CanLit talent showcased in Canadian Writers in Person series

If you have literary aspirations, love meeting talented writers, or just want to soak up a unique cultural experience, don’t miss the opportunity to attend the Canadian Writers in Person reading series beginning tonight at York University.

Now in its 12th year, the series features 11 authors who will present their work, answer questions and sign books. The best news in this stormy economic climate is that the readings are free and open to the public. All readings take place at 7pm on select Tuesday evenings in 206 Accolade West Building.

Miriam Toews reading The Flying Troutmans – Sept. 21
Toews was born in 1964 in the small Mennonite town of Steinbach, Manitoba. She has a degree in journalism and worked as a freelancer making radio documentaries for the CBC, for whom she still writes. The author of four novels – A Complicated Kindness (2004), A Boy of Good Breeding (1998), Summer of My Amazing Luck (1998), The Flying Troutmans (2008) and – one non-fiction book, Swing Low: A life (2000). She has won awards for all her books. Most notably, A Complicated Kindness won the 2004 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was the winning selection of CBC’s Canada Reads competition in 2006.

Jeramy Dodds reading Crabwise to the Hounds – Oct. 5
Dodds lives in Orono, Ontario. His poems have been translated into Finnish, French, Latvian, Swedish, German and Icelandic. In 2007, he held a residency at the Baltic Centre for Writers & Translators on the island of Götland, Sweden. He is the author of Crabwise to the Hounds (2008), which was shortlisted for the 2009 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize. Dodds was winner of the Writer’s Trust of Canada’s 2006 Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award and the 2007 CBC Literary Award in poetry. He works as a research archeologist and co-edits for Little Fish cart Press.

Kim Echlin reading The Disappeared – Oct. 26
Echlin is an author, teacher and documentary writer living in Toronto. She has produced television for the CBC and written for independent producers. She currently teaches at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Echlin is the author of several books, notably Elephant Winter (1998), Dagmar’s Daughter (2001) and the poetry collection Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer (2003). The Disappeared (2009), her third novel, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize.

Moez Surani reading Reticent Bodies – Nov. 9
Surani’s writing has been included in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including Carousel, Prairie Fire, Vallum and Arc Poetry Magazine. He has served as a writer-in-residence for the Toronto Catholic District School Board and curator for the Strong Words Reading Series in Toronto. He was the recipient of a 2008 Chalmers Fellowship Award, which supported a trip through India and East Africa. His first collection of poem’s Reticent Bodies, was published in the fall of 2009.

Nicole Brossard reading Fences in Breathing – Nov. 23
Brossard is a poet, novelist and essayist who has published more than 30 books since 1965, including Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon (2001), Lovhers (Amantes) (1980), Mauve Desert (2006), Baroque at Dawn (1997) and Cahiers de roses & de civilisation (2003), which was nominated for the 2003 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. She co-founded La Barre du Jour and La Nouvelle Barre du Jour, two important literary journals in Quebec. She has won two Governor General’s Literary Awards for Poetry, as well as the 1991 Prix Athanase-David and the Canada Council for the Art’s Molson Prize in 2006. Her work has been translated into several languages. She lives in Montreal.

Dr. Vincent Lam reading Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures – Dec. 7
Dr. Lam is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam and was born in Canada. He did his medical training in Toronto, where he works as an emergency physician. He is a lecturer with the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Lam’s first book, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize and has recently been adapted for television.

Mary di Michele reading Tenor of Love – Jan. 11
Di Michele was born in Lanciano, Italy, in 1949 and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1955. She was raised and educated primarily in Toronto. In the 1980s, she worked as a freelance writer and editor for Toronto Life, Poetry Toronto and the Toronto Star. She is a currently a professor in the English Department of Concordia University in Montreal, where she teaches in the creative writing program. Her book publications include two works of prose fiction, including Under My Skin (1994), a Harper’s Magazine Notable Book for 1994, and eight books of poetry. The poetry collection, Luminous Emergencies (1990), was short-listed for the Trillium Book Award. She has won numerous awards, including the Air Canada Writing Award and first prize for poetry in the CBC Literary Awards. She has held a number of writer-in-residencies, including posts at the University of Toronto (1985-1986) and the University of Bologna (May to August 2003). Her poems have been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Chinese.

Heather Cadsby reading Could be – Jan. 25, 2011
Cadsby was born in Belleville, Ont. and moved to Toronto at a young age. She obtained a bachelor of arts degree from McMaster University and taught elementary school for a number of years. In the 1980s, she helped organize poetry readings at the Axle-Tree Coffee House in Toronto. A co-founder of the poetry press Wolsak and Wynn, she has recently served as a director of the Art Bar Poetry Series. Her work has received several nominations: A Tantrum of Synonyms (1997) was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award in 1998; she won the second prize in Grain magazine’s Postcard Story Contest in 2000; third prize in the The Antigonish Review‘s Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest in 2001. Her books include Traditions (1981); Decoys (1988); A Tantrum of Synonyms (1997). Could be (2009) is her fourth book of poetry.

Michael Crummey reading Galore – Feb. 8, 2011
Crummy was born in Buchans, a mining town in the interior of Newfoundland; he grew up there and in Wabush, another mining town near the Quebec border of Labrador. After completing a bachelor of arts in English at Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld., he moved to Kingston, Ont. to pursue graduate work but dropped out before finishing his PhD. He has taught English as a Second Language in China and worked at the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Guatemala. Crummey is the author of Arguments With Gravity (1996), Hard Light (1998), Emergency Roadside Assistance (2001), Salvage (2002) and Went With (2007) and a book of short stories Flesh and Blood (1998) as well novels – River Thieves (2001), The Wreckage (2005) and Galore (2009). Crummey lives in St. John’s. His stories and poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, including twice in the League of Canadian Poets’ annual contest anthology.

Rabindranath Maharaj reading The Amazing Absorbing Boy – March 1, 2011
Maharaj, the author of four novels and three short story collections, was born and raised in Trinidad. In the early 1990s, he immigrated to Canada and now lives in Ajax, Ont. His books include the novels A Perfect Pledge (2005), a finalist for both the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; The Lagahoo’s Apprentice (2000), which was named a Notable Book of the Year by both the Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star; and Homer in Flight (1997), a finalist for the Chapters-Books in Canada First Novel Award); and the short story collections The Book of Ifs and Buts (2002), The Writer and His Wife (1996) and The Interloper (1995), nominated for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Canada and Caribbean Region – for Best First Book.

Seth presenting George Sprott (1894 – 1975) – March 15,2011
Seth (Gregory Gallant) lives in Guelph, Ont. A graphic novelist, Seth is best-known for his comic strips and graphic novels, most recently George Sprott, which began as a serial cartoon in The New York Times magazineAlso a book designer, Seth has exhibited throughout the world in a variety of group and solo shows. Recently, he was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which showcased the first public display of his model city DOMINION. He is the author of three graphic novels: It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken (1996); Clyde Fans: Book One (2004); and Wimbledon Green (2005).

Canadian Writers in Person is a course offered out of the Cultural Arts & Expression program in the Humanities Department in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. For more details and information, contact Professor Gail Vanstone at