Welcome to Torontoist’s new weekly Lit. Listings of all things bookish, wordy, and between the covers. We want to highlight the “lit” in Toronto’s literary scene: as you, dear reader, may have noticed, a lot of writing about writing is dull, and could be improved with a bit of light.
We are living in a time when major newspapers are folding their books sections, and even alternative weeklies forget their literary pages once in a while. But, as the amazing optimist Leonard Cohen once wrote, “There’s a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” We’re going to crack some spines (of books!), wait for the magic, and try our best to describe the quality of light we discover.
And yes: we are aware that Leonard Cohen is not from Toronto. We wish it were not so, but our city’s new Booked! festival is featuring a musical performance by composer Phillip Glass based on Cohen’s most recent collection of poetry, Book of Longing. The festival has also added Clive Barker, Margaret Atwood, George Stroumboulopoulos, and Chuck Klosterman to the list of celebrants at Stephen King’s Tribute Night. Can you imagine all of these iconic artists sharing a single stage? Maybe you will help us: tickets, which are $25 each, are still available.
Speaking of tickets, do you have yours for the poetry readings by the Griffin Poetry Prize‘s shortlisted poets on June 5 at the MacMillan Theatre? Torontoist will be there.
Please peruse the list of this week’s upcoming literary events after the break, and feel invited to send your own Lit. Listings our way to [email protected]
Unconsidered proposal for the design of Toronto Life Square featuring billboards and jumbotrons with (left to right) Margaret Atwood, André Alexis, Michael Ondaatje, and Leonard Cohen.
May 22 – May 28 Listings
Tuesday, May 22
ART BAR POETRY SERIES presents Governor General Award-winning author Heather Spears, NOW writer Mike Smith and poet/author Carla Hartsfield. 8 p.m. Victory Café, 581 Markham. Free.
CHUCK PALAHNIUK reads from and signs his new book, Rant. 7 p.m. Indigo Books, 2300 Yonge Street. Free.
Wednesday, May 23
GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE. The spring 2007 reading series features Scott Gardiner, Jay MillAr, Richard Scarsbrook, Emily Schultz, and Caro Soles. 6pm. Nicholas Hoare Bookstore, 45 Front East. Free.
CONUNDRUM PRESS DOUBLE LAUNCH. Emily Holton’s Little Lesson in Safety gets launched with a children’s musical, and Catherine Kidd performs spoken word. 7p.m. The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen Street West. Free.
THE END OF THE INTERNET. Organizer Louis Calabro presents Christian Bök, aritst Kevin Parnell, hypnotist/mentalist Dave Curran, visual artist Kristin Trethewey, and music by DJ ROOKS. 9 p.m. The Press Club, 850 Dundas Street West. PWYC.
TOWN HOUSE LAUNCH. Tish Cohen’s new book is celebrated by an interview with The Globe‘s Leah McLaren. 7 p.m. The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West. Free.
Thursday, May 24
HOT SAUCED WORDS features Edward Nixon and Phoebe Tsang, and is hosted by Creative-James Dewar. Check out the great food and art too at It’s Not a Deli, 986 Queen Street West. Open mic sign-up is at 8:15 p.m. and readings begin fifteen minutes later. Free.
Friday, May 25
WHEN THE RAINBOW ISN’T ENOUGH provides a supportive environment for new queer and trans writers of colour and two-spirited writers to share their work, share resources and build networks. The Toronto Women’s Bookstore, 73 Harbord Avenue, 7 p.m.
MOOSECALL# 4: The Moosemeat Writers Group hold their fourth annual chapbook launch bash — an evening of flash fiction readings, door prizes and yummy snacks. Hosted by grumpy Mike Matisko and party-hearty Heather Wood. 7:00 p.m. Victory Cafe, 581 Markham Street. Free.
Saturday, May 26
TORONTO SMALL PRESS BOOK FAIR. The 2007 Spring Fair takes place at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be readings throughout the day. Free, with suggested two dollar donation.
KINGSTON SOLIDARITY POETRY TOUR. There will be two readings: one is an improvised collaboration which includes Lillian Allen and Diane Dawber (the Hub of the Dub, 805 St. Clair Avenue West, second floor, 3 to 6 p.m.) and another showcases a mix of new and established talent from Kingston (Ellington’s Music & Café, 805 St. Clair Avenue West, 8 to 11 p.m.).
Sunday, May 27
FICTICIOUS READING SERIES presents novelist Maggie Helwig (Between Mountains) and short fictioneer Gary Barwin (Doctor Weep and Other Strange Teeth). Readings are followed by an onstage chat conducted by Fictitious co-host Stuart Ross. Snacks and soft drinks are provided, but feel free to bring the beverage of your choice. 7:30 p.m. This Ain’t the Rosedale Library, 483 Church St (just below Wellesley). Pass-the-hat admission goes to the writers.