2015 Events

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Click here to see who our Featured Authors were in 2015
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Read below to see who our headlining authors have been in 2015

Word Up – December 2015

Robert Ballentyne Pharoahs of the Sky Book CoverRobert L. Ballantyne will read from his new novel, Pharaohs of the Sky. He’s an author from Innisfil. His tale begins in the streets of Toronto and take us to a secretive Washington book shop, to the heart of Cairo to the peaks of the great pyramids. Pharaohs of the Sky lures you into a world where nothing is as it seems, and where clandestine operatives conspire to hide the truth. In this international mystery, fact remains elusive by design and fate alike, yet all revolves around the answer to one question: Are we really alone?

Check out his book here at Amazon. Click here.
Find it here at iUniverse. Click here.

Word Up – November 2015

November’s guest readers were Barrie’s newest Poet Laureate, Damian Lopes and Trudee Romanek with her newly launched book!

Damian Lopes – From poetry to fiction, image to text, and print to screen, his work explores the impacts of emigration and technology on culture, the re-creation of myths after migration, and the interstices that result. The author of three print books and two electronic works of poetry, he is currently completing his first book of fiction. Poet Laureate for the City of Barrie, a writer member of PEN Canada, and a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and founding chair of the Barrie Arts and Culture Council from 2008-2012. Damian was web editor and a consulting editor, at Coach House Books from 1998–2004. He ran the micro press fingerprinting inkoperated, producing chapbooks, leaflets and broadsides. For a short time in 1995 he and his brother, Dominic McIver Lopes, ran Caju Press.

Born in Aberdeen Scotland and raised in Toronto Canada, I trace my family over much of the globe, including the UK, New Zealand, Tanzania, India and Portugal. He graduated as a music major from the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and English major from McGill University. Having cottaged in Simcoe county throughout my childhood, I now live in Barrie Ontario with my wife and son, and cottage farther north.

Learn more about Damian here: www.damianlopes.com

Trudee Romanek – Trudee spent several years working in the publishing industry as an editor before writing her first work, a non-fiction book for young readers called The Technology Book for Girls. She is the author of a dozen non-fiction books, including Aha! The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read About Intelligence, which was awarded the 2006/2007 BC Red Cedar Information Book Award.Raising the Stakes written by Trudee RomanekHer books have been published around the world, translated into Chinese, Malaysian, Dutch, Korean and Arabic. Trudee was honoured to be one of the three recipients of Barrie’s Excellence in the Arts Award’s in 2008, the inaugural year.

After years working to transition away from non-fiction, dabbling in playwriting and musical writing, she recently launched her first novel for young adults called Raising the Stakes. It’s the latest title in Orca Books’ Limelight series about the performing arts. She is currently working on two other novels for teen readers.

Learn more about Trudee on her website: www.trudeeromanek.com

Word Up – September 2015

We had 3 feature authors – Arlene F. Marks, James Deahl & Norma West Linder

Arlene F. Marks has appeared in H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror and is forthcoming from Daily Science Fiction.  Most recently, she is the author of From First Word to Last: The Craft of Writing Popular Fiction (Legacy Books Press, 2013),  Literacy: Made for All (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), and No Pain, No Gaine (Samhain RetroRomance, 2015).  The Accidental God (Sun Dragon Press, 2014), her first science fantasy novel, was nominated for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. She is currently hard at work on three more sf novels and welcomes visitors to her website:  www.thewritersnest.ca.

James Deahl was born in Pittsburgh in 1945, and grew up in that city as well as in and around the Laurel Highlands of the Appalachian Mountains. He moved to Canada in 1970 and holds Canadian citizenship. He’s the author (or, in the case of Tu Fu’s poetry, translator) of twenty literary titles. His most recent books are North Of Belleville and Opening The Stone Heart. A cycle of his poems is the focus of a one-hour TV special, Under the Watchful Eye. Both the video and an audiotape have been reissued on CD and DVD by Silver Falls Video. A poem in James Deahl’s collection of haiku, Blue Ridge, won the Mainichi Award (Tokyo, Japan). Tasting The Winter Grapes won the Award of Excellence from the Hamilton & Region Arts Council. In 2001 Deahl was presented with the Charles Olson Award for Achievements in Poetry. His When Rivers Speak won the Ramada Plaza Hotel Award. Deahl lives in Sarnia with companion Norma West Linder. He is the father of Sarah, Simone, and Shona.

Norma West Linder was born in Toronto, spent her childhood on Manitoulin Island, and teenage years in Muskoka. She is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, PEN, The Ontario Poetry Society, The Canadian Federation of Poets, WIT (Writers in Transition) and Past President of the Sarnia Branch of the Canadian Authors Assoc. Linder is the author of 5 novels, 13 collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, a children’s book, a collection or short stories, and a biography of Pauline McGibbon. For 24 years she was on the faculty of Lambton College in Sarnia, teaching English and Creative Writing. For 7 years she wrote a monthly column for the Sarnia Observer, and she is a regular contributor to “Daytripping in Southern Ontario”.

Norma’s short stories have been published internationally and broadcast on the CBC. Her poetry has been published in Fiddlehead, White Wall Review, Room of One’s Own, Quills, Toward the Light, Prairie Journal, FreeFall Magazine, Mobius, and other periodicals. In 2006 she compiled and edited Enchanted Crossroads for The Ontario Poetry Society. Her latest publications are collections of poems entitled When Angels Weep, Lovely as a Tree, Adder’s Tongues (poems 1969-2011, edited by James Deahl), Aeolus House, and No Common Thread, Selected Short Fiction, Hidden Brook Press 2013Her poems and articles can also be found in A River Runs by it — an anthology edited by Margaret Bird celebrating Sarnia’s centennial. Norma has two daughters and a son.

Word Up – June 2015

Our featured readers were all part of CANADIAN NOIR: The Exile Book of Anthology Series: Number Ten Edited by Claude Lalumière and David Nickle. http://www.exileeditions.com/singleorders2015/noir.html

DALE L. SPROULE’s short fiction has appeared in over 40 publications including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Tesseracts, Northern Frights and Pulphouse. Many of the best stories were included in his 2013 collection, Psychedelia Gothique. In the ninties, he co-published/edited TransVersions – Literature of the Fantastic. He’s been nominated for nine Aurora Awards.

After 22 years in Vancouver, KELLY ROBSON moved to Toronto and discovered that no matter where she lives, she’ll always be an Alberta girl. She had the great good luck to spend four years as Chatelaine’s wine and spirits columnist. Her first short fiction appears this year in Clarkesworld, Tor.com, Asimov’s, and The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir.

The author of a clutch of novels, and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include the novel Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named “Giulio” battles for freedom from his own creator; the short story collection The Formal Logic of Emotion; and two collections of poetry: Light and Time, and The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). His short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads, is scheduled from Red Hen Press this fall. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the GTA.

MENEAR is most often described as an edgy, urgent, gritty and sometimes ‘transgressive’ short story writer with a soft heart and a sense of humour. You find him at that place where Salinger meets Cormac McCarthy for tea and cookies. In his first two years of writing, Menear’s stories have been published in several respected Canadian literary magazines. An Ottawa publisher (DevilHouse) sought him out and produced a short story collection in June 2014 that sold out in a few short months. A story of his was selected for an Exile Editions’anthology ‘Canadian Noir’ to be on-shelf this March 2015.

Word Up – May 2015

Readers were poet and singer Max Layton, novelist Ania Szado, poet and publisher Luciano Lacobelli, and novelist James Grainger.

The eldest son of Canadian poet Irving LAYTON, MAX left his Montreal home at the age of 16 and, since then, has worked as everything from tobacco picker, logger, and apprentice auto mechanic, to vice president of a bank. Along the way, he was one of the founders of Toronto’s Book City bookstore and earned a Master’s degree in Eng. Lit. from the University of Toronto. A published novelist and short story writer, Max went legally blind ten years ago and during that difficult period he recorded his first CD of original songs, Heartbeat Of Time. His eyesight eventually restored thanks to the miracle of modern science, Max feels he has been given a second chance. His first book of poems, When The Rapture Comes, was published in 2012 by Guernica Editions and his second CD, 2 The Max, was released at the same time. Max’s third and latest CD, “It’s A Mystery To Me”, was released in 2014 and now Max is celebrating Guernica’s publication of another book of poems, “In The Garden Of I Am”, which Leonard Cohen has called, “One hell of a book”! More info about Max at www.maxlayton.com

ANIA SZADO’s debut novel, BEGINNING OF WAS, was regionally shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book. Her latest, STUDIO SAINT-EX, sees Antoine de Saint-Exupéry writing THE LITTLE PRINCE in World War II New York, through the lens of two ambitious, creative women. A national bestseller, it has sold to five countries to date.

LUCIANO LACOBELLI is a poet, playwright, painter and publisher. Luciano is one of the owners and founders of Quattro books. He also operates a micro press, Lyricalmyrical Press, specializing in hand made poetry chapbooks. He is the author of 3 full length poettry books: The Angel Notebook, The Book of Disorders, Painting Circles. A fourth book, The Examined Life is scheduled to be published in 2016 by Guernica Editions.

JAMES GRAINGER is a Toronto writer whose debut collection of stories, The Long Slide, won the ReLit Award for Short Fiction. His reviews and articles have appeared in the Toronto Star, Quill & Quire, the Globe and Mail, Elle Canada, Men’s Fashion, Sharp, and Rue Morgue. Harmless is his first novel.

Word Up – April 2015

The readers are the award-winning poet and short story writer, Dr. Shane Neilson, and local writer Mark Jacquemain.

Shane Neilson is a poet, critic, and physician from New Brunswick (but living now in Oakville). Complete Physical, his second book of poems, was shortlisted for the Trillium Poetry Prize in 2010. On Shaving Off His Face, his new book with the Porcupine’s Quill, will be published in a few weeks. He won the Robin Blaser award from the Capilano Review this year, and a poem of his will appear in Best Canadian Poetry 2015.

MJ, aka Mark Jacquemain, is a graduate of the Creative Writing Master’s program at the University of New Brunswick. His short fiction has been published in QWERTY and Prism International and this year will appear in The Fiddlehead Summer Fiction issue and Oberon’s Coming Attractions, an anthology of top young writers.

Word Up – March 2015

Featuring FOUR fantastic readers. Internationally acclaimed Governor General’s Award winner George Elliott Clarke, Michael Mirolla poet and publisher of Guernica Editions, Oakville poet Josie Di Sciascio Andrews, and Newmarket poet Robert Colman will headline one of the best evenings of poetry you’ll hear this year.

GEORGE ELLIOTT CLARKE, an Order of Canada recipient and Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry, is a Canadian poet and playwright. His work largely explores and chronicles the experience and history of the Black Canadian communities of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,creating a cultural geography that Clarke refers to as “Africadia”. Writer of operas, novels, poetry books, critical books, professor at the U of T… he wrote Beatrice Chauncey, the opera that launched the career of Messha Brueggergossman. He wrote the oevie One Heart Broken Into Song, the first Nova Scotia dramatic feature to be written and directed by African Canadians.

The author of a clutch of novels, and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include the novel Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named “Giulio” battles for freedom from his own creator; the short story collection The Formal Logic of Emotion; and two collections of poetry: Light and Time, and The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). His short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads, is scheduled from Red Hen Press this fall.Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the GTA.

ROBERT COLMAN, a Newmarket-based writer and editor will read for us. He is the author of two full-length collections of poetry – Little Empires (Quattro Books) and The Delicate Line (Exile Editions). His new chapbook, Factory, has just been published by Frog Hollow Press. The book is a reflection on industry in Canada as the nature of manufacturing, and work in general, shifts.

Word Up – February 2015

Our featured readers are acclaimed Toronto novelist and short story writer Stephen Finucan and Orillia writer Noelle Bickle as well our regular open mic readers.

STEPHEN FINUCAN is the author of two collections of short stories, Happy Pilgrims and Foreigners, and one novel, The Fallen. His most recent short fiction has been published in The Walrus, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, and Queen’s Quarterly.

His fiction has been nominated for the Upper Canada Writers Craft Award and the Ian St James Award, he was named New Writer of the Year by Write Magazine in 2000, and his novel, The Fallen, was named one of the 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Last Decade by the CBC Radio Program Canada Reads. He is also a frequent book reviewer for The Toronto Star. A graduate of the Master’s program in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Stephen has also taught Creative Writing at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies. He lives in Toronto.

NOELLE BICKLE is a poet and writer, as well as a certified Amherst Writers & Artist (AWA) Creative Writing Facilitator. She works with youth and youth-at-risk in expressive writing circles to provide them with an outlet to share their voice through poetry and prose.

Noelle is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and works as the Program Director for the Canadian Authors Association. She lives north of the GTA with her kids and a golden retriever named Maalik, who keeps her in ample supply of both hair tumbleweeds and love.

Word Up – January 2015

This month’s feature authors are Edward Nixon, John Oughton & Bianca Lakoseljac.

EDWARD NIXON was born and grew up in British Columbia, primarily in Victoria. With his family he spent some of his childhood in Portland, Oregon, B.C.’s Cariboo region, Vancouver and Kamloops. Since 1984 he has lived in Toronto. Edward has published four chapbooks: Nights in the City of the Dead (Aeolus House 2006); Arguments for Breath (lyricalmyrical 2007); Free Translation (Cactus Press 2009), and Instructions for Pen and Ink (Cactus Press 2010). He’s had poems published in Rampike, Misunderstandings Magazine and other magazines. He’s hosted and curated the Toronto reading series livewords since 2008. From 2006 through 2007 he hosted and programmed the Diamond Cherry Reading Series. In November his first full length collection The Fissures of our Throats came out from Guernica Editions.

JOHN OUGHTON is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Time Slip from Guernica Editions. His novel Enough of Hate will be published this year by Neopoesis. John’s poetry has been published in many periodicals and anthologies, and he has also written over 400 articles, reviews and interviews. He is a photographer with three solo shows, and pays his rent as Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College.

BIANCA LAKOSELJAC holds an Honours BA and an MA in English from York University in Toronto and is the recipient of the Matthew Ahern Memorial Award in Literature. Over a ten year period, she taught communication at Ryerson University and Humber College. She is a published author of three trade books: a novel, a collection of stories, and a book of poetry. Her books include Summer of the Dancing Bear (Guernica), Bridge in the Rain (Guernica), and Memoirs of a Praying Mantis. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.


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