Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October Reading

Michelle Alfano is a co-organizer of the (Not So) Nice Italian Girls & Friends Reading Series and a Co-Editor with Descant. Her novella Made Up Of Arias (Blaurock Press) won the 2010 Bressani Prize for Short Fiction. Her short story “Opera”, on which her novella Made Up Of Arias is based, was a finalist for a Journey Prize anthology. Her fiction and non-fiction work has been widely published in major literary publications. She will be featured in a forthcoming documentary on the passengers, and the children of the passengers, of the Saturnia that will be featured on OMNI-TV. She is currently at work at a new novel entitled Vita’s Prospects. 

Diane Bracuk is a Toronto writer whose short stories have been published in Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland. A few years ago, she began visiting Poland to explore her Polish roots, and fell in love with the former communist country. Describing herself as "the self appointed PR person for Poland", she has written travel articles about  the New Poland  for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. This story, "Proper Lighting", is a more personal account of coming to terms with her cultural identity.

Bianca Lakoseljac is the author of Bridge in the Rain, a collection of stories linked by an inscription on a bench in Toronto’s High Park; and Memoirs of a Praying Mantis, a collection of poetry. She has completed a novel, Summer of the Dancing Bear, which explores “the rite of passage” of a fourteen year old girl befriended by a Gypsy clan. Bianca holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from York University. She taught communication courses at Ryerson University and Humber College. She is Past President of the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto, and has served as judge for various literary contests. For more than half of her life, she’s been married to a man with an Italian background, and feels right at home among the not so NICE Italian girls. And it was only through a toss of a coin that her last name is Lakoseljac and not Maggiori.

Karen Mulhallen has just published her poetry book which begins on Toronto Island and moves to Turkey, Italy and then returns in the fourth section to the city of Toronto. The Pillow Books is an extended conversation with Sei Shonagon, a woman in the Japanese Court in the eleventh century. Although a pillow book might be understood as a secret document, by making such a text into a book the author tests the boundaries of secrecy in her search for an audience. It was Karen Mulhallen¹s fascination by this line between the public and the private and by the ways in which a distant culture seemed to be so close to our own that led her to write The Pillow Books.

Cathy Petch writes poetry, plays, articles, books and graffiti. She hosts the Plasticine Poetry Series in Toronto, which is now in it's fifth year. She is a member of the 2011 Toronto Poetry slam team. She has 3 chapbooks and has been published in magazine online and off. Having been raised Catholic, she loves the company of Italian girls and their not so nice ways.

Liz Worth is a Toronto-based writer. She is the author of Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond and a piece of surreal punk fiction called Eleven: Eleven. Amphetamine Heart is her first poetry collection.

And as emcee ...
Giovanna Riccio was born in Calabria, Italy, immigrated to Canada when she was six years old and grew up in Toronto. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Toronto. Over the years, her poems have appeared in newspapers, journals, magazines, and anthologies. She is the author of the chapbook Vittorio, published by Lyricalmyrical Press in July 2010. Her book of poems, Strong Bread, was published by Quattro Books in the spring of 2011 and launched in Montreal in April 2011 in Toronto in May 2011.

1 comment:

Sandra Blair Dowkes said...

I'm trying to contact Diane Bracuk, who was a childhood friend (she knew me as Blair). I might be in Toronto Apr 11-14 and would love to see her. My last name is Dowkes now, I live in Calgary. I'm on Facebook. She can google my name and will come up with a few hits :) Sandra