The AbleHamilton Poetry Collective has organized one of the first disAbility-focused poetry festivals in Canada. HA&L is a proud partner of the 2nd Annual AbleHamilton Poetry Festival!
Hamilton • Toronto • Guelph
OCTOBER 24 – NOVEMBER 3, 2019
Roxanna Bennett is a disabled poet whose works include Unseen Garden, (chapbook, knife | fork | book, 2018) and The Uncertainty Principle (Tightrope Books, 2014). Her work has appeared in PRISM International, Arc Poetry Magazine, Riddle Fence, Poetry is Dead, Vallum, CV2 and elsewhere. Her new book, Unmeaningable, is forthcoming from Gordon Hill Press in 2019. She lives in Whitby, Ontario.
[bill bissett] originalee from lunaria th planet home i drempt uv almost evree nite in my erlee dayze on erth i wud wake up skreeming i missd it sew th wundrful oramge lite that was evreewher n we cud derive huge n lasting enerjee from n i was finding it veree diffikult getting usd 2 erthling wayze whats calld th lizard mind n aftr a sereez uv operaysyuns n cud no longr b a dansr i bgan 2 follow veree ardentlee th paths uv my second choises painting n writing n th dewing uv thos have bin sustaining my life n i love getting in2 sound n vizual poetree his her storikal politikul meta physical romantik sexual idealistik lyrik narrativ n non narrativ n fuseyun poetree iuv alwayze beleevd we ar all part parts uv each othr n thats th tragedee n th possibul upliftment uv th life on erth xperiens all th lessons uv whil thers still time 4 us n th erth i startid working at 12 n did btween 2 weeks n 3 months at oakalla prison farm 24/7 all thees arts help us talk n b with each othr n make valuabul all our lives my first books we sleep inside each othr all ganglia press 1965 fires in th tempul OR th jinx ship n othr trips very hous was in th band mandan massacre was also latr 1986-91 luddites based in london ontario until 91 books n shows along th way
vancouvr art galleree 72 n 84 n 91 forest city galleree. power point museum london reach galleree abbbotsford glad day books n th secret handshake art galleree n 2 weeks at th ago 2017 a group uv wundrful sound poets 2 prformances 4 dayze a week b4 that facilitating poetree workshop at workman arts almost 5 yeers nu book with talonbooks b r e t h / th treez uv lunaria selektid rare n nu pomes n nu cd th ride with pete dako am a volunteer direktor n programs mgr n tresurer at th secret handshske sins 13 yeers wch i love being a part uv n have dun reedings in vancouvr calgary lethbridg montreal toronto whitehors st catherines kimberley cape breton seattul nu york citee london england cardiff dublin yorkshire lankashire cotswilds victoria holland belgium bc spain france germany geneva n russia n now have works in th touring vizual poetree concrete is porous acts 1 2 3 n 4 toronto ottawa windsor st catherines curatid by hart broudy n daniel f. bradley n myself wch bgan in 2018 at th secret handshake galleree n will continu thruout 2019.
Mugabi Byenkya is a writer, poet and occasional rapper. Mugabi’s writing is used to teach international high school English reading comprehension. His debut experimental epistolary speculative novel, Dear Philomena, was published in 2017 and he recently concluded a 42 city, 4 country North America/East Africa tour in support of this.
In 2018, Mugabi was named one of 56 writers who has contributed to his native Uganda’s literary heritage in the 56 years since independence by Writivism. Dear Philomena was named a Ugandan bestseller in the same year.
Mugabi wants to be Jaden Smith when he grows up.
Jody Chan is a writer and organizer based in Toronto. They are the poetry editor for Hematopoeisis, a 2017 VONA alum, a member of the Winter Tangerine Workshops Team, and the 2018 winner of the Third Coast Poetry Contest. Their first chapbook is published with Damaged Goods Press. Their work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is published in BOAAT, Looseleaf Magazine, Nat. Brut, The Shade Journal, and elsewhere. They can be found online at www.jodychan.com and offline in bookstores or dog parks.
Leo Dragtoe is a man of many words. Words seem to like him and the feeling is mutual: they have developed a very close relationship. As Leo drags his feet through the street corners, alleyways and moonlit pavements of everyday life, words ring in his ears, tear at his heartstrings and permeate his mind. Sometimes they find their way onto scraps of paper or the throbbing insomniac canvas of a computer screen. Sometimes they fuse with melody to become songs. Sometimes words keep Leo up at night. Sometimes they echo through the dim, deserted hallways of his dreams. Leo Dragtoe is a man of few ambitions. He has no desire to Climb the Corporate Ladder, Slay the Dragon, Scale the Barbwire Fence to Sainthood, or Save the Universe. He would, however, love to spend some time, have a drink and maybe pass a few words your way. If those words come together and the poetry they create is potent, anything can happen. Leo hopes that the words he shares make an impression. The nature of that impression is completely up to you. Sometimes life is difficult. Smiles are few and far between. But if this life is just a dream, Leo believes with all his heart that poetry makes living the dream worth living.
Bruce Hunter writes in many genres including journalism. Five of his books are poetry including Two O’clock Creek – poems new and selected, which won the 2010 Acorn-Plantos Peoples’ Poetry Award.
In the Bear’s House, one of the first novels about deafness by a deaf person published in Canada, won the 2009 Canadian Rockies Prize at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Bruce’s best-selling short story collection, Country Music Country which was serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers and has just been reissued in its third edition. Most recently, he was the 2017 Author in Residence for Calgary Public Library.
Bruce is legally blind, and legally, but not culturally, deaf; the former since his early thirties and the latter since age 18 months. He grew up in the 1960s in a hearing family and attended hearing schools after his mother refused to send him to a residential school for the Deaf.
Bruce has lived all over Southern Ontario including Stratford and Vineland. A journalism school-dropout, he worked as a labourer and a Zamboni driver. He later trained in horticulture and was the gardener for Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines.
In 1975 he published his first poem on deafness and won a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts to study with W.O. Mitchell and Irving Layton who encouraged him to attend university. After graduation, he became a professor and a learning centre coordinator for Seneca College.
As an author, speaker and advocate, Bruce has mentored two generations of young authors, including poet and playwright Adam Pottle. The Deaf Poets’ Society in the States recently syndicated Bruce’s piece on Adam originally written for Brick Books.
Bruce continues to lobby for assistive devices and services, especially for those with vision and hearing loss.
Annie Lepage—sometimes known as “notabeanie”—is a writer, artist, performer, and small-time internet persona, currently operating out of Guelph, Ontario. Their interest in invisible and contested disabilities is shaped by their own experiences of neuro- divergence and chronic pain. Annie’s various works can be found online at www.notabeanie.me. They also write and draw Moody Bluth: Anti-Neoliberal Sleuth, a comic about magic, mysteries, and just trying to get your paperwork sorted for the disability services centre. It is available for free with image descriptions at: MoodyBluthComic.com.
Andrew McEwan is the author of the books repeater (a finalist for the 2013 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award) and If Pressed, as well as numerous chapbooks, including Conditional and Can’t tell if this book is depressing or if I’m just sad. His poetry and critical writings have appeared in Canadian Literature, Lemon Hound, Open Letter and Literatures of Madness: Disability Studies and Mental Health. Originally from Bright’s Grove, Ontario, he now lives in St. Catharines where he researches self-representations of mental illness and mental disability in contemporary avant-garde literatures.
Vanessa McGowan is a Toronto, Canada based spoken word artist & singer/songwriter living with Cerebral Palsy. McGowan’s EP “Alive” was released by Factory Fast Records, NYC & her work can be heard as the only poetry, on musical compilations “Americana Retrofit” and “Smoking Gun” She was the highest ranking Canadian poet to perform at The Capturing Fire International Summit 2015 in Washington, DC. and as a successful solo touring artist, Vanessa has featured at venues across North America . Publications include Divine Cockeyed Genius (bojit Press, 2012) and I Make People Leak…Sometimes (Little Crow Press 2015) McGowan is a proud co-founder of WordSpell, Canada’s only ongoingspoken word series showcasing women and non binary poets @ The Free Times Cafe.
Dominik Parisien is a disabled, bisexual, French Canadian poet, writer, and editor. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Antigonish Review, Plenitude, Wordgathering, as well as other magazines and journals. His poetry chapbook We, Old Young Ones was published by Frog Hollow Press through its Dis/Ability series.
Dominik is the 2019 Associate Program Editor for the FOLD (Festival of Literary Diversity). He is also the co-editor, with Navah Wolfe, of The Mythic Dream, Robots vs Fairies, and The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, which won the Shirley Jackson Award and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award. His most recent editorial project is Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry.
Originally from Eastern Ontario, Dominik now lives in Toronto.
Tom Prime is attending Western University for his PhD in English. He has an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Victoria (Specializing in Poetry). He has a BA at Western University. He has been published in Carousel, Ditch, Fjords Review, The Northern Testicle, The Rusty Toque, and Vallum.
His first chapbook, A Strange Hospital, was published on Proper Tales Press. His latest chapbook, Gravitynipplemilkplanet Anthroposcenesters, was published on above/ground press.
His debut full-length collection of poetry is a collaboration with Ontario poet Gary Barwin, entitled A Cemetery for Holes, forthcoming from Gordon Hill Press in Fall 2019.
Concetta Principe is a writer of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. She has published scholarship on Lacan, trauma and culture. Her latest publication is a chapbook of poems with Frog Hollow Press titled Conversion- or a Theory (2019). Her most recent book-length collection of poems This Real (Pedlar Press) was long-listed for the League of Canadian Poet’s Raymond Souster Award in 2018. She has three other books of poetry, the first of which won the Bressani Award for poetry in 2001, a book of fiction, and an academic monograph. Her creative work has appeared in a variety of literary journals including The Malahat Review, Matrix, Grain, The Capilano Review and is forthcoming in Hamilton Arts & Letters. She lives with depression and anxiety and currently teaches literature, theory and creative writing at Trent University.
Matt Rader is the author of several collections of poems, a book of stories, and most recently, Visual Inspection (Nightwood 2019), a book-length lyric essay on poetry, access, and our embodied-lives. Rader’s work has appeared in journals, magazines, websites, and anthologies across North America, Europe, and Australia. Core faculty in the Department of Creative Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, he lives in Kelowna, BC.
Elizabeth Tessier is from Hamilton, Ontario. She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Religious Studies, both from McMaster University. Her work is also informed by her 30 years working in Hamilton museums and her current life with early onset Parkinson’s. She has previously published in Hamilton Arts & Letters and in Evenings on Paisley Avenue: Seven Hamilton Poets. Her self-published collection, inspired by her years at Dundurn Castle, The Words They Cannot Say, was edited by her friend and mentor Marilyn Gear-Pilling and includes photos taken for the work by Jeff Tessier, her very supportive husband. Together they have four wonderful kids.
S.K.Y. Varnam is a queer, neurodivergent, and disabled Toronto-based writer, artist, and editor, as well as the founder of The Quilliad Press. They share a bedroom with two mischievious parrots, Riff Raff and Wobbles, both of whom regularly feature in their poetry. Much of their work also focuses on neurodivergency, queerness, and feminist themes. Their work has been published in several journals, including The Quarterday Review, Breath and Shadow, Third Wednesday, and Transition Magazine. They are currently prepping two poetry collections and working on a novella, thanks to grants from the OAC.
Steven de Taeye –Hymns57 is an uncompromising sound venture project, crafting hazy, disjointed tracks that have more to do with abstract memories at times than music.
He’s a local, social advocate and arbiter of ambient noise. Though it may sound like a lot of improvised tones, there’s a deep humanity to his work.
While working primarily with guitar and effects, Hymns57 often adopts field recording, found sound and samples to orchestrate a multivariate sonic landscape. Layers of carefully woven tape loops, made by hand, offer a temporary memory palace of unique textures that evoke a lingering nostalgia. A formula designed to immerse you into a dynamic audio experience.
Hymns57 is also the host of CFRU 93.3fm’s program Aural Tethers, which airs Friday evenings from 10pm to 1am. A broadcast of finely curated ambient terrain that weaves it’s way through experimental tapestry and beyond. Customized to lead your ears astray.
Willow Switch is a dark experimental folk/drone band by Robin Henry and Andra Zlatescu. Singing songs about the land, Willow Switch casts spells with eerie instrumentals and haunting harmonies.