Detail of photo by the Frankfurt School from the Torontoist Flickr Pool..
This week is Freedom to Read Week, a national event that encourages Canadians to value their right to choose what they read, and to recognize the individuals who fight to protect that right. Celebrations against censorship are happening across the country—locally PEN Canada is presenting an evening of readings and performances to promote a new anthology, Writers Under Siege: Voices of Freedom from Around the World. The event will feature Jill Carter, Atom Egoyan, Thomas King, and Clayton Ruby, and happens at the Toronto Reference Library on Friday night.
It’s easy to take the freedom to read for granted, despite the fact that there are still attempts to remove “offending” books from school library shelves—organizers hope we’ll be inspired to fight for the free exchange of ideas between writers and readers. The Freedom to Read website also offers a comprehensive list of challenged books and magazines, so go pick up a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird or Snow Falling on Cedars to properly celebrate.
In other news, Pages Books & Magazines (256 Queen Street West) has just launched a brand new website with a variety of exciting new features for book lovers. Marc Glassman, Pages’ Proprietor, had this to say about the new site in a media release: “We wanted to create a fun place on the web where people could check out some books, enjoy some words and art by—and about—some of our friends, and keep in touch with the amazing events Pages hosts and sponsors.” Phase two of the project promises e-commerce, meaning those of us who suffer from online shopping addictions get a great local indie option. That way we can avoid that place that loves telling us what we can’t read.
Full listings after the fold.
Toronto Literary Listings: February 26-March 5
Tuesday, February 26
The Art Bar Poetry Series presents Elizabeth Bachinsky, Sasha Manoli and Tomy Bewick. Clinton’s Tavern (693 Bloor Street West). 8 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, February 27
Toronto Public Library presents a Literary Lunch with Ken Babstock and Souvankham Thammavongsa. Runnymede Branch (2178 Bloor Street West). 12:30 p.m. Free.
Daniel MacIvor reads from recent works at Hart House. Hart House Library (7 Hart House Circle). 6:00 p.m. Free.
Shari Lapeña launches Things Go Flying (Brindle & Glass). Over Joy (884 Queen Street East). 7:30 p.m. Free.
U of T Bookstore Reading Series presents Gabor Mate and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Friday, February 29
PEN Canada presents Writers Under Siege. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street). 7:30 p.m. $5-$10 (sliding scale).
Tuesday, March 4
This Is Not a Reading Series presents the launch of Sandra Gulland’s new novel, Mistress of the Sun. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen St W). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Crime Writers of Canada presents Lyn Hamilton and Rick Blechta. Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace). 7:30 p.m. $12.
Wednesday, March 5
Rowers Pub Reading Series presents Christopher Doda, Katherine Govier, and Jeanette Lynes. Brass Taps (934 College Street). 7:30 p.m. Free.
U or T Bookstore Reading Series presents Quirks and Quarks and Q & A. Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue). 7:30 p.m. Free.