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The Art Bar Poetry Series is held in the second floor lounge (now called The Social Capital Theatre) at The Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Avenue, just east of Broadview Subway Station. With a great stage and sound system, air conditioning, comfy leather armchairs and a full bar at the back of the room, it's a great place for poetry, and socializing after the show!


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TUESDAY MAY 17- Facebook Event

Kilby Smith-McGregor
Kilby Smith-McGregor is an ex--philosophy student who spent her early professional life making theatre. Writing across genres, she has contributed to Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, Brick, Descant, The Malahat Review, The Puritan and Best Canadian Essays. Kilby won the Writers' Trust of Canada's 2010 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. She works as a freelance graphic designer in Toronto.

Cynthia Gould
Cynthia Gould is one of those artsy freaks - a performance poet, writer, VJ, painter, graphic designer, party instigator, and the singer for the increasingly notorious Toronto glitter garage partyrock band High Heels Lo Fi. She's been on two spoken word tours, twice performed at Word on the Street, was published in Reader's Digest, and The Globe & Mail called her "an off-colour feminist rant poet", to which she disagrees, but giggles. Book her for things at cynthiagould.com & highheelslofi.com

Soraya Peerbaye
Soraya Peerbaye works in the dance field in a collaborative capacity as a producer, curator and dramaturge. With Brandy Leary, Artistic Director of Anandam DanceTheatre, she co-curates Contemporaneity, a new dance series dedicated to contemporary expressions of Asian, African, Latin American, Arab, and Indigenous dance. Peerbaye's first collection of poetry, Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (Goose Lane Editions, 2009), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award; her most recent, Tell: poems for a girlhood (Pedlar Press, 2015), is shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.


TUESDAY MAY 24- Facebook Event

Holly Painter*
A spoken word artist, public speaker, and certified teacher, Holly Painter is passionate about sharing her stories, inspiring youth, and advocating for important causes through poetry. Holly has spoken to over ten thousand students at school and community events across Ontario, has performed at four national spoken word festivals, and is a three-time Grand Slam Champion and Director of the London Poetry Slam.

Patrick Connors
Pat Connors first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was published by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013, and charted on the Toronto Poetry Map. He was literary juror of Big Art Book 2013, a digital project of Scarborough Arts. He was nominated for the 2011 Best of the Net contest, as well as the 2012 and 2013 Fermoy International Poetry Competitions. He recently published in: Canadian Stories; Big Pond Rumours; and Sharing Spaces, a joint project of York University and Antares Publications. Part-Time Contemplative, his second chapbook, was released this year. He is a manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Phillip Crymble
Phillip Crymble received his MFA from the University of Michigan, and now lives in Fredericton where he divides his time between pursuing a PhD in Literature at UNB and serving as a Poetry Editor for The Fiddlehead. His poems have appeared in the 2011 Montreal Prize Global Poetry Anthology, The Malahat Review, CV2, The Literary Review of Canada, Riddle Fence, The Rotary Dial, The New Quarterly, Kiss Machine, Vallum, Arc, and elsewhere. Not Even Laughter, his first full-length collection, is currently short-listed for a New Brunswick Book Award in Poetry.


TUESDAY MAY 31 - Facebook Event

Dane Swan
With a publishing history that spans four nations, the writings of Dane Swan include: poetry, prose, and editorials on literature and popular culture. Bermuda born, with Jamaican heritage, Dane is based in Toronto. A former Writer In Residence for Open Book Toronto, he has also been short-listed for the Monica Ladell Award. He has also read at the International Festival of Authors. Swan's work has been taught in schools, featured in print, online, on vinyl and CD. His first collection, Bending The Continuum, was published by Guernica Editions in 2011. His second collection, A Mingus Lullaby, was launced this Spring by Guernica.

Paulina O'Kieffe
Paulina O'Kieffe is a spoken word artist and arts educator who has been performing and working in Toronto for 11 years. Her poetry, which covers a diverse range of topics from love to revolution, appears in print in 'Guerillas of the Word' and "If I Ran the School." Paulina has performed and hosted performances across the City of Toronto and beyond for the last 10 years. Her performances include performing at the opening for the RUKUS: Anti Racism Anti Oppression Conference for youth held at York University in 2010 and competing in the Toronto International Poetry Slam in 2007 and more recently in 2014.

John Nyman
John Nyman's verse, visual, and conceptual poems have appeared in a variety of print and online publications including Rampike, (parenthetical), Cordite Poetry Review, and Hamilton Arts and Letters. His first full-length collection, Players, will be released with Palimpsest Press in spring 2016. Originally from Toronto, John is currently completing a PhD in Theory and Criticism at Western University in London, Ontario.


TUESDAY JUNE 7 - Facebook Event

Laurence Hutchman*
Laurence Hutchman has published nine books of poetry, including Foreign National, Emery, Beyond Borders, Selected Poems, Reading the Water and recently released Personal Encounters. His book In the Writers' Words: Conversations with Eight Canadian Poets was published in 2011. He also co-edited Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada. For his literary achievement, in 2007 he received the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence, won Ist and 3rd prizes in the poetry competition in the WFNB and given numerous writing grants. He has done more than three hundred readings and workshops in Canada, the United States, Ireland, Bulgaria and China. For over thirty-five years, he has taught at universities in Canada and the United States.

Shane Rhodes*
Shane Rhodes is the author of five books of poetry including his most recent X: poems and anti-poems (2013, Nightwood Editions) and Err (2011, Nightwood Editions). Shane's awards include an Alberta Book Award for poetry, two Lampman-Scott Awards, the National Magazine Gold Award for poetry, the P. K. Page Founder's Award for Poetry and a nomination for the Ottawa Book Award. Shane's poetry has also been featured in the anthologies Best Canadian Poetry (2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014), Breathing Fire II, and Seminal: Canada's Gay Male Poets. Shane is the poetry editor for Arc, Canada's national poetry magazine, and was the 2013 Queensland Poet in Residence in Brisbane, Australia.

Stanley Fefferman
Stanley Fefferman has taught Poetics at York University and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He was featured in 30 broadcasts on CBC National Radio. His editorial work includes Exile Literary Quarterly, Poetry Toronto, and Ayatana Press. Since 2004, Stanley has published 500 reviews of Jazz, Folk, Classical, New Music and Opera in The Live Music Report, Showtime Magazine.ca, OpusOneReview.com, and Bachtrack.com. He is the author of WritingSpace, Captus Press, 1998.


TUESDAY JUNE 14 - Facebook Event

Betsy Warland
Betsy Warland is the author of eleven books of poetry and creative nonfiction. Her best-selling 2010 book, Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing, is a collection of twenty-four essays about writing. The Globe & Mail review wrote "receive an infusion of passion, courage and devotion to the joys, rigours and purpose of the creative life." Betsy will be reading from Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas.

Sarah de Leeuw
Winner of the 2013 Dorothy Livesay Award for Geographies of a Lover, named the best book of poetry in British Columbia that year, and a two-time recipient of CBC's Literary Prize for creative non-fiction, Sarah de Leeuw is the author of five literary books (one forthcoming, 2017) and co-editor of two academic texts (including the recent 2015 Determinants of Indigenous Peoples Health in Canada). Her creative non-fiction essay ("Soft Shouldered") about murdered and missing Indigenous women along Highway 16, published in the literary journal PRISM International, was awarded two 2014 Western Magazine Awards, including Gold Medal for Best Essay of the Year. Having grown up and spent most of her life in Northern BC, including Haida Gwaii, she now lives in Prince George and Kelowna.

Kate Schapira
Kate Schapira is the author of four full-length books--most recently The Soft Place, from Horse Less Press--and eleven chapbooks of poetry. Her prose has appeared or will appear in Loose Change, The Rumpus, and The Toast. Two more books, one a collaboration with Erika Howsare, will appear in 2016. She lives in Providence, RI, USA, where she teaches for Brown University, runs the Publicly Complex Reading Series, and sometimes offers Climate Anxiety Counseling.


TUESDAY JUNE 21 - Facebook Event

Josh Smith
This arts and entertainment gig is one helluva eight-second ride.
One second, Josh Smith is a punk kid from Buffalo -- the next second, he's studying at Harvard. One second he's playing on the same show as the Goo Goo Dolls -- the next second, he's been published by Rampike. One second he's contributed to a Guinness World Record -- the next second, he's coming back to the Art Bar, a series he hosted for over two years.
Six seconds down, and eight seconds make a world champion.

Brandon Pitts
Brandon Pitts is the author of Tender in the Age of Fury (Mosaic Press, 2016) and the popular poetry collection Pressure to Sing (IOWI, 2012). Known for subverting gospel and scripture to create political allegories, Brandon first came onto the Toronto lit scene in 2010 with the short story the BC Crib, published in the anthology Canadian Voices Volume II. In 2011, he was inducted into the prestigious Diaspora Dialogues as an "Emerging Voice" for fiction, followed by the novel Puzzle of Murders (Bookland Press, 2011) and the production of three plays in the 2012 and 13 seasons.

Jacob Scheier
Jacob Scheier is a Toronto born poet and nonfiction writer. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Letter From Brooklyn (ECW Press, 2013) and the Governor General's Award winning More to Keep us Warm (ECW Press, 2007). He is also the author of non-fiction ebook, My Never Ending Acid Trip, published in 2013 by the Toronto Star, which he completed as resident at the Banff Centre's literary journalism program. Jacob has also co-won a New York Community Media Alliance award for best feature article and last year was nominated for National Magazine Award for poetry. His poems, articles and essays have been published widely in North America, including in Rattle and Brick Magazine, His poems have been aired on CBC radio and have inspired a contemporary dance performance at the En Wave theatre in Toronto. This fall, Jacob will be MFA candidate in creative writing at Ohio State University. Jacob was the 2002 winner of the annual Art Bar Discovery Night and a former board member of the Art Bar (2003-2005)







TUESDAY JUNE 28, 2016 - Facebook Event

Join us in poetry and memories at
The Art Bar Poetry Series Retirement Party!
Canada's longest running weekly poetry-only reading series has come to the end of it's run. It has been a wonderful journey, and we thank every single poet who has ever set foot on our stage for making this series so diverse, so passionate, and such a strong fixture in the Toronto arts scene. All great things must end, and it is with joy, not sorrow, that we move onward.

Featuring amazing poets who are running other readings in Toronto!

Sandra Kasturi
Lizzie Violet
Banoo Zan
David Silverberg
James Dewar
Heather Wood
Norm Cristofoli


NOTE - no open mic tonight






The Art Bar Poetry Series is recognized as the longest running
poetry-only reading series in Canada.



* These readers are sponsored by the Canada Council.