The Tartan Turban Secret Readings #31

The 31st session of The Tartan Turban Secret Readings curated by Veena Gokhale and features Bonita Lawrence, Amatoritsero Ede, Nilambri Ghai, Carolyn Marie Souaid and Andreas Kessaris.

Date and Time

7:00 – 9:30 PM EST, August 19th, 2021. Add to Calendar

How to book

Please book a spot on TTSR 31’s Eventbrite page. Tickets are free.


This is a virtual reading. Writers reading their work will be participating via Google Meet. Attendees will be able to join the event by clicking [this link] on the day of the reading during the hours scheduled. (Please note: this link may change. Only those who have booked through Eventbrite will receive the update link.)


Veena Gokhale, an immigrant shapeshifter, started her career as a journalist in Bombay. This “tough, tantalizing” city inspired Bombay Wali and other stories (Guernica Editions, 2013). She came to Canada on a journalism fellowship and returned to do a Master’s. After immigrating, she worked for non-profits. Her novel Land for Fatimah (Guernica, 2018) was inspired by a two-year stint in Tanzania. She has published in anthologies and literary magazines, read widely from her work and received writing grants. She continues to do freelance journalism. Veena will publish, The Artichoke, Sensuous Stories, in December 2021, and is working on Annapurna’s Bounty, recasting food-related legends into contemporary fiction. She gives Indian, vegetarian, cooking classes online. Veena lives in Montreal and you can follow her on Facebook.

Featured writers

Dr. Bonita Lawrence is a Professor in the Humanities Department at York University where she is a founding member of the Indigenous Studies program where she teaches. Dr. Lawrence has authored two academic books: Fractured Homeland: Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario and “Real” Indians and Others: Mixed-Race Urban Native People and Indigenous Nationhood as well as co-authoring, with Kim Anderson, a collection of essays entitled Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival, in addition to a number of academic articles. N’in D’la Owey Innklan: Mi’kmaq Sojourns in England (Austin Macauley, 2020) is her first novel. It is a historical novel, spanning five centuries of Mi’kmaw history and its connections to England, told in a series of vignettes.


Amatoritsero Ede is an internationally award-winning poet born in Nigeria. He has three poetry collections, A Writer’s Pains & Caribbean Blues (1998), Globetrotter & Hitler’s Children (2009) and recently, Teardrops on the Weser (2021). His debut won the prestigious All Africa Okigbo Prize for Literature in 1998, the second was nominated for the Nigerian Literature Prize in 2013. In 2004, he won second prize in the first May Ayim Award: International Black German Literary Prize. He appears in 14 poetry anthologies locally and internationally. He is also a literary scholar and Assistant Professor of English at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick. He is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Maple Tree Literary Supplement, MTLS.


Nilambri Ghai was born in India and has a master’s degree in English Literature with over 30 years’ experience as an educator, writer, and policy analyst. Her career in Canada includes work in the public and not-for-profit sectors in the fields of adult literacy and skills development. Nilambri is a regular contributor, copyeditor, co-editor, and founding member of Montréal Serai one of the oldest webzines in Canada. She recently published From Johanne to Janaki: Bringing Vikings to Varanasi about the life of a Danish woman, her grandmother, who left Copenhagen for India in 1895. Parallels are drawn between her journey to the east with Nilambri’s journey to the west.


Carolyn Marie Souaid is the Montreal-based author of eight poetry collections and a novel, Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik, Silver Medalist for Best Regional Fiction (Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2018). She has performed at festivals and literary events in Canada and abroad, and her work has been shortlisted for numerous poetry awards, including the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Blood is Blood, co-written and performed with Endre Farkas, garnered a top prize at the 2012 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin. Her poems and stories have appeared in The Malahat Review, the Literary Review of Canada and elsewhere, and have been featured on CBC-Radio. In her youth, she lived and taught in Arctic Quebec.


Andreas Kessaris grew up in Montreal’s Park Extension district, the son of Greek immigrants, and currently lives in the Town of Mont-Royal, Quebec. He graduated from Concordia University with a BA in Communications and English. He has done various jobs, and for the last 14 years, he worked as Events Coordinator for Librairie Paragraphe. His column, Read On! with Andreas Kessaris was a popular feature in the former community paper The Local Seeker (Herald). His writing has appeared on, The Write Place, and on The Butcher of Park Ex & Other Semi-Truthful Tales is his first book. In September 2014 he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a theme he continues to explore through his writing.

For updated information and author headshots, follow our Facebook group and our Facebook event page.

Open mic

Anyone attending is welcome to read or perform (if you are a musician) in our open mic sessions. If you are a writer or musician who would like to perform in the open mic session, we ask that you listen in to at least one session to get the flavour of the evening and join in on your next visit. To participate in TTSR #31, please contact series curators Gavin or Mayank or TTSR31 curator Veena Gokhale. This allows them to line up readers and manage the evening in a way that respects each writer’s work.

The ambience at our readings is intimate, extremely informal and very supportive. Open mic readers are given 4 minutes in total, including a brief introduction to themselves and their work. They may read any form of creative writing (fiction/poetry/drama/ screenplay) – or a work of reportage or creative non-fiction. The Tartan Turban Secret Readings is not a lecture or motivational speaking series, so no academic or self-help works, please.

There are detailed open mic guidelines posted in our FB group.

Open mic readers who have published works they would like to offer for sale are free to mention it on finishing their readings.