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The Art Bar is held at the fabulous
Free Times Cafe,
320 College Street,
(College/Spadina)

$5 at the door

Click here to visit their website -

Free Times



Our New Schedule - - - - and Win cash on the Open Mic



29-Aug-17 , 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Your Host: Rosa Arlotto

Our Feature Readers:

Dan Szczesny
Dan is a long time writer and journalist currently calling New Hampshire home, but originally from Buffalo. He's written several books, including travel memoirs, a collection of fiction and volume of poetry. He's been published in a wide variety of national publications including Huffington Post, Yahoo Parenting and Appalachia Journal. His short story, White Like Marble, was a finalist in the 2017 Hemingway Foundation Short Shorts Contest.

Scott Williams
Williams first published poetry in 1968. He has given Featured Readings in Buffalo, New York , in Erie, Pennsylvania and in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. His poems have appeared in The Buffalo News, The Sunday Review, Night and Day, Peach Mag, Steel Bellow, Ground and Sky and anthologized in Coffeehouse Writings From The Web. Scott's chapbooks are Bonvibre Rides His Magic Horse Pillow (1969), A Tooting of Horns (2014), Snallygasters Need (2016) and Bonvibre Haiku (2017). Encyclopedia Britannica acknowledged (2000) his web site on the Harlem Renaissance poet Jean Toomer as the best and most accurate for further information on the subject. In Buffalo, Williams monthly curates the poetry series Second Stage Writers on each 2nd Friday. Scott's Facebook poetry page is Bonvibre Poetry.

Robert Priest
Robert Priest has written plays, songs, picture books, and poetry for young readers. His critically acclaimed fantasy novel Knights of the Endless Day was compared to the Narnia Chronicles. His latest three-part series, Spell Crossed, includes The Paper Sword, Second Kiss, and Missing Piece. He lives in Toronto.

05-Sep-17 , 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Your Host: Margaret Code

Our Feature Readers:

Jason Irwin
JASON IRWIN is the author of A Blister of Stars (Low Ghost, 2016), Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008), winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award, and the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014), & Some Days It's A Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005). He has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. He grew up in Dunkirk, NY, and now lives in Pittsburgh. www.jasonirwin.blogspot.com

Jen Ashburn
Jen Ashburn is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Light on the Wall (Main Street Rag). Originally from Southern Indiana, she now lives in Pittsburgh.

Zachary Jones
Zak Jones is a creative writing student at the University of Toronto studying under soon to be dead but still important women and men. His poetry is a confused empathetic experiment shouted at bars and salons over the city. He loves his mother and loves his brother and will have a book out when he's good and ready. Jones poetry can be recited appropriately to friends and enemies so bring both and see both in him. The To

12-Sep-17 , 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Your Host: David Silverberg

Our Feature Readers:

Michael Boughn
Michael Boughn is a writer and teacher whose published works include poetry, literary essays, short stories, and young adult non-fiction. He has also taught part-time at the University of Toronto since 1993, covering courses in post-modern fiction, poetry, children’s literature, American literature, detective fiction and science fiction, among others.

Trista Hurley-Waxali
Trista Hurley-Waxali just finished a stint living in LA for 6 years and is looking forward to her next adventure. She has performed at Avenue 50, Stories Bookstore and internationally at O’bheal in Ireland and for Helsinki Poetry Connection. She writes weird short stories and is working on her novel, At This Juncture.

Kent Bowman
In 1970, Ted Plantos encouraged me to write poetry (i.e., , Purple Cowboy, Glasseaters' Banquet, section in The House Poets' Anthology). In 2007, my essay on "The Creative Process (Songwriting, Composing, Writing Poetry)," was accepted by Imagination in Action. In 2008, I contributed "Plate Spinning in America" to Crossing Lines: Poets who came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era. In 2009, And Left a Place to Stand On accepted "Zen River Memories." In 2010, my poetry book, On the Other Side of Paradise, was published. Recent poems appeared in Arborealis, Decabration, Verse Afire and in The Poet Train Anthology.

19-Sep-17 , 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Your Host: Mike Lipsius

Our Feature Readers:

Klara du Plessis
Klara du Plessis is a Montreal-based poet and critic. Her chapbook, Wax Lyrical—shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award—was released from Anstruther Press, 2015; a debut collection, Ekke, is forthcoming from Palimpsest Press, 2018. Poems have recently appeared in Asymptote, Canthius, CV2, the Literary Review of Canada, PRISMinternational, among others. She curates the Resonance Reading Series, and currently writes reviews and essays for The Montreal Review of Books, The Rusty Toque and Debutantes—a reviews site she started with Aaron Boothby to celebrate debut collections of poetry.

Barbara Pelman
Barbara Pelman is a retired high school and University English teacher who resides in Victoria BC. She is an active participant in Victoria's literary community, offering and hosting poetry workshops and assisting at Planet Earth Poetry venue as workshop coordinator and sometime host. She has three published books of poetry (One Stone, Borrowed Rooms, Narrow Bridge), one chapbook (Aubade Amalfi), and many poems published in various literary journals. Her poems appear in the Leaf Press anthologies, edited by Patrick Lane, and in Refugium: Poems for the Pacific (2017). She conducts poetry workshops for teachers, students, and adults.

Duncan Armstrong
TOpoet.ca fills the gap between form and content where it strives to give an objective presence to imaginary constructions of bourgeois or radical psychology. It embraces the realm of the ‘superficial’ as a refusal of ‘substance,’ which is culturally inscribed in heteronormative terms. TOpoet is a poet, short-story writer & novelist that has hit stages from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Washington, D.C. - in Toronto it has performed at HOWL, Cryptic Chatter, Hot-Sauced Words, Poetic Justice, Word Jam, The Art Bar, Word on the Street, Pride, Queer West Fest, Plasticine Poetry & The Beautiful and the Damned.

26-Sep-17 , 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Your Host: Rosa Arlotto

Our Feature Readers:

Jim Johnstone
Jim Johnstone is a Toronto-based poet, critic, and editor. He is the author of 5 books of poetry, including The Chemical Life (Véhicule Press, 2017) and Dog Ear (Véhicule Press, 2014). In 2016, he won Poetry's Editors Prize for Book Reviewing.

Susan McCaslin
Susan McCaslin will be launching Into the Open: Poems New and Selected (Inanna) in Toronto on Sept. 27. Her previous volume is Painter, Poet, Mountain: After Cézanne (Quattro, 2016). She has published a memoir, Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna, 2014) and a volume of essays, Arousing the Spirit (Wood Lake, 2011). Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011) was short-listed for the BC Poetry Book Prize and first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award. Susan lives outside Fort Langley, BC, where she initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project to help save an endangered rainforest. www.susanmccaslin.ca

Josh Smith
Josh Smith of Buffalo has been a fixture on the Toronto poetry scene since his first appearance at the Art Bar Poetry Series in 2010. He has since joined the series’s board of directors, and in 2012, he was named Buffalo’s best poet and best spoken word artist. I sat down (at my computer, and exchanged emails) with Josh before his November 13 visit to the Brockton Writers Series.

03-Oct-17 , 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Your Host: Margaret Code

Our Feature Readers:

Hiram Larew
Larew's poems have appeared widely, most recently in Honest Ulsterman, Amsterdam Quarterly and Shot Glass. He's a retired food security specialst.

Susan McCaslin
Susan McCaslin will be launching Into the Open: Poems New and Selected (Inanna) in Toronto on Sept. 27. Her previous volume is Painter, Poet, Mountain: After Cézanne (Quattro, 2016). She has published a memoir, Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna, 2014) and a volume of essays, Arousing the Spirit (Wood Lake, 2011). Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011) was short-listed for the BC Poetry Book Prize and first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award. Susan lives outside Fort Langley, BC, where she initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project to help save an endangered rainforest. www.susanmccaslin.ca

Joe Denham
Bio - t.b.a

10-Oct-17 , 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Your Host: Myna Wallin

Our Feature Readers:

Spencer Gordon
Spencer Gordon is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Cosmo (Coach House Books, 2012). Fall 2017 sees the launch of his debut collection of poetry, Cruise Missile Liberals (Nightwood Editions, and a blewointment Book). He is also co-founder of The Puritan, the decade-old literary journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, EVENT, THIS Magazine, Poetry Is Dead, The Winnipeg Review, CNQ, Broken Pencil, Joyland and many other periodicals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Sports Writing (ECW, 2017). He lives in Toronto.

Anne Campbell
Regina writer Anne Campbell’s work -- poetry, fiction and non-fiction -- includes her sixth book, The Fabric of Day, new and selected poems; the award-winning Regina’s Secret Spaces: love and lore of local geography, and most recently , Biblio Files, a history of the Regina Public Library. Readings of her work have taken her across Canada, the USA and to Britain; her music, with composer Tom Schudel, has been performed internationally. She was one of the first writers to receive the City of Regina Writing award. Anne was born in northern Saskatchewan in a Red Cross Outpost Hospital.

Benjamin Hertwig
Benjamin Hertwig's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, NPR, THIS, Prairie Fire, Alberta Views, The Sun Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, and the Literary Review of Canada, among others. He is a former winner of the Glass Buffalo Poetry Prize, the Prairie Fire Non-Fiction Contest, and the recipient of a National Magazine Award. His debut poetry collection, Slow War, is out with McGill-Queen's.




The Art Bar Poetry Series is recognized as the longest running
poetry-only reading series in Canada - 25 Years!


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