The Toronto International Festival of Authors has partnered with Toronto’s Union Station once again to bring spirited author readings to Toronto’s busiest commuter interchange.
Hosted by Antanas Sileika, the events will spotlight a select lineup of authors, as well as a “Books On Tour” Library of favourite Festival titles of the past 40 years, which passersby are welcome to take home with them free of charge. Each author will present from their latest book on the topic of “travel” or “journeys” and interact with the audience. The event will take place in the West Wing of Union Station, immediately off the Great Hall at street level.
Esad Babačić was born in Ljubljana. His career in art began as a singer/songwriter for the acclaimed punk band Via Ofenziva. Since then, he has published columns in several newspapers (Razgledi, Dnevnik), was a journalist for Slovene national television and for a while even worked as a writer for a marketing agency. He has published fifteen poetry collections and has acted in several feature films. His poetry has been translated into many languages and has received several awards. Among others, he received the Velenjica – čaša nesmrtnosti award for ten years of outstanding poetic work in the 21st Century. Supported by the Vilenica International Literary Festival, organized by Slovene Writers' Association and Slovene Book Agency.
After a childhood raised on Bollywood, Monty Python, and Jane Austen, Farah Heron self-rejected her writing career before jotting down a single word, despite admitting her ultimate fantasy was to be a writer. But when she could no longer keep the story arcs straight in her daydreams, she started writing a few years ago and never looked back. She writes comedic women’s fiction full of huge South Asian families, delectable food, and most importantly, brown people falling stupidly in love. Prior to writing, she had careers in Human Resources and Psychotherapy. She lives in Toronto with her patient husband, surly teenager, and delightful middle-grader, along with two gerbils, one hamster, one rabbit, and a fish named Silvia. Farah is represented by Rachel Brooks at Bookends Literary.
Doyali Islam's second poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019). Poems from heft have been published in Kenyon Review Online, The Fiddlehead, and Best Canadian Poetry. Doyali has discussed the value of silence on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition; language, form, beauty, and empathy with Anne Michaels in CV2; and the relationship between poetry and the body on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter. She has also been in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Forrest Gander, and you can find their discussion of grief, art-making, and poetry ethics in The Adroit Journal. The poetry editor of Arc and the winner of the 2019 Battle of the Bards, Doyali lives in Toronto. www.doyali-islam.com
Julie Morrissy is an Irish poet, critic and activist. Having lived in Canada and the U.S., she currently resides in her hometown of Dublin, Ireland. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize and selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. In 2016, her debut poetry pamphlet, I Am Where, was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards’ Best Poetry Pamphlet and she was selected as a “Rising Generation” poet by the editor of Poetry Ireland Review. Her work has been published widely in Ireland, the U.K., Canada and the U.S. Where, the Mile End is her first book. Supported by Culture Ireland.
Kyoko Nakajima was born in Tokyo in 1964. After working at a publishing firm and as a freelance writer, she made her debut as a novelist in 2003 with Futon. In 2010 her novel Chisai ouchi won the Naoki Prize. This was followed by the Izumi Kyoka Prize for Literature for Tsuma ga shiitake datta koro (When My Wife Was a Shiitake) in 2014 and the Kawai Hayao Story Prize and Historical Fiction Writers Club Award for Katazuno! (One-Horn!) in 2015. Her other works include Ito no koi (Ito’s Romance) and Chobo zekka (A Magnificent View). Supported by The Japan Foundation, Toronto.
Antanas Sileika is the author of five works of fiction and one book of nonfiction. His first collection of stories, Buying on Time, was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Toronto Book Award as well as serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Woman in Bronze and Underground were both listed among the 100 books of the year by the Globe and Mail, and the latter has been optioned for film. The Barefoot Bingo Caller is his recent memoir. His latest novel, Provisionally Yours, is forthcoming from Biblioasis in March of 20129. Antanas is the former director of the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Samra Zafar is an award-winning international speaker, community leader, scholar, author and social entrepreneur. After escaping a decade of abuse as a child bride, Samra graduated as a top student at the University of Toronto, receiving several prestigious awards and scholarships. Samra now serves as an alumni governor for the university, while pursuing a successful corporate career and running Brave Beginnings, the NPO she founded to support abuse survivors. Her speaking portfolio includes Yale University, TEDx, Amnesty International, ME to WE, Women’s Business Network and more. She lives in Mississauga with her two daughters.