Toronto, Ontario

Sunday, September 24, 2017

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

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Since 1990, The Word On The Street has proudly hosted some of the finest talent in Canadian literature. Our 27th festival is shaping up to be one of our best yet. Check out all of the authors, performers, and storytellers below!

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Sarah Barmak

Sarah Barmak is a Toronto freelance journalist and author. Her first book, Closer: Notes From the Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality, was named one of the best books of 2016 by the CBC, The Globe and Mail, The National Post and others. Her writing has appeared in VICEThe Hairpin, The Globe and MailMaclean’s, The Toronto Star, The Walrus, and Chatelaine.



Danila Botha

Danila Botha is a fiction writer based in Toronto. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, she has lived in Israel, and in Nova Scotia. Her first collection of short stories, Got No Secrets, was praised by the Globe and Mail, the Chronicle Herald and the Cape Town Times. It was also named one of Britannica’s Books of the Year (Canadian short stories), and was published in South Africa in 2011. Her first novel, Too Much on the Inside, was shortlisted for the 2016 Relit Award and won a Book Excellence Award for the Contemporary Novel. Her sophomore collection of short stories, For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, was published in 2016 to rave reviews. It was also recently named a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Awards. She is currently working on her second novel and on a new collection of short stories.

Read more on her website:

For All The Men

Fiction Short Stories | Nouvelles

Stephen Cain

Stephen Cain is the author of a dozen chapbooks and five full-length collections of poetry, including dyslexicon (1998), American Standard/Canada Dry (2005),  (BookThug, 2011), and Etc Phrases (BookThug, 2014). His academic publications include The Encyclopedia of Fictional and Fantastic Languages (co-written with Tim Conley; 2006) and a critical edition of bpNichol’s early long poems, bp: beginnings (BookThug, 2014). His latest book is False Friends (2017). Cain lives in Toronto, where he teaches avant-garde and Canadian literature at York University.

False Friends

Poetry | Poésie

Nicole Chin

Nicole Chin is the author of the House of Anansi Press Digital Short, “Shooting the Bitch”, which received the McIllquham Foundation Prize for best original short story. Her work has appeared in Joyland Magazine, Room Magazine, The Puritan, Found Press and others with work forthcoming in Toronto Lit Up’s The Unpublished City anthology. She is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph and is currently working on a novel.

Kelly Collier

First-time author-illustrator Kelly Collier was born in Ottawa and grew up in Toronto. Kelly studied illustration in college and has had lots of editorial work published, but has always wanted to create a children’s book. Kelly married a fellow artist who doesn’t complain when her projects take over the entire house, she has a dog who sort of resembles Steve and she really loves gold.

A Horse Named Steve

Children's | Enfants

Humberto da Silva

Humberto da Silva was born and lives in Toronto.  In grade school in pastorally fascist Portugal he discovered through the study of history that Sir Francis Drake was a thieving pirate and that the Portuguese were the first to fly across the Atlantic. An early desire to conquer the English language resulted in literary pretensions and numerous short story publications. The inclusion of “Compassion Fatigue” in the Oberon Press Best Canadian Stories 92 anthology was a high point in his existence.  Currently he is a videographer, a citizen journalist, and a radical commentator for Recently he was vilified nationally for a transgression of Godwin’s Law. Shortly after he enjoyed massive concurrence with his transgressive opinions. He proudly labours at a day job as a Union representative. He lives, of course, in Toronto, with his beloved wife Lina da Silva, nee da Silva.

Cary Fagan

Cary Fagan is an award-winning author who is known for timeless stories that reveal complex and universal themes. He has written several critically acclaimed books, including A Bird’s Eye, nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; My Life Among the Apes, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; Valentine’s Fall, finalist for the Toronto Book Award; The Mermaid of ParisFelix Roth, as well as several bestselling books for children. He has been an editor and contributor to several magazines and newspapers, including the Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette. He lives in Toronto.

The Old World

Short Stories | Nouvelles

Dolores Gontijo

Dolores Gontijo was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil. She came to Toronto in 2002 and fell in love with the Canada. She currently lives in Burlington, Ontario. She is a broadcaster and a presenter of the radio program Poemas e Canções, on Camões The show focuses on Portuguese poetry and music, particularly of Brazilian origin. Another program she is proud of doing is Diaspora Brasileira, aimed at the Brazilians of the Portuguese community in Canada.

Ian Hamilton

Ian Hamilton is the author of the wildly popular and bestselling Ava Lee series, including The Water Rat of Wanchai, which was the winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The Couturier of Milan


Mark Anthony Jarman

Mark Anthony Jarman is the author of Knife Party at the Hotel Europa, My White Planet, 19 Knives, New Orleans Is Sinking, Dancing Nightly in the Tavern, and the travel book Ireland’s Eye.  His novel, Salvage King Ya!, is on’s list of 50 Essential Canadian Books and is the number one book on Amazon’s list of best hockey fiction.

He won a Gold National Magazine Award in nonfiction, has twice won the Maclean-Hunter Endowment Award, won the Jack Hodgins Fiction Prize, was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, the Alistair MacLeod Prize, the Thomas Raddall Prize, was included in The Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Stories, and short-listed for Best American Essays and the O. Henry Prize.

He has published in Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, Vrij Nederland, and reviews for The Globe & Mail.  He is a graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a Yaddo fellow, has taught at the University of Victoria, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and now teaches at the University of New Brunswick, where he is fiction editor of The Fiddlehead literary journal.

Knife Party at the Hotel Europa

Aida Jordão

This is Aida Jordão, a theatre artist and scholar who, from an early age, has always loved reading aloud and performing. Her latest major project was completing a doctoral degree at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto, with the thesis, “Inês de Castro in Theatre and Film: A Feminist Exhumation of the Dead Queen.” But she was happiest when her play “Funeral in White” was published in Memória: An Anthology of Portuguese Canadian Writers. Aida is currently directing two outdoor theatre productions, one with her York University students, and the other with members of CUPE Local 416, the outdoor city workers.

Allison LaSorda

Allison LaSorda holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. A recipient of scholarships from the Banff Centre Writing Studio and the Vermont Studio Center, her writing has been shortlisted in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open contest, and has recently appeared in The Fiddlehead, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Brick, and PRISM international. Stray is her first collection.


Poetry | Poésie

Jennifer LoveGrove

Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of the Giller Prize–longlisted novel Watch How We Walk, as well as two poetry collections: I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel and The Dagger Between Her Teeth. Her latest book is Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes (2017). In 2010, LoveGrove was nominated for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature and in 2015, her poetry was shortlisted for the Lit POP Awards. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications across North America. She divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Ontario.

Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes


Nicole Lundrigan

Nicole Lundrigan is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, including Glass Boys and The Widow Tree. Her work has appeared on best of the year selections of the Globe and Mail and NOW Magazine and she has been longlisted for the ReLit Award. Born in Ottawa and raised in Newfoundland, she now lives in Toronto.

The Substitute

Fiction Mystery/Suspense/Horror | Mystère/Suspense/Horreur

Irene Luxbacher

Irene Luxbacher is a children’s book author, illustrator, and artist who has received numerous prestigious awards and nominations. She was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration for her work on Andrew Larsen’s The Imaginary Garden, and her own Mr. Frank was selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Book List. Irene lives in Toronto. Visit her online at

I Am Canada

Children's | Enfants

Ahmad Marouf

Ahmad Marouf is a journalist, script writer and multimedia designer. He worked for National Syrian TV as a producer and wrote many short animation children’s movies. Amongst his many works is the script of “Island of Adventures”, the first cartoon series ever produced by the national Syrian television. In 1998 Marouf published a collection of short stories in Arabic “Iniflash Alaa Al Hamesh” and then an English poetry chapbook “Spectrum”  in 2000.

In Canada he worked for Radio Canada International in the Arabic Section since his arrival in 2005. He was a regular contributor for CBC Radio One’s, Here and Now from 2012 until the end of 2013. Meanwhile Marouf continued writing for Cinema and TV, he wrote “I Was Once Told” feature film in Arabic and English. The film was screened in the 34th Annual World Film Festival in Montreal. In 2012 he wrote and co-produced “One Heart, Two Homes”, a documentary that was screened on OMNI TV in Arabic and English. In 2011 Marouf won the first Rainbow Caterpillar Children’s Literature in Mother Language Award and his story “Sea of Pearls” was later published in The Best Of All Worlds; he recently finished the script of feature cartoon movie based on the story. He’s currently trying to publish his poetry collection “The Noise of Living with Others”.

The Best of All Worlds

Antonio M. Marques

Antonio M. Marques has short stories, essays, and poems published in magazines and anthologies including the Core, Muse Journal, Alias, Open Door Magazine, Tidepool 9, Subtle Fires, and Canadian Writer’s Journal. His work has also been published in the book, Magical Motherhood, and in the Newsletter of the Literary Arts and Humanities of the School for Spiritual Science in North America. His short story, The Last Shot, was published in Memória: An Anthology of Portuguese Canadian Writers.

Irene Marques

Irene Marques is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and academic currently teaching in the African Studies Program and the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Marques’ creative writing intersects with her academic interests and explores issues of personal and collective identity, mystical and mythical understandings of self, world and universe, gender, race, empire, class, cultural syncretism, the Portuguese colonial wars in Africa and the Portuguese fascist regime. Her narratives are marked by a universal ethos that crosses geographical and cultural boundaries, bringing to the page existential themes that affect us all.

She is the author of three poetry collections: The Circular Incantation: An Exercise in Loss and Findings (2013, Guernica Editions), The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit (2012, Mawenzi House) and Wearing Glasses of Water (2007, Mawenzi House), as well as the Portuguese language short story collection Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo: Crónicas Desejadas (2009, Edium Editores, Portugal) and the novel My House is a Mansion (2015, Leaping Lyon Books/York University). Her Portuguese language novel Uma casa no mundo (Verso da História, Portugal) will be published in Portugal in 2017 and her English language novel Daria, Tales of a Woman and Other Idealists (Inanna Publications, York University) is scheduled for publication in 2019.

The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit

Poetry | Poésie

Emanuel Melo

Emanuel Melo was born in the Azores and immigrated to Canada at the age of nine.  He lives in Toronto. His short stories have been included in Cleaver, Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora in the United States and Canada: An Anthology, MEMÓRIA: An Anthology of Portuguese Canadian Writers. His articles have appeared in Mundo Açoriano, (TWAS) Toronto World Arts Scene, and on the website of the Canadian Centre for Azorean Research and Studies.   His short story “Avó Lives Alone,” was a finalist in the Writers’ Union of Canada’s 20th Annual Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers in 2013.




Sarah Pinder

Sarah Pinder is the author of the poetry collection Cutting Room. Her writing has been included in GeistArc, and Poetry is Dead, and others. She lives in Toronto.

Common Place

Poetry | Poésie

Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson is the USA Today and #1 Toronto Globe & Mail bestselling author of Somewhere in France and After the War is Over. She holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and an SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and young children.

Goodnight From London


Carmine Starnino

Carmine Starnino has published five volumes of poetry, including This Way Out, which was nominated for Canada’s Governor General’s Award. His most recent collection is Leviathan. Other books include Lazy Bastardism and The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Parnassus, New American Writing, Drunken Boat, Jacket, and Poetry Review. His poetry has also been included in Best American Poetry 2007 and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Toronto, where he is deputy editor for The Walrus magazine.


Poetry | Poésie

Moez Surani

Moez Surani has travelled, studied, and worked in countries around the world. His writing has been featured in numerous publications, including the Best Canadian Poetry (2013 and 2014), The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, Harper’s Magazine, and PRISM International. His first poetry collection, Reticent Bodies (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2009. In that same year, he won a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and later, attended artists’ residencies in Italy, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Canada. His second poetry collection, Floating Life (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2012. Operations, Surani’s third book, was a finalist for 2014 Les Figues Press Book Prize.


Poetry | Poésie

Kate Sutherland

Kate Sutherland was born in Scotland, grew up in Saskatchewan, and now lives in Toronto, where she is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is the author of two collections of short stories: Summer Reading (winner of a Saskatchewan Book Award for Best First Book) and All In Together GirlsHow to Draw a Rhinoceros is Sutherland’s first collection of poems.

How to Draw a Rhinoceros

Poetry | Poésie