Read below to see who our headlining authors have been so far this year.
Word Up Thursday October 11, 2018
Brenda Clews is a multi-media poet and artist. She hosts a Poetry & Music Salon in Toronto and has published the luminist poems (LyricalMyrical Press) and Tidal Fury (Guernica Editions) with solo art shows at York University, Q Space and Urban Gallery.
Book: Fugue in Green
Brenda Clews’s compelling Fugue in Green is a gothic fairy tale in the tradition of Marie-Claire Blais’ Mad Shadows and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, with a monster, abuse and ghosts haunting the stanzas. Two teens struggle with their psychotic mother as they seek asylum with their father, where psychic connections, tales of abuse and madness, and eventually a deeper love rise to the surface. Sumptuously written, this book delves into mystical visions and deep psychological insights into the creative mind and its relationship to nature, love and madness.
Author and coach in human potential, Robin Blackburn McBride’s self-help ebook, Birdlight: Freeing Your Authentic Creativity, was an Amazon Best Seller, and has been released as a paperback and as an audiobook. In 2002 Guernica published a collection of her poetry, In Green. The Shining Fragments is her first novel.
Book: The Shining Fragments
The Shining Fragments is a family saga about the Irish in Canada that explores the ramifications of abandonment, obsession, love, memory, and visionary power. Spanning the years 1882-1904, it follows Joseph Conlon from his early childhood in Ulster to his experiences of youth and adulthood as an immigrant. Left behind as a small boy on a Toronto train-station platform like so much forgotten luggage, Joseph grows up in a city bleak with bigotry. He discovers that he has artistic talent and becomes a designer of stained-glass windows. He is haunted by the spirit of his unborn sister, Annie, and the powerful and often conflicting influences of the women in his life. In the end, Joseph must come to terms on the same ground where he was abandoned as a child.
Word Up Thursday September 13, 2018
Hugh Graham has written on Afghanistan and Iraq for The Walrusand The Toronto Star. Previous fiction titles include Last Words and Ploughing the Seas (Exile Editions) and his short fiction has appeared in Descant, Exile Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead and New Quarterly.
Book: The Man Who Was No One
The crowd is howling blood. Awaiting death on the scaffold he wonders what he could possibly have done wrong. Has he been misunderstood as a religious fanatic? Did his chronic suspicion get the better of him? His last tumultuous months pass before his eyes. Above all the last hours, a bloody and nocturnal passage through the underworld of the justice system. A system he himself had helped to create. Remorse and relentless self-questioning give way to resentment and rage at the ruling body he led only a few days before, the same people who have placed him on the scaffold. Fury turns to self-reproach and the distasteful and embarrassing business of his personal life. And finally his excesses, so close to his entire reason for being, yet so difficult to acknowledge. Even in the face of death.
Word Up Thursday July 12, 2018
Daniel Perry’s first short fiction collection, Hamburger, was published in 2016. His stories have been short-listed for the Carter V. Cooper Prize and appeared in publications in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and the Czech Republic. He has lived in Toronto since 2006.
This is Currie Township, Southwestern Ontario, where roads crumble, barns rot, jobs erode, marriages suffocate, and kids like Mike Carrion find themselves adrift in it all, scratching their way to adolescence before they either knuckle down or get out of here and never look back. Beginning with the Friday night car crash years before Mike was born, the 17 stories in Nobody Looks That Young Here follow the Carrion family and Currie Township in Mike’s words and those of his parents, friends, and others who’ve already left for the city, well aware of what becomes of the people who don’t.
Word Up Thursday June 14, 2018
Bruce Meyer is the author of more than sixty books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, and portrait photography. His most recent book is A Feast of Brief Hopes, a collection of short stories from Guernica Editions. His most recent books include the anthologies Cli Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change, and The Dammed Beaver: Canadian Humour, Laffs, and Gaffes (both from Exile Editions), and the book of poems, 1967: Centennial Year (Black Moss Press). His collection of sonnets, The Seasons, won the IP Medal for Best Book of Poems in North America, and his other recent collections of poetry such as The Arrow of Time (Ronsdale Press) were shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Prize and the Cogswell Prize. In 2015 and 2016 he was the winner of the Gwendolyn MacEwen Prize for Best Poem, and his collection of memoirs/portrait photographs of Canadian writers, Portraits of Canadian Writers (Porcupine’s Quill) was a national bestseller in 2016. He lives Barrie where he was the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie, and teaches at Georgian College and Victoria College in the University of Toronto.
Word Up Thursday May 10, 2018
Irene Guilford’s work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, and has been short-listed in both the CBC Literary Competition and the Event Creative Non-Fiction Contest. marks her second publication of fiction with Guernica, following her novel, The Embrace. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Nigel.
To learn more about her book click here!
Here’s a review of the book from Prism: click here.
Kent Smerdon was born in Toronto in 1950 and was introduced to flying as a youngster by his father, a WWII RCAF veteran Harvard instructor and Mosquito fighter/bomber pilot. His exposure to and interest in flying led to his enrolling in the Canadian Air Force via a scholarship with Canada’s Military College at Kingston ON (RMC) directly after graduating from high school in 1969. A varied and remarkable career in aviation began.
During the break between his third and fourth year at RMC, he married is high school sweetheart Liz and moved her to Kingston before graduating in 1973 with a degree in Applied Science and Engineering. He then started the serious business of Air Force “wings standard” training. After wings and subsequent qualification on supersonic interceptors, Kent was posted to 409 (AW) “Nighthawks” Fighter Squadron in CFB Comox BC under the command of NORAD. (North American Aerospace Defence) During that time, he flew #3 position in the 409 “Hawks” air demonstration team and was chosen to compete for Canada at the 1976 Bi-Annual “William Tell” Weapons Competition at Tyndall AFB in Florida. He was then posted as an instructor pilot on Voodoos at 410 Cougar Squadron OTU at CFB Bagotville Quebec. Kent left the Air Force for Air Canada in 1980 but kept ties with the military through 401 “Ram” Squadron at St Hubert Quebec where he learned helicopter flying.
The recession and high interest rates of the early eighties compelled Kent to take a leave from Air Canada and return to the regular Airforce at NDHQ in Ottawa before being assigned the position of Challenger Flight Commander at 412 (VIP) Squadron at CFB Uplands. After a six year leave he returned to Air Canada and left the military behind for good. After upgrading to A-320 Captain in 2000, he finished his career as a B-767-300 Captain in 2010 after having been qualified to fly over 18 different aircraft types and their variants over 37 years in aviation.
Kent is a Director on the Board of Aeroserve Technologies Ltd., a life member of the RMC Club of Canada, a member of the Air Force Association, the Air Canada Pionairs, RAPCAN (Retired Airline Pilots Canada) and the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto. He is a cancer survivor, grandfather of twins, a keen tennis player, loves to swing a hammer, and volunteers at the Barrie Food Bank.
Captain Smerdon retired in 2010 after 31 years with Air Canada. He lives in Barrie Ontario with Liz, his bride of forty five years.
April 12, 2018
Sally Cooper is a bold, powerful writer who lays bare the human heart. The author of acclaimed novels Love Object and Tell Everything, Sally Cooper has published short stories and essays in several magazines such as CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries, Event, Grain, Great Lakes Review and White Wall Review. A former college professor, Sally Cooper happily devotes her time to writing and raising her two daughters in Hamilton, Ontario. Her latest book, Smells Like Heaven, a collection of linked stories, will be published in June, 2017, by ARP Books.
Sally Cooper loves writing, words, language and everything to do with the creative process. She has taught English for more than twenty years, culminating as a Professor of English at Humber College. As well she started the Writing Centre at Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus, which she ran for five years and where she could indulge her love of working with students one-on-one. She is a patient, intuitive teacher who values connecting with her students and igniting in them the passion she herself feels for writing. She is a Senior Editor of Hamilton Review of Books.
Sally Cooper is proud to be a founding member to the long-term writers’ circle Big Canvas. Sally Cooper’s fiction has been described as “fearless” “voluptuous” “incisive” “passionate” “powerful” “compelling” “beautiful” “skillful” “bold” “impressive” “sensitive” “insightful” “tremendous” “gifted” “uncanny” “satisfying” “suspenseful” “commanding” and “tender.” The risks she takes with the stories she tells and how she tells them have earned Sally Cooper a devoted readership in search of the truths found only in fiction.
Kateri Lanthier holds a BA and MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto. Her poems have been published in Canada, the United States and England, most recently in The Fiddlehead, Leveler, Event, Hazlitt, Green Mountains Review, Arc, Literary Review of Canada, and Matrix. Her poem “The Coin Under the Leftmost Sliding Cup” won the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize and was included in Best Canadian Poetry 2014 (Tightrope Books). She won third prize in the England-based 2016 Troubadour International Poetry competition. She was profiled in Portraits of Canadian Writers (Bruce Meyer, The Porcupine’s Quill, 2016). She is an Adjunct Professor, MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing, University of Toronto. Her first collection of poetry is Reporting from Night (Iguana, 2011). Her second is Siren (Signal Editions, Véhicule Press, 2017).
March 8, 2018
His latest literary award is the 2016 Bressani Literary Prize for his short story collection Lessons in Relationship Dyads (Red Hen Press, 2015). In 2010, with business partner Connie McParland, Michael took over the reins at Guernica Editions, one of Canada’s thriving independent presses.
Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home near Toronto.
Michael Mirolla in The Photographer in Search of Death tells us stories that blend the explicable with the inexplicable. As if a camel were actually passing through the eye of a needle, these stories pass what is commonplace through a hyper-realistic lens into the utterly mysterious. Houses have rooms that appear and disappear. Very real objects, invaded by an unbelievable force, become believably unreal. Streets filled with everyday individuals become— in our modern technological environment— ultra ordinary. What we wish to avoid becomes unavoidable. This is a world beyond the merely “magical”— this is a binary world of becoming.
February 8, 2018
Dawna Proudman’s collection of poems, Elements of Grace, was published by Brucedale Press. A member of the League of Canadian Poets, she is co-founder of the Words Aloud Spoken Word Festival, and founder of The Highway Four Writers’ Group in Grey County. For the past several years she has organized The Words Abound Poetry Readings at The Barrie Manor in Barrie, featuring local and visiting poets from across the province. The editor of two books for Brucedale Press: Strong in My Skin and Saugeen Stories, her novella (The Robber Crab) was a runner up in Malahat Review’s Novella Contest. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various publications across Canada. She has facilitated writing workshops, encouraging word play and the power of self-expression for all ages since 1993. Dawna revels in the great cumulative creative energy experienced in workshops and has attended as many as she could possibly fit in over the years, including a week with Lisa Moore at Piper’s Frith. Born in Ottawa, she has lived in Dawson City, Toronto, Grey County and now rural Oro-Medonte, Ontario.
Liisa Kovala is a Finnish-Canadian teacher and writer living in Sudbury, Ontario. She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, Canadian Authors’ Association and Sudbury Writers’ Guild. A graduate of University of Toronto’s Creative Writing program, Liisa has published fiction and creative non-fiction pieces in several publications and anthologies, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada and Christmas in Canada, Along the 46th, CommuterLit, and Creepy Capreol. Her family memoir Surviving Stutthof: My Father’s Memories Behind the Death Gate was published by Latitude 46 Publishing in September 2017. She is currently working on a novel.
January 11, 2018
Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, teacher and psychotherapist. She teaches writing through workshops in the community, in college continuing education programs, and in social services settings. She writes and has won awards for her YA novel, short stories, poems and non-fiction. Two of her poems were longlisted in the 2015 Montreal Poetry Prize and another poem was shortlisted for this year’s Vallum Poetry Prize.
She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for thirteen years, a program for which she received the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.
She leads professional training for Amherst Writers International and the Toronto Writers Collective and is the Executive Director of Amherst Writers Canada.
She is past president of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR), a regional writer’s organization of 350 members, and also past vice-chair of the national organization Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP) (the Canadian version of the AWP).
Learn more about her here: http://inkslingers.ca
James Dewar is a publisher, producer, teacher, writer and editor.
He has performed his work live on CBC Radio, Rogers TV, several radio stations and at numerous poetry readings in Canada and abroad.
As the publisher of Piquant Press he has edited and published over a dozen books and co-edited six poetry anthologies. Through his other small press, Stone’s Throw Publications, he has guided scores of poets in the editing, design and printing of poetry collections and chapbooks.
James also teaches poetry and fiction workshops (www.inkslingers.ca) throughout the Metropolitan Toronto area and internationally. He has been awarded the Teaching Excellence Certificate by Durham College for his Advanced Creative Writing classes. Over the last ten years he has helped judge writing and poetry contests for the League of Canadian Poets, Ontario Writers Conference, Canadian Authors Association and other writing organizations.
His poetry and short fiction have been published in several anthologies and literary journals. The Garden in the Machine, his first book of poetry, was published in 2007 by Hidden Brook Press. He is currently finishing a novel and refining a new book of poetry. His short story, Strychnine Blues, is featured in That Dammed Beaver, a collection of Canadian Humour, Laughs and Gaffs from Exile Editions. (Edited by Bruce Meyer)
Learn more about him here: http://inkslingers.ca