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Dec. 11th, 2017 - 8pm


Hornby Island poet CORNELIA HOOGLAND's Woods Wolf Girl (Wolsak and Wynn, 2011) was a finalist for the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her story "Sea Level" was shortlisted for the 2012 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize and was recently shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Trailer Park Elegy is her seventh book.

MARK SAMPSON is the author of five books: the novels The Slip (Dundurn Press, 2017), Sad Peninsula, (Dundurn Press, 2014), and Off Book (Norwood Publishing, 2007), the short story collection, The Secrets Men Keep (Now or Never Publishing, 2015), and the poetry collection, Weathervane, (Palimpsest Press, 2016). Mark has published many short stories and poems in literary journals across Canada, and is a frequent book reviewer for Quill & Quire, Canadian Notes & Queries (CNQ) and other publications. Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, he currently lives and writes in Toronto.

REBECCA ROSENBLUM is the author of the short story collections Once and The Big Dream, the chapbook Road Trips, and most recently the novel So Much Love, which was both a Globe and Mail and a Quill and Quire best book of 2017.

Nov. 20th, 2017 - 8pm


ADAM SOL’s fourth collection of poetry, Complicity, was published in 2014 by McClelland & Stewart. His previous collections include Jeremiah, Ohio, a novel in poems that was shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium Award for Poetry in 2008; and Crowd of Sounds, which won the award in 2004. He has published fiction, scholarly essays, and reviews for a variety of publications, and last year launched a blog called How a Poem Moves (, which will become a book in 2019.

SPENCER GORDON is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Cosmo (Coach House Books, 2012) and the brand-new poetry collection Cruise Missile Liberals (Nightwood Editions, Fall 2017). He is a co-founder of The Puritan, the decade-old literary journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, EVENT, THIS Magazine, and many other periodicals and anthologies. He lives and works in Toronto.

CASSIDY MCFADZEAN is the author of Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart 2015), winner of two Saskatchewan Book Awards and a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her poems have appeared in magazines across Canada and the US, most recently BOAAT, Canthius, and Poetry is Dead. Cassidy was born in Regina, graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently lives in Toronto.

Oct. 30th, 2017 - 8pm


JAMES SOUTHCOTT is a co-organizer of The Listening Party, a monthly reading series. Currently editing a chapbook, his most recent work can be found in the new issue of Matrix magazine.

Raised in the Ontario communities of Bancroft, Sioux Lookout and Stayner, CHRIS BANKS took his BA at the University of Guelph, a Master’s in Creative Writing at Concordia and an education degree at Western. His first book, Bonfires, received the 2004 Jack Chalmers Award for Poetry and was also shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. His most recent book The Cloud Versus Grand Unification Theory was published this Fall by ECW Press. He lives in Waterloo ON.

JAN CONN has published nine poetry books, most recently Tomorrow’s Bright White Light (Tightrope, 2016). She won a CBC Literary prize and the inaugural P.K. Page Founder’s Award for poetry. She is a member of the collaborative writing group, Yoko’s Dogs who have most recently published Rhinoceros in 2016 from Gaspereau Press. She is also a biologist.

Sept. 18th, 2017 - 8pm


ANDY VERBOOM is from subrural Nova Scotia and lives in London, ON, where he organizes the Couplets collaborative poetry series. His poems have won Descant’s Winston Collins Prize, been shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year, and appeared (or will soon) in CV2, Prism, The Puritan, and Vallum. His first chapbook, Tower, was released by Anstruther last spring. His second chapbook, Full Mondegreens (co-written with David Huebert), was a winner of last year’s Frog Hollow Chapbook Contest. His third chapbook, Orthric Sonnets, launches with Baseline in October. And a long excerpt from his fourth chapbook manuscript, Floor Games, appears in The Lampeter Review this month. He is, obviously, unemployed.

DAVID HUEBERT is the author of the poetry collection We Are No Longer The Smart Kids In Class and a book of short stories, Peninsula Sinking, coming out with Biblioasis in October 2017. David is also the co-author, with Andy Verboom, of the chapbook Full Mondegreens, which was a co-winner of Frog Hollow Press’s 2016 Chapbook Contest. David’s writing has won the 2016 CBC Short Story Prize and the 2016 Walrus Poetry Prize and his work has been published in magazines such as enRoute, The Fiddlehead, Maisonneuve, and Canadian Notes & Queries. David is currently completing a PhD at Western University and working on a top-secret novel about the legacy of the petroleum industry in Southwestern Ontario.

SARAH FELDBLOOM is a writer, editor, audio producer and educator. She’s just completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph. You can find her work in publications including Carousel Magazine, Metatron’s “ÖMËGÄ Blog,” The Puritan's “Town Crier,” The Feathertale Review, The Toronto Star’s “Africa Without Maps” blog, Incongruous Quarterly, Shameless Magazine and more. Right now she’s working on a podcast called The Ocean, and two novels. Where She Was Young looks at the impact of youth culture on Canadian identity from the perspectives of resilient youth characters in each of the thirteen provinces and territories. And Schooled, is about a young artist/teacher who moves to an indigenous community by the James Bay, and becomes immersed in the relationality of trauma.

August 21st, 2017 - 8pm


CHARLOTTE VAN RYN is a writer of fiction based in of Toronto. She is the winner of the 2016 Blodwyn Memorial Prize for fiction and is currently polishing her first novel, Noise.

JC BOUCHARD’s poetry has recently appeared in PRISM international, The Puritan, BafterC, Arc, and 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Canadian Millenial Poets. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Portraits (In/Words Press) and WOOL WATER (words(on)pages press). He hosts a literary podcast called FIRST WORDS and lives in Toronto.

MELANIE JANISSE-BARLOW is a poet and artist. Her first collection of poetry, Orioles in the Oranges (Guernica, 2009), was listed for the Relit Award, and her essay poems, entitled Detroit, were listed in Best American Essays in 2013. Over the past eight years she has published poems, reviews and essays in a variety of anthologies and journals across Canada and the US. She is close to completing her second poetry manuscript, Thicket. Janisse-Barlow works full time as a painter. Her practice includes The Poets Series ( —a popular portraiture series of contemporary poets. She lives between her home in Windsor, Ontario and her wooden boat Kalinka in Toronto, Ontario. Kalinka is the subject of a new memoir, currently underway.

July 17th, 2017 - 8pm


Guest hosted by Takatsu and Alvin Wong of Inspiritus Press.

LINDA BESNER’s second poetry collection, Feel Happier in Nine Seconds, was published in 2017 by Coach House Books. Her first book, The Id Kid, was named as one of the National Post’s Best Poetry Books of the Year. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in numerous magazines including The New York Times, The Boston Review, The Walrus, and Real Life, and been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry 2012. In 2015 she was selected as one of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s best emerging artists. She lives in Montreal, where she is on the editorial board of Icehouse Press.

TAJJA ISEN is a writer and voice actor based in Toronto. Her fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly and Room Mazagine, and has been longlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize. She is currently completing a combined JD/MA in English at the University of Toronto. She has voiced characters on such cartoons as The Berenstain Bears, Atomic Betty, Jane and the Dragon and Super Why!, among others.

AISHA SASHA JOHN is a dancer and poet. Her solo performance the aisha of oz premiered at the Whitney Museum in June 2017. Another iteration of the show will take place at the MAI in April 2018. I have to live., Aisha’s third collection of poems, was published by McClelland and Stewart this spring. Her previous collection THOU (BookThug 2014) was finalist for both the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the ReLit Poetry Award. Aisha has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and a B.A. in African Studies and Semiotics from the University of Toronto. She was born in Montreal.

June 19th, 2017


JOSEPH ANDRE THOMAS is a writer from Victoria, B.C., now living in Toronto, ON. He sometimes reads various forms of prose for the Puritan, sometimes writes, sometimes even presents evidence of this, such as his contribution to "Makes You Want to Talk about Baseball," a joint review of Andrew Forbes's The Utility of Boredom. He is currently working on a horror novel about a young man who turns killer to get himself out of student and medical debt. His dream is that it will one day be a Heather's Pick.

MARK LALIBERTE is a Toronto-based artist-writer-designer-curator with an MFA from the University of Guelph. He has exhibited extensively in galleries across Canada and the USA, curates the online experimental comics site, and edits the hybrid art/lit mag CAROUSEL. Laliberte has had pageworks, poems and other print experiments appear in publications big and small, including Descant, Humber Literary Review, Ink Brick, Lantern, Other Cl/utter, prairie fire, Prefix Photo, Rampike, subTerrian and Vallum. In fall 2017, asemanticasymmetry (a riso-printed remixing of selected derek beaulieu's letraset works) will be published by Anstruther Press.

GRACE O'CONNELL is the author of Magnified World, which was a national bestseller, and her new novel, Be Ready for the Lightning, was published by Random House in early June 2017. She writes a books column for This Magazine and her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies including The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, Taddle Creek, CBC, and The Journey Prize Stories. Grace has been nominated for national magazine awards and the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for her fiction, and she was the recipient of the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award. Grace lives in Toronto, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto and works as a freelance writer and editor.

June 3rd, 2017



Common Readings curates the Word on the Street Toronto Pop Up Tent at the Dundas West Street Festival.

ALLISON LASORDA holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. A recipient of scholarships from the Banff Centre Writing Studio and the Vermont Studio Center, her writing has been shortlisted in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open contest, and has recently appeared in The Fiddlehead, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Brick, and PRISM international. Stray is her first collection.

CARMINE STARNINO has published five volumes of poetry, including This Way Out, which was nominated for Canada’s Governor General’s Award. His most recent collection is Leviathan. Other books include Lazy Bastardism and The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Parnassus, New American Writing, Drunken Boat, Jacket, and Poetry Review. His poetry has also been included in Best American Poetry 2007 and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Toronto, where he is deputy editor for The Walrus magazine.

MARK ANTHONY JARMAN is the author of several books including 19 Knives, My White Planet and Salvage King Ya! He teaches at the University of New Brunswick where he is fiction editor of The Fiddlehead

NICOLE CHIN is the author of the House of Anansi Press Digital Short, “Shooting the Bitch”, which received the McIllquham Foundation Prize for best original short story. Her work has appeared in Joyland Magazine, Room Magazine, The Puritan, Found Press and others with work forthcoming in Toronto Lit Up's "The Unpublished City" anthology. She is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph and is currently working on a novel.

May 15th, 2017 - 8pm



Come for the words and the wine!

Doors: 8pm

CLAIRE KELLY's first full-length collection, Maunder, is available from Palimpsest Press. She has curated a chapbook of emerging Edmonton poets for Frog Hollow Press’s City Series. She lives and writes in Edmonton and is currently working on two new poetry manuscripts, one on moving to Alberta from New Brunswick, and one on contemporary loneliness.


STEVIE HOWELL is an Irish-Canadian writer & editor. A first collection of poetry, Sharps (Goose Lane, 2014), was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. A second book, I left nothing inside on purpose, is forthcoming in 2018 from Penguin Random House Canada. Stevie’s poetry has appeared in U.S. publications including BOAAT, Prelude, Prairie Schooner, The Cossack Review, Gigantic Sequins, & The Best American Poetry site; & in Irish & U.K. publications including The Rialto, The Moth, Southword, & Banshee; & in The Best Canadian Poetry (2014 & 2015), Hazlitt, The Walrus, Geist, & Maisonneuve. Their critical writing has been published in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, National Post, The Globe & Mail, & Quill & Quire. Stevie is the poetry editor at This Magazine & an MFA candidate in creative writing at NYU.

U. S. DHUGA's first book, Choral Identity and the Chorus of Elders in Greek Tragedy, was published by Harvard in 2011. His classical music criticism, literary criticism, and poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Hudson Review, The TLS, PN Review, and elsewhere. Founder and Publisher of The Battersea Review, Dhuga's latest book is a collection of poems, The Sight of a Goose Going Barefoot (March 2017, Eyewear Publishing).

May 1st, 2017 - 8pm



Come for the words and the wine!

Doors: 8pm

The Porcupine's Quill and Common Readings invite you to celebrate the launch of SHANE NEILSON's latest poetry collection, Dysphoria.

Dysphoria is a heart-rending poetic commentary on the pain, anxiety and dissatisfaction that go hand-in-hand with mental illness, and on the complex and emotional interplay between doctor, patient and outsider.

Honoured guest MOLLY PEACOCK will read from her latest book, The Analyst.

April 17th, 2017 - 8pm


Come for the words and the wine!

Doors: 8pm

LIZ ROSS is the author of Kingdom (Palimpsest 2015). Her work has been published in a number of literary magazines, selected for inclusion in Best Canadian Poetry 2013, and longlisted for the CBC poetry prize. She grew up in Victoria and studied creative writing at VIU and UBC. She now lives in Toronto, where she’s at work on a series of personal essays and a book of poetry.

ALLY FLEMING is a poet and publicist for Anstruther Press. Her work can be found in the upcoming CAROUSEL 39, Sunrise with Sea Monsters, This Magazine, and in the chapbook What Happened Was: He Flew (serif of nottingham editions, 2011).

KILBY SMITH-MCGREGOR spent her early professional life making theatre. Her writing across genres has appeared in Brick, Conjunctions, and the Kenyon Review—among other publications—and been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays, and Best Canadian Poetry. She was recognized with the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2010 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her first collection of poetry, Kids in Triage, is published by Wolsak & Wynn’s Buckrider Books imprint.

March 20th, 2017 - 8pm


SUZANNA DEREWICZ is a writer based in Toronto, Canada. She has recently been published on Metatron's OMEGA blog, in Peach Mag, the Minola Review, and (parenthetical) among others, and has work forthcoming in Arc Poetry Magazine. Her debut chapbook Maggie Monologues was released in Fall 2016 by words(on)pages press.

JULIE MANNELL is a writer of poetry, fiction and essays, and an editor at Matrix Magazine. She is the recipient of the HarperCollins/Constance Rooke Scholarship, the Mona Adilman Poetry Prize and the Lionel Shapiro Award for Excellency in Creative Writing. Her work has been featured in the National Post, Toronto Star and Huffington Post, among others. At the moment, Mannell is an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in English Literature and Philosophy. Originally from Fonthill, Ontario, she currently splits her time between Montreal and Toronto.

ADEBE DERANGO-ADEM was called a young Canadian author to watch in 2016 by Canada’s current parliamentary poet laureate, the prolific George Elliott Clarke. A former student of Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka through the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Adebe is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Ex Nihilo (2010) and Terra Incognita. Ex Nihilo was nominated for the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize, while Her most recent book, Terra Incognita, published in 2015, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther award. The book explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings both buried in the grand narratives of history and the everyday experiences of being mixed-race. Poems from the collection were also longlisted for the inaugural Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, as judged by award-winning American poet Claudia Rankine. She is currently an English doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.

February 20th, 2017 - 8pm


Doors at 8pm! 

Come for the words and the wine! 

KIERAN O'BRIEN is a student at the University of Toronto, working on her MA in Creative Writing. She is currently working on a poetry collection about the adventures of her alter-ego Bad Cowgirl- under the supervision of André Alexis.

ROB COLMAN is a Newmarket, Ont.-based writer and editor. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Little Empires (Quattro Books 2012) and The Delicate Line (Exile Editions 2008). In 2015, his chapbook Factory was published by Frog Hollow Press. Colman received his MFA from UBC this year, poems from which have recently appeared in Hamilton Arts & Letters and Poetry Ireland Review.

SOPHIE MCCREESH is a writer living in Toronto. She recently completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Guelph University. She is currently at work on a collection of short stories and a novel.

January 16th, 2017 - 8pm


Come for the words and the wine!

Doors open at 8pm.

CANISIA LUBRIN was born in St. Lucia. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in Arc, The Puritan, Room, CV2, Forget, This Magazine and others. A writing teacher at Humber College, Lubrin enjoys golden apples, is a member of the inaugural Open Book Advisory Board, the Humber Literary Review editorial board and has worked as an arts administrator and community programmer for nearly two decades. She holds an MFA from Guelph-Humber and her debut poetry collection is Voodoo Hypothesis, forthcoming from Wolsak & Wynn this fall.

ANDREW F. SULLIVAN is from Oshawa, Ontario. He is the author of the novel WASTE, a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2016, and the short story collection All We Want is Everything. Sullivan now makes his home in Toronto.

JULIE CAMERON GRAY newest book is Lady Crawford, from Palimpsest Press. She is the author of Tangle (Tightrope Books, 2013), and has previously published in The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Event, and in Best Canadian Poetry 2011(Tightrope Books, 2011). Originally from Northern Ontario, she currently lives in Toronto.

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