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Toronto Lit Up: Changing the Face of Canadian Literature

March 24 at 8:30pm
Toronto Lit Up Banner with Changing the Face of Canadian Literature book cover and "Book Launch Free Wednesday March 24 8:30pm". Includes TIFA, Toronto Arts Council and Guernica Editions logos.

Join Dane Swan on Wednesday, March 24 at 8:30pm to celebrate the launch of Changing the Face of Canadian Literature: A Diverse Canadian Anthology with Guernica Editions. The evening will include readings from Klara du Plessis, Charlie Petch, Dwayne Morgan, Jennilee Austria, Pamela Mordecai, Leslie Shimotakahara, Pratap Reddy, Sennah Yee, Charles C. Smith, Michael Fraser, Danila Botha, Leesa Dean and Daniele D’Onorio.

The event will also be interspersed with excerpts from A Sixfold Path for Expanding CanLit’s Reach, an interview series hosted by Guernica Editions’ publisher Michael Mirolla, and  interviews with Ayelet Tsabari and Dane Swan.

Purchase your copy of Changing the Face of Canadian Literature available from Guernica Editions.

The event has passed. Thank you for joining us!

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Dane Swan headshotDane Swan‘s second book, A Mingus Lullaby (Guernica Editions, 2016), was a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Prize for Poetry, and his first book, Bending the Continuum (Guernica Editions, 2011), was a mid-summer recommended read from Open Book Toronto. A past Writer in Residence for the Open Book Foundation of Ontario, Dane has been short-listed for the Monica Ladell Award (Scarborough Arts). He is an accomplished slam poet and touring spoken-word performer, having performed at Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Rust Belt Regional Slam and Parkdale Arts. Dane is the editor of Changing the Face of Canadian Literature: A Diverse Canadian Anthology.

Special Guests:

Michael Mirolla, born in Italy, and arriving in Canada at the age of five, calls himself a Montreal-Toronto corridor writer (because he spends so much time travelling between the two cities). He’s a novelist, short story writer, poet and playwright. Publications include two novels, the recently-released The Facility, and Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner and finalist for the 2009 Indie Book and National Best Books Awards); two short story collections – The Formal Logic of Emotion and Hothouse Loves & Other Tales; and two poetry collections: the English-Italian Interstellar Distances/Distanze Interstellari, and Light And Time.

Ayelet Tsabari was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. Her first book, The Best Place on Earth, won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her memoir, The Art of Leaving (HarperCollins) was published in February 2019.

Klara du Plessis is a poet residing in Montreal. Her debut collection, Ekke, was released from Palimpsest Press, Spring 2018; and her chapbook, Wax Lyrical—shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award—was published by Anstruther Press, 2015. Klara is the editor for carte blanche, and currently pursuing a PhD in English Literature.

Charlie Petch is an award-winning playwright, musician, lighting designer and spoken word artist. They tour internationally as a feature and also their spoken word theatre show, Mel Malarkey Gets the Bum’s Rush and Daughter of Geppetto. They are a member of the League of Canadian Poets and have been published by Descant, The Malahat, Matrix and more. Lyrical Myrical published Late Night Knife Fights their first collection. Find out more at www.charliecpetch.com or on social media @sawpoet.

Dwayne Morgan, affectionately known as the Godfather of Canadian Spoken Word, has shared his work on stages around the globe since 1993. The author of ten titles and eight albums, Morgan has also been inducted into the Walk of Fame in his hometown of Scarborough, Ontario.

Jennilee Austria is a Filipina Canadian writer, youth mentor, social service worker and the founder of Filipino Talks—a program that builds bridges between school staff and Filipino students. Originally from Sarnia, Ontario, she wandered throughout North America and Europe before finally settling in downtown Toronto, where she begrudgingly learned how to kayak.

Pamela Mordecai writes poetry and fiction for children and adults. Her first collection of short stories, PINK ICING, appeared in 2006 to enthusiastic reviews. In 2015, her debut novel, RED JACKET, was shortlisted for the Roger Writers’ Trust Fiction Award. She and her husband, Martin, live in Kitchener, Ontario.

Leslie Shimotakahara holds a PhD in English from Brown University. Her memoir, The Reading List, was winner of the Canada Japan Literary Prize, and her fiction has been shortlisted for the KM Hunter Artist Award. She is the author of two novels, After the Bloom and Red Oblivion, published by Dundurn.

Pratap Reddy moved to Canada in 2012. An underwriter by day and a writer by night, he writes fiction about the agonies and the angst (on occasion the ecstasies) of new immigrants from India. He is an alumnus of the Humber School for Writers. He has received the ‘Best Emerging Literary Artist Award’ from the Mississauga Arts Council. His work has been selected by ‘Diaspora Dialogues’ for their mentorship programs. He is the author of two published books: Weather Permitting & Other Stories (Guernica Editions, 2016) and Ramya’s Treasure (Guernica Editions, 2018). He lives in Mississauga with his wife and son.

Sennah Yee is from Toronto, where she writes poetry, writes about films, and writes poetry about films. She is the author of the poetry/non-fiction book HOW DO I LOOK? (Metatron Press, 2017). She has a MA in Cinema & Media Studies and focused her research on gendered robot design. Visit her website: www.sennahyee.com.

charles c. smith has written and edited fourteen books. He studied poetry with William Packard at New York University, edited three collections of poetry and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, Quill and Quire, Descant, Dandelion and The Fiddlehead. His recent books include: travelogue of the bereaved, whispers (2014) and destination out (2018).

Michael Fraser has been published in numerous national and international anthologies and journals including: Paris Atlantic, Arc, CV2, and The Caribbean Writer. He was published in the Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013. He won FreeFall’s 2014 and 2015 Poetry Contests. He won the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize. His latest book is To Greet Yourself Arriving (Tightrope Books, 2016).

Danila Botha is the author of two short story collections, Got No Secrets, and For All the Men (and Some of the Women I’ve Known) which was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, The Vine Awards, and the ReLit Award. She is also the author of the novel Too Much on the Inside, which won a Book Excellence Award and was shortlisted for a ReLit Award. Danila teaches creative writing at University of Toronto and Humber School for Writers.

Leesa Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA program and a creative writing instructor at Selkirk College in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. Her first book, Waiting for the Cyclone, was shortlisted for the 2017 Trillium and ReLit Awards.

Daniele D’Onorio is a writer and performer of poetry, songs, plays, and prose. Born in a hospital atop a mountain edge in Veroli, a small city in South-Central Italy, he grew up in Canada and lives in Brampton, Ontario. His writing evades genre and leaves few subjects untouched.


Toronto Lit Up is a three year initiative, spearheaded by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, designed to spotlight Toronto’s writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Click here for more information.

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Toronto Lit Up Banner with Changing the Face of Canadian Literature book cover and "Book Launch Free Wednesday March 24 8:30pm". Includes TIFA, Toronto Arts Council and Guernica Editions logos.
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