Upcoming Events

Hey, everybody! Join us for Word Up’s next event @ Unity Market Cafe & Studios. We’ll start at the usual 7 pm and feature one or two guest authors, followed by the ever-popular and always inspiring open mic.


Word Up Thursday March 14, 2019

John Miller author writer headshotJohn Miller’s third novel, Wild and Beautiful is the Night, (Cormorant: October 2018) is the story of an unusual friendship between two women struggling to find their way in Toronto’s sex trade. The Featherbed (Dundurn, 2002) received stellar reviews and earned a devoted readership upon its release and A Sharp Intake of Breath (Dundurn, 2007) won the Beatrice and Martin Fischer Award in Fiction for 2008.Wild and Beautiful is the Night book cover

John grew up in Toronto and holds a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. in International Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. In addition to writing, he is an organizational development consultant with non-profits.

IPoet John B. Lee photon 2005 John B. Lee was inducted as Poet Laureate of Brantford and in 2015 he was appointed Honourary Poet Laureate of Norfolk County. A recipient of over eighty prestigious international awards for his writing, he has well-over seventy books published to date and is the editor of nine anthologies. Beautiful Stupid book coverCalled “the greatest living poet in English,” by poet George Whipple, he lives in Port Dover, Ontario where he works as a full time author.


Word Up Thursday April 11, 2019

Johanne Levesque author writer

Johanne Levesque was born and raised in Quebec City. She did extensive research in archives to bring you life during the Great Depression in Toronto in Trouble and Strife.Trouble and Strife cover Johanne Levesque

She is, at the moment, writing the sequel to Trouble and Strife titled In The Pink where she reveals the Second World War from the point of view of a family living in Toronto.
Her novels are based on true events from a Torontonian perspective.


Wendy Ranby author writer

Wendy Ranby is a teacher with over 25 years of experience teaching “literally every grade”. She currently teaches grade 8 and is inspired every day by the life force of adolescents. She recently received her Masters of Education degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto and has also taken Creative Writing courses from U of T. Wendy enjoys travelling, rooting for the Blue Jays, working out with her golden retriever, and family time with her husband and three grown children. Under the Floorboard is her debut novel, but she has kept a journal since she was a young child. She was born and raised in Rothesay, New Brunswick and now lives in Tottenham, Ontario.

Under the Floorboard – 15-year-old Aileen never feels good enough to please her mother. When she pries up the floorboard at her aunt’s house, she sheds a light on the dark secret she worked so hard to forget. Why does no one ever talk about her baby sister Claire and what happened to her?Under the floorboard cover Wendy Ranby

When her mother announces she’s pregnant and starts acting strange. After the baby is born, her mother descends into a depression, and Aileen has to cope with the effect this has on both her and her family. Life isn’t easy when your parent has a mental health issue. Especially when no one talks to you about it. Honesty is tough. Does her mother have secrets of her own and is Aileen ready for the truth? Miscommunications abound, but underneath there is love—even if it is hard to feel it sometimes.


May 9, 2019 Event

Doyali Islam phot profile

Doyali Islam. Photo by Llisa Spidle

Doyali Islam’s second poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019). Poems from this collection have been published in Kenyon Review Online, The Fiddlehead, and Best Canadian Poetry. In 2017, Doyali was a National Magazine Award finalist and a guest on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition. She serves as the poetry editor for Arc Poetry Magazine and lives in Toronto.


Please check back for updates on Future Word Up Events!

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