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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.
You’ll find no odes to Grecian urns here. Instead, treat yourself to impressive anagrams, dialogues written on calculator, retellings of the story of Mary in Jamaican patois, and interrogations of racism in song and sonnet as we shine the spotlight on some of Canada’s best at the verse: Susan Holbrook, Pamela Mordecai, and Vivek Shraya.
In 1934, Gertrude Stein asked, ‘What is poetry and if you know what poetry is what is prose.’ Throaty Wipes answers this question and many more! How does broadband work? Does ‘chuffed’ mean pleased or displeased? What if the generations of Adam had mothers? What do the Disney Princesses eat for breakfast? Through her signature fusion of formal innovation and lyricism, Holbrook delivers what we’ve been waiting for.
Susan Holbrook’s poetry books are the Trillium-nominated Joy Is So Exhausting (Coach House, 2009), Good Egg Bad Seed (Nomados, 2004) and misled (Red Deer, 1999), which was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award. She lives in Leamington, Ontario, and teaches North American Literatures and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. She is the author of a poetry textbook, Reading (and Writing About) Poetry (Broadview Press, 2015) and co-editor, with Thomas Dilworth, of The Letters of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson: Composition as Conversation (Oxford, 2010).
de book of Mary is an epic poem in Jamaican Creole based on the Biblical story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The first book of a trilogy, de book of Mary covers Mary’s life from her early years, through the arrival of the Archangel Gabriel and the birth of Yeshua, to her death. A Chorus of male and female voices provides an accompanying commentary. This exciting Canadian Jamaican retelling, profound and tragic, yet told with humour and gusto, is a major event, continuing Mordecai’s project of hybridizing one of the most significant cultural-religious phenomena in world history.
de book of Mary is Pamela Mordecai’s sixth collection of poetry. Her previous collections are Subversive Sonnets, The True Blue of Islands, Certifiable, de man: a performance poem, and Journey Poem. Insomniac Press published her book of short fiction, Pink Icing and Other Stories in 2006 to superb reviews and TAP Books published her first novel, Red Jacket, in 2015. It was shortlisted for the Rogers Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize. Her writing for children is well known internationally. El Numero Uno, a play for young people, had its world premiere at the Theatre for Young People in 2010. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario.
Vivek’s debut poetry collection, even this page is white, is a bold, timely and personal interrogation of skin — its origins, functions, and limitations. Poems that range in style from starkly concrete to limber break down the barriers that prevent understanding of what it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible, and undeniable, intimately acquainting readers with the difficulties of dismantling it.
As a writer, musician, performance artist, and filmmaker, Vivek Shraya has, over the course of the last few years, established herself as a tour de force artist of the highest order. Vivek’s body of work includes ten albums, four short films, and three books, including the YA book God Loves Hair (A Quill and Quire and Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Book of the Year) and the adult novel She of the Mountains (a Lambda Literary Award finalist).