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How Poems Work: A Selection from Suzanne Buffam’s “A Pillow Book”

From A Pillow Book, pages 41-43.   Some nights I visit Inés Fernández, the forlorn school teacher from southwestern Spain, who yawned once in the sun at a passing religious procession, felt a brief, searing pain through the back of her skull, and never slept another wink all her life. For


Damian Rogers reads Suzanne Buffam

Here she’s talking about the Irrationalist. Read the entire piece over on LemonHound. The wonderful is on full display throughout The Irrationalist. The language is fresh, precise, and natural; the form and structure, both micro and macro, support the voice without overshadowing it. Throughout the book, Buffam references some of


Off the Page Fall 2016: Festival Schedule

Off The Page November 3rd – 5th, 2016 Following its stellar spring series in March 2016, Off The Page is back this fall with a fresh lineup of panels and readings. The festival, presented by Writers Read & Concordia University, boasts a busy three-day schedule from November 3 – 5


From the Archive: Tanya Tagaq

Writers Read looks back at hosting Tanya Tagaq in October, 2013. That evening, a first-come-first-serve audience crammed into a conference room in Concordia’s Henry F. Hall to witness the unique line-up of throat singer, Tanya Tagaq, experimental poet, Christian Bök, and composer/performance artist, Jaap Blonk. Seating became a competitive event

#Today #Tonight

Debbie: An Epic will be performed in its entirety on Friday, October 21st in LB 671.05 at Concordia University’s LB building from 2 PM – 5 PM. Stop by anytime to listen or join in. & THEN:


Bewitched by Broadbent

Writers Read and Concordia University welcome Lisa Robertson and Laura Broadbent tonight at 7pm, in the York Amphitheatre, EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine Readers first shook hands with Laura Broadbent through the pages of her remarkable, and strikingly titled book, Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is


How Poems Work: “The Stricture” by Lisa Robertson

From Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip.   ‘The 69 heads of Messerschmidt cast in lead are not heaven.’ ‘The magnetic cures of Mesmer on the plastic soul are more difficult to characterize.’ ‘The heavens of Flanders are like textile in lustrousness – a bridal textile.’ ‘We see the classic theme of



Debbie: An Epic will be performed in its entirety on Friday, October 21st in LB 671.05 at Concordia University’s LB building from 2 PM – 5 PM. Stop by anytime to listen or join in.


Jowita Bydlowska’s GUY

“It was both fascinating and disturbing to read Jowita Bydlowska’s debut novel, Guy, during the same week news broke of Donald Trump’s 2005 comments describing how he likes to treat (or rather, sexually assault) women. As the recorded revelation sparked a widespread discussion about what men really say about women

Coming your way! Friday October, 21st



Submission Call, Off the Page Festival: A Haunting

We have seen ghosts—in the flickering of light bulbs, of the body, and in the persisting reverberations of history. We hear them with our mouths and pens; we write them into memory. Who are they? Do they hear us? What do they know? “A Haunting” will address the question of


Submission Call, Off the Page Festival: A Literary Wake

Are you, or is someone you know, a writer living in or near Montreal and looking to read work to an audience? Would you like to know what that work would sound like as re-imagined by a live band? Learn more and apply to perform here: About the event:


Don McKay & Jeramy Dodds @Concordia

Students were treated to a “smorgasboard” of sound. Jeramy signs Crabwise.


From the Archive: Julie Salverson

Writers Read looks back at hosting Julie Salverson with Peter van Wyck in January, 2012. Upon arriving at the York Theatre, attendees were treated to the cross-genre braiding of Salverson and Van Wyck’s research into Canada’s role in the Manhattan Project – the American project that resulted in the nuclear


All Day & All Night with Lisa Robertson and Laura Broadbent

On Friday October 21st, Writers Read in collaboration with Off The Page presents a live performance of Lisa Robertson’s Debbie: An Epic (New Star 1997) in the afternoon before we gather for an evening with Lisa Robertson herself and Laura Broadbent. Debbie: A Live Reading, Performance, Marathon October 21st, 2pm,



Those who attended March 2016’s Off the Page panel “A Queer is a Queer is a Queer” were lucky enough to witness a dynamic discussion between some of the most interesting voices in literature today, among them former Concordia student Zoe Whittall, a novelist and poet now based in Toronto. Her


dream/arteries to be Taught in BC High Schools

“A hundred years ago…the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru set sail for Canada with 376 Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu migrants travelling from Punjab, India. They were refused entry at Vancouver, even though all passengers were British subjects. The Komagata Maru sat moored in Vancouver’s harbour for two months while courts decided the


Tonight: Phinder Dulai Reads

Phinder Dulai, Tuesday October 11, 7pm, LB 6.646, 1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W. “Combined rhythmic discipline and a wide descriptive palette, wielded by a talented composer of word images; this would be the definition of anyone’s preferred reading. These essential elements are richly present in dream / arteries … While a


From the Archive: Julian Barnes

Writers Read looks back at hosting Julian Barnes in 2005. Those who were wise enough to find an early seat crowded themselves into the Samuel Bronfman Building to listen as Julian Barnes read excerpts of his then-newly released novel, Arthur & George. Barnes spoke of Spanish-speaking, Bible-narrating parrots, Sir Arthur Conan


Angular & Crabwise: a Reading with McKay and Dodds

Join Writers Read on Friday October 7th at 2pm (MB 2.130, 1450 Rue Guy) for our first event of the season, as we host Don McKay and Jeramy Dodds, two equally original poets, for a reading and discussion about writing poetry, winning poetry prizes, and speaking in the voices of


Don McKay’s “Fridge Nocturne”

In “Fridge Noc­turne”, a short poem near the begin­ning of Don McKay’s selected poems, the sleep­less poet lies lis­ten­ing to the sound of his fridge, ‘the old/armless weep­ing wil­low of the kitchen’. The fridge’s “Hum­ble mur­mur” brings to his mind sev­eral dis­tant rivers–“the Saugeen, the Goulais/the Raisin”. The per­me­abil­ity of


Jeramy Dodds

MOORHEN The tubas are full of fog and fallen thoroughbreds. There are no dogs near the dentist’s office due to the pitch of the drills. A poem is meant to replace what the olfactory erased. But it always comes out like a Gilbert-without- Sullivan song. In the birdbath my reflection

Don McKay

Hear McKay win from his Griffin Prize winning collection Strike Slip.  


Lunch with Jane Munro & Surprise Guest

Jane Munro, Sept. 23 NOON in LB649 Concordia University, English Department, A reading from Jane Munro’s award winning book Blue Sonoma From Judges’ Citation: Somewhere between the directness and clarity of haiku and Yeats’s ‘An aged man is but a paltry thing’ moves Jane Munro’s hauntingly candid explorations of the hard

Save The Date

The Writers Read 2016-17 season is almost underway and we’re hosting a series of exciting double-headers starting with Don McKay and Jeramy Dodds followed by Lisa Robertson and Concordia alumni Laura Broadbent.  Our literary festival moves from spring to a fall date this year. November 3-6  panels and readings will

Autumn 2016: Don Mckay & Jeramy Dodds

Don McKay & Jeramy Dodds, Friday October 7, 2pm, MB 2.130, 1450 Rue Guy. McKay’s collected poems, Angular Unconformity was published in 2014 and he has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry twice, for Night Field (1991) and Another Gravity (2000). Dodds’ most recent publication is a translation


Curating & Archiving the Literary Event

L-R: Casey Plett, Sadie Laett-Babcock, Tanis Franco, Zoe Whittal, Kai Cheng Thom. A Queer is a Queer is a Queer: Breaking Standard Narratives in Queer Poetics and Prose, a panel moderated by Eli Lynch on March 19, 2016. (Photo: Surah Field-Green) In March 2016, students at Concordia with Writers Read put


Photo Archive In Progress

March 19th, 2016 /// OFF THE PAGE Day 2     Photo Credit: Surah Field-Green


Kailey Havelock in Conversation with Editors Talking Editing

In anticipation of the Off the Page literary festival, SA Editor-in-Chief Kailey Havelock discusses the future of publishing and editing in an increasingly digital world with discussion panelists from the upcoming Editors Talking Editing event.

Line up for this Line-up: Off The Page Full Schedule



Dionne Brand / Friday / 7pm

On Friday March 4th, Writers Read is pleased to host an evening with the renowned poet, novelist, and essayist, Dionne Brand. For Montreal, this is a once in a decade or perhaps even a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in the room with Brand, listening to her read

Off The Page 2016 Update Reminder

OFF THE PAGE March 17-20, 2016 Confirmed Readers & Call for Participants In March 2016, Writers Read & Concordia University are hosting the Off The Page literary festival. In cooperation with the Université de Montreal and Librarie Drawn & Quarterly, we are hosting Ben Lerner, Anne Boyer, Jordan Abel, Sonnet


And a Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day To Us All! (Sound Archive)

In early October 2015, Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli joined Writers Read to share their new work Rom Com out from Talon Books now. Here are a couple of excerpts to keep you warm on this cold❤ day. Daneil Zomparelli reading “I am So Lonely, Iam So Fucking Lonely, lol, SEND,


Event Roundup: March

Dionne Brand /// March 4, 2016. 7pm, York Amphitheatre, EV 1.605, 1515 St Catherine W. Jordan Abel, Anne Boyer, Sonnet L’Abbé /// Thursday March 17, 2016. 8pm, Drawn & Quarterly (211, Bernard Ouest). Ben Lerner /// Friday March 18, 2016. York Amphitheatre, EV Building, 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine.

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Dionne Brand in Montreal

It’s true. We have been waiting years, maybe a decade, maybe a lifetime, and the date has finally be confirmed. Dionne Brand will join us for a reading and discussion in Montreal at Concordia University. Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the


Lisa Robertson on Dionne Brand (2001/2013/2016)

In another place, not here, a woman might touch something between beauty and nowhere, back there and here, might pass hand over hand her own trembling life, but I have tried to imagine a sea not bleeding, a girl’s glance full as a verse, a woman growing old and never

The Body Always Gives a Shit & Other Distractions

Sonnet L’Abbé reads The Body Always Gives a Shit, a poem in three parts. She will be joining Writers Read in March 2016. Some data points on the staff make-up of arts organizations in New York City. Quill & Quire talks to Pedlar Press founder, Beth Follett. And a song because why


Audio Archive: Roxane Gay & Rachel Zellers

Writing these essays was of acknowledging my existence that you just don’t see written about all too often. The black experience is often times limited to a one very specific type of story and I think that we have to broaden our cultural understanding of what it means to be


Off The Page – Call for Proposals

In March 2016, Writers Read, Off The Page in cooperation with the University of Montreal and Concordia’s Centre for Expanded Poetics are hosting: Dionne Brand, Ben Lerner, Jordan Abel, Sonnet L’Abbé, Fred Moten and more. More information will be posted here & here. Call for Proposals For decades the Creative


Photo Archive: André Alexis

On January 14, 2016, Giller Prize winner, André Alexis joined the students at Concordia for a discussion about his novel Fifteen Dogs, confidence, and  howling.


André Alexis Masterclass & Reading

Creative Writing students can sign up on Sina Queyras’ door LB 674.2 or email Space is limited. *** Alexis will also be giving a reading at Librarie Drawn and Quarterly (211 Rue Beranrd Ouest) on Friday January 15th at 7pm. *** Alexis’ debut novel, Childhood (1997), won the Books in Canada First Novel Award,


Sound Archive: Jordan Tannahill on Mental Real Estate

Jordan Tannahill joined us on 25 September 2015 at the VAV Gallery to read and discuss his book, Theatre of the Unimpressed. In this clip he discusses mental real estate, the value of impermanence, and Videofag. Shout out to Jacob Wren. Complete sound archives will be updated soon. In the mean


Archive Sound: Mary Ruefle

Mary Ruefle covered W.S. Graham’s The Secret Name for us on September 25, 2015. More sound archive updates to come. Follow us on Soundcloud.   …from secret name to secret name You maybe did not know you had another.

Save the Date

Just a reminder to save the date. Off The Page will be on March 17-20 2016, featuring: Ben Lerner, Dionne Brand, Sonnet L’Abbé and many more.


Standing Room Only

For Elisabeth de Mariaffi reading from her novel, The Devil You Know. & George Murray reading from his new book of Poetry, Diversion. Stay tuned for more sights and sounds from this exciting fall line-up. (Photo credit: Liam Lachance. Thanks, Liam!)

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Event Details: JMSB @ Concordia, Corner of Guy & de Maisonneuve, 7pm room 2.130 aka The Floating Box Room.


#InConversation #GeorgeMurray #Diversion #Poetry

Next week, Writers Read and and the Concordia Research Chair in Media and Literature George Murray and Elisabeth de Mariaffi to Concordia for a reading and discussion IRL but we’ve started the conversation here. Join us on November 17th 7pm in the John Molson Building’s Floating Box, room 2.130 (1450 Rue

elisabeth de mariaffi

The Devil You Know: Writers Read in Conversation with Elisabeth de Mariaffi

Writers Read: Elisabeth, The Devil You Know introduces us to a character that I can imagine reoccurring in other narratives. Are you tempted to write a series of literary thrillers? Elisabeth de Mariaffi: I certainly didn’t set out to start a series with The Devil You Know. To be honest, I


#BearingWitless from Diversion by George Murray

#BearingWitless The children did not return before dark. You may have to settle for a Sylvia Plath photo if no Sylvia moment comes. It’s harvest time at the server farms. Twelve plus one is an anagram for eleven plus two. Wineglass stems and bases look like spilling water and pools.


George Murray: from Diversion

#ClockworkOrRage Come all you haters and see what I have wrought. Our primary role as teachers is to demonstrate how to best waste time. I survived Seamus Heaney and all I got was this lousy career. Monuments are built daily to distraction. The terms rescuers and salvagers are mostly interchangeable.

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