Past Events

Read below to see who our headlining authors have been so far this year.

Click her to see our Featured Authors from 2017
Click here to see our Featured Authors from 2016
Click here to see who our Featured Authors were in 2015
Click here to see what we were up to in 2014!

April 11, 2019

Johanne Levesque author writerJohanne 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 writerWendy 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.

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 February 14, 2019

poet Bruce Meyer headshotBruce Meyer is author or editor of 63 books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, anthologies, reference books,  memoirs, portrait photographs, and textbooks. He was the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie from 2010 to 2014. He recently won The Woolf Poetry Prize in Zurich, Switzerland, and was shortlisted for both the Gwendolyn MacEwen Prize (which he won twice — 2015, 2016) and the Carter V. Cooper Prize. He has had three national bestsellers: The Golden Thread (2000), We Wasn’t Pals: Cnaadian Poetry and Prose of the First World War (2000) and Portraits of Canadian Writers (2016). The First Taste - book coverHe lives in Barrie where he teaches Creative Writing, Composition and Canadian Literature at Georgian College and at Victoria College in the University of Toronto where he teaches Poetry, Non-fiction, and Comparative Literature in the Vic One Program. His most recent books are The First Taste: New and Selected Poems (2018), a selection of forty years of his poetry, and A Feast of Brief Hopes (2018), a collection of short stories. Over the next eighteen months McLuhan’s Canary (poetry), Down in the Ground (flash fiction), and a Bruce Meyer: Canadian Writer (a study of his works) will appear from Guernica Editions.

poet Keith Garebian headshotKeith Garebian holds a Doctorate in Canadian and Commonwealth Literature from Queen’s University. He is the author of seven poetry collections, with an eighth due to be published next September by Frontenac as part of its Quartet 2019. He was shortlisted for the 2014 Freefall Poetry Award, the 2015 GritLit Poetry Award, and the 2015 Gwendolyn MacEwen-Exile Poetry Award for the Best Single Poem from a suite. In 2013, he was a judge for the Gerald Lampert Poetry Award. One of his poems from his collection Blue: The Derek Jarman Poems has been set to music for choir and instruments by American composer Gregory Spears, and Keith intends to be at the New York premiere in May 2019.

Keith Garebian appears as part of Canada Poetry Tours, supported by the League of Canadian Poets and Canada Council for the Arts. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

Word Up Thursday January 10, 2019

Heather Cadsby poetHeather Cadsby is the author of five books of poetry. The most recent book is Book cover Standing in the Flock by Heather Cadsbytitled Standing in the Flock of Connections (Brick Books, 2018). In the 1980s, she and Maria Jacobs founded Wolsak and Wynn Publishers. Since that time she has been involved with Phoenix: A Poet’s Workshop, The Axle Tree Coffee House readings, The Art Bar Poetry Series among other poetry related activities. She lives in Toronto. Heather appears as part of Canada Poetry Tours, supported by the League of Canadian Poets and Canada Council for the Arts. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

Jeanette Winsor author headshot

Jeanette Winsor writes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Her first novel Molly Chant is currently in submission. She has published journal articles with Green Teacher Magazine, The Catholic Digest, The Navigator, Homemakers Magazine, and DownHome Magazine. Her short stores can be found in Wayfaring: Journeys in Language, Learning and Culture, Unleashed Ink, The Canadian Authors Association CanWrite Collection, and The Antigonish Review. Her scholarly journal articles have been published internationally. Jeanette lives in Angus, ON. She is represented by Olga Filina of The Rights Factory.

Word Up Thursday December 13, 2018

Poet Darrell Epp

Darrell Epp is the author of 3 poetry collections: Imaginary Maps, After Hours, and SinnersSinner's Dance by Darrell Epp Dance. His poems have been published in over 100 magazines on 6 continents. He lives in Hamilton.

Word Up Thursday November 8, 2018

Kevin Craig is an author, playwright and poet. Kevin’s Young adult novels and adult-themed coming-of-age novels: Summer on Fire, Burn Baby Burn Baby, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Pride Must Be A Place, Sebastian’s Poet, The Reasons. Kevin has had ten short plays and two one-act plays produced for the stage. Their poetry, short fiction and memoir have been published internationally. Kevin lives in Toronto, Canada. They are represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.

Marc Labriola writes fiction and poetry. His stories have appeared in literary journals throughout the US. He has been nominated for literary awards including the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories. He lives in Toronto. Dying Behaviour of Cats is his first book.

Book: Dying Behaviour of CatsMarc Labriola’s Dying Behaviour of Cats, the 2017

Klonsky Award winner, is a daring exploration of the dark nights of the soul for Theo Galli, an agoraphobic imprisoned in his own house for seven years. When hurricane Catalina hits and streets are flooded, a leopard escapes from the devastated zoo to take refuge on Theo’s roof, which forces the man to face a media circus fixated on this beast who won’t leave the roof and the man who won’t leave his house. This first novella forces the protagonist and reader to face hidden darknesses of the heart.

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 FragmentsThe Shining Fragments - book cover

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.

Book: Nobody Looks That Young Here

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

Canadian author and poet Bruce Meyer

Photo by photographer Doug Crawford

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.

Click here to find Bruce’s book A Feast of Brief Hopes!

Word Up Thursday May 10, 2018

Canadian fiction writer Irene GuilfordCanadian fiction writer Irene Guilford's book cover, Waiting for Stalin to DieIrene 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 pilot authorKent 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.

Flight Lines Book CoverThe 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 writer author

Photo by Melanie Gillis

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.

author Kateri LanthieKateri Lanthier holds a BA and MA in English Literature from the book cover Sirens by Kateri LanthierUniversity 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

Michael Mirolla author poetMichael Mirolla is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, playwright, and poet. Michael describes his fiction as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction.

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 is an artist, writer, editor and teacher of writingDawna 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 author writer creative non-fiction

Photo Credit: Gerry Kingsley

Liisa Kovala is a Finnish-Canadian teacher and writer living in Sudbury, Ontario. She is a memberSurviving Stutthof book cover 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

Canadian author and poet Susan Reynolds

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:

Canadian author and poet James Dewar

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 ( 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:

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