LitTO: June 17–25
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LitTO: June 17–25

Photo by room929 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
In a literary twist on the current Sex and the City craze, this week the Victory Cafe plays host to Text and the City, a spotlight on four female writers as part of the Fictionista Reading Series. Shari Lapeña, Dede Crane, Linda Leith, and Laura Lush will each grace the upstairs stage this Thursday starting at 7:00 p.m., and we’re told that unlike their Sex and the City counterparts, these four writers are “over Manolo Blahniks and cosmos.”
While we certainly agree that a literary evening of talented female writers sharing stories about sex with wit and sass appeals, Torontoist has to wonder—what exactly is wrong with cosmos and Manolo Blahniks?
The (rather long) ReLit Award longlist was announced last Friday, and it includes some fantastic local poets and fiction writers. Among the hopeful Torontonians are Zoe Whittall, Sky Gilbert, Jessica Westhead, Jacob Scheier, Alex Boyd, and Emily Schultz. The ReLit Awards were founded in 2000 by bestselling author Kenneth J. Harvey as an alternative to the big-money prizes. The ReLits, short for “Regarding Literature, Reinventing Literature, Relighting Literature,” are open to books published by independent literary publishers in Canada.
Zoe Whittall has had a pretty big week. Besides being longlisted for the ReLit, she’s also been announced as the recipient of the second annual Dayne Ogilvie Grant. The grant is given to an emerging gay writer from Canada and is funded by an endowment established by Toronto artist Robin Pacific. It’s no secret that Whittall’s first novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, was published to rave reviews—the novel was chosen as a Globe and Mail Notable Book of 2007 and Whittall was named NOW Magazine’s Emerging Author of 2007. In commenting on the book, one of the jurors stated, “Whittall’s writing is smart, edgy, and clear-eyed. She paints a scene beautifully, slows it down to its essence, and yet keeps the novel’s momentum moving forward. Definitely a writer to watch!” You can catch Whittall at this year’s Proud Voices Reading Series on June 28.
Full listings after the fold.

Toronto Literary Listings: June 17–June 25

Tuesday, June 17
ECW presents the launch for The North End Poems by Michael Knox. Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave). 6:30 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, June 18

The Beguiling, The Toronto Public Library and The Merril Collection launch The World of Steve Ditko, the first-ever biography of the reclusive co-creator of Spiderman. Lillian H. Smith Branch (239 College Street). 7:00 p.m. Free.

Thursday, June 19

Text and the City: The Fictionista Reading Series. Victory Cafe (581 Markham Street). 7:00 p.m. Free.
Friday, June 20

IV Lounge Reading Series
presents Elyse Freidman (Long Story Short, House of Anansi Press), Keith Garebian (Blue, the Derek Jarman Poems, Signature Editions) and Beverly Stone (No Beautiful Shore, Cormorant Books). IV Lounge (326 Dundas Street West). 8:00 p.m. Free.

The Parkdale Project Read
Fun-Raising Dance, featuring Skeets and the Clay Pigeons. Edward Day Gallery (952 Queen Street West). 8 p.m. Tickets: 2 for $30 (available at Parkdale Project Read) or $20 at the door
Sunday, June 22
Launch for LoveDare by Claude La Vertu. Centre for Conscious Living (1311 Queen Street East). 2:30 p.m. Free.