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Writing Outside The Margins & Save The Robots


Yesterday Church Street was shut down for Toronto's first queer literary arts festival, Writing Outside the Margins. It was a something for everyone street festival complete with a giant bouncy castle and twister for the kids, smut for the adults, open mics, panel discussions, books, zines and of course cold beer.

There weren't as many diy (do-it-yourself), publications under the tents scattered along Church St as I expected, but the line-up for the readings was spectacular and included writers Joey Comeau, Tara-Michelle Zinuik and Jim Bartley.

I spent most of my afternoon at the South Stage under the spell of the dynamic voices of James St. James, (Disco Bloodbath, Freak Show) and Kristyn Dunnion, (Mosh Pit, Missing Matthew). Their readings were followed by a discussion with the two authors about writing for queer youth, the importance of reading your contracts and film adaptations of their books moderated by Stephanie Creede.

The festival gala Save the Robots later that night at the Gladstone Hotel was a glittering debauchery of club culture and performance art. Naughty Nurse Fuschia Fury stripped the parts of Robot Shane MacKinnon, Shitty Mittens and Christabel rapped some serious smut and Scarlet Sylphide showed us how easily it all comes off.

James St. James brought the gala to its peak karaokeing his ipod set list with anyone and everyone who came within inches of his microphone.

photos by (Richelle Forsey)


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