Monthly Archives: June 2014

July 17th Features

John Terpstra and Deena Kara Shaffer


John Terpstra:

John Terpstra
John Terpstra has published nine books of poetry and three of creative non-fiction. His work has been short-listed for the Governor General’s Award, the Raymond Souster Award, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction, Brilliant Falls by John Terpstra and has won the CBC Radio Literary Prize for Poetry, the Bressani Poetry Prize, and several Hamilton Arts Book Awards.

His latest book of poetry is Brilliant Falls, and his publisher, Gaspereau Press, will soon release (fall 2014) The House With the Parapet Wall, a new work of non-fiction.

He lives in downtown Hamilton, where he is self-employed as a cabinetmaker and carpenter.

Deena Kara Shaffer:

Deena Kara Shaffer
Deena Kara Shaffer’s poetry has appeared in many magazines including The Dalhousie Review, FreeFall, Canadian Voices: Volume 2. The Grey Totewas short-listed for the Marina Nemat Award. Currently a Learning Specialist at Ryerson University, Shaffer lives in Toronto.The Grey Tote by Deena Kara Shaffer
The Grey Tote is impressive for its attitude and language–its direct expression of fear, its realization of mortality in the technological labyrinth. The style is direct, spare, hard, clear, but with elegance and significant whimsy.”

–A.F. Moritz


  • Audience Interaction Encouraged
  • Open Mic sign-up 7:30
  • FREE ADMISSION (but we do Pass-the-hat)

    Produced and hosted by James Dewar

    June 19, 2014


    JonArno Lawson and Jim Smith


    JonArno Lawson:

    JonArno Lawson w
    Enjoy It While It Hurts is an edifying miscellany of quarrelsome quips, holiday oddities, benevolent advice, curious thoughts and comically apocalyptic melancholia. This delightful collection of light verse and nonsense poetry written and illustrated by the award-winning, multitalented JonArno Lawson keeps alive the traditions of Edward Gorey, Shel Silverstein and Hilaire Belloc. Erudite, witty and wholly original, Lawson’s wordplay is serious business. 
    Enjoy it while it hurts wJonArno Lawson is the award-winning author of numerous books of poetry for children and adults, including Black Stars in a White Night Sky, A Voweller’s Bestiary and Think Again. A two-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Children’s Poetry, he lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

    Jim Smith

    Jim Smith wJim Smith moved from his birthplace, Niagara Falls, to Kingston in 1952. He started writing seriously in Grade 8 in 1963. His first published story earned him $5 from West Coast Review in 1972. His magazine, The Front, lasted from about 1972 to 1980, and the spinoff Front Press published books and pamphlets in the ’80s by writers like David McFadden, bpNichol, Wayne Clifford and Stuart Ross. Between 1979 and 1998, Smith published about half a dozen books of poetry, plus a number of chapbooks and ephemera. In the mid-’90s he diverted himself to law, and has been a civil litigator for the last decade. His Mansfield books are Back Off, Assassin! New and Selected Poems (2009) and Happy Birthday, Nicanor Parra. He continues to live and write in Toronto.Back off Assassin

    “The strength of Smith’s poetry is in his ability to yoke wildly divergent extremes by sheer force of will, asserting that even trivial preoccupations are symptomatic of larger injustices. In this way, his absurdism constantly points to the world.” — Kirstie McCallum, Fiddlehead

    “After a slow, cover-to-cover exploration of the many canyons of Smith’s memory, one becomes certain that one has encountered an entirely singular personality, the way in which all great poets have found the sacred way to express themselves and no other.” — Spencer Gordon, Dangerous Literature

    “This is not a comfortable book. You won’t find many places to sit and relax, breathe purer air, calm yourself. Smith’s rancor and scornful guffaw can remind one of Jimmy Porter’s verbal tirades in Look Back in Anger.” — Patricia Keeney, ARC

    “Fucking good poet!” — Javier Cercas, author of Soldiers of Salamis