Toronto, Ontario

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Harbourfront Centre | 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

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For the past 26 years, The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming. See the lineup of incredible Canadian literary talent at the 27th festival on September 25, 2016.

Patients Are a Virtue: Reflections on Living with Cancer

2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Two authors diagnosed with cancer at very different times in their lives – 37 and nearly 60 – respond to the devastating news through their art. Teva Harrison has turned her experience with cancer into a moving memoir in graphic novel format. Kenneth Sherman, a poet, has documented his experiences within the health care system through eloquent prose. Both delve into the deep connection between illness and creativity. This talk is essential for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer.

In-Between Days

Teva Harrison was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 37. In this brilliant and inspiring graphic memoir, she documents through comic illustration and short personal essays what it means to live with the disease. She confronts with heartbreaking honesty the crises of identity that cancer brings: a lifelong vegetarian, Teva agrees to use experimental drugs that have been tested on animals. She struggles to reconcile her long-term goals with an uncertain future, balancing the innate sadness of cancer with everyday acts of hope and wonder. She also examines those quiet moments of helplessness and loving with her husband, her family, and her friends, while they all adjust to the new normal.

  • Biography/Autobiography
  • Nonfiction

Teva Harrison

Teva Harrison is a writer and graphic artist. Her graphic series on living with cancer was published in The Walrus, and she has commented on CBC Radio and in the Globe and Mail about her experience. Numerous health organizations have invited her to speak publicly on behalf of the metastatic cancer community. She lives in Toronto.

Wait Time: A Memoir of Cancer

Wait Time … is an honest, clear-sighted, humorous and at times eloquent entree into [the category of cancer memoir], not any less gripping because of a happy ending. (He survives.)” – Philip Marchand , The National Post

When poet and essayist Kenneth Sherman was diagnosed with cancer, he began keeping a notebook of observations that blossomed into this powerful memoir.  Sherman helps the reader understand the deep connection between disease and creativity—the ways in which we write out of our suffering.  His narrative voice is personal but not confessional, practical but not cold, thoughtful and searching but not self-pitying or self-absorbed.

  • Biography/Autobiography
  • Nonfiction

Kenneth Sherman

Kenneth Sherman is the author of several books of poetry including the highly acclaimed Words for Elephant Man and Black River. He has also published two collections of essays, Void and Voice and the award-winning What the Furies Bring. A new poetry collection, Jogging with the Great Ray Charles is forthcoming from ECW Press. He lives in Toronto, where he conducts poetry-writing workshops.