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Voices of dissent: International Festival of Poetry of Resistance

Arnold Itwaru, one of the poets performing at International Festival of Poetry of Resistance in Toronto. Photo: Chisato Fukuyama

From Aime Cesaire and Pablo Neruda to Mahmoud Darwish and Wislawa Szymborska, poets throughout the world have raised their voices in protest against injustice in all its forms.

And poets, artists, musicians and social activists will gather in various Toronto venues later this month to celebrate the boundless capacity of verse to resist oppression and create links among diverse communities. The International Festival of Poetry of Resistance (From September 16 to 20) will feature readings, roundtable discussions, musical performances and a special "festivalito" for children.

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'Savage 1986-2011': Adolescence, isolation and Macho Man Randy Savage

Savage: 1986-2011

by Nathaniel G. Moore
(Anvil Press,
2013;
$20.00)

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The World Wrestling Federation’s (now WWE) "Macho Man" Randy Savage was at the top of his game during the sport’s golden era in the 1980s and early 1990s. Known for his signature phrase ("Oooh yeah"), his ring attire (cowboy hat, flashy glasses and tassels), his signature move (double axe handle from the top rope*) and his unlikely entrance song ("Pomp and Circumstance"), Macho Man was one of the most colourful and adored wrestlers on the circuit.

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Gangland, girls and glory: 'Anatomy of a Girl Gang' searches for a sense of belonging

Anatomy of a Girl Gang

by Ashley Little
(Arsenal Pulp Press,
2013;
$16.95)

Ashley Little’s Anatomy of a Girl Gang is like an after-school special gone horribly awry -- and that’s a good thing.

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Lynn Coady's unforgettable new short stories land on the Giller Prize shortlist

Image: House of Anansi
Peer into the weird and wonderful world of Lynn Coady's short story collection 'Hellgoing' and make it just right for the Giller Prize shortlist.

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| August 15, 2013

'Everything Is So Political' interprets 'What is political?' into a diverse and memorable marriage of art and politics

Everything Is So Political: A Collection of Short Fiction by Canadian Writers

by Sandra McIntyre (editor)
(Roseway Publishing,
2013;
$19.95)

In a 2005 interview with Salman Rushdie, interviewer Jack Livings of The Paris Review asked a seemingly simple question of the author: "Could you possibly write an apolitical book?" Rushdie, known for his novels with overtly political themes, replied that he had "great interest in it," using the example of Jane Austen, whom he said could "explain the lives of her characters without a reference to the public sphere."

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Excerpt: G-20, Toronto Politics and Bertolt Brecht

Krank: Love in the New Dark Times

by Sarah Sheard
(Seraphim Editions,
2013;
$19.95)

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The following is an excerpt from the new book Krank: Love in the New Dark Times by Sarah Sheard, which is the fictional story of the German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht, who, finding himself reincarnated on the Ward’s Island ferry in Toronto, befriends psychotherapist Ainsley Giddings and ventures into downtown Toronto to protest against the G-20 Summit and reflect on the similarities to 1930s fascism in Berlin.

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Interview: Literary leftist thriller: Pulp fiction with a twist of solidarity and social justice

Tailings of Warren Peace

by Stephen Law
(Fernwood Publishing,
2013;
$19.95)

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Someone is affixing pink pages to the light poles on Warren's street, each containing a small fragment of text. One sentence at a time, the mysterious notes tell a dark tale of familial love and loss.

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Review: Power grab: Examining gender dynamics through prose and allegory

How To Get Along With Women

by Elisabeth de Mariaffi
(Invisible Publishing,
2012;
$16.95)

The 11 stories in Elisabeth de Mariaffi's debut story collection, How to Get Along With Women, take place in locales as diverse as Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Marseille, France. The stories are intimately linked to their particular settings; in each, de Mariaffi explores how the characters' actions are shaped by their geographical, historical or political place in the world.

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Review: From hell and back: Searching for self at the crossroads of social change

Night Town

by Cathi Bond
(Iguana Books,
2013;
$23.99)

One marvels at how far we've progressed and yet how little has changed. In the 1970s in Canada there was still a profound stigma attached to homosexuality. Sound familiar?

We certainly like to think of ourselves as progressive in Canada, but one merely needs to glance at the headlines to see we are a long way off. Who hasn't read a story of a teenager committing suicide because they are bullied about their sexual orientation?

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