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Gazette reviewer Ian McGillis discusses the art of storytelling in his review of Lorne Elliott’s The Goat in the Tree

For the Saturday issue of The Gazette, Ian McGillis discussed the books of long-time storytellers Jean-Claude Germain and Lorne Elliott. Elliott, whose storytelling days go back to the ten years he spent as the host of CBC Radio’s Madly Off In All Directions, has become something of a literary force in Montreal. His first novel, Beach Reading, was shortlisted for a Quebec Writers’ Federation award and his second novel, published by Guernica Editions in the spring, has been garnering media attention for its vivid descriptions and creativity.

In his review, Ian MCgillis talks about the ethics involved in the art of storytelling: “what, for example, is the difference between spinning a tale and simply lying?” This is a dilema The Goat in the Tree explores as Max the narrator tramps his way through Morrocco with little other than his gift for weaving stories to get him to his next meal or hotel stay. Max, McGillis points out, goes to both extremes of the storytelling range of ethics. Despite this, McGillis affirms that he does remain a sympathetic character in an evocative story.

The Goat in the TreeLorne Elliott is a musician, comedian, playwright, and novelist. He has written and performed in numerous plays and shows in various media. His latest musical play, Jamie Rowsell Lives, won the 2012 Playwrights Guild of Canada Award for Best Musical. He is the author of a novella, The Fixer-Upper, and of the novel Beach Reading.

The Goat in the Tree is available on the Guernica Editions website at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550718102

 

For the full review, you can visit The Gazette website at: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/books/McGillis+Jean+Claude+Germain+tears+down+walls/10042038/story.html. (Lorne Elliott’s The Goat in the Tree is reviewed on page 2)

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This Friday: A Special Night of Classic Country and Urban Blues with Joseph Maviglia and On the Dial

Joseph Maviglia and On the Dial will be offering a night of classic country and urban blues at the Free Time Cafe this Friday, July 25th. Singer-Songwriter Joseph Maviglia will be performing works from his two critically-acclaimed CDs: Memory to Steel’ and Angel in the Rain. In addition, Maviglia’s performance will also include a short reading from his recent collection of cultural essays, Critics Who Know Jack, which was published by Guernica Editions this spring.

9781550718379_largeCritics Who Know Jack: Urban Myths, Media and Rock & Roll is a collection of essays, memoirs and critiques on subjects ranging from TV programming, film and literature to rock journalism, with commentary on the interpretation of artistic expression across conventional and social media. From Feng-Shui to conspiracy theory, Maviglia debunks the rise of faddishness and new age trends that undervalue primary sources in music, literature, theatre, film, and urban living.

On the Dial are a new incarnation of something old; band members Matt Ballantyne, Sam Munroe, David Ballantyne, and Simon Mancuso offer up the classics of yesteryear with their own unique spin.

When: Friday, July 25th at 8:00 p.m
Where: Free Times Cafe 320 College Street (West of Spadina)
Admission: Free. (A small donation of $6.00 is suggested.)

To buy your copy of Critics who Know Jack, visit our website at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550718379

View Joseph’s video ‘One by One’ at www.reverbnation.com/josephmaviglia

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George Elliott Clarke Featured in the Shab-e She’r Poetry Night

Doors open at 6:15, sign-up for open mic starts at 6:30 and the Shab-e She’r Poetry Night starts at 7pm. The reading, taking place in the beautiful Beit Zatoun, will be hosted by Bänoo Zan and will feature performances by poet Giovanna Riccio (author of Vittorio and Strong Bread) and Guernica author George Elliott Clarke.

George Elliott Clarke croppedGeorge Elliott Clarke is the author of many books of poetry, including Illicit Sonnets, published by Guernica Editions in 2013. He won The Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2001 for Execution Poems. His classic verse-novel, Whylah Falls (1990) was selected in the CBC’s national poll, Canada Reads, in 2002. George Elliott Clarke is the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. He has taught at different universities, including Duke University, North Carolina, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, Mount Allison University and Harvard University. He has also worked as a researcher, editor, social worker, parliamentary aide, and newspaper columnist. His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement, the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize, the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry, appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia, appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer, and eight honorary doctorates.

Beit Zatoun (translated as “House of Olive”) is a gallery and performance space for the justice and human rights community in Toronto. It aims to raise awareness and create greater understanding as ultimate means to peace through art and culture by hosting exhibits, talks, screenings, plays, music, dance, workshops, and being a resource centre. Although at the core, the question of Israel/Palestine is but one intersection point of many struggles and human dimensions. Beit Zatoun invites and welcomes all communities resisting oppression and affirming the rights of individuals to live in dignity and freedom.

Where: Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street, Toronto, ON
When: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 6:30pm – 9:30pm. Doors open: 6:15 p.m. Sign-up for the open mic: 6:30 p.m. Start time: 7 p.m.
Admission: $5

Illicit Sonnets, by Geogre Elliott Clarke, is available on the Guernica Editions website at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781908998064

For More information on Shab-e She’r, you can visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/316017041895481/

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Joseph Maviglia talks Poetry, Criticism, and Rock and Roll with Open Book Toronto

Joseph Maviglia is a Toronto singer-songwriter, poet, and essayist whose work has appeared in journals and media across North America and Europe. This week, Karen Shenfeld sat down to interview him at the College Street haunt, Caffé Il Gatto Nero. In the interview, they talk about everything from the Beats to Frank Sinatra and, of course, Joseph Maviglia’s new book of personal essays, Critics Who Know Jack.

“I felt a need to address critics and their interpretations of cultural forms.” Miviglia tells Shenfeld, “I began writing the book one spring morning as I sipped a good long espresso and walked out to Kensington Market. Lines kept coming into my head and I knew they weren’t poetry or song. They were part of something different.”

Critics Who Know Jack: Urban Myths, Media and Rock & Roll is a collection of essays, memoirs and critiques on subjects ranging from TV programming, film and literature to rock journalism, with commentary on the interpretation of artistic expression across conventional and social media. From Feng-Shui to conspiracy theory, Maviglia debunks the rise of faddishness and new age trends that undervalue primary sources in music, literature, theatre, film, and urban living.

Joseph MavigliaJoseph Maviglia’s tribute poem jazz dharma was commissioned by CBC’s The Sunday Edition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Alan Ginsberg’s iconic poem Howl. His latest CD is Angel in the Rain, and his song Father, It’s Time appeared on the Juno Award-winning compilation The Gathering. His composition, Calabresella/Sooner or Later, is featured in the film The Resurrection of Tony Gitone. His poetry collection, A God Hangs Upside Down, was also published by Guernica in 1994.

 

To buy your copy of Critics who Know Jack, visit our website at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550718379

To read the full interview, check out Open Book Toronto at: http://www.openbooktoronto.com/karen_shenfeld/blog/riffs_and_rants_joseph_maviglia_chats_about_his_new_book_critics_who_know_jack_u

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Dane Swan at The Peoples’ Social Forum and 100, 000 Poets For Change

This summer, from August 21-24, Dane Swan will be performing various spoken word and musical sets, as well as teaching workshops as part of the Peoples Social Forum in Ottawa with Dan D’Onorio.

The Peoples’ Social Forum is a joyous gathering with special exhibitions, film screenings, street performances, concerts, games, and a pow-wow all focused on building new relationships and stimulating debate, discussion and furthering our sense of community and collective action.

When: August 21-24
Where: University of Ottawa, 550 Cumberland St, Ottawa, ON

In September, Dane Swan will also take part of the 100,000 poets for change event at Toronto’s Black Swan on September 27th from 7-11

For more information about the People’s Social Forum, you can visit their site at: http://www.peoplessocialforum.org/home/

Bending the ContinuumIf you would like to learn more about 100, 000 Poets for Social Change, you can visit the Toronto page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/100000-Poets-For-Change-Toronto/266366096710586?sk=timeline

Dane Swan’s collection, Bending the Continuum, is available on the Guernica Editions site at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550713398

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Dane Swan at the Lab Cab Festival in Parkdale

Dane Swan – whose first full-length collection of poetry in print, Bending the Continuum, was published by Guernica in 2011 – will be performing on both July 26th and 27th at 3:00pm. Dane Swan’s performance, Like Water, will be hosted at The Motel as part of the two-day Parkdale festival. Like Water is a spoken-word project that delves into the many genres of spoken-word poetry including dub-poetry, slam poetry, story-telling, and rap, which Dane Swan ties into one unforgettable performance.

The Lab Cab Festival is an annual, multi-arts festival featuring music, dance, theatre, film, poetry, crafts, children’s activities, visual arts and comedy by local artists. Acts range from two to thirty minutes and include a range of expertise in each field. The Lab Cab Festival is free, family friendly and community oriented and takes place in a wide variety of venues in the Parkdale neighbourhood (restaurants, bars, community centres, boutiques, cafés, parks, libraries, hair salons, galleries, churches).

dane swanBorn and raised in Bermuda to a Bermudian father and Jamaican mother, Dane Swan’s poetry can be found on CD, 12′ Vinyl, MP3, in anthologies and in poetry reviews.

When: 3:00pm
Where: The Motel, 1235 Queen St. W, Toronto ON.
Cost: Free
For more information about the Lab Cab Festival, you can visit their site at: http://www.labcab.ca/

Dane Swan’s collection, Bending the Continuum, is available on the Guernica Editions site at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550713398

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Catherine Black Featured in Poetry MashUP as part of Brockville’s First-Ever and Highly Anticipated Literary Arts Festival

This weekend, from Friday, July 11 to Sunday, July 13, Brockville will be hosting its first annual Literary Arts Festival. Authors will be coming in from across Ontario, including Guernica’s own Catherine Black from Toronto.

Catherine Black will be offering a creative writing workshop and will also be reading from her work at the Poetry MashUP, both of which will be held on Saturday the 12th.

Catherine Black’s Creative Writing Workshop is open to the public, free, and no registration is necessary to attend. It will be held at the Brockville Public Library from 1-4pm.

That evening, the Poetry MashUP will be held at the Brockville Rowing Club from 7-9pm. The evening will include poets Nel Coloma and Pat Johnson doing a poetry and music mashup, Kingston poet Ron Chase, Juno nominee (for his children’s song “What’s the Big Idea”) Gary Rasberry, Ottawa poet Collin Morton, and will feature the work of Catherine Black, author of Lessons of Chaos and Disaster and A Hard Gold Thread.
The night will include new and innovative ways of combining poetry, film, and music. Books by the authors will be for sale, refreshments will be served, and all are welcome to attend.

In addition to Catherine Black’s Creative Writing Workshop and the Poetry MashUp, the Brockville Literary Festival will include a poetry graffiti wall, sidewalk chalk art, a poetry and technology tent, and an arts and crafts tent for children. There will also be a meet the authors event on King’s street.

Catherine BlackCatherine Black is an Assistant Professor of writing at OCAD University. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s M.F.A. writing program, and her poetry and fiction has appeared in various Canadian and American literary journals including The Fiddlehead, The Harpweaver, Scrivener Creative Review, Rhino, Preling and Palimpsest. Her first book of prose poetry, Lessons of Chaos and Disaster, was published as part of Guernica Editions’ First Poet Series in 2007. A Hard Gold Thread is her first prose work.

 

Creative Writing Workshop:
When: 1-4pm, Saturday July 12, 2014
Where: Brockville Public Library
Cost: Free

Poetry MashUP:
When: 7-9pm, Saturday July 12, 2014
Where: Brockville Rowing Club
Cost: 15$ (price includes 5 tickets for wine bar and refreshments)

Catherine Black’s first book of poetry, Lessons of Chaos and Disaster, is available on the Guernica Editions site at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550712896

Catherine Black’s book, A Hard Gold Thread, is available on the Guernica Editions site at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550713411

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Loddy-Dah Praised for Excellent Energy and Colourful Cast of Characters in Grande Prairie’s Daily Herald Tribune

In the most recent publication of  Alexis Kienlen’s column, Off the Shelf, she praises fellow writer and friend Dolly Dennis on her first novel Loddy-Dah.

“I really enjoyed the energy of the book, the characters and the landscape created by Dennis,” Klienen writes, “The book was lively, and intriguing and I was involved in the story.”

This particular column had a different theme than her previous work in Off the Shelf. Klienen confesses that “I tend to think of this column more as a space where I get to talk about books I like, rather than a place just to give reviews and critiques of books. So this week, I’m going to do something different and talk about two books that I have some personal involvement with.”

In her column, she talks about the novel-writing process, and how she felt having read earlier versions of the manuscript for Loddy-Dah and then seeing that book on store shelves.

“When a manuscript that I’ve read gets a publishing deal, it’s almost as exciting as it is when I publish a book myself. The process takes a lot of work and is time consuming, but I learn a lot about writing as I do it, and I have the feeling of accomplishment that comes from helping someone else.”

Kienlen discusses the importance of early readers, who help an author work through their novel and get it to shine to its full potential. She also mentions how crucial it is for writers to have support during a process that is often filled with self doubt.

Loddy-Dah is the story of Loddy – a young, overweight womanLoddy-Dah – and the troupe from The Garage Theatre that she works with. It tells the story of a brash young woman with a troubling past, and how she grows and is influenced by the people in her life. Against the backdrop of political events in Montreal, starting with EXPO 67 and ending in 1970 with the October Crisis, Dolly and her theater troupe bumble along trough performances, relationships, and their own personal journeys.

Loddy-Dah is available on the Guernica Editions site at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550718317

To read the full column, you can visit Grande Prairie’s Daily Herald Tribune at: http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/2014/07/03/excellent-energy-in-loddy-dah

 

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Cook/Book with George Elliott Clarke at Windup Bird Cafe – July 21, 6:30 PM

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GEC
Join us as one of Canada’s most celebrated writers, and present Poet Laureate of Toronto, George Elliott Clarke, prepares some of his favourite recipes from the East Coast with chef/writer, Sang Kim, and discusses the relationship of food to his writing and life. 
Acclaimed for his poetry, opera libretti, and novel, Clarke has also won laurels for his work as a scholar of African-Canadian literature, a field of study that he has pioneered. His honours include The Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry (1991), The Portia White Prize for Artistic Excellence (1998), A Bellagio Center (Italy) Fellowship (1998), The Governor-General’s Literary Award for Poetry (2001), The National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry (2001), The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award (2004), The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005), The Frontieras Poesis Premiul (Romania, 2005), The Estelle and Ludwig Jus Memorial Human Rights Award (2005), The Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), The William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations (2008), The Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), Appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), and Appointment to the Order of Canada (2008). Clarke has also received eight honorary doctorates. Appointed by Toronto City Council, Clarke is the Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15).

He will also be reading from his latest work of poetry, TRAVERSE (Exile Editions).

Chef Yumiko Kobayashi will prepare a three-course prix fixe menu to compliment George’s recipes.

Monday, July 21st at 6:30pm
Windup Bird Cafe, 382 College Street, Toronto.
Storytelling & 3-course dinner created by acclaimed Chef Yumiko Kobayashi
$40 Adult*
$20 Child*

To book:
Call Windup Bird Café: 647.349.6373
382 College Street (at Borden), two blocks east of Bathurst.
Copies of TRAVERSE, signed by the author, will be available for purchase.
(*This is a pre-paid Event. Does not include HST and Gratuity)

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Dolly Dennis reviewed in The Mosaic

Dolly Dennis

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