Join CAA–Toronto for a pub night social!

Eat, Drink & Reunite!

When: Thursday, June 29, 2023

7:30 p.m to 10 p.m. Eastern Time

Where: Duke of Cornwall

400 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1S5

(outside of St. Patrick Station)

For June, please join us in person for a dinner or drink! This is our first in-person event since the start of the pandemic, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to gather in a local pub for an evening of chatting and catching up with fellow CAA–Toronto members. Come out, raise a glass, and reconnect with your writer friends.  Please RSVP by Monday, June 26 EOD to reserve your spot.

Drinks and meals are at your own expense, but CAA–Toronto will buy some appetizers to share at the table!

Preview the restaurant menu here: https://dukepubs.ca/duke-of-cornwall/

Join CAA–Toronto for a special pandemic talk!

How Covid Affected Librarians, Authors & Poets/Performance Artists

Date/Time: May 25, 2023, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time

The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus has posed many challenges for libraries and the lives of authors and poets/performance artists. Academic librarians from The University of Toronto and Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) will discuss the disruptions they have faced and how libraries have responded to the pandemic. Author Dan K. Woo and Poet/Performance Artist Johnny D Trinh, will share how the pandemic has affected their writing life and what opportunities were missed or gained. These writers will also read from their works.

Please join us and bring your questions for the guests! We will have a Q&A after their talks.

Our sponsor, Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) is holding a digital raffle for a $50 Indigo bookstore in the form of a physical gift card. The winner will be announced Friday, May 26, 2023 and will be contacted by ACWW for their mailing address.

Another sponsor, Dark Helix Press, is offering a free eBook sampler featuring a number of Asian Canadian authors. Click here to download the book excerpts in pdf, mobi or epub formats.

Event schedule:

  • Introductions – JF Garrard
  • Librarian talk (U of T, Hana Kim) – 10 min
  • Author talk (Dan K. Woo) – 10 min
  • Librarian talk (TMU, Val Ken Lem) – 10 min
  • Poet/Performance Artist talk (Johnny D Trinh) – 10 min
  • Informal conversation – 20 min 
  • Reading (Hana Kim) – 5 min
  • Reading (Far Wan Liu reading for Dan K. Woo) – 10 min
  • Reading (Johnny D Trinh) – 10 min
  • Q & A with audience – 10 min
  • ACWW KingSumo raffle draw reminder, Dark Helix Press eBook download reminder
  • Goodbyes

Please note that this event will be recorded and produced as a future Artsy Raven podcast, the audience will be asked to mute themselves and to turn off their cameras. 

Guest Biographies

Val Ken Lem is a liaison librarian and collections lead for Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University Libraries. He makes purchases supporting English, French, Spanish, History, Caribbean Studies, Music, and Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Val has a large personal collection of material on Asian Canadians and manages the Asian Heritage in Canada website hosted by the TMU Library. The largest portion of the site is devoted to bio-bibliographical entries on Asian Canadian literary writers. At present about 650 authors are profiled. Val is also a regular reviewer for CM: Canadian Review of Materials, an online reviewing journal of books and media for children and teenagers. In a reviewing career spanning over 30 years, he has published close to 200 reviews.

Hana Kim is the Director of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library at the University of Toronto (U of T). Previously, she was the Head Librarian of the Asian Library at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Hana has a Bachelor of Education from the Korean National University of Education and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from McGill University.

Hana has published and presented on various topics, including East Asian studies librarianship, Asian Canadian heritage, diversity, equity, and access. She initiated the Korean Canadian Heritage Archives Project, a nationwide effort to document and preserve the history and contributions of Korean Canadians in collaboration with UBC. At the University of Toronto, she has led initiatives to promote and engage with Asian Canadian heritage through library programs and activities.

Hana is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Korean Canadian Heritage Award. She has held various leadership roles in organizations such as the Council on East Asian Libraries, where she served as President, and the Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance Steering Committee. Hana has also participated in several international organizations, such as the Association of Research Libraries Kaleidoscope Program Task Force and the portal: Libraries and the Academy Editorial Board.

In her spare time, Hana enjoys writing poetry and translating modern Korean poems. Her translations and original poems have been featured in various publications, including Variety Crossing and Han Kŭt: Critical Art and Writing by Korean Canadian Women (Inanna Publications). Her most recent work, “The Perpetual Foreigner,” was featured in Ricepaper Magazine in 2023.

Johnny D Trinh is the Artistic Director of Vancouver Poetry House. Johnny is also the founder and Artistic Producer of Stage to Page Performance Society, and current Write-in-Residence at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, and an Artist-in-Residence at the Lionsgate Community Centre in North Vancouver.

Johnny’s pedagogy is rooted in deepening the connection and intercultural exchange as uninvited settlers on this Indigenous Turtle Island, with Indigenous peoples through understanding shared and contemporary history.

Johnny holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Regina, a diploma in Music Theatre Performance from the Randolph College for the Performing Arts, and Hon. BA in Drama from the University of Waterloo. Johnny is member of the League of Canadian Poets, and alumni of the Banff Spoken Word Residency and Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre Summer Intensive, and a TEDxSurrey Speaker and Coach. “It takes a community to build an artist … whether we are nurtured by it, or resist against it.”

Dan K. Woo is editor of the anthology, The Spirits Have Nothing to Do with Us, forthcoming in Spring 2023 from Buckrider Books. He was winner of the 2018 Ken Klonsky Award, a literary prize for a novella with a social justice theme and author of Letters to Little Comrade (2023). His recent collection, Taobao: Stories, was featured on the Chicago Review of Books most anticipated reads of 2022. He also works full time as a Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers and occasionally teaches at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. 


When: Thursday, April 27, 2023
7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Online (Zoom)

PART I: Catherine Graham 

For National Poetry Month, we are thrilled to present an evening of poetry with beloved Toronto author Catherine Graham. Catherine will speak a little about her writing practice and read selections from her many books of poetry, including her newest book, Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems (will be released by Wolsak & Wynn in April). She will be reading for the first portion of our program until 8:15 pm or so.

PART II: Open Mic in Honour of National Poetry Month

5 MINUTES PER READER (Please time your reading carefully in advance)

Open Mic spots are reserved for members of CAA–Toronto, with one spot per event going to a non-member. For the month of April, all open mic readers are being requested to read poetry.

Please email “hello at jfgarrard.com” (Subject line: OPEN MIC APRIL 2023) by April 24, 2023 to request your spot.

All are welcome to attend this free event. Please invite family and friends. Let’s drum up a real audience!

IMPORTANT: If you are hoping to read, be sure to register for your individualized Zoom link AND request a spot by emailing.

Note: We are requesting readers to present works that do not include any mentions of extreme violence, rape, incest and other uncomfortable situations. Thank you!


Catherine Graham is an award-winning poet, novelist and creative writing instructor based in Toronto. Her eighth book Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, Toronto Book Award, and won the Fred Kerner Book Award. The Celery Forest was named a CBC Best Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Poetry. Her debut novel Quarry won The Miramichi Reader Award for Best Fiction, an IPPY Gold Medal for Fiction and was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award and Fred Kerner Book Award. The Most Cunning Heart is included in The Miramichi Reader’s Best Fiction Book of the Year list. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award, leads the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Book Club and co-hosts The Hummingbird Podcast. Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems appears this April. Visit her online at www.catherinegraham.com and @catgrahampoet

Photo credit: Marion Voysey

www.catherinegraham.com She/her



The Hummingbird Podcast

Winner of the Fred Kerner Book Award. Finalist for the Trillium Book AwardToronto Book Awards

Advance Praise for Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected:

“This is a book to keep by your bedside, to read when you dream and when you awaken. The poems will disturb, they will shatter, they will mend. They do what a poem in these troubled times can do.” – Lorna Crozier







When: March 30, 2023; 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time


What is postcolonial horror, and how does it differ from conventional horror? Join us for what what promises to be a fascinating session with award-winning horror writer and editor TONYA LIBURD, whose stories and poems have garnered recognition in Toronto and beyond.

What you’ll hear:

  • How Tonya approaches her writing career
  • How her work as a magazine editor has shaped her writing and her thoughts about publishing
  • Her thoughts about code switching, Black horror, and postcolonial horror
  • Her novel-in-progress

Tonya will also treat us to a reading and field a few questions before we move on to Part II of the evening, which is an open mic for our members.


Tonya Liburd shares a birthday with Ray Bradbury and Simeon Daniel, which may tell you a little something about her. (And if only the first half of that statement rings a bell, here’s a primer on Simeon Daniel, who was the National Hero of St. Kitts and Nevis).

She is an Apex Magazine Reader’s Choice 2022 Fiction Winner, and a 2017 and 2018 Rhysling Award nominee. Her fiction is used in Nisi Shawl’s Writing the Other course and Tananarive Due’s Black Horror course at UCLA (which has featured Jordan Peele as guest lecturer), as an example of “code switching”. She is also the recipient of a 2020 Ontario Arts Council writer’s grant in 2020, a 2021 Horror Writers Association Diversity Grant, and a 2023 Recommender’s Grant for writing. 

She is an Editor over at The Expanse Magazine

You can find her blogging at https://www.Tonya.ca, on Twitter at @somesillywowzer, or at Patreon at www.Patreon.com/TonyaLiburd 


Join us after Tonya Liburd’s talk for an Open Mic from 8:20 p.m. to 9 p.m.


5 MINUTES PER READER (Please time your reading carefully in advance)

This event will be held on Zoom.

Open Mic Night!

Thursday, February 23, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 


All are welcome to this free event, but pre-registration is required. 

About this Event:

February is the month of Love and this open mic night features stories of love shared by 14 Canadian Authors–Toronto members and one non-member, who will have the opportunity to read their fiction, non-fiction, or poetry on Zoom. Whether you choose to share a published piece or a work-in-progress, we’re excited to hear your words!

All are welcome to attend, and we hope you’ll invite friends and family to join the audience. 

Reading spots are reserved for CAA–Toronto members, with one exception: as part of our continual outreach efforts, we’ll invite one non-member to read at each open mic. 

Note: We are requesting readers to present works that do not have any mentions of extreme violence, rape, incest and other uncomfortable situations. Thanks!

Journeys in Canadian Publishing, with Salma Hussain
Canadian Authors Association–Toronto
Thursday, January 26
7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Online (Zoom)
Happy New Year, CAA–Toronto members! For our first program of the 2023 season, we’re offering our members a chance to hear accomplished Toronto author Salma Hussain talk about her publishing journey.

Join us as Salma Hussain shares how she placed stories and poems in literary journals, won government grants, and published her first novel. Salma has kindly agreed to take questions, and we’ll dedicate plenty of time for a Q&A after her talk.
More about our speaker:
SALMA HUSSAIN grew up in the U.A.E., and immigrated to Canada when she was thirteen years old. She has a B.A. (Hon.) in English Literature, with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Calgary, a law degree from the University of Calgary, and a Master’s in Law from McGill University. Her short stories and poems have been published in Filling StationWest Coast LineOther Voices, and in the anthology Homebound: Muslim Women Poetry Collection (Outburst Press). She is a graduate of the Humber Summer Writing Workshop and won the International Festival of Authors’ Litjam short story competition (2018). She was also a mentee in the Diaspora Dialogues’ long-form mentorship program last year. She lives with her family in Toronto.

Mona learns to find her voice over the course of a year that sees her immigrating from Dubai to Canada in this novel for fans of Front Desk by Kelly Yang.

Mona Hasan is a young Muslim girl growing up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when the first Gulf War breaks out in 1991. The war isn’t what she expects — “We didn’t even get any days off school! Just my luck” — especially when the ground offensive is over so quickly and her family peels the masking tape off their windows. Her parents, however, fear there is no peace in the region, and it sparks a major change in their lives.

Over the course of one year, Mona falls in love, speaks up to protect her younger sister, loses her best friend to the new girl at school, has summer adventures with her cousins in Pakistan, immigrates to Canada, and pursues her ambition to be a feminist and a poet.


Quill & Quire 2022 Book of the Year
One of CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2022)

“An ambitious novel that is both heartfelt and tongue-in-cheek.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Mona’s voice is good-humored, and her diary entries—comprising lists, poems, and letters from supporting characters—amalgamate into a wise and introspective debut.” —Publishers Weekly

“Upper elementary and middle grade readers will identify with this spunky, thoughtful, 12-year-old heroine . . . the short vignettes of this book are perfect for reluctant readers and may spark conversations about war, Operation Desert Storm, immigration, international affairs, the Muslim religion, and school equality for girls.” —School Library Journal