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The Art Bar Poetry Series is now held in the second floor lounge of 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, we are very comfortable in our new home!


Sandra Ridley
Sandra Ridley's first full-length collection of poetry, Fallout, won the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award for publishing, the Alfred G. Bailey prize, and was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Award. Her second book, Post-Apothecary, was short-listed for the 2012 ReLit and Archibald Lampman Awards. Also in 2012, Ridley won the international festival Of Authors' Battle of the Bards and was featured in The University of Toronto's Influency Salon. Twice a finalist for the Robert Kroetsch Award for innovative poetry, Ridley is the author of two chapbooks, Rest Cure -- and Lift, for which she was co-recipient of the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Her new book The Counting House was published by BookThug in October 2013.

Brazen Lee
Brazen Lee is a ridiculously privileged and blessed body positivity warrior who spends way too much time on Facebook. White. Usually Poor. Survivor. Fat. Babe. Radical Trans-Inclusive Feminist Sex Worker. Vessel of Truth. Do-Gooder. Swimmer. Activist. Cyclist. Questioner. Writer. Artist. Boner-giver. Anti-racist settler living on Turtle Island, trying to get a firm grip on history. She designs brilliantly, makes beautiful abstract art, writes erotica and is working on fictitious short stories. She also writes poetry when she's sad or too angry to form a proper sentence. You can find her on twitter @brazenlee and on her blog:

Andre Prefontaine
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Andre Prefontaine hitchhiked to Toronto with 60$ and a dream. He's the two time Canadian Underground Slam Champion of 2012-2013, and two time Canadian Haiku Death Match Champion of 2011 and 2014 as well as being the 2014 Toronto Grand Slam Champion. He's been published in 'Flicker and Sparkle' the leading North America queer anthology (2012), and will be featured on a documentary about Canadian Slam poetry airing on Bravo in late 2014. He's a showman and a poet that guarantees a spectacle with laughter, thoughtfulness all of which complimented with a quirky wit.


Catherine Graham
Catherine Graham is the author of five poetry collections including the recently published, Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects (Wolsak & Wynn) and the acclaimed trilogy, Pupa, The Red Element and Winterkill (Insomniac Press). Work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Daily (USA), The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Crannóg Magazine (Ireland), Eyewear (UK), Descant Magazine, The Puritan, The Toronto Review of Books, Taddle Creek, The Rusty Toque, Prairie Fire, Room Magazine and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol IV & V. Graham teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies where she won an Excellence In Teaching Award.

Ronna Bloom
Ronna Bloom has published five books of poetry. Her most recent book, Cloudy with A Fire in the Basement (Pedlar Press, 2012) was shortlisted for The Relit Award. Ronna's poems have been broadcast on CBC, displayed on billboard walls, and recorded by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. She hosts writing workshops for health care professionals, organizational retreats, students, artists, real estate agents, and anyone willing. Ronna is Poet in Community at the University of Toronto and Poet in Residence at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Vanessa Shields
Bio coming soon


Cathy Petch
Cathy Petch is a playwright, spoken word artist, performer and musical saw aficionado, She has several handsome chapbooks and most recently published her poetry book "Late Night Knife Fights" with LyricalMyrical Press. She has been published by The Toronto Quarterly, Ascending Aspirations Magazine and Descant. She is a member of "The Dildettes" a queer spoken word/comedy troupe along with Regie Cabico and David Bateman. Petch was a member of both the 2011 and 2012 Toronto Poetry Slam Teams and finished 5th in Canada at this year's individual poetry slam competition. She went to sleep, woke up, then won the National Haiku Deathmatch. Petch is happiest onstage. Find her at

Aaron Giovannone
Aaron Giovannone's poems have appeared in journals such as Canadian Literature, Event, Prism International, and Fiddlehead. His first full-length collection of poetry is The Loneliness Machine (Insomniac Press, 2013), and among his works-in-progress is a new English translation of the poetry of twentieth-century Italian writer Sandro Penna. Originally from St. Catharines, Ontario, Aaron has worked at the Università di Siena and lived in Castelliri, Italy. He recently completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Calgary.

Mary Pinkoski
Currently the Poet Laureate for the City of Edmonton, Mary Pinkoski is an award-winning spoken word poet, winning the national CBC Poetry Faceoff in 2008, becoming a Canadian national slam champion in 2011, and placing 3rd at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam in 2013. A storyteller at heart, her writing has been called dynamic and visceral. Mary has presented her unique style of spoken word throughout Canada in numerous live performances and on radio programs including CBC Radio One's Radio Active and The Key of A, and CKUA's The Road Home. When not performing, Mary runs spoken word workshops for youth and adults.


Erin Mouré
Montreal poet Erin Mouré writes poetry and essays, and translates poetry from French, Spanish, Galician and Portuguese by poets such as Nicole Brossard, Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato and Fernando Pessoa. She's received the Governor General's Award, Pat Lowther Memorial, A.M. Klein, and was a three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize. She recently finished Kapusta, a sequel to The Unmemntioable (Anansi, 2012) and further investigation into subjectivity and wartime in Ukraine and Alberta, and is now writing Insecession, an autobiography and poetics that echoes Chus Pato's Secession, which will published together withSecession as one book.

Irene Marques
Bio coming soon

Thomas Hoad
Thomas Hoad is a poet residing in Niagara. He has been published by Ditch Poetry, Full of Crow, and the now late Inscribed ~ A Magazine for Writers. Now, he travels as a spoken word poet. He is the founder of the St. Catharines Poetry Slam where he lead the first St. Catharines team to its first Canadian Festival of Spoken Word appearance (finishing 13th of 27 teams). He is also a one-time representative of the Burlington Slam Project at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam. Thomas finds his true passion in performing in high schools and conducting workshops with students when he's not performing at various slams in the Ontario.

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.