honouring Milton Acorn and Gwen MacEwen
Valentino Assenza has been a published poet and performing spoken word artist for over the last two decades. In that time he has released four chapbooks and performed all over Canada and the U.S. He has also helped to organize some of the largest literary events in the city as he has been on the committees for both the Art Bar Poetry Series and The Toronto Poetry Project. His first full length collection of poetry Through Painted Eyes (Piquant Press) was released January 2019. Valentino is currently the co-host and co-producer for a literary radio show on CIUT 89.5FM called HOWL, where he has interviewed names such as George Elliott Clarke, Anne Michaels, Denise Donlon, Sook-Yin Lee Ron Sexsmith, and Margaret Atwood.
Allan Briesmaster has been active on the Toronto-area literary scene for many years as a readings organizer and later as an editor and publisher. His eighth book, The Long Bond: Selected and New Poems, is forthcoming this fall from Guernica Editions. He has read his poetry in venues across Canada.
The fourth Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-2015) and the seventh Parliamentary/ Canadian Poet Laureate (2016-2017), George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, NS in 1960. A pioneering scholar of African-Canadian literature at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke, McGill, and Harvard. A prized poet, his books have appeared in Chinese, Italian, and Romanian.
Luciano Iacobelli is a Toronto poet and publisher. He is the owner and manager of two presses, Quattro Books and Lyricalmyrical Press. He has authored six books of poetry and numerous limited edition chapbooks. His most recent book, published December 2018, is entitled Dolor Midnight and deals with the subjects of chance and gambling.
Annie Wong is a writer and multidisciplinary artist working in performance and installation. Using soundwork, fire, and poetry, her current research explores embodied and affective knowledge from the anger of BIPOC feminist histories and the melancholy of diasporic hauntologies. Wong has presented across North America, including at the Gardiner Museum, Studio XX, Third Space, and Intersite: Visual Arts Festival. She has held residencies at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Khyber Centre for the Arts, and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Her upcoming solo exhibition, To my past and future ancestors, will be presented at Open Source Gallery in New York from July - August 2019. Wong’s literary practice includes poetry, art writing, and non-fiction. Her writing can be found in C Magazine, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Canadian Art, Performance Research Journal (UK), and MICE Magazine.