Tag Archives: Art Bar

Reading at The Art Bar on August 1

Hi all!

Things have been pretty quiet this month since the amazing time I had doing my Peripheral Review Instagram Residency. (And by quiet, I mean I’ve been writing lots and trying not to talk so much.) I do have one announcement: On Tuesday, August 1, I’ll be reading at the recent reboot of Toronto’s much beloved, longest running weekly poetry reading series, The Art Bar!

I’ve spoken about The Art Bar a few times before…I’ve attended the series for many years and through various venues, and I pretty much cut my teeth on their open mic. I’ve also been featured at the series a few times already (maybe three, by now?) and always had a blast; I find the series tends to attract a mix of die-hard regulars, well established members of Canada’s poetry community (two of which, Pier Giorgio Di Cicco and Mike Burrs, I’ll be reading with two Tuesdays from now), and curious newbies. This time around, I owe some heartfelt thanks to friend, mentor, and dedicated literary organizer Rob Welch for setting everything up.

If you’re interested in checking out the scene and/or seeing me read, I’d love to see you at the show! Also, you can now (apparently) win $20 at the open mic, if you sign up a few days in advance and best the competition on some relatively unorthodox scoring metrics (which you can find more details about here)…so, I guess that’s cool? Anyway, the reading takes place Tuesday, August 1 at the Free Times Cafe (320 College Street), starting at 8pm, with a cover charge of $5. You can also take a look at the event’s facebook page for more info. Hope to see you there!


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Spring 2016 wrap-up

Hi all,

I’m still reeling this weekend after two great readings this past week: at Toronto’s Art Bar poetry series, and at Coburg’s lay your WORD down! open mic. As always, Art Bar’s readers and audience were diverse and surprising, and I was happy to have lit up at least a few folks’ nights with references to Jay Z, Jackie Chan, and MF DOOM in my reading from Players. In Coburg, though, I couldn’t help but feel like I was the talk of the evening; not only did I find my face on the Human Bean’s window (I just had to snap a pic) along with Wally Keeler’s review of Players, but I also got to make my mark (however temporary) on the “Stanza Room Only” section of downtown Coburg’s sidewalk. It was a strange scene: a group of poets gathering in public, quite late, and with a car pulled up half onto the sidewalk to make a writing lamp of its headlights, all for the ceremony of scratching out a few words in chalk. There’s something inspiring about this that I haven’t quite put my finger on yet. Many thanks, in any case, to Wally Keeler for the photo, and to James Pickersgill for being such a welcoming host.

And now, I feel like the summer is opening up in front of me. Spring is over: Players has found its foothold in the world, and I’ve made some good memories and some good friends over the course of the launch events and readings I’ve taken part in over the past few months. For now I’ll be travelling, perhaps not to return to Ontario until August. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to carve out some new audiences for my work over the course of my journeys (and I know for sure that I’ll be reading from Players on at least a few more occasions over the coming months), but I’ll also be looking, with as much concentration as I can muster, toward the future.





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Upcoming readings in Toronto and Coburg

Hi everyone!

I have two readings to announce, both of which are coming up in just over a week’s time.

First, I’ll be reading at the Art Bar reading series in Toronto next Tuesday, May 31. Art Bar has been one of my favourite reading series for many years (in fact, it was the first series I ever attended regularly), and I’m always more than pleased to read there. At the same time, it’s been rare to hear the series brought up without a touch of melancholy over the past few months, since the Art Bar organizers have announced that it’ll be coming to a close (after 25 years of weekly readings!) later this summer. Despite its problems, I always thought the series did a great job of bringing together poets from different traditions, communities, and generations, and they almost always put together an impressive card. Even more impressive, they did it every freakin’ Tuesday, without fail. I’ll be sad to see them go. But I’m also happy to get a chance to celebrate their accomplishments with them during one of their last shows…and this looks like it’ll be a good one, with Dane Swan and Paulina O’Kieffe (both dynamic performers) featuring alongside me. The event starts at 8pm next Tuesday, May 31 at the Black Swan tavern (near Broadview station). Check out the facebook event page here, and don’t forget to bring something for the open mic!

Second, I’ll be reading at Coburg, Ontario’s monthly open mic, lay your WORD down, next Thursday, June 2. I don’t imagine many of you have a good sense of the small town of Coburg, but I’ve had the pleasure of discovering that it’s a kind of poetry haven in Ontario. The poets and audiences there really blew me away when I visited last year to take part in their T E X T ual A R T ivity visual poetry show, so I’m really delighted to get the chance to visit again as part of my launch tour for Players. If you can make it out , I’ll be sure to put on a good show. You can check out the lay your WORD down facebook event here.

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Players launches and readings, spring and summer 2016

Hi everyone,

As you might expect, I’ve been planning a range of launch events and other readings across Ontario to accompany the launch of my debut poetry collection, Players. Though the book’s official launch date is April 15, these events will be happening on different dates over the next few months.

This is a current list of all the events I have in the works. I’ll be adding more information to these entries as it becomes available.

All events are free to attend unless otherwise noted.

  • Toronto – April 5 – 7pm, Another Story Bookshop – Palimpsest Press Toronto launch with Mark Sampson (Weathervane) and Shawna Lemay (Rumi and the Red Handbag). Refreshments will be served.
  • Hamilton – April 22 – 12pm, Hamilton Central Library – Lunch Hour Concerts with The Caskey School of Music and John Terpstra.
  • Toronto – April 24 – 7:30pm, The Central – The Underdog Poets Academy with dalton derkson and Eloisa Toledo Francia.
  • Guelph – April 27 – 7pm, eBar – book launch with readings by Andrea Perry (launching Rise, Vocamus Press), Allison LaSorda, and the &, collective, and music by Ruth Anna Lindemeir.
  • London, ON – April 28 – 7pm, Brown and Dickson (Novacks Building, 211 King Street) – Palimpsest Press London launch with Mark Sampson (Weathervane) and Dorothy Mahoney (Off-Leash).
  • St. Catharines – April 29 – 7:30pm, Niagara Artists Centre – Blur Blur Blur: An Evening of Multidisciplinary Poetry + Performance (Border Blur Reading Series at In the Soil Arts Festival). Tickets for this event are $10 (or free with an In The Soil festival pass), and are available at the In the Soil Arts Festival website here.
  • Toronto – May 31 – 8:00pm, The Black Swan – Art Bar with Dane Swan and Paulina O’Kieffe
  • Coburg –  June 2 – 7:30pm, The Human Bean – Coburg launch of Players at lay your WORD down, Coburg’s monthly open mic.
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New chapbooks: an erratic sample

Hi all,

I’ve been working super-hard preparing a set of new handmade chapbooks for my reading at Art Bar tomorrow, and they’re just about ready! Copies of an erratic sample are in the teaser picture below (yes, those are completed, bound books).

In the tradition of some of the experiments in small-scale bookmaking I’ve been embarking on lately, an erratic sample contains a variety of unique elements. The books feature a somewhat eclectic collection of recent poems on different tints and textures of paper, including some visual poetry (a selection from my larger Push zine) on translucent vellum. Also, some pages fold outward into triptychs to subvert the codex book’s binaristic tyranny of spreads of two. And, perhaps most obviously, the covers are made out of standard manila file folders.

Twenty copies have been printed. I’ll have some on hand for sale at the reading tomorrow night, and at just about any poetry event you might find me attending.

an erratic sample

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Art Bar feature reading Tuesday, July 22!

Hi everyone!

So, I’ve been waiting a while to announce this, but since the facebook event is up I think it’s finally time: I will be making my triumphant return to the Art Bar poetry series as a featured reader on Tuesday, July 22! I had a great time reading at the Art Bar a few summers ago (when it was held at Paupers Pub) and am excited to come back; more importantly, it’s one of the biggest reading series in the city, and probably the one that most contributed to my first getting involved in Toronto’s poetry scene when I started attending all those years back at Clinton’s. In any case, this will be a big night for me, and I’d appreciate having all my friends and family there to share in the occasion! Also, I’m looking forward to reading some pretty great poetry (and getting some audience members involved in a more experimental segment as well).

The reading will take place Tuesday, July 22 at 8:00pm at the Black Swan, which is on the north side of the Danforth just a few steps east of Broadview (you can check out the facebook event here). Also on the bill for that night are Ricardo Sternberg and Art Bar open mic veteran Zoran Papic – I think we’ll make for a unique lineup!

Along with my performance, I’ll also be featuring a variety of conceptual and experimental zines (described, with a teaser pic, in this post from a few weeks ago), and hopefully a unique sampler zine/mini-chapbook collecting excerpts from various projects on a hodgepodge of types of paper. Poetic manifestos may also be in the cards, though you can always ask me about them even if they don’t make an appearance.

All said, I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

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New video posted from Art Bar reading

Hi again,

This is just a quick follow-up to my last post. As planned, I performed a 20-minute feature set at Tuesday’s edition of Art Bar to a fairly weighty crowd. It was something of an epic night–all of the former leaders of the Art Bar team were in attendance, along with several Art Bar Discovery Night winners from various years. I think my performance hit at a near-perfect balance of humour, gravity, poetic intrigue and sheer weirdness, so I’m pretty happy with it overall.

For those who weren’t there, my friend and fellow writer Miles Forrester happened to shoot a great video of probably the most animated part of the performance, my reading/monologue of “TV’s Jon Dore on Jon Dore and The Jon Dore Television Show.” I’ve posted the video on YouTube, so you can check it out here. Let me know what you think!

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Feature reading at Art Bar tonight!

Hi all,

I meant to post an update about this early, but here it is. TONIGHT (January 31), I’ll be one of the feature readers at this Tuesday’s edition of Art Bar, one of Toronto’s longest running and most recognized poetry series (check out the link for more information and their full schedule). The event will be taking place at 8pm upstairs at Paupers Pub. I’ll be reading alongside fellow features Allan Briesmaster and Souvankham Thammavongsa, as well as the series’ regular open mic segment.

This feature has been a long time in the making. I’ve attended the Art Bar for quite some time, especially last summer, where my frequent open mic performances opened the door for my feature reading tonight. Of course, I’ll still be attending and showing off my stuff on the open mic when I can. Overall, Art Bar is an excellent series–frequent, cozy, surprising and consistently good–and I’m beyond proud to be a part of tonight’s cast.

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