Saturday, July 13, 2019

Fourth Annual Love Poetry Festival

Fourth Annual Love Poetry Festival
honouring Milton Acorn and Gwen MacEwen
Saturday July 27, 2019
5.00 - 7.00p
Queen Books
914 Queen St. E. at Logan Avenue

Michelle Alfano’s personal memoir The Unfinished Dollhouse (Cormorant Books) was selected as one of The Globe 100 Best Books of the Year in 2017. Her novella, Made Up Of Arias, was the 2010 winner of the F.G. Bressani Award for Short Fiction. Her short story “Opera”, on which the novella was based, was a finalist for a Journey Prize anthology. She is currently at work on a novel entitled Destiny, think of me while you sleep.

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.

Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer whose first book Frying Plantain has been recently published. In 2011, George Elliott Clarke recommended her as a “Writer to Watch.” She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University in 2014 and is an alumnus of the 2017 Banff Writing Studio. She is currently working on a young-adult fantasy novel drawing inspiration from Jamaican folklore and Akan spirituality. 

Giovanna Riccio is a Toronto poet whose work has appeared in national and international publications and in numerous anthologies. Her poems have been translated into Italian, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has participated in literary festivals such as Blue Met, The Edinburgh Fringe, and Days of Poetry and Wine in Slovenia and especially enjoyed reading at Seamus Heaney Homeplace in Northern Ireland and The University of Calabria in southern Italy. Giovanna is the author of Vittorio (Lyricalmyrical Press, 2010) Strong Bread (Quattro Books, 2011), and Plastic’s Republic (Guernica Editions, 2019).

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.

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