, but they just looked so lost. I couldn’t imagine what it was like to arrive at a dream destination, a can’t-miss stop on an Italian vacation, only to realize there was nothing there for your young children… so, later, I sat down and imagined it.

Farzana: Work, and the drudgery connected to it, is prominent in a number of the stories. In an interview for Pages Unbound, you shared some of your early and strange jobs which included chicken loader, gas station guard for your father, and knitting store cashier with your mother. Which past jobs most influenced this collection?

Dan: Oddly, the industry that I think appears most in the book is one I never worked in, food service. (Though I was hired to deliver pizzas once: it was minus 30 on my first day, my shitbox car wouldn’t start, and I got fired.) The service industry comes up a lot in the book, too, with museum and tour guides, nannies and landscapers as well. My interest in these kinds of jobs might come from the fact that a lot of the time, a lot us don’t consider these workers as the people they are, but merely as the conduit to the service, food, etc. that we want. I think it’s the feeling of invisibility or interchangeability that comes with so much entry-level work that influences the stories more than any specific job(s) I’ve worked. It says a lot to me that one can feel these same feelings across many jobs in many sectors.

Farzana: Just for fun, write a haiku about your current job.

Dan: Fun for whom? The last thing I’d call myself is a poet…

“Beer makes you sexy”
No. “Sexy people drink this.”
Commercial’s approved.

Farzana: In the acknowledgements, you mention a personal connection that inspired the final story in your collection, “Three Deaths of James Arthur Doole”. This got me curious about whether there are any other personal connections that were inspirations to the other stories. Care to share one?

Dan: “Be Your Own Master” was born of a terrifying dream I had about trying to get rid of a loaded gun. It went through a lot of changes before it became a proper story, but hopefully some of that base fear is still in it.

Farzana: You have another book coming out in 2018 with Guernica Editions. Tell us about that project.

Dan: Nobody Looks That Young Here is a second short story collection, though with the exception of a new story I added to it this spring, it was the first one I finished. The collection revolves around one family in small-town Southwestern Ontario and a male child’s upbringing and coming-of-age, and taken together the stories form a larger narrative kind of like a novel might.

Farzana: What are you working on now?

Dan: I’m about 20,000 words into a novella (or if it goes well: a novel) about a pretty regular guy who moves into a new apartment then starts getting nightly visits from a paranormal entity of some kind. I’ve also started mapping out a Canadian Writer Contractual Obligation Tragicomic Hockey Novel™ that I’m quite looking forward to starting.

10924159_10155119358340704_2745966143424118938_oFarzana Doctor lives in Toronto and is the author of the novels All InclusiveSix Metres of Pavement, which won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award, and Stealing Nasreen. She was named one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now” and received the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Grant. You probably also know Farzana as co-founder and curator of the Brockton Writers Series.

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Brockton Writers Series 06.03.13

Kill your winter blahs with fabulous readings and performances by:

Banoo Zan, Sunny Drake, Loren Edizel and Jim Bartley!

Wednesday, March 6, 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

Networking  begins at 6:30 with Farzana Doctor (fresh off her India tour) chatting about “5 tips for book touring”. http://www.farzanadoctor.com

Readings at 7:00pm. Full of Beans Cafe, 1348 Dundas St W Toronto

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books and treats available for sale.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

Print

BIOS:
Loren Edizel was born in Izmir, Turkey and has lived in Canada most of her life. Adrift, a novel longlisted for the ReLit awards, was published by Tsar Books in 2011. The Ghosts of Smyrna will be published later this year. She currently lives in Toronto.

Jim Bartley is a playwright and novelist. His work has been produced across Canada in theatres and on radio. His first novel, Drina Bridge, was published in 2006. For 15 years he has been “First Fiction” book columnist for The Globe and Mail. He serves on the board of Pink Triangle Press, the Canadian LGBT media group (Xtra Magazine/xtra.ca. Jim’s second novel is currently in submission though his agent.

Bänoo Zan landed in Canada in 2010. In her country of origin, Iran, she used to teach English Literature at universities. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies in Iran, Canada, U.K., U. S., Israel, etc. She hosts Queen Gallery Poetry Night in Toronto. She believes that her politics is her poetry.

Sunny Drake is a transgendered queer pansy theatre maker and performer. He lives his creative escapades and airs his embarrassing and tender internal world on stage. He’s performed in theatres, festivals, living-rooms, streets, deserts, schools, universities, basements, backyards & conferences in Australia, the USA and Canada.www.sunnydrake.com

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Brockton Writers Series 09.01.13

Start your New Year right with magnificent readings by:
Liam Card, Lillian Necakov Avalos, Kamal Al-Solaylee & Bianca Lakoseljac!


Wednesday, January 9, 7pm-8:30pm, with writers’ networking at 6:30pm (facilitated by May Lui). Our special guest is Matt Adams from Between the Lines.  

Full of Beans Cafe, 1348 Dundas Street West, Toronto

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books and treats available for sale. Everyone welcome.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

BIOS:
Bianca Lakoseljac is the author of: Summer of the Dancing Bear, a novel about the rite of passage of a fourteen year old girl befriended by a gypsy clan; Bridge in the Rain, a collection of stories linked by an inscription on a bench in Toronto’s High Park; and Memoirs of a Praying Mantis, a collection of poetry. She has judged national contests for the Writers Union of Canada and Canadian Authors Association, among others. Bianca taught communications at Ryerson University and Humber College and is Past President of the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto branch.

Liam Card was born and raised in Paisley, Ontario. In both 1998 and 1999, Liam was a member of the Canadian National Jr. Track & Field Team. While on a full track scholarship at both universities, Liam studied creative writing at the University of Iowa, and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, graduating with a BA in Communication Studies from UNC. Liam lives in Toronto with his wife Kelda and daughter, Elodie.

Lillian Necakov has been writing and publishing for over 30 years. She is the author of Sickbed of Dogs, Wolsak and Wynn, 1989, Polaroids, Coach House Books, 1997, Hat Trick, Exile Editions, 1998, The Bone Broker, Mansfield Press, 2007 and Hooligans, Mansfield Press 2011. During the 80’s she sold her books on the streets of Toronto. Lillian runs the Boneshaker Reading Series.

Kamal Al-Solaylee, an assistant professor and undergraduate program director at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University, was previously a distinguished writer at Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail. Al-Solaylee also worked at Report on Business magazine and has written features and reviews for the Toronto Star, National Post, The Walrus, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, EYE WEEKLY, Literary Review of Canada and ELLE Canada. Al-Solaylee holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham and has taught at the University of Waterloo and York University. Al-Solaylee lives in Toronto.

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Brockton Writers Series: 14.11.12

Come celebrate our third anniversary with November’s fabulous line-up:
Brandon Pitts, Gein Wong, Kateri Lanthier and Shari Lapena!

Wednesday, November 14, 7pm-8:30pm, with writers’ networking at 6:30pm (facilitated by May Lui). Our special guest is Christine Cowley, self-publishing expert. Come with your self-publishing questions!

NOTE OUR LOCATION (we moved recently): Full of Beans Coffee House and Roastery:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-of-beans-Coffee-House-Roastery/174023849301137PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books and treats available for sale. Everyone welcome.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

BIOS:

SHARI Lapena’s first novel, Things Go Flying, was shortlisted for the 2009 Sunburst Award. She won the Globe and Mail’s Great Toronto Literary Project contest, and was shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Awards. Her second novel, Happiness Economics, was published in September, 2011 and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. She was recently named one of CBC Books’ Writers to Watch, 2012. She lives in Toronto and is currently at work on her third novel.

KATERI Lanthier has a BA and MA in English from the University of Toronto. She has worked as an editor in educational publishing and is a freelance writer specializing in design, architecture and fine art. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and magazines in Canada, the United States, and England, including Descant, Grain, Matrix, The Antigonish Review, Saturday Night, Quarry, Writing Women, London Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly, www.levelerpoetry.com and www.lyrelyre.com. Reporting from Night, her first poetry collection, was published by Iguana Books in December 2011. She is currently at work on a novel set in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood.

Prolific novelist, poet, lyricist, and playwright, BRANDON PITTS is the author of the poetry collection, Pressure to Sing (IOWI), the novel, Puzzle of Murders (Bookland Press) and the play, ONE NIGHT, performed at the 2012 Toronto Fringe festival. In 2011, he was selected for inclusion in the prestigious Diaspora Dialogues as an Emerging Voice.

GEIN Wong  is an interdisciplinary playwright, director, composer, poet and video artist whose works focus on obvious things like gender, class and race, as well as things a little less obvious like gender, class and race.  She is a member of the Canadian Stage Company’s 2012 Director and Designer program, as well as the HERE Arts Centre Residency Program in New York City.   Gein was short listed for the 2010 Ontario KM Hunter Award in Theatre and is featured in Diaspora Dialogues’ 2010 commemorative book of past artists and works.   She is Artistic Director of the interdisciplinary performance company, Eventual Ashes, co-founder/Artistic Director of the Toronto and Vancouver based community arts organisation Asian Arts Freedom School, and a co-owner of the Glad Day Bookstore, Canada’s oldest queer bookstore.

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by | October 21, 2012 · 4:43 pm

Brockton Writers Series: 12.09.12

We’re back in September with a fabulous line-up featuring
Patricia Westerhof, Benjamin Hackman, Leslie Shimotakahara and James FitzGerald!

Wednesday, September 12, 7pm-8:30pm, with writers’ networking at 6:30-7:00pm with special guest speaker Sheila Barry, Co-publisher of Groundwood Books.

NOTE OUR LOCATION (we moved recently): Full of Beans Coffee House and Roastery: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-of-beans-Coffee-House-Roastery/174023849301137

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books and treats available for sale. Everyone welcome.

BIOS:

Patricia Westerhof is the author of Catch Me When I Fall , a collection of linked stories about a Dutch-Canadian community, and co-author of The Writer’s Craft, a textbook on creative writing. Her novel The Dove in Bathurst Station, set in Toronto’s west-end neighbourhoods, subway stations and drainpipes, will be published in 2013. Her stories also appear in the anthology Trees Running Backwards, and in Room, The Feathertale Review and The Dalhousie Review. She lives in Toronto, where she teaches English and creative writing.

Benjamin Hackman is a poet, lyricist, and performer. His poetry has most recently appeared in Canadian Literature, the Literary Review of Canada, and the Maple Tree Literary Supplement. He is currently at work on his first collection, entitled, The Benjy Poems, an excerpt of which was awarded the Ted Plantos Memorial Award from the Ontario Poetry Society. He lives and writes in his hometown, Toronto, with his partner and his cat.

Leslie Shimotakahara is a writer and recovering academic, who wanted to be simply a writer from before the time she could read. Hard-pressed to answer her parents’ question of how she would support herself as a writer, Leslie got drawn into the labyrinthine study of literature, completing her B.A. from McGill, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern American Literature from Brown. Her memoir The Reading List: Literature, Love and Back Again (Variety Crossing Press, 2011) is her first book, chronicling her escape from the Ivory Tower. She is currently completing a historical novel.

James FitzGerald is a Toronto-born journalist and author. His first book, “Old Boys: The Powerful Legacy of Upper Canada College”, was a controversial inside look at the attitudes and values of Canada’s ruling class families. Revelations of the sexual abuse of boys at the school, first published in the book, led to the conviction of three former teachers and a successful multi-million dollar class action suit against UCC in 2002.
James’ latest book, “What Disturbs Our Blood”, a multi-layered exploration of madness and high achievement in his prominent Toronto medical family, won the 2010 Writers’ Trust Prize For Non-Fiction. The book grew out of a 2002 Toronto Life article that won a National Magazine Award.

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Brockton Writers Series: 04.07.12

July’s BWS features readings by Nalo Hopkinson, Heather Birrell, Suzanne Andrew, Perparim Kapllani and S.R. Davis. The Dundas West BIA is our fabulous co-sponsor!

Wednesday, July 4, 7pm-8:30pm, with writers’ networking at 6:30pm (facilitated by May Lui)

NOTE OUR LOCATION (we moved recently): Full of Beans Coffee House and Roastery:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-of-beans-Coffee-House-Roastery/174023849301137

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books and treats available for sale. Everyone welcome.

BIOS:

S.R Davis is an emerging writer from Toronto. Her novel, Pretty Piece of Flesh is the response to two teenagers. One was one of her high school students who asked what it was like to have been alive when Kurt Cobain was alive. The other spoke up to the best piece of advice she ever heard about writing: write the book you wish a younger you had found. That teenager demanded a book about a gay kid who ends up happy despite learning the unpopular truth that loving someone isn’t enough to fix him.

Suzanne Alyssa Andrew is a Toronto-based writer. She grew up on Vancouver Island and has also lived in Ottawa. She writes for digital media, including websites, games, interactive documentaries and cross-platform television projects. Her work has also appeared in print publications including Taddle Creek, The Toronto Star and Broken Pencil. Her novel is an action-adventure love story that races across Canada from Vancouver Island to Toronto and back again.

Perparim Kapllani is a Canadian citizen of Albanian origin. He was a professional journalist in his native country Albania for 7 years and began writing literary fiction – years ago. He has four books published in Albania and two in Canada. His English-language play Queen Teuta of Illyria was published in a book in 2008 by In Our Words Inc., Ontario. His collection of short stories “Beyond the Edge” was published in 2010 by the same publishing house. His novel “The Last Will” is the third book in English, will be published soon. In May 2008, he established a pizza joint, the Corporation of Albany Pizza, which is located right beside No Frills. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and son.

Heather Birrell is the author of two story collections, Mad Hope (Coach House, 2012) and I know you are but what am I? (Coach House, 2004). Her work has been honoured with the Journey Prize for short fiction and the Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction, and has been short- listed for both National and Western Magazine Awards. Birrell’s stories have appeared in many North American journals and anthologies, including The New Quarterly, Descant, PRISM international, Hobart, and Toronto Noir. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Toronto, where she teaches high school English. Find out more at www.heatherbirrell.com

Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican science fiction and fantasy writer and editor who lives in Riverside, California. Her novels (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon’s Arms) and short stories such as those in her collection Skin Folk often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling.
Hopkinson has edited two fiction anthologies (Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction and Mojo: Conjure Stories). She was the co-editor with Uppinder Mehan for the anthology So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, and with Geoff Ryman for Tesseracts 9.
Hopkinson defended George Elliott Clarke’s novel Whylah Falls on the CBC’s Canada Reads 2002. She was the curator of Six Impossible Things, an audio series of Canadian fantastical fiction on CBC Radio One.

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Queer Night at Brockton Writers Series!

June is Queer Night at BWS and features readings by Ari Belathar, Shawn Syms, Vivek Shraya and Liz Bugg!

Wednesday, June 6, 7pm-8:30pm, with writers’ networking at 6:30pm (special guest:Nita Pronovost, Senior Editor, Doubleday Canada Publishing Group)

NOTE OUR LOCATION (we moved recently): Full of Beans Coffee House and Roastery:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-of-beans-Coffee-House-Roastery/174023849301137

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books and treats available for sale. Everyone welcome.

BIOS:

SHAWN SYMS has written about sexuality, gender, culture and politics for 25 years. His journalism has been appeared in numerous publications and his fiction can be read in Joyland Magazine, Little Fiction, PRISM international, and the anthologies Boys of Summer and The Journey Prize Stories 21.

LIZ BUGG was born in Saskatchewan and moved to Toronto via England and Victoria. She spent many years acting and teaching high school English, Drama and Music. Her first novel, Red Rover, published in 2010 by Insomniac Press, began as a way to fill the time during summer holidays, but eventually became much more. Margaret Cannon of the Globe and Mail called it “a slick debut,” and The Golden Crown Literary Society recognized it with a Debut Author Award. Oranges and Lemons, Liz’s second book in The Calli Barnow Series was published in April of 2012 and continues to follow the adventures of Toronto’s lesbian P.I.

VIVEK SHRAYA is a Toronto-based multimedia artist, working in the mediums of music, performance, literature and film. Vivek also creates and delivers workshops and guest lectures about writing, art, gender, sexuality and homophobia, and currently facilitates the Supporting Our Youth Pink Ink writing program for queer, transgender, Two-Spirit and questioning youth writers. God Loves Hair, his first collection of short stories, was a 2011 Lambda Literary Award finalist. He is currently working on his next book. His new short film, What I LOVE about being QUEER, will premiere in Toronto in June, followed by its festival debut at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in August.

KRISTYN DUNNION was raised in a one-stoplight town in Southern Ontario and escaped. She writes novels, short stories, metal power anthems, and performs live art when words fail her. Her recent short story collection The Dirt Chronicles is shortlisted for a Lambda Lit award. Notable novels include Missing Matthew, Mosh Pit, and Big Big Sky. Kristyn has books for sale and in true punk / DIY tradition will consider swapping for art, booze, and feminine hygiene products. http://www.kristyndunnion.com

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02/05/12

May’s BWS features readings by Alec Butler, Anne Fleming, Donna Kirk and Doyali Farah Islam!

Wednesday, May 2, 7pm-8:30pm, with writers’ networking at 6:30pm (special guest: Will Huffman from the Toronto Arts Council).

NEW LOCATION THIS MONTH! Full of Beans Coffee House and Roastery: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-of-beans-Coffee-House-Roastery/174023849301137

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books and treats available for sale. Everyone welcome.

BIOS:

DONNA KIRK’S literary non-fiction narrative, Finding Matthew, will be published in fall 2012 by BPS Books of Toronto and New York. Donna’s articles on the advancement, welfare, and mental health issues of persons with developmental disabilities have been published in Ars Medica, Toronto; Fission – Science with a Twist, McMaster University; Canadian Voices Volume Two; and various newspapers in the United States. Donna is working on a blog for people with disabilities, their families and friends, encouraging them to share their experiences and knowledge. Tonight Donna will read the final chapter of Finding Matthew.

ALEC BUTLER is an award-winning playwright and film maker, his published play “Black Friday” was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Alec’s animated video trilogy about growing up 2Spirit called “Misadventures of Pussy Boy” has screened at numerous queer film festivals, “Trans Cabaret” premiered at the Trigger Festival in 2010, “My Friend Brindley” was recently launched at University of Toronto’s “Trans Film Screening Series”. Alec is working on “Rough Paradise” a novella about growing up trans in a rough working class hood and “Radical Paradise” a self published chapbook of poems and theatre monologues.

DOYALI FARAH ISLAM is the first-place winner of Contemporary Verse 2’s 35th Anniversary Contest, and her poems appear in Grain Magazine (38.2), amongst other places. Yusuf and the Lotus Flower (BuschekBooks, Oct. 2011) is her first collection of poetry – a collection which Griffin Poetry Prize winner Sylvia Legris marks as “the debut of an extraordinary poet” and which Governor General’s Award winner George Elliott Clarke marks as a “fine debut”. For upcoming readings, reviews and interviews, as well as ordering information, please visit www.doyalifarahislam.com andwww.buschekbooks.com. Join Islam’s Facebook page for Yusuf and the Lotus Flower at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yusuf-and-the-Lotus-Flower/184516408297608.

ANNE FLEMING grew up in Toronto, lodged for a time in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, where she played for the St. Clements Winter Suns hockey team and hosted the Leaping Lesbian radio show on CKMS FM, and now divides her time
between Vancouver and BC’s Okanagan Valley, where she teaches creative writing at UBC’s Kelowna campus.

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04/04/12

April’s BWS features readings by members of The Writers Union of Canada: Sandra Campbell, Anand Mahadevan, Thomas Armstrong, Anne Perdue, Elizabeth Abbott and Glen Downie!

Wednesday, April 4, 7pm-8:30pm, with a reception hosted by TWUC at 6:30pm.

St. Anne’s Church, 270 Gladstone (just north of Dundas).

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books available for sale. Everyone welcome.

Got questions about The Writers Union of Canada? Want to meet TWUC authors? Come to a special reception hosted by TWUC from 6:30-7:00pm. Open to ALL.

Thanks to the Jeremiah Community at St. Anne’s for providing the space to us.

We regret that the space is not wheelchair accessible (yet–stay tuned for more news on this).

 

SANDRA CAMPBELL: Ottawa born, Toronto resident brings her work in educational media to documentaries and essays on the imagination, learning and culture and to her teaching creative writing. Her first novel, Getting to Normal was NOWToronto’s magazine’s choice for best books 2001. From 2002-05 she co-edited an online journal of personal narratives. Her new novel,The Pig and the Soprano inspired by the life of Georgina Stirling, a 19th century soprano from Newfoundland, explores the consequences of daring, ambition and desire. Her personal narrative, Conspiracy tells of the relationship between two sisters as re-discovered in memory, music and visual art. Her writing workshops (Writing the Body and From the Inside Out) inspire creativity through a playful experiential focus on the subjective dynamics of body, memory and the imagination.

ANAND MAHADEVAN is a Toronto based novelist and teacher of writing. He has an MFA from Boston University’s critically acclaimed writing program and his first novel The Strike has been published in Canada, the US and India. He is currently wrapping up work on his second novel.

THOMAS ARMSTRONG began to write fiction in 2002. His long time interest in Supernatural and West Indian literature made a natural intersection that is reflected in his writing and his reading. His influences range from Edgar Mittelholzer to H. P. Lovecraft. Initially he wrote short fiction, largely supernatural, before writing the short story, Flying In God’s Face, in 2005, which became the novel, Of Water And Rock. In 2009, the novel manuscript was entered in the Frank Collymore Literary Awards, where it won second prize. It was subsequently published by DC Books of Montreal in 2010, and later in the year the novel won the NIFCA 2010 Best Barbadian Book Award. Thomas is educated in Mathematics and Computer Science, currently makes a living as a software developer, and divides his time between Canada and Barbados. He is married still and has two children.

ANNE PERDUE graduated with honours from the U of T School of
Continuing Studies Creative Writing program where she received the
Marina Nemat Excellence in Creative Writing Award. Her first book, I’m a Registered Nurse Not a Whore, published by Insomniac Press in 2010, was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and short-listed for the Relit Award. Anne lives in Toronto.

ELIZABETH ABBOTT is a writer and historian with a special interest in women’s issues, the lives of animals and the environment. Her books have been translated into 18 languages, and include Sugar: A Bittersweet History, Haiti: A Shattered Nation and the best-selling A History of Celibacy, A History of Marriage and Mistresses: A History of the Other Woman, the three volumes of her historical relationship trilogy. Sugar: A Bittersweet History, was short-listed for the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. A History of Marriage was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Prize for Non-Fiction. www.elizabethabbott.ca. She also blogs on Huffington Post.

GLEN DOWNIE was born in Winnipeg, worked in cancer care for many years in Vancouver, and now lives in Toronto. In 1999, he served as Writer-in-Residence at Dalhousie University’s Medical Humanities Program. He has published fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and several collections of poetry, including Loyalty Management (Wolsak & Wynn, 2007) which won the 2008 Toronto Book Award. His most recent book is Local News (Wolsak & Wynn, 2011).

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07/03/12

March’s BWS features readings by Maureen Hynes, Hal Niedzviecki, Sheniz Janmohamed and Angie Abdou!

Wednesday, March 7th, 7pm-8:30pm
St. Anne’s Church, 270 Gladstone (just north of Dundas)

PWYC (suggested $3-$5). Q&A. Books available for sale. Everyone welcome.

Got questions about submitting your work to a publisher? Join our writers’ networking session, 6:30-7:00pm. Open to all writers, emerging and established. Facilitated by May Lui. Special guest, Margaret Bryant will visit from The Dundurn Group.

Thanks to the Jeremiah Community at St. Anne’s for providing the space to us.
We regret that the space is not wheelchair accessible (yet–stay tuned for more news on this).

BIOS:

Maureen Hynes’s book, Rough Skin, won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. She has also published Harm’s Way (Brick Books), and, most recently, Marrow, Willow (Pedlar Press). A past winner of England’s Petra Kenney Award, she has also had a poem selected for Best Canadian Poems 2010, and another longlisted for Best Canadian Poems 2011. Maureen is poetry editor for Our Times magazine (ourtimes.ca).

Hal Niedzviecki is a writer, speaker, culture commentator and editor whose work challenges preconceptions and confronts readers with the offenses of everyday life. He is the author of eight books including the collection of short stories Look Down, This is Where it Must Have Happened (City Lights, April 2011) and the nonfiction book The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors (City Lights, 2009). The Peep Diaries was made into a television documentary entitled Peep Culture produced for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is the current fiction editor and the founder of Broken Pencil, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts (www.brokenpencil.com). He edited the magazine from 1995 to 2002. Hal’s writing has appeared in newspapers, periodicals and journals across the world including the New York Times Magazine, Playboy, the Utne Reader, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Toronto Life, Walrus, Geist, and This Magazine. Niedzviecki is committed to exploring the human condition through provocative fiction and non-fiction that charts the media saturated terrain of ever shifting multiple identities at the heart of our fragmenting age.

Sheniz Janmohamed is spoken word artist, author and graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph. She has been mentored by Dionne Brand, Kuldip Gill and Janice Kulyk Keefer. She is the founder of Ignite Poets, a youth spoken word initiative with an emphasis on social awareness. With over 7 years of performance experience, Sheniz has been featured at the TedXYouth Conference and This is not a Reading Series to name a few. Her first book, Bleeding Light (TSAR) a collection of sufi-inspired English ghazals, explores a woman’s journey through night. She knows that in order to witness dawn, she has to travel through dusk first. Throughout her journey, she is caught between West and East, religion and heresy, love and anti-love, darkness and the knowledge of light.

Angie Abdou was born and raised in Moose Jaw, SK. She currently lives in Fernie, BC and teaches full-time at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook. Her first novel The Bone Cage was the inaugural selection for One Book, One Kootenay; a finalist in 2011 Canada Reads; and the 2012 MacEwan Book of the Year (putting her in company with Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel, David Adams Richards, and Annabel Lyon). Tonight she will read from The Canterbury Trail, a dark comedy about mountain culture which was a finalist for the 2011 Banff Mountain Book of the Year.

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