& occasionally about other things, too...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

TOK 7 Writing the New Toronto


Diaspora Dialogues released TOK 7: Writing the New Toronto yesterday at Gladstone. 

TOK 7: Writing the New Toronto
below covers of TOK 1 to TOK 6
This is the last TOK of the series, and has short fiction and poems from a new bunch of emerging writers and mentors. Helen Walsh, president of Diaspora Dialogues and the editor of all the TOK books, moderated an interesting panel discussion between three mentees – Zalika Reed-Benta, James Poputsis and Yaya Yao – and two mentors – Olive Senior and Moez Surani – who are among the contributors to the new collection. The discussion was interspersed with readings by Zalika, James, and Yaya. 

The TOK launches annually also serve as an alumni reunion with several mentees, some mentors, and Diaspora Dialogues staff in attendance. The indefatigable Natalie Kertes, working quietly to make sure that the launch was perfect. 

The launch It’s time to get and give updates, and share notes. Leslie Shimotakahara, Joyce Wayne, Brandon Pitts were among the many friends who were at the launch. 

I was in TOK 5 (in 2010) and therefore is the best of the seven books.

From 2012, the Diaspora Dialogue’s mentoring program will focus on full-length manuscripts. For more details, click here: DD 2012 Mentoring

Yaya Yao recited her poem 'where you’re going'
It’s reproduced here:

where you’re going

one ocean one
continent
from the place you were
born you are
dying, suspended
over university and elm
in February

with expert hands
chang ping aims into flesh long
needles
the tip connects to
the point opens
into the pathway and you
follow, she drapes a thin silk scarf
over your trunk
leaves the room for a
tea from timmy’s
she says to family, 3 to 5 a.m. the body
is weakest, it will happen
then, he is
tired his body is not
holding water call me
tomorrow

the path
you have taken:
shanghai to hong kong
hong kong to montreal
montreal to

toronto
parkdale to little portugal
little portugal to university and elm
university and elm to

3 a.m.
to 5 a.m. tides withdraw
from each meridian, that ocean
here to claim you, now as always in
between.


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