Thursday, March 29, 2012

The (Not So) Nice Girls & Friends Celebrate Spring

Allan Briesmaster, poet
Writer José Sigouin
Poet Cornelia Hoogland
The multi-talented Rosemary Aubert

Poet Jason Paradiso reading for writer Paul Carlucci

Poet & NSNIG&F co-organizer Giovanna Riccio
Emcee & Writer Michelle Alfano

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 2012

Rosemary Aubert has been a fixture on the Canadian literary scene since the day, three decades ago, when Al Purdy chose her as one of only five female poets that he included in his ground-breaking anthology Storm Warning Two. In the intervening years, she has had thirteen books published around the world. Though known primarily as a mystery novelist, Aubert has produced two book-length poetry collections: Two Kinds of Honey, published by Oberon, and Picking Wild Raspberries: The Imaginary Love Poems of Gertrude Stein, published by Sono Nis. Her new poetry collection, Rough Wilderness: The Imaginary Love Poems of the Abbess Heloise, is her first book of poems in a decade.

Allan Briesmaster is a freelance editor, micro publisher, and one of the four partners in Quattro Books. His two most recent full-length poetry collections are Interstellar (Quattro, 2007) and Confluences (Seraphim Editions, 2009), and his newest chapbook is After Evening Wine (Alfred Gustav series, 2011). His poetry has also appeared in many journals and anthologies. He lives in Thornhill, Ontario, with his wife Holly, a visual artist with whom he has collaborated several times.

Woods Wolf Girl (Wolsak and Wynn, 2011) is Cornelia Hoogland’s fifth book of poetry, and is based on the fairy tale, Red Riding Hood – which is also the source for her play, Faim de Loup (Hungry Wolf). Her sixth book of poetry is Crow (Black Moss Press, 2011), and her new chapbook is titled Gravelly Bay (Alfred Gustav Press, 2012).  Hoogland’s recent awards include finalist placements for the 2012 Malahat Review Poetry Competition; Stephen Dunn Poetry Award, The Broome Review (USA); Descant’s Best Canadian Poem; the National Magazine Awards; and five CBC literary nominations. Hoogland teaches at the University of Western Ontario, and founded Poetry London in 2004. Website at

Jason Paradiso is an editor/writer/poet who considers himself some sort of an artist too. His name has appeared in several mastheads, including Carousel, Pilot and Descant where he is a co-editor.
Reading for ...
Paul Carlucci is a journalist and short story writer. His work has appeared in the Vancouver Review, the Feathertale Review, Darwin's Bastards, and is forthcoming in Descant Magazine. His journalism has been carried by Al Jazeera English, Think Africa Press, the Toronto Star and more. He's lived all across Canada, as well as in France and Ghana.

Giovanna Riccio was born in Calabria and immigrated to Canada as a child. Her poems have appeared in newspapers, magazines, journals and anthologies.  Her work has been translated into Romanian and a number of her poems are being translated into Italian for an upcoming anthology to be published in Italy. She is the author of Vittorio (Lyricalmyrical Press) and Strong Bread (Quattro Books). 
José Sigouin has been at the University of Toronto for most of her working life, first as a lab technician then as a research grants facilitator, and more recently as a data analyst. While her days are spent coaxing numbers into telling factual stories, José shifts gear in the evening, coaxing words into telling fictional ones. She honed her skills through classes led by Ray Robertson, Dennis Bock and Kim Echlin, as well as two writers’ groups spun out of those classes. José was a finalist in the Random House of Canada Student Award in Writing in 2011. She is currently working on her first novel, Intersection.

And as emcee...
Michelle Alfano is a co-organizer of the (Not So) Nice Italian Girls & Friends Reading Series and a Co-Editor with Descant. Her novella Made Up of Arias (Blaurock Press) won the 2010 Bressani Prize for Short Fiction. Her short story “Opera”, on which her novella Made Up of Arias is based, was a finalist for a Journey Prize anthology. Her fiction and non-fiction work has been widely published in major literary publications. She will be featured in a forthcoming documentary on the passengers, and the children of the passengers, of the Saturnia that will be featured on OMNI-TV. She is currently at work at a new novel entitled Vita’s Prospects.