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 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 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 December 13, 2018

Sky Gilbert is a poet, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, theatre director and drag queen extraordinaire. He was co-founder and artistic director of Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre — one of the worlds largest gay and lesbian theatres — from 1979 to 1997. He has had more than 40 plays produced, and written 7 critically acclaimed novels and three award winning poetry collections. He has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards as well as the Pauline McGibbon Award, and The Silver Ticket Award. There is a street in Toronto named after him. Hes latest novel Sad Old Faggot (ECW Press) was critically acclaimed. Spring of 2018 will mark the premiere of his new opera Shakespeare’s Criminal at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre with music by Dustin Peters.

Book: Small Things (a random selection of anti-essays) 

Small Things is a book of mini-anti-essays, part of Sky Gilbert’s project to dismantle and challenge the rigid classifications of genre, thus challenging 21st century notions of truth. Inspired by Oscar Wilde, Foucault, and the post-structuralist project, the small writings in small things are story, essay, and memoir combined. They question the notion that an essay is necessarily fact, or fair opinion, or even informed opinion, while at the same time challenging the dictum that fiction might necessarily be free of didacticism, or at least, ideas.


Poet Darrell EppDarrell 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 January 10, 2018

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.

Jeanette Winsor

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