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The mighty spoken word will ignite the night air with razor-sharp work by some of the world’s leading contemporary poets. This is a showcase of the poetry world’s cream of the crop. Featured guests include Esad Babačić, Michelle Brown, Lorna Crozier, Jay MillAr, Julie Morrissy and Gavin Russell. Hosted by Susan G. Cole.
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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.
Originally from Victoria, BC, Michelle Brown lives in Toronto with her husband and three-legged dog Bo. Previously shortlisted for CV2's Young Buck poetry prize and longlisted for the CBC poetry prize, Safe Words (Palimpsest Press, 2018) is her first full-length collection.
Susan G. Cole is a writer, editor and activist. She is the author of two books on violence against women, Pornography and the Sex Crisis and Power Surge: Sex, Violence and Pornography (both Second Story Press) and is the editor of Outspoken: A Canadian Collection of Lesbian Scenes and Monologues (Playwrights Canada Press). Her play, the comedy A Fertile Imagination, about two lesbians trying to have a baby, was nominated for two Dora Awards in Toronto. She lives in Toronto, where she is a political commentator and Books Editor at NOW Magazine, with her partner and has just become a grandmother.
An Officer of the Order of Canada, Lorna Crozier has published a memoir and 18 books of poetry, most recently God of Shadows and The House the Spirit Built. She is the recipient of many honours, including the Governor-General’s Award and five honourary doctorates. Steven Price called Through the Garden: A Love Story (with Cats), her latest nonfiction book, “one of the great love stories of our time.”
Jay MillAr is the author of several books, the most recent of which include the small blue, esp: accumulation sonnets, Other Poems and Timely Irreverence. He is also the author of several privately published editions, including Lack Lyrics, which tied to win the 2008 bpNichol Chapbook Award. Jay is the co-publisher at Book*hug. He also curates Apollinaire’s Bookshoppe, a virtual bookstore that specializes in the books that no one wants to buy. He teaches poetry/poetics at an imaginary institution called Toronto New School of Writing.
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.
Gavin Russell is a spoken word poet from Whitby, Ontario. Since 2012, Gavin has performed on stages across Canada and even into the United States, as a 2014 Capital Poetry Slam Champion, 2018 Toronto Poetry Slam Champion and a member of six teams who have competed at national festivals, including the CFSW Champion and 2018 Toronto Poetry Slam Team. Gavin has spread his words to the wind whenever possible. Gavin looks to explore the mundane in his work and bring joy to the banal things in life.