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Friday Nights with Diaspora Dialogues

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Friday Nights with Diaspora Dialogues

Friday, April 23, 2010 - 7:00pm


Toronto Public Library - Palmerston Branch
560 Palmerston Ave
Toronto, ON


What better way to spend three Friday nights – April 23 & 30 – but in the company of some of the best writers and performers in Toronto! Diaspora Dialogues returns for its fifth year with its popular Friday night series of free readings and performances in the cozy space that is the Palmerston Library’s theatre. This is all part of the Toronto Public Library’s Keep Toronto Reading Festival which runs for the month of April and is a celebration of all the books we love.

Your host for this evening is CBC's Garvia Bailey. With readings by Jaspreet Singh and Monica Rosas. Spoken word by Heather Hermant and musical performance by Brenda MacIntyre. There is also an excerpted play reading of Spin Alley by Donna-Michelle St Bernard.


Heather Hermant is a Toronto multidisciplinary poet whose work in a variety of artistic genres has taken her across Canada, and to Hungary, Bosnia, Romania, Panama, China, Mexico and the Internet. Poetry, archival documentary, physical theatre, live VJ mixing and live music collide in her current integrated arts project, ribcage: this wide passage, a performance installation based on her archival adventures tracing the very queer story of Esther Brandeau, a Jewish woman who came to Canada in 1738 passing as a Christian boy, Jacques LaFargue. Heather is a Resident Artist at urban ink productions, Vancouver, and she teaches Community Arts at York University.

Bluesy melodies and indigenous chant with a reggae-soul flavour...When you get Brenda MacIntyre, you’re getting a complete package – she is an award-winning singer-songwriter, highly skilled inspirational speaker and facilitator, as well as a Native Canadian healer and visual artist. MacIntyre offers drumming/singing and healing circles, women’s empowerment workshops, talks and on-site healing sessions. She can sing a cappella or with side musicians, and her repertoire of all original songs is endless – literally – because apart from her over 300 songs, she can spontaneously channel (improvise) one new song after another, live on stage, with or without musicians. MacIntyre has a passion for her inspire hope in an increasingly fragile world and to help silenced women find their voice.

Monica Rosas is an educator/agitator/artist whose work aims to challenge and provoke community discussion on gender, the environment and the visible minority experience. A second-generation Colombian-Peruvian Canadian, she has traveled and worked in Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and Toronto writing and teaching English and Drama. Monica is the author of Inside Out a collection of poetry published by Lyrical Myrical. She is the curator of Cha Cha, a yearly women's literary event in Toronto on the topic of sexuality. Monica is currently working on a novella called Salt Water and Cinnamon Skinwith Tightrope Books.

Jaspreet Singh was born in Punjab, and brought up in Kashmir and in several cities in India. He is a former research scientist with a PhD in chemical engineering from McGill University, Montreal. His debut short-story collection, Seventeen Tomatoes, won the 2004 McAuslan First Book Prize. Chef, his first novel, won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was a finalist for four awards. He lives in the Canadian Rockies.

Donna-Michelle St Bernard (aka Belladonna) is a wordsmith working in hip hop, spoken word, theatre and interdisciplinary creation. Recent works include Gas Girls, Salome's Clothes, Threepiece(playwright), The Movement Project's How We Forgot Here, Yvette Nolan's Job's Wife, John Field's Oops!, Marika Schwandt's Mullato Nation (director), Terminal Five with the Artists Play Collective (dancer), and hip hop EPs the bridge/ is over and Off My Chest (vocalist). Donna-Michelle is the General Manager of Native Earth Performing Arts and Artistic Director of New Harlem Productions. Donna-Michelle is currently the director of How We Forgot Here, an interdisciplinary performance created by a collective called The Movement Project. Through 2010, she also has the privilege of participation in the DiverseCity Fellows program, an initiative of the Maytree Foundation and Toronto City Summit Alliance.

Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

For more information please contact: Aisling Riordan, Marketing Coordinator, Diaspora Dialogues 416 944 1101 ext 363,


Toronto Public Library - Palmerston Branch
560 Palmerston Ave
Toronto, ON

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