2017 Events

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Past Events of 2017

Thursday December 14, 2017 Event


john oughton photo

John Oughton was born in Guelph, Ontario, and lived a block away from the home of John McCrae (author of “In Flanders Fields”).  When his father was seconded to the World Health Organization, John spent two years living in Egypt and Iraq.  He completed a BA and MA in English at York U., where he studied with Irving Layton, Eli Mandel, Miriam Waddington and Frank Davey.  After a half-year stay in Kyoto, Japan, he worked at Coach House Press and as a journalist and corporate communicator.  He attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and served as a research assistant to Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman.  John began teaching English in community colleges, and recently retired from the position of  Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College.

He has published a mystery novel, Death by Triangulation, five books of poetry, most recently Time Slip (Guernica Editions, 20190), several chapbooks, and over 400 articles, interviews, reviews and blogs. John is a member of the Long Dash writing workshop.  He is also a photographer with three solo shows and several book and magazine covers to his credit.  For fun, he plays guitar and drums.

Word Up Thursday Nov 9, 2017

writer James Deahlbook cover Rooms Wind Makes by James DeahlJames 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.

The publication of Rooms The Wind Makes completes a cycle of four poetry collections, the preceding volumes being No Cold Ash, Even This Land Was Born Of Light, and When Rivers Speak. James Deahl has been called “one of the ten or twenty finest poets writing in the English language.” His poetry has been described as “precise articulations of landscape …”

To learn more about James and his book, click here.


writer Norma West LinderBook cover, Two Paths Through the SeasonsPoet, novelist and educator, Norma West Linder, was born in Toronto, spent her childhood on Manitoulin Island, and teenage years in Muskoka. Linder is the author of 6 novels, 15 collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, two children’s books, 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. Her 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 Two Paths Through The Seasons and Adder’s-tongues. She has two daughters and a son.

Word Up Thursday Oct 12, 2017

Author Poet Anne CampbellRegina writer Anne Campbell’s work – poetry, fiction and non-fiction – is published in books, anthologies, and journals, including: her recent book, The Fabric of Day, new and selected poems, her sixth collection of poetry; the co-edited award winning Regina’s Secret Spaces: love and lore of local geography and, most recently, with co-editors, Biblio Files, a history of the Regina Public Library (UofR Press, 2017). Readings of her work, anFabric of the Day Book Coverd workshops, have taken her across Canada, the USA and to Britain, and her music, with composer Tom Schudel, has been performed internationally. Her many awards include local and national literary awards, the City of Regina Writing Award, and the Mayor’s Arts and the Mayor’s Heritage Awards. Anne is a long time arts and heritage activist; she has served on the Boards of The Writers Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild; she is presently a member of the Wascana Centre Authority Heritage Committee. In 2014 she was a one of the founding members of the (Canadian) Creative Nonfiction Collective. Anne’s day jobs were at the Mackenzie Art Gallery and the Glenbow Museum, and for over 20 years as an administrator with the Regina Public Library. She was until 2012 a Research Fellow at the Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina.


Noah Wareness poet

Noah Wareness – Noah Wareness lives with his friends in the city. He writes by hand.

Real is the Word They Use to Contain Us – As the sickly boy dreams in bed, the shadows beneath his parlour curtain are stirring, taking shapes inexpressible even in a child’s dreams. “Real keeps us silent,” argues the taxidermied rabbit to the young air-rifle that shot it dead. “Real keeps us still. You must never ask anyone if ord They Use To Contain Us coverthey are Real.”

For exactly as long as history, a secret peace has bound the human and inanimate worlds. But the stories of the other world are pushing into our own, and that peace will be tested tonight…

In this collection of twenty-six poems and the unbelievably weird happenings that link them, Noah Wareness steals electricity from nihilistic horror fiction and shaggy late-night cartoons to create a landscape of profound loss, vertigo and wonder.


Word Up Thursday Sept 14, 2017

Canadian Writer and Toronto Poet Laureat George Elliott ClarkeBook cover for Canticles I- mmxvi by George Elliott ClarkeAcclaimed for his narrative lyric suites (Whylah Falls and Execution Poems), his lyric “colouring books” (Blue, Black, Red, and Gold), his selected poems (Blues and Bliss), his opera libretti and plays (Beatrice Chancy and Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path), George Elliott Clarke now presents us with his epic-in-progress, Canticles, a work that views History as a web of imperialism, enslavement, and insurrection. A native Africadian, Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate ranges the atlas and ransacks the library to ink lines unflinching before Atrocity and unquiet before Oppression.

Book I of The Canticles puts into dialogue – as dramatic monologues – those who fostered the transatlantic slave trade, or who demonized the image of the Negro in the Occident; as well as those who struggled for liberation and/or anti-racism. In this work, Dante can critique Christopher Columbus and Frederick Douglass can upbraid Abraham Lincoln; Elizabeth Barrett Browning can muse on her African racial heritage and its implications for child-bearing, while Karl Marx can excoriate Queen Victoria.

Check out his book here!

Word Up  Thursday July 13, 2017

author Elana WolffElana Wolff's book cover Everything Reminds You of Something ElseElana Wolff has published five collections of poetry with Guernica Editions, including You Speak to Me in Trees, awarded the F.G. Bressani Prize for Poetry. She is also the author of Implicate Me, a collection of essays on contemporary poems; co-author with the late Malca Litovitz of Slow Dancing: Creativity and Illness (Duologue and Rengas); and co-editor with Julie Roorda of Poet to Poet: Poems written to poets and the stories that inspired them. A bilingual edition of her selected poems, Helleborus & Alchémille (Éditions du Noroît), was awarded the 2014 John Glassco Prize for Translation (translator: Stéphanie Roesler). Elana has taught English for Academic Purposes at York University in Toronto and at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently divides her professional time between writing, editing, and designing and facilitating therapeutic community art courses.

Elana has recently launched her new book, Everything Reminds You of Something Else. George Elliott Clarke says of it: “Wolff’s lyrics showcase a world of constant, ironic, and dreadful surprise. Her sensibility is attuned to reversals, and she chooses sharply cut images to communicate her plain-toned shock at the unexpected inconsistencies and awry events …” At the core of this work is the belief that art is the sanest rage.

To learn more about Elana and her book, click here.


author Kate Flaherty Far Away StillKate Flaherty book cover Reaching VKate Marshall Flaherty’s recent books are “Stone Soup,” Quattro Books, and “Reaching V,” Guernica Editions, and her poetry manuscript about her healing journey through cancer, “Radiant,” will be published with Inanna Press in 2018.  She’s been published in journals such as CV2, Descant, Grain, Malahat Review and Vallum, was Shortlisted for Descant’s Best Canadian Poem, the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize and Robert Frost Poetry Prizes. She was a “Random Acts of Poetry” Poet for three years, and is presently Toronto Rep. for the League of Canadian Poets. She guides StillPoint Writers’ Retreats; writing is her lifeline.

Learn more about her by visiting her site: KateMarshallFlaherty.ca

Word Up Thursday June 8, 2017

AuthorLeslieGoodreidLeslie Goodreid – Leslie likes vampires, peas, and Oscar Wilde–though not at the same time. She’s a humanist, coffee aficionado and a cat-wrangler who sometimes puts pen to paper. As a genre renegade, Leslie can be found hopping between literature, horror, cli-fi, sci-fi, fantasy, social comedy and romance. Although she’s been writing poetry and prose since she was a tot, it’s only been in the last few years that she’s ventured into the professional publishing world. Within the next twelve months, she’s hoping to launch the first two books in her epic fantasy/social comedy series, “The Twelve Steps of the Vampire”. Two years ago, she won first prize in a Canadian Authors Association poetry contest.

When she steps out of her writing vault, Leslie can often be found fiddling with her temperamental coffee maker, saving the world on social media, or rescuing her kitten from the chandelier. Occasionally she does freelance reporting and editing projects for other authors. She has a turbid history as a mutual funds broker, but has been in recovery from banking for many years now.



Halli Villegas – Halli Villegas, a native Detroiter, has been living in Toronto for more than ten years. She has published two books of poetry, Red Promises (Guernica Editions, 2001) and In the Silence Absence Makes (Guernica Editions, 2004). Her chapbook, The Human Cannonball, appeared with Believe Your Own Press. She contributed the piece “Bond, Jane Bond” to the anthology Girls Who Bite Back (Sumach Press, 2004), edited by Emily Pohl-Weary. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and papers throughout Canada. She has taught creative writing workshops in Canada and the United States.




With the world facing the greatest global crisis of all time – climate change – personal and political indifference has wrought a series of unfolding complications that are altering our planet, and threatening our very existence. Reacting to the warnings sounded by scientists and thinkers, writers are responding imaginatively to the seriousness of changing ocean conditions, the widening disappearance of species, genetically modified organisms, increasing food shortages, mass migrations of refugees, and the hubris behind our provoking Mother Earth herself. These stories of Climate Fiction (Cli-fi) feature perspectives by culturally diverse Canadian writers of short fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and futurist works, and transcend traditional doomsday stories by inspiring us to overcome the bleak forecasted results of our current indifference.

Even Margaret Atwood is tweeting about the book.  Twitter link.

Word Up Thursday May 11, 2017

Canadian Poet author Domenico CapilongoDomenico Capilongo is a high-school creative writing teacher and Karate instructor.  His first two books of poetry, I thought Elvis was Italian, Hold the Note and short fiction collection, Subtitles were all short-listed for several awards. His newest book of poetry, send,  is about the way we communicate. Book cover, Send by Domenico Capilongo

Visit his site here: domcapilongo.wixsite.com/home

Check out his book teaser on Youtube! Click here





canadian poet and guru Stanley FeffermanStanley Fefferman is an eclectic. Mentored by Louis Dudek at McGill, he worked with Barry Callaghan in Toronto and  Allan Ginsberg in Boulder, trained in meditation under Chogyam Trungpa, studied photography with Michael Wood and Jack Dale, completed graduate studies in homeopathy with Jeremy Sherr, and certified as a Regression Therapist with Roger Woolger. Forty of his broadcasts aired on CBC National Radio. He has published two academic textbooks, hundreds of performance photographs and essays on music in electronic media. Fefferman taught writing at Naropa University’s Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and in the Atkinson Creative Writing Program at York University where he is Professor Emeritus and a member of the Founders Club. Home Was Elsewhere is his first collection of poetry.Home Was Elsewhere reveals the intimacies of Stanley Fefferman’s 20-year sojourn training in the world of the charismatic guru, Chogyam Trungpa.

Home Was Elsewhere reveals the intimacies of Stanley Fefferman’s 20-year sojourn training in the world of the charismatic guru, Chogyam Trungpa.

Learn more about his book here: QuattroBooks.ca

See him in action here: YouTube.com


Word Up April 2017 – Thursday April 13, 2017

david-stymiestFrontenac House has just released D.S. Stymeist’s debut collection, The Bone Weir. His poems have also appeared in numerous magazines, including The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, Dalhousie Review, and The Fiddlehead. His work was featured as the Parliamentary Poet Laureate’s Poem of the Month (February 2015) and was short-listed for Vallum’s 2015 poetry prize. He teaches the bone weir book coverpoetics, Renaissance drama, and aboriginal literature at Carleton University. He grew up as a resident of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, is the editor and founder of the micro-press, Textualis, and is the current vice-president of VERSe Ottawa.

See samples of his poetry here: Frontenachouse.com


Bruce Meyer is author of over 50 books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and textbooks. His most recent books include the national bestseller Portraits of Canadian Writers (Porcupine’s Quill) and the recently released 1967: Centennial Year, a collection of poems from Black Moss Press. He was the inaugural Poet Laureate of Barrie from 2010 to 2014 and is a professor at Georgian College. 

Word Up, Thursday March 9th

biancalakoseljac-400Bianca Lakoseljac has published four trade books: two novels, a collection of stories, and a book of poetry. She holds an MA in English from York University, 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. Bianca is the Writers Union of Canada’s liaison for the National Reading Campaign, sat on the Writers Union’s National Council, is past president of the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto, and has sat on the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee for a number of years. She has judged national literary contests such as the National Capital Writing Contest, the Canadian Aid Literary Award Contest, the Dr. Drummond Poetry Contest, and has served on panels for the Writers Union of Canada and the League of Canadian Poets (novels, short stories, poetry).

“Bianca Lakoseljac’s Stone Woman is a magically-written, enthralling tale which juxtaposes the destruction of war through generations with the spirit of creativity during 1967’s “the summer of love.”  There is so much beautiful writing in this novel it truly is a pleasure to read.” Paul Butler, author of NaGeira and Hero.

You can purchase her book here: Amazon.ca

Word Up February 2017 – Thursday Feb 9, 2017

Bruce Hanson has received Honourable Mentions in:

•      the 2014 Canadian Author’s Association CanWrite! short story competition

•      the 2000 Winners’ Circle Int’l Short Story Competition

•      the 1998 Mississauga Library Writing Contest (2nd Place)

•      the 1996 Brendon Donnelly Award For Children’s Literature (2nd Place)

•      In 2013, he placed third for his essay in the Northern Living contest sponsored by Lifestyle magazine and The Writers’ Community of Simcoe County.

While varying in genre, his adult short stories contain a common theme of thought provoking suspense, often with a twist of the dark side.

Bruce also writes short stories, novellas, and poems for children. He is currently focusing on efforts to publish his collection of adult short stories, Sweet Dreams, and his collection of children’s poems Elephants In My Stew and Other Tidbits.

Copies of Unleashed Ink which contain three of his adult short stories and three of his children’s poems together with stories and poetry by thirteen other authors is available for $10.

Bruce resides in Ontario Canada balancing his time between Muskoka and Barrie.

Word Up January 2017 – Thursday Jan. 12, 2017

author Tina AmiriOriginally from Sudbury, Ontario, Tina Amiri is a local author, having lived in Barrie for just over 20 years. Caliburn Press published her first novel, Whatever The Impulse, in January 2016. This psychological thriller inspired a professional book trailer video, produced by a Barrie video production company, 3B Solutions. While Tina has always worked full-time in the medical field—starting out as an X-ray technician and currently as a low vision specialist for CNIB in Barrie—she has always had her hand in writing.

whatevertheimpulse-tinaamiriTina spent several years working for Aarau Literary Agency through which she provided in-depth editing and mentoring services, until the death of its proprietor in 2012. Future works are sure to include some more dark, edgy fiction, and a “what-not-to-do” guide for fiction writers.

You can purchase her book  by clicking here.





Ray HolmesRaymond Holmes is retired and lives in Minesing, Ontario.  He writes stage plays, short stories and novellas.  Two of his plays have been performed at the South Simcoe Theatre in Cookstown, Ontario.  His play, The Lonely Vigil Of Emily Baxter, was awarded third prize in the 2014 Ottawa Little Theatre One Act Playwriting Contest.  Four of his short stories will be published in Unleashed Ink II, an anthology of short fiction and poetry written by members of the Barrie Writers Club. Raymond enjoys making furniture and playing the violin, but admits to doing the latter activity somewhat poorly.




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