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LitTO: February 12–20

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Photo of d’bi.young.anitafrika and her son, Moon, courtesy of Women’s Press.
Last week’s literary listings featured a number of events celebrating one man (Michael Redhill, who is likely exhausted and has since gone back to Narbonne, France) and One Book (Consolation). This week the obvious literary picks are two very talented, very different women.
Recent winner of the Toronto Arts Council Foundation Emerging Artist award and one of Canada’s most celebrated young performers, d’bi.young.anitafrika launches rivers…and other blackness…between us (Women’s Press) at Lula Lounge next Monday. There’s nothing this woman can’t do; she has performed, published, and lectured internationally, headlined numerous festivals, self-produced five dub albums, appeared on stage and television multiple times, and has been awarded countless “best of” accolades from everyone from Eye Weekly to the National Post. Her second poetry collection is part of a continuing dialogue on the nature of love, and is being praised as a must-read for fans of dub and feminist poetry. If you’re lucky enough to witness a dynamic performance by this incredible artist you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Even though it’s a week away, Torontoist recommends you buy your tickets now for an opportunity to see sultry screen siren (and voice of Jessica Rabbit) Kathleen Turner. Next Tuesday she’s launching her new memoir, Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love and Leading Roles (H.B. Fenn/Springboard Press) at St. Barnabas Anglican Church. Presented by This Is Not A Reading Series and a mere five dollars, watch as The Toronto Star’s Geoff Pevere engages the gravelly-voiced icon in a revealing conversation. The chat will be punctuated with clips from some favourite on-screen moments. While The War of the Roses and Romancing the Stone are obvious picks, let’s hope Turner’s riveting performance as Chandler’s dad on Friends is also featured. Tickets are only available in person from Pages Books & Magazines—there are no reserves or phone orders.
Full listings after the fold.

Toronto Literary Listings: February 12–20

Tuesday, February 12
The Art Bar Poetry Series presents Mike Freeman and Steve Venright. Clinton’s (693 Bloor Street West). 8 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, February 13
Lads Who Lit Literary Lunch with Paul Quarrington and Dave Bidini. Pape/Danforth Library (701 Pape Avenue). 12:30 p.m. Free (bring lunch or buy for $5).
Aloud: A Celebration for Young Readers presents Jill Murray and Meg Rosoff. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queen’s Quay West). 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Thursday, February 14
This Is Not A Reading Series presents Russell Smith in conversation with Josey Vogels. Smith will launch a revised literary edition of his notorious pornographic novel, Diana: A Diary In The Second Person (Biblioasis), by having a frisky Valentines Day conversation with renowned sex columnist. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Friday, February 15
Diaspora Dialogues presents fiction, poetry, spoken word, drama and music, in conjunction with Keep Toronto Reading 2008. Palmerston Library (560 Palmerston Avenue). 7 p.m. Free.
Saturday, February 16

Toronto Poetry Slam
presents the last slam of the regular season before the semi-finals begin in March. Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West). 7:30 p.m.
Jill Murray and the all-ages launch party of her debut YA novel, Break on Through. Street Dance Academy (160 Spadina Avenue). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Monday, February 18

This Is Not A Reading Series
presents Chris Turner and The Geography of Hope. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West). 7 p.m. Free.
d’bi.young.anitafrika launches her new book, rivers… and other blackness… between us: (dub) poems of love (Women’s Press). Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West). 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 19
Sally Cooper and the launch of Tell Everything (Dundurn Press). Type Books (883 Queen Street West). 7 p.m. Free.
This Is Not A Reading Series presents McSweeney’s contributing editor Dan Kennedy and Rock On: An Office Power Ballad (Thomas Allen Publishers). Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West). 7 p.m. Free.
This Is Not A Reading Series presents Kathleen Turner and Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love and Leading Roles. St. Barnabas Anglican Church (361 Danforth Ave). 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.) Advance tickets $5 at Pages Books & Magazines (256 Queen Street West).
U of T Book Store Reading Series presents Fred Doucette, author of Empty Casing: A Soldier’s Memoir of Sarajevo Under Siege (Douglas & McIntyre, 2008). Robert Gill Theatre (214 College Street, St. George entrance, 3rd Floor). 7:30 p.m. Free.
The Art Bar Poetry Series celebrates Black History Night with host Rudy Fearon. Clinton’s (693 Bloor Street West). 8 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, February 20
Draft Reading Series, in conjunction with PEN Canada, presents DRAFT 3.3 —The Writers-in-Exile Edition. Readings from authors Andrea Hila and Mehri Yalfani of the PEN Canada Writers in Exile Network along with local author Ann Ireland. SOMA Restaurant and Lounge (703 Queen Street East). 8 p.m. $5 (copy of DRAFT included).

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