LitTO: April 29–May 7
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LitTO: April 29–May 7

Photo by micgormit from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
This week internationally acclaimed author Maggie Helwig launches her new novel Girls Fall Down (Coach House Books) at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (73 Harbord Street). Torontoist is always happy to see local writers using Toronto as a setting for novels, and Helwig doesn’t disappoint. In her rendering, a biological outbreak on the TTC sends the city into a panic, as stricken citizens are collapsing in subways and streetcars all over Toronto. After this past weekend’s public transit chaos, perhaps Helwig’s apocalyptic vision is just what we need to put things in perspective?
Helwig’s reading will be followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by the always charming Zoe Whittall, of Bottle Rocket Hearts fame. It all happens Thursday at 7 p.m.
Lovers of speculative fiction will be pleased to hear that the Toronto Public Library is taking a bold stance against genre snobbery and programming a massive SF reading and workshop series across Toronto until the end of May. Toronto is actually renowned for producing some of the finest science fiction writers the world has to offer, but the city’s general inability to recognize the genre as a valid one means that local talent doesn’t get that much recognition here at home. Foresight: Speculative Fiction in Canada aims to change that.
Scheduling innovative, edgy writers like Emily Pohl-Weary (Strange Times at Western High), Paul Hong (Your Love is Murder, or the Case of the Mangled Pie), Nalo Hopkinson (The New Moon’s Arms), Sandra Kasturi (The Animal Bridegroom), and Kristyn Dunnion (Big Big Sky), Foresight is successfuly revamping genre fiction’s geeky fringe image. It’s a great opportunity to get to know some writers you may have overlooked because they weren’t sanctioned by the literati, and learn a thing or two. You can find the full schedule here.
If you’re interested in something different this evening, the first installment of brand-new reading series Fascination Street will be happening at the Augusta House in Kensington market. Inspired by the likes of Bukowski, Ginsberg, Patti Smith, Antonin Artaud, and Lydia Lunch, this night is looking to establish a platform for spoken word that operates outside of the average literary reading. The evening includes Demian Carynnyk, Sandra Kasturi, Kristen McGregor, Brett Alexander Savory, and others, and kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
Full listings after the fold.

Toronto Literary Listings: April 29–May 7

Tuesday, April 29
Free Speech Reading Series presents Claudia Dey. Tinto (89 Roncesvalles Avenue). 7:00 p.m. Free.
Fascination Street featuring Demian Carynnyk, Sandra Kasturi, Kristen McGregor, Brett Alexander Savory and others. Augusta House (152 Augusta Avenue). 7:30 p.m. Free.
The Art Bar Poetry Series presents Karen Houle, Jerome Paul and Dave Margoshes. Clinton’s Tavern (693 Bloor Street West). 8 p.m. Free.
This Is Not A Reading Series presents Gregory Levey. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Thursday, May 1
Coach House Books presents the launch of Maggie Helwig’s Girls Fall Down. Toronto Women’s Bookstore (73 Harbord Street). 7:00 p.m. Free.
Fitzhenry & Whiteside poetry launch. Hosted by Govenor General’s Literary Award nominee Evan Jones. Bar Italia (582 College Street). 7:30 p.m. Free.
This Is Not A Reading Series presents James Orbinski and An Imperfect Offering. Church of the Holy Trinity
(10 Trinity Square). 7:30 p.m. $5 at Pages Books & Magazines (in person ticket sales only; no reserves or holds).
Monday, May 5
Strong Words Reading Series presents Johanna Skibsrud, Stacey May Fowles, and Laila Haidarali. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Tuesday, May 6
Celebrate Asian Heritage Month with the Toronto Public Library with an event featuring the recently published Reel Asian: Asian Canada On Screen (Coach House Books). Agincourt Branch (155 Bonis Avenue). 6 p.m. Free.
The Art Bar Poetry Series presents Keith Garbian, Gianna Patriarca, and Jacob McArthur Mooney. Clinton’s Tavern (693 Bloor Street West). 8 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, May 7

The Rowers Pub Reading Series
presents Stephen Cain, Gale Zoë Garnett, and Olive Senior. Harbord House (150 Harbord Street). 7:30 p.m. Free.