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April participants include Ghalib Islam, Kate Pullinger and Miriam Toews

TORONTO, March 26, 2014 ---- IFOA Weekly’s 40th season continues next month with five exciting events: Poetry NOW: 6th annual Battle of the Bards (April 2); a round table with Ghalib Islam, Adam Sternbergh and Jane Woods (April 9); readings by Jonas T. Bengtsson, Jennifer McMahon and Kate Pullinger (April 16); a conversation between Alena Graedon, Harry Karlinsky and Peter Norman (April 23) and an evening with authors Ondjaki, Miriam Toews and Evie Wyld (April 30).

April 2: In celebration of National Poetry Month, 20 poets face off in Poetry NOW: 6th annual Battle of the Bards. This year’s participants are Clara Blackwood, Jason Camlot, Edward Carson, Sadiqa de Meijer, Kate Marshall Flaherty, Len Gasparini, Catherine Graham, Aisha Sasha John, Julie Joosten, JonArnoLawson, Shannon Maguire, Chris Pannell, Sarah Pinder, Jacob Scheier, Deena Kara Shaffer, JimSmith, Sheila Stewart, John Terpstra, Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang and Adrienne Weiss. A jury made up of IFOA Director Geoffrey Taylor, Artistic Associate Jen Tindall and Joe Kertes, Dean of Creative and Performing Arts at Humber, will select one poet to win an invitation to read at the 35th annual International Festival of Authors (October 23 to November 2, 2014) and have their book advertised in NOW Magazine. Long-time IFOA interviewer and NOW Magazine editor Susan G. Cole hosts.

April 9: Three talented novelists take the stage to read from and discuss the alternate realities in their highly anticipated debuts. Canadian author Ghalib Islam shares his remarkable novel, Fire in the Unnameable Country, a book filled with original characters and rendered in uniquely inventive language. Adam Sternbergh, culture editor of The New York Times Magazine, presents Shovel Ready, a dynamite novel about a garbage man turned hit man on the dangerous streets of a near-future New York City. Canadian translator and writer Jane Woods shares the The Walking Tanteek, a whip-smart story that follows Maggie Prentice, an unforgettable character searching for meaning in the universe.

April 16: Critically acclaimed Danish author Jonas T. Bengtsson reads from his third novel, A Fairy Tale, an unforgettable story about the profound love between a father and son. New York Times-bestselling author Jennifer McMahon shares The Winter People, a literary thriller about ghostly secrets and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters. Governor General’s Literary Award winner Kate Pullinger presents Landing Gear, a highly imaginative story of colliding worlds and extraordinary connections.

April 23: Three gifted writers take the stage to read from and discuss their new literary mysteries. American author Alena Graedon shares her clever debut, The Word Exchange, a story about the dangers of technology and the power of the printed word. Author and Professor of Psychiatry Harry Karlinsky presents The Stonehenge Letters, a wryly documented archive of a fascinating secret competition. Toronto poet and fiction writer Peter Norman presents his first novel, Emberton, a literary gothic tale aimed at lovers of books and language.

April 30: Prize-winning Angolan author Ondjaki reads from his latest novel, Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret, a charming coming-of-age story set in Luanda during the Cold War. Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize winner Miriam Toews presents her sixth novel, All My Puny Sorrows, a riveting story of two sisters and a profound reflection on the limits of love. Betty Trask Award winner Evie Wyld shares All the Birds, Singing, a stunningly insightful novel about an outsider haunted by an inescapable past.

Bios of all participants are available at

Events take place at 7:30pm in the York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West). Tickets are $10 to the general public, FREE for supporters, students and youth 25 and under with ID. Box Office/Information: 416-973-4000 or

Since its inception in 1974, IFOA has hosted over 8,500 authors from more than 100 countries, including over 20 Nobel Laureates. Our season runs from September to June and includes the annual International Festival of Authors (October 23–November 2, 2014), including YoungIFOA and IFOA Ontario, and the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers with Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 14–15, 2014).


Maeve O’Regan:; 416-973-5836
Meghan Gribben:; 416-973-4395

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