LitTO: June 6–June 11
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LitTO: June 6–June 11

Photo of Griffin Nominees by
Please forgive! The listings are a day later than scheduled. Blame it on the rain or blame it on The Griffin Poetry Prize. Last night, six of seven poets nominated for The 2007 Griffins—and one actor—read to a sold-out house at the Macmillan Theatre. Imagine: 800+ people clapping ecstatically for poetry, and a standing ovation for lifetime achievement winner Tomas Tranströmer (people wept). Nominee Ken Babstock, who has been the subject of a few interviews this week, told the audience, “If I’m going to be asked one more time by the media if poetry is dead, I’m gonna go postal.”
Ah, heck—here are our predictions, even though the task is impossible: Don McKay wins the Canadian award, and Frederick Seidel takes the International prize. The awards ceremony happens tonight, and we’ll attempt to ask the winners questions more relevant than, “Is that thing about which you’re most passionate dead?” Stay tuned.
THIS JUST IN FROM DAMIAN ROGERS (check out Thursday and Friday listings for details):

I am launching the Tipsy International Poetry Series this week, right on the heels of the Griffin Poetry Prize. There are some very exciting people in town and I wanted to take the opportunity to have a couple parties.

Speaking of excitement about awards, the Trillium Prize winners were announced this week. Paul Savoie and Daniel Castillo Durante were named co-winners for their respective books, Crac and La passion des nomads; Françoise Lepage took the French-language children’s literature award with Poupeska; and Ken Babstock’s Airstream Land Yacht won the English-language poetry prize.
In other news, if you’re a young writer looking for a place to send work and discuss poetry, please feel invited to stop by the Young Poets’ Forum. Yours truly will moderate the discussions, presented by The League of Canadian Poets, this month.
Please see Toronto’s literary listings after the break.

Lit Listings, June 6-11

Wednesday, June 6

TAPESTRY NEW OPERA WORKS presents Wordplay, a festival of libretto readings including the short operas of Opera to Go 2008. The Ernest Balmer Studio, 55 Mill Street, Bldg. 58, Studio 315, Distillery District. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 / $5 students.
LINDEN MACINTYRE/JOHN DOYLE/JAMES CHATTO. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park. 7:00 p.m. $45.
POETRY SLAM. Spoken word poetry competition hosted by Dave Silverberg. Distillery District, 55 Mill. 8:30 pm. Free.
SHIFT POSITIONS. OCAD book launch and readings by Edward Burtynsky, Katherine Morley and Chris Braden. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Queen Street West. 6:30 pm. $5.

Thursday, June 7

TIPSY INTERNATIONAL READING SERIES. Damian Rogers, Matthew Zapruder, Matthew Rohrer read at Type Books, 883 Queen Street. 7 p.m. Free.
BOOKED! festival begins. Barry Callaghan, David Gilmour, Stephen Henighan, and Ray Robertson read from recent and upcoming books. Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre. 7:30 p.m. $10.
TORONTO WRITERS’ CENTRE launches Gothic Calligraphy by Flavia Cosma, presented by George Elliott Clarke, Charles Siedlecki, and Krzysztof Zarzecki. The Toronto Writers’ Centre. Suite 200 at 101 Yorkville Avenue. 6:30pm. Free.
STEALING NASREEN LAUNCH. Farzana Doctor’s novel about queer identities, immigrant life, secrets and lost loves gets celebrated. TASA will be performing at 9 p.m. Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst Street. 7:00-9:00 pm. Free.
CARIBBEAN CANADIAN LITERARY EXPO honours Austin Clarke. Bicentennial Message by the Governor General of Jamaica, with host Dwayne Morgan. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. 7:00-9:00 p.m. Free.

Friday, June 8

PEDLAR PRESS LAUNCH: F O U N D. Release Party for Souvankham Thammavongsa’s new book from Pedlar Press. Cameron House, 408 Queen Street West. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Free.
TIPSY INTERNATIONAL POETRY SERIES. Again, we’ll let Damian Rogers tell it:

7PM-9:30 P.M. $10 ONWARD HO! The divine Sasha Van Bon Bon invited me to curate a night of poetry as part of Buddies in Bad Times Art/Sexy programming, so I decided to throw a crazy circus of a night. It starts early and ends early, so it’s an easy thing to fit in to your busy Friday schedule. If you only go to one event that I invite you to, I would hope it was this one. Matthews Rohrer and Zapruder are reading, as are Toronto poets Ken Babstock, RM Vaughan, Zoe Whittall and Lisa Foad, Kevin Connolly, Emily Schultz, a.rawlings, and more. There will be a “listening booth” where you can tune out the party and tune in the sounds of Coach House recordings by Christopher Dewdney and Christian Bök, as well as sample some of the hot highlights of the excellent Test Reading series. There will be a Reading Tent, where poets will read you a single poem, one-on-one, just to you. Adam Harris is preparing some sexy visual projections, Kieran Grant is creating a raunchy musical soundtrack, and I am your cruise director.

TIGHTROPE BOOKS SPRING LAUNCH. Tell Your Sister, a novel by Andrew Daley and The Animal Bridegroom, poetry by Sandra Kasturi. The Central, 603 Markham Street, between Bloor and Lennox (a few doors up from the Victory Cafe). 6:30 p.m. Free.
WOMEN OF COMICS II SYMPOSIUM. The Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon. Direct Energy Centre. Hall C, 100 Princes’ Boulevard.10 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. $15 for a day pass to the convention.
BOOKED! Continues with a gala tribute to Stephen King, who receives a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Booksellers Association. Chuck Klosterman, Margaret Atwood, and Clive Barker. Hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. John Bassett Theatre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 7:30 p.m. $25.
BOOKEXPO CANADA. Conference: June 8, 9, 10. Tradeshow June 10 and 11. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building.

Saturday, June 9

CBBAG BOOK ARTS FAIR has everything from from Traditional Bookbinding to the Ultramodern Book Arts. St. Barnabas Church, 175 Hampton Avenue at Danforth Avenue (across from the Carrot Common, near the Chester subway station). 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free.
IDIC PRESENTS: SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY READINGS. Readers are Andréa Jarmai, Carolyn Clink, David Clink, Eric Layman, Jaclyn Piudik. Auditorium, North York Central Library, Toronto, at North York subway station on the Yonge line. 2:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Sunday, June 10

BOOKED! Gil Adamson and Clare Clark read from new novels. Spiegeltent’ntavern. Harbourfront Centre. 12:00. Free.
JAMES PATTERSON reads from new novel The 6th Target, followed by an on stage interview and signing. Presented by Luminato and BOOKED! Premiere Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre. 1:30 p.m. $10.