The 23rd session of The Tartan Turban Secret Readings was curated by charles c. smith at Barrett and Welsh on Friday, November 29th, 2019. It featured charles himself, Maureen Hynes, Dane Swan, Michael Fraser, Sonja Greckol and Justin Lauzon.
charles c. smith is a poet, playwright and essayist who has written and edited fourteen books. He studied poetry and drama with William Packard at New York University and Herbert Berghof Studios, drama at the Frank Silvera’s Writers’ Workshop in Harlem. He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada, edited three collections of poetry and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, the Quill & Quire, Descant, Dandelion, Fiddlehead and others. charles is the Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario and Artistic Director of the wind in the leaves collective. His recent books include travelogue of the bereaved, The Dirty War: The Making of the Myth of Black Dangerousness, and, whispers (2014) and destination out (2018).
Justin Lauzon is a writer from Toronto. His first book, this is why we’re made in the dark, was published by Quattro Books in 2018. He is currently the co-organizer of Birds of a Feather Storytelling Series, and in the past, he has helped organize several other Canadian literary events including The Word On The Street, Hear Here, and Book Summit. His work has appeared in untethered, Sewer Lid, and The Rusty Toque.
Sonja Greckol is grateful for subways, LRTs, and bike lanes wherever. She published three poetry books No Line In Time, which was listed for the 2018 Raymond Souster Award, Skein of Days (Pedlar Press, 2014) and Gravity Matters (Inanna Press, 2008). Her long poem ‘No Line In Time’ won the 2017 Briar Patch Writing In the Margins Contest. She has edited poetry for Women and Environments International magazine since 2007, was a founding editor of Influency Salon, taught college and university, written a dissertation on humor, and done organizational gender equity including pay equity and diversity consulting specializing in statistical analytic models: (It’s all data reduction!) Her work has appeared most recently online in bilingual Spanish English La Presa and previously in Rusty Toque, Ditch, Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Literature, Dalhousie Review, CV2, Fiddlehead, Canadian Women’s Studies, Matrix, and Atlantis.
Dane Swan is a Bermuda raised, Toronto based, internationally published poet, writer, and musician. His first collection, Bending the Continuum, was published by Guernica Editions in the spring of 2011. The collection was a recommended mid-summer read by Open Book Toronto. In 2013 Dane was shortlisted for the Monica Ladell Award for his poem “Stopwatch.” In 2016 Guernica Editions also published his second collection of poetry, A Mingus Lullaby, a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. His first novella, Tuesday, is forthcoming from Grey Borders Books. Dane is also an accomplished slam poet and touring spoken-word performer, placing second at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, third at the Rust Belt Regional Slam and touring the US Midwest and West Coast regions. He has graced numerous festival stages, including IFOA, Hillside, Lab Cab, Parkdale Arts, Junction Arts, and Pitter Patter festivals.
Michael Fraser is published in numerous national and international journals and anthologies. He’s in Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 & 2018. He’s won various contests including Freefall’s 2014 and 2015 Poetry Contests, the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize, and Exile’s 2018 Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Competition. His latest book is To Greet Yourself Arriving (Tightrope Books, 2016).
Maureen Hynes’s collection, Rough Skin, won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. This was followed by Harm’s Way and Marrow, Willow. Her fourth book of poetry, The Poison Colour, was shortlisted for both the League’s Raymond Souster and Pat Lowther Awards, 2017. This fall she launches Sotto Voce, from Brick Books.Maureen’s work has been included in over 25 anthologies, including two volumes of Best Canadian Poetry in English (2010 and 2016), and in The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English: Tenth Anniversary Issue (2017). Maureen is poetry editor for Our Times magazine.