Meet Doyali Islam: Winner of 2019 Battle of the Bards

Doyali Islam at the 2019 PoetryNOW: 11th Annual Battle of the Bards

On April 3, we hosted PoetryNOW: 11th Annual Battle of the Bards, featuring 20 talented poets, each reading four minutes of their work. All poets maximized their limited time and gave us a showing of funny, compelling and beautiful performances. It was a fantastic way to begin National Poetry Month.

All the participants delivered remarkable work, however, it was Doyali Islam who stood out on this day to earn the 2019 title of top bard. We caught up with her to discuss the people she has to thank for her journey so far, the moment she fell in love with poetry and the poet we should all be looking out for.


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5 Books That’ll Give You A Chuckle

photo by Ben White/Unsplash

After a dreary winter, spring is finally here! We put together a list of books that will raise your spirits and make you laugh to celebrate National Humour Month. There's a book for every reader, from contemporary young adult to a collection of essays to witty crime fiction. Hopefully, this list will pull you out of hibernation and belly laugh with a cold iced tea.

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Happy Birthday, Toronto! Five of Toronto’s Oldest Independent Bookstores

This year, the City of Toronto is turning 185 years old and it's looking good for almost two centuries of existence. It's also important to note that Toronto sits on land occupied by Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years which include the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat and the Mississaugas of the New Credit. It's part of the Dish with One Spoon territory, a treaty to peaceably share and protect this land, through friendship and respect. We can't imagine celebrating the city's literary scene without acknowledging the history of the land in which storytelling takes place.

In this special blog post, we featured some of the oldest bookstores who've watched the city change over the years including how and what we read. We also shout out bookstores who represent the feature of bookselling and the people who frequent them! 

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Get to know Canada’s Longest-Running Literary Festival

We polled the staff, and what we love best about working for the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) is connecting with fellow book lovers like you! Many of us had the chance to meet many of you during the 39th edition of the Festival in 2018, by reading your social media posts, and striking up conversations in signing lines, in the Festival Hub and just before the authors hit the stage. Now, we’re hoping this post will help you get to know us a little better–as well as some of your fellow attendees!

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Discussing Body Horror and Inspiring Women with Emily Carroll

The month of March marks Women’s History Month in the United States as well as International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019. An opportunity presented itself when award-winning comics creator, Emily Carroll, joined our upcoming panel event Oh, The Horror of it All, taking place March 13. Why not talk to Carroll about the women who’ve inspired her, her interest in body horror and her upcoming graphic novel, When I Arrived at the Castle, ahead of the event?

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