Rowers special September Season Opener


Those usually at the hat will be at the mic instead!

Join us on Tuesday, September 5 for our special 11th season opening event.

The evening features reading by the Rowers Directors: Sue Bowness, Jennifer Foster, Megan Swaine, Heather Wood plus special guest readers including Patrick Connors, Lizzie Violet, Richard Scarsbrook (see bios below).

As part of the evening’s readings and festivities, there will be snacks and we’re also putting out a voluntary donation jar in support of Frontier College and its vital literacy programs.

Note: we are an early evening event. Supermarket’s back room doors open at 6:30 pm, readings beginning at 7:00 pm sharp and evening ends at 8:30 pm. Admission is free and we pass a hat for a voluntary donations. Supermarket offers a great food menu, so come early and enjoy dinner before the readings!

Accessibility: Supermarket has a ramp for out front, which can take up to 600 lbs. Advance notice required for usage. There are 3 front steps. Washrooms are not fully accessible, although they can work for some. Closest accesible transit are the new Spadina streetcars. There is a Green Parking lot on Bellevue, which has some accesible parking spots and very limited parking on Augusta Avenue.

Rowers acknowledges financial assistance from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Toronto Arts Council, The League of Canadian Poets, The Writers’ Union of Canada.

Pat Connors‘ first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was published by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013, and charted on the Toronto Poetry Map. Part-Time Contemplative, released last year, was his second chapbook with Lyricalmyrical. He is a manager for the Toronto Chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Richard Scarsbrook is the author of nine books of fiction and poetry: most recently Rockets Versus Gravity and Apocalypse One Hundred. He won the 2011 White Pine Award, and his books have been finalists for the CLA YA Book of the Year, the Stellar Book Prize, and the ReLit Award. Richard teaches Creative Writing courses at George Brown College and the Humber School for Writers, and has been the Writer in Residence for a number of institutions.

Writer, Spoken Word artist, and playwright, Lizzie Violet is an artist who is known for her dark themes of poetry, prose, and storytelling. Lizzie has been performing her Spoken Word on stages across Toronto for the past five years and has featured at Wordspell, Livewords, The Beautiful & The Damned, and Wonder Women IV and V, Free Times Best of Open Stage, Pride, Plasticine, Secret Handshake Gallery, The Redhead Revue, ArtBar, and Nuit Blanche. She recently won the top poet award at The Best Originals for her original work.

Heather J. Wood is the author of the coming-of-age novel Fortune Cookie, and the young adult novel Roll With It. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies, most recently in The Lion and the Aardvark: Aesop’s Modern Fables from Skin Press in the U.K. She is the editor of the international fiction anthology, Gods, Memes and Monsters for which she was nominated for a 2016 World Fantasy Award.

Megan Swaine holds an honours BA in creative writing from York University. She has written blogs, video game story and dialogue, trivia, two non-fiction books, and the occasional poem. Megan was a dedicated member of the Rowers Reading Series audience before being asked to join the board.

Suzanne (Sue) Bowness is a freelance writer and editor who published her first poetry collection The Days You’ve Spent (Tightrope Books), in 2010. In 2006, she won the Ottawa Little Theatre’s National One Act Playwriting Competition. Sue is working on a collection of short stories and a novel. Keep an eye on her at

Jennifer D. Foster is a freelance editor and writer, and her company is Planet Word. She specializes in book and custom publishing, magazines, and marketing and communications. Her clients include Quill & Quire, The Globe and Mail, Writer’s Digest Books, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Penguin Random House Canada. Jennifer is a mentor to novice editors and writers, and she’s busy spilling ink for her first novel. Find her online at


June 6th reading

June brings another four fine features: Trevor Cole, Elise Levine, Steven Mayoff, Kevin Spenst. We hope you can join us!

Supermarket’s back room doors open at 6:30 pm, readings begin at 7pm sharp and evening ends at 8:30pm. Admission is free and we pass a hat for a voluntary donations. Here are the bios:

Trevor ColeTrevor Cole is an award-winning journalist and novelist. His journalism has garnered him twenty-five National Magazine Award nominations, of which he has won nine. His novels, which include most recently Hope Makes Love, have twice been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, been shortlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, and won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. HarperCollins released his nonfiction book, The Whisky King, in spring 2017. Cole lives in Toronto.



Elise LevineElise Levine is the author of the story collection Driving Men Mad, the novel Requests and Dedications, and the new novel from Biblioasis, Blue Field. Her work has also appeared in Blackbird, Ploughshares, The Journey Prize Anthology, and Best Canadian Stories. Originally from Toronto, ON, she now lives in Baltimore, MD, and is Director of the MA in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University.


Steven MayoffSteven Mayoff was born and raised in Montreal and has been living in Prince Edward Island since 2001. His fiction and poetry have appeared in literary journals across Canada and the US. His story collection, Fatted Calf Blues, won a 2010 PEI Book Award and was praised in the Globe & Mail as showing “a strong imagination at work.” His first novel, Our Lady Of Steerage, was published in 2015.


spenstKevin Spenst, a Pushcart Poetry nominee, is the author of the poetry collections, Jabbering with Bing Bong and Ignite, and over a dozen chapbooks. He has performed at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and across the country. His work has won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry, been nominated for both the Alfred G. Bailey Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Award, and has appeared in dozens of publications including Prairie Fire, CV2, BafterC, Lemon Hound, Poetry is Dead, and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014. He lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. where he’s an enthusiastic participant in a number of writing communities.