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December 15th, 2014 - 8pm

Kate Cayley,
Jay MillAr,
Emily Horne.

Kate Cayley's first collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End, was published with Brick Books in 2013. Her collection of short stories, How You Were Born, came out with Pedlar Press this year. Her play, After Akhmatova, was produced by Tarragon Theatre, where she is a playwright-in-residence, and a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror, was published by Annick Press in 2011. She is also the artistic director of Stranger Theatre, and has written, directed and co-created eight plays.

Jay MillAr is a Toronto poet, editor, publisher, teacher and virtual bookseller. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which are esp : accumulation sonnets (2009), Other Poems (2010) and Timely Irreverence (2013). He is also the author of several privately published editions, such as Lack Lyrics, which tied to win the 2008 bpNichol Chapbook Award. MillAr is the shadowy figure behind BookThug, a publishing house dedicated to exploratory work by well-known and emerging North American writers, as well as Apollinaire’s Bookshoppe, a virtual bookstore that specializes in the books that no one wants to buy. Jay teaches creative writing and poetics at Toronto New School of Writing.

Emily Horne lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She is the photographer and designer for the webcomic A Softer World, and freelance edits books for kicks. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Coast and She is @birdlord on Twitter. She will be reading from The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance.

November 17th, 2014 - 8pm

@ The Abbey



Thank you for voting us Runner Up for NOW Magazine's Best Reading Series in Toronto!

KATIE JORDON is graduate of Guelph University's MFA program in creative writing. Her work has appeared in journals such as Prairie Fire, Carousel and The Puritan. Her debut chapbook, Commentary on a Non-Existent Self-Portrait, was published by Frog Hollow Press in 2012. She lives in Toronto.

ANDY MCGUIRE’s poems have appeared in Arc, Riddle Fence, CV2, Vallum, and Hazlitt.

MICHAEL PRIOR's poems have appeared, or are forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Geist, Lemon Hound, The Malahat Review, and The Walrus. He was the winner of Grain's 2014 Short Grain Contest, and Vallum's 2013 Poetry Prize. His first chapbook is forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press in 2015. His first collection will be published by Vehicule Press' Signal Editions in 2016.

October 20th, 2014 - 8pm



VINCENT COLISTRO's poetry has appeared in various literary publications, including Hazlitt, Geist, The Walrus and The Puritan. His first book is forthcoming with Vehicule Press.

CATRIONA WRIGHT has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including Riddle Fence, PRISM International, Grain, Prairie Fire and The New Quarterly. She was a finalist for the 2014 National Magazine Award for poetry, and a selection of her poems won Matrix Magazine’s 2014 LitPop Award.

PETER NORMAN has published two poetry collections: At the Gates of the Theme Park (Mansfield Press, 2010), which was a finalist for the Trillium Poetry Book Award, and Water Damage (Mansfield Press, 2013). His third, The Gun That Starts the Race, is forthcoming in 2015 from icehouse, the Goose Lane poetry imprint. And earlier this year his first novel, Emberton, came out with Douglas & McIntyre. He lives in East York, home of the Shirtless Jogger.

September 15th, 2014 - 8pm

Laurie D Graham,
Irene Marques,
Harry Giles

September is still summer! Fish are jumpin' and the cornfields grow high... At the Common this month we look forward to welcoming:

Laurie D Graham: Laurie D Graham grew up in a suburb of Edmonton and now resides in London, Ontario, where she is a writer, reviewer, teacher, and editor of Brick, A Literary Journal. Her first book of poetry, Rove, was published in fall 2013 by Regina's Hagios Press and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award.

Irene Marques: Irene Marques is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and currently teaches at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. She is the author of three poetry collections, Wearing Glasses of Water, The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit and The Circular Incantation: An Exercise in Loss and Findings as well as a short story collection in Portuguese Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo (‘Dwelling in the Metaphor of Time’). She has two novels scheduled for publication in 2015: My House is a Mansion by York University/Leaping Lion Books (Canada) and Uma casa no mundo by Sextante Editora/Grupo Porto Editora (Portugal).
Marques’ creative writing explores issues of personal and collective identity, mystical and mythical understandings of self, world and universe, gender, race, class, cultural
syncretism, the Portuguese colonial wars in Africa and the Portuguese fascist regime. Her narratives abound in metaphorical, lyrical and magic-realist ways. She emigrated from Portugal to Canada at the age of twenty.

and Harry Giles, all the way from Scotland: Harry Giles' work is in the spectrum between poetry and live art. He has featured at events from Chill Pill to StAnza to Edinburgh's Hogmanay, won slams from BBC Scotland to Farrago, and is the founder of Inky Fingers, Scotland's most active spoken word platform. His writing mixes Scots and English, and he's interested in oral and experimental poetry that entertains and disrupts. He's been published in Magma, Gutter, New Writing Scotland and many other journals, and in pamphlets from Stewed Rhubarb Press.

August 18th, 2014 - 8:30pm


LAURA CLARKE lives and writes in Toronto. She is a graduate of University of Toronto’s MA in Creative Writing program and the winner of the 2013 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers from the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Her first poetry collection is forthcoming from ECW press in 2015.

E. MARTIN NOLAN writes poetry and non-fiction. He received his MA in the Field of Creative Writing from the University of Toronto in 2009. He’s a poetry and blog editor at The Puritan magazine, where he also publishes interviews and reviews. His essays and poems have appeared in The Barnstormer, The Toronto Review of Books, The Toronto Quarterly, and Contemporary Verse 2. He teaches at the University of Toronto. You might know him as Ted.

PHOEBE WANG is a Toronto based poet, reviewer and educator. Her work has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Canadian Literature, CV2, Descant, Maisonneuve and Ricepaper Magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto's MA in Creative Writing program, and her chapbook, Occasional Emergencies, appeared with Odourless Press in Fall 2013. She currently serves as Outreach Coordinator with The Puritan Magazine and is an Artscape Youngplace Teacher-in-Residence. More of her work can be found at

Artwork credit: Linda Minor

July 21st, 2014 - 8pm

Jill Margo,
Leesa Dean,
Sarah Hanstra


Dear listeners,

A friend recently said to me, summer has only a beginning and an end, and no middle, so make sure your swimsuit & getaway bag are always packed and ready. It's kind of true. And yet - our next edition of readings will be in the sultriest of middle-summer (it does exist!), on July 21st, with three great writers.

Jill Margo is a west-coast ex-pat working on her first novel. She’s been long-listed for the CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-fiction Prize and a finalist for both a Western Magazine Award and The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize. Her in-depth interview with Sheila Heti can be found online at Numero Cinq Magazine. She’s also got a piece in the forthcoming Women In Clothes anthology to be released by Penguin in September of this year. She’s recently launched The Jill Margo Mini-Mag, which is delivered weekly by email and centres itself around writing & the writing life.

Leesa Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program and a professor at Humber College in Toronto. Her work has been published in The New Quarterly, Matrix, The Headlight Anthology, and Minority Reports: New English Writing from Quebec. She is currently in the final stages of editing her first collection of short stories, titled "Waiting for the Cyclone."

Sarah Henstra’s YA novel Mad Miss Mimic will be published by Penguin in summer 2015 under the pen name Magda Prince. She is working on a second book (for adults, this time) about an epic war between campus feminists and frat boys. Sarah is a professor of English at Ryerson University in Toronto, where she teaches courses in gothic horror, fairy tales, contemporary fiction, and creative writing. In 2009 she published the scholarly monograph The Counter-Memorial Impulse in Twentieth Century English Fiction (Palgrave).

June 16th, 2014 - 8pm

Jacob Wren, Joe Hamilton, and Aaron Giovannone

Joining us from Montreal:
Jacob Wren makes literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed and Polyamorous Love Song, a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose. As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created the performances: En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize, the HOSPITALITÉ / HOSPITALITY series including Individualism Was A Mistake and The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and Every Song I’ve Ever Written. He travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art.

from closer to home:
Since moving to Toronto from Montreal in 2006, Joe Hamilton has written two plays for the stage, one performed at Summerworks and one at the Toronto Fringe Festival. He enters these festivals to force himself to write, because he would rather be sleeping or eating or both. At the Fringe this summer Joe will perform a new monologue, Climbing Mount Rumsfeld, a memoir of producing his first play, What They Don’t Know. For the setting of this show, Joe has taken a cue from Spalding Gray, who read his monologues sitting at a desk, which is the best Joe can do. Joe is one-third of Toronto rock beast The Cubadors, but because food is so much more popular than music now, the band may be turned into a restaurant.

Joining us from St. Catharines:
Aaron Giovannone's poems have appeared in journals such as Canadian Literature, Event, Prism International, and Fiddlehead. His first full-length collection of poetry is The Loneliness Machine (Insomniac Press, 2013), and among his works-in-progress is a new English translation of the poetry of twentieth-century Italian writer Sandro Penna. Originally from St. Catharines, Ontario, Aaron has worked at the Università di Siena and lived in Castelliri, Italy. He recently completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Calgary.

May 26th, 2014 - 8pm

Three readers launch the summer issue of BookThug's journal of innovative prose. Come and see:

S.D. Chrostowska is the author of Permission (Dalkey Archive Press, 2013) and a scattering of short pieces in American, Canadian and British literary journals.

Jonathan Pappo is in Toronto. To live currently, he has just finished editing and handing out some issues of the magazine COUGH, focusing on ideas of collaboration. He has been fortunate to be part of Rampike, BafterC, and performances here and there. He is working alongside Zoë Alexis-Abrams on the metaphysical-rural blot series CONTEXT, NA and co-presents a performance series called UHOH with David Peter Clark.

Kilby Smith-McGregor reads and writes in Toronto. She has contributed both fiction and nonfiction to Brick, and published recent stories in Descant and Web Conjunctions. A new essay will appear this fall in The Kenyon Review Online. Kilby holds an MFA from the University of Guelph, where she has also taught creative writing through the Centre For Open Learning. She was recognized by the Writers' Trust of Canada with the 2009 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award. You can hear an excerpt of her fiction at AuthorsAloud.

Also in issue 9, work by Eugene Lim and Thomas Phillips.

April 21st, 2014 - 8pm

@Food & Liquor

ANITA LAHEY is a poet, journalist, reviewer and essayist. Her prose collection The Mystery Shopping Cart: Essays on Poetry and Culture, was recently published by Palimpsest Press. She is the also author of two poetry collections: Out to Dry in Cape Breton (2006) and Spinning Side Kick (2011). The former was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award. Anita is a former editor of Arc Poetry Magazine. Her magazine journalism has appeared in publications ranging from The Walrus and Maisonneuve to Toronto Life and Cottage Life, and has received several National Magazine Award honourable mentions. She authors the blog “Henrietta & Me: People and other wonders found in books” (

D.D. WEST has written a book-length manuscript of fiction: "Army Brat" follows Russel Cooper across ten “dislocations”—through small towns, big cities, military bases, and civilian settings in England, Quebec, Ontario, Europe, the US, Asia—each with a different cast of surrounding characters. The second story, Invincible, recently appeared in The Nashwaak Review. D.D. West has a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and work in ethics. (D. D. West is a pen name.)

MATTHEW J. TRAFFORD’s fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review and Matrix and has been anthologized in I.V. Lounge Nights and Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow. He has won the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction and an honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards, and twice been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Prize. He lives in Toronto, where he works with Deaf college students. The Divinity Gene is his first collection of stories.

March 17th, 2014 - 8pm

GILLIAN SAVIGNY holds a B.A. Honours degree in English Literature from Queen's University and an M.A. degree in Creative Writing from Concordia University. Her first collection of poetry, entitled Notebook M (Insomniac Press, 2012) won the 2013 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Originally from Vancouver, she now lives in Toronto.

JULIE CAMERON GRAY lives in Toronto. She has published in Taddle Creek, The Fiddlehead, Event, Prairie Fire, and Carousel Magazine; as well as Best Canadian Poetry 2012. Here first full length collection, Tangle (Tightrope Books) came out in the summer of 2013.

BARDIA SINAEE's poems have most recently appeared in Arc. He's the proprietor of Odourless Press.

February 17th, 2014 - 8pm

JESSE ECKERLIN's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Antigonish Review, The Puritan, The Week Shall Inherit the Verse, CNQ, and others. In 2012, Frog Hollow Press published his first chapbook of poetry We Are Not the Bereaved. A former independent bookstore owner in Montreal, he recently moved to Windsor, Ontario where he works in literary publishing and is currently hashing out his first novel.

ROBERT EARL STEWART has worked as a newspaper reporter, photographer and editor for the past 15 years. He lives with his wife and their three children in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of poetry, Something Burned Along the Southern Border, was published by Mansfield Press in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for the best first collection of poetry in Canada. His second collection, Campfire Radio Rhapsody, was published by Mansfield Press in 2011. He is currently at work on a novel and has a book of creative non-fiction forthcoming with Biblioasis Press.

SHANE NEILSON is a writer from New Brunswick. He was shortlisted for the 2010 Trillium Poetry Award, got silver in the 2012 National Magazine Awards for poetry, and won Arc's Poem of the Year contest in 2013.

January 20th, 2014 - 8pm

TOM HOWELL wrote definitions for the Canadian Oxford Dictionary and thesaurus entries for the Canadian Oxford Thesaurus before abandoning serious work. He became the in-house word nerd on CBC Radio’s language show, And Sometimes Y, which involved rewriting Fowler’s Modern English Usage as an opera, composing the “Phoenician Alphabet Song,” and other important cultural tasks. Then he took a job as poetry correspondent for CBC’s The Next Chapter. Originally from London, England, Tom currently lives and makes various noises in Toronto.

KATERI LANTHIER holds a BA and MA in English from the University of Toronto. She is a freelance writer specializing in design, architecture and art. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and magazines in Canada, the United States and England, including Descant, Grain, Matrix, The Antigonish Review, Saturday Night, Quarry, London Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly,, and The Acrobat at Her first collection of poetry, Reporting from Night, was published by Iguana Books in December 2011 ( Her poem "The Coin Under The Leftmost Sliding Cup" won the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize and is included in The Best of Walrus Poetry.

KATIA GRUBISIC is a writer, editor and translator. Her work has appeared in various Canadian and international publications, and her collection of poems What if red ran out (Goose Lane Editions, 2008) won the Gerald Lampert award for best first book.

JENNY SAMPIRISI is the author of the novel is/was (Insomniac 2008) and the poetry collection Croak (Coach House 2011). She is the recipient of the KM Hunter Artist Award for Literature.

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