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 and will feature Concordia Alumni Suzanne Buffam and Trish Salah as well as Evie Shockley, Damian Rogers, and many more. We are also organizing several panels and we need participants. Listed below are the readings, panels, and confirmed guests as well as the time and venue for each event. For updates go to, or follow @offthepagefest @CUWritersRead on Twitter, and Writers Read Concordia on Facebook.


5:00 PM – THE VOID Magazine Presents: Off The Page Undergraduate Reading
Venue: LB 6th Floor English Department (room number TBA), 1400 de Maisonneuve

7:30 PM – Writers Read: Damian Rogers, Suzanne Buffam, Sarah Burgoyne
Venue: Grey Nuns Building M100, 1175 Rue St Mathieu

Damian Rogers is a poetry editor at House of Anansi Press and The Walrus. Her first book of poetry, Paper Radio, was published in 2009, followed by a second collection, Dear Leader, in 2015.

Suzanne Buffam is the author of three collections of poetry. The first, Past Imperfect, won the Gerald Lampert Award in 2006. Her second, The Irrationalist, was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her third, A Pillow Book, was published in 2016. In 2013, Buffam was a judge for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Sarah Burgoyne is a Montreal-based writer originally from Canada’s west coast. Her first collection Saint Twin (A Stuart Ross Book) was released earlier this year. Her chapbook Love the Sacred Raisin Cakes was published with Baseline Press in 2014 and Happy Dog, Sad Dog with Proper Tales Press in 2013.


5:00-6:30 PM – Panel/Performance: A Haunting
Featuring: Kama La Mackerel, Raïssa Simone, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Alisha Mascarenhas, Eli Lynch, and Cedar-Eve Peters
Venue: LB 6th Floor English Department (room numbers TBA), 1400 de Maisonneuve

Description & Call for participants: “A Haunting” will address the question of what it means to occupy an already occupied space—in the context of ghostly stories, and in narratives of indigeneity and immigration. We ask: how do our bodies in the present interact with the ghosts of the future? How are we haunted by our voices, our silences? We explore the act of writing as possessive, an engagement with identity, history, language, and secrets mediated through the body in performance. “A Haunting” will present the creative research prompted by these questions in the form of a performance-based ghost tour curated from local artists’ submissions (Deadline Oct. 24th!). (More details below).

7:00 PM – Writers Read: Evie Shockley and Trish Salah
Venue: York Amphitheatre EV 1.605 (Sir George Williams Campus), 1515 St. Catherine W.

Evie Shockley is the author of several collections of poetry, including A Half-Red Sea (2006) and The New Black (2011). In a review of The New Black for Library Journal, Chris Pusateri observed, ”Shockley’s irk incorporates elements of myth without being patently ‘mythical’ and is personal without being self-indulgent, sentimental without being saccharine.”

Trish Salah, born in Halifax, is the author of the Lambda Award-winning Wanting in Arabic and of Lyric Sexology, Vol. 1. She is co-editor of a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, on Trans Cultural Production, and a member of the editorial boards of TSQ and Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. Currently Salah is assistant professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s University.


2:30 PM-4:00 PM – Panel: SHAME: A Fictional Exploration
Featuring: Anna Leventhal, Jowita Bydlowska, and Fawn Parker
Venue: Temps Libre, 5605 Avenue de Gaspé, suite 106

Anna Leventhal’s acclaimed short story collection Sweet Affliction won the Quebec Writers’ Federation ‘Concordia University First Book Prize’, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by the CBC. Her writing has appeared in Geist, Matrix, Maisonneuve, The Montreal Review of Books, and several short fiction anthologies. She was nominated for the Journey Prize, won a Quebec Writing Competition award, as well as being shortlisted for a Canada Writes award.

Jowita Bydlowska is a Toronto-based journalist and novelist originally from Warsaw, Poland. She is the author of Drunk Mom (2013), and recently published a new book, Guy, on October 14th of this year. She has been published in the National Post, the Globe and Mail, Salon Magazine, The Times UK, Elle, FASHION, Chatelaine, and many other platforms. She writes a regular column for the Toronto Star on mental health, and is a frequent contributor to The Fix magazine.

Fawn Parker is a writer from Toronto and is currently based in Montreal. Her most recent book, Looking Good and Having a Good Time, was published by Metatron Press in 2015. She is the co-founder of Bad Nudes Magazine.

4:15 PM-5:15 PM – Book Launch/Reading: Erin Wunker and Johanna Skibsrud
Venue: Temps Libre, 5605 Avenue de Gaspé, suite 106

Erin Wunker is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Acadia University. She is the co-founder of the feminist academic blog Hook and Eye, and a member of the Board of Canadian Women in the Literary Arts. Wunker is launching Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life in November.

Johanna Skibsrud is the youngest writer to have won the Giller Prize in 2010 for her debut novel, The Sentimentalists. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction and two books of poetry. She will be launching her third poetry collection, The Description of the World, at Off the Page Festival.

6:00 PM-8:30 PM – Panel: The Kitchen Table, or We Need to Talk About Lionel Shriver
Featuring: Madelyne Beckles, Kai Cheng Thom, Fariha Róisín, Erin Wunker, Trish Salah
Venue: Temps Libre, 5605 Avenue de Gaspé, suite 106

Dinner is SERVED!

This panel brings together some of Canada’s leading academics, writers, and artists to discuss issues of cultural appropriation in the arts. An informal discussion held over a dinner party, the audience is invited to listen in and maybe even take a seat at the table.

9 PM – Panel/Performance: What Remains: A Literary Wake
Venue: Studio Boobz, a feminist genderqueer jamspace, 163-B Avenue Van Horne, 2nd floor

“What Remains: A Literary Wake” is a literary performance of selected works and experimental rock/electro adaptations that address the Frankensteinian aspect of reanimating the musical orality of the printed word. We will attempt to channel the electricity of music in ways that allow us to bring to life works that deal with notions of sonic haunting, literary decomposition, ephemeral/electrical embodiment, and/or forms of death. With interest in showcasing the vocality of literature, each artist will recite their work from memory to a live audience while in the dark before musicians perform interpretive compositions of the work.

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Writers Read is a diverse literary reading series at Concordia University, and has recently hosted such authors as Mary Ruefle, Ben Lerner, Dionne Brand, and Roxane Gay. Writers read is supported by the Faculty of Arts & Science at Concordia University and the English Department.