Guernica Editions is an award-winning independent Canadian publisher of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. For 40 years, Guernica has published books that cross borders and push boundaries. This open reception celebrates the publishing house’s 40th birthday with refreshments, a cash bar and exciting door prizes. The winner of the 2018 Guernica Prize for Literary Fiction will be announced. The celebration will be hosted by Toronto musician, cultural entrepreneur and Executive Director of 918 Bathurst, Daniela Nardi. Special guests include George Elliott Clarke, Joe Fiorito, Bianca Lakoseljac, Gianna Patriarca, Michael Mirolla and Antanas Sileika.
The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17), George Elliott Clarke is a revered artist in song, drama, fiction, screenplay, essays, and poetry. Now teaching African-Canadian literature at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke, McGill, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard. He holds eight honorary doctorates, plus appointments to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada. His recognitions include the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award. Clarke’s work is the subject of Africadian Atlantic: Essays on George Elliott Clarke (2012), edited by Joseph Pivato. Photo Credit: Department of English, Harvard University
Joe Fiorito is a journalist who has worked as a city columnist for the Montreal Gazette, The Globe & Mail, The National Post and the Toronto Star newspapers. He won the National Newspaper Award for Columns in 1995; the Brassani Prize for Short Fiction in 2000; and the City of Toronto Book Award in 2003. He is the author of seven books: Comfort Me with Apples (collection of columns), Tango on the Main (collection of columns), The Closer We Are To Dying (memoir), The Song Beneath the Ice (novel), Union Station (non-fiction) and Rust Is a Form of Fire (non-fiction). His most recent work, The Life Crimes and Hard Times of Ricky Atkinson, Leader of the Dirty Tricks Gang, has just been published. He is married, lives in Toronto and is currently at work on his first collection of poetry which will appear with Exile Editions in 2018.
Bianca Lakoseljac is the author of two novels, Summer of the Dancing Bear and Stone Woman, which relives Toronto’s 1967 “summer of love”; a collection of stories, Bridge in the Rain; and a book of poetry, Memoirs of a Praying Mantis. She is TWUC liaison for the National Reading Campaign, past president of the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto, has judged various national literary competitions, and has served on a number of literary contest panels. Bianca taught at Ryerson University and Humber College. She is the winner of the Matthew Ahern Memorial Award and the Book Excellence Award in Fiction.
Michael Mirolla is the author of a clutch of novels, plays, short story collections and books of poetry. He has been awarded three Bressani Prizes for the novel Berlin (2010), the poetry collection The House on 14th Avenue (2014) and the short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads (2016). “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology; and “The Sand Flea” was a U.S. Pushcart Prize nominee. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, www.michaelmirolla.com
Daniela Nardi has spent a lifetime steeped in culture as an arts entrepreneur, presenter, musician and recording artist. She brings her passion for the arts to her role as the Executive/Artistic Director of 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media & Education. Nardi is Founder/Artistic Director of Salone di Cultura, served as Cultural Director for Toronto’s Columbus Centre and was Chair of Culture for the Villa Charities board. She currently serves on the board of Tafelmusik and the advisory board for the Prism Music Video Prize.
Gianna Patriarca is an award winning author of 8 books of poetry, a children’s book and a collection of short fiction. Her work is extensively anthologized in Canada, Italy and the USA and appears on University courses in all three countries. Her work has been adapted for Canadian Stage and CBC radio drama and featured in numerous documentaries. Italian Women and Other Tragedies, is in its 4th printing, translated into Italian and launched at the University of Naples Orientale and Bologna. Gianna is featured at the museum Pier 21 in Halifax. She is the first recipient of the Science and Cultural Award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce, awarded the Farfalla D’Argento from Rome in 2016, and in 2017 was awarded the Spirit of Ontario medal from the Congress of Italian Canadians. Her collection of short fiction All My Fallen Angelas, was long listed for the Griffin prize in 2016. She has read her work at Yale, Purdue, Paterson New Jersey and numerous universities and cities in Canada. She is currently working on a collection of poems, Time to be Old, and a novel, The Sicilian’s Bride.
Antanas Sileika is the author of four works of fiction. 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. Antanas is the former director of the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He presents The Barefoot Bingo Caller.