Architecting a City Through Literature

I'm a huge fan of Toronto-based literature and poetry, of which there is a surprisingly high amount. At the launch party for the second uTOpia collection I took part in a discussion about the lack of a connection between multiculturalism and multicultural art. The argument, many people were saying, was that although Toronto boasts that it's one of the most multicultural cities in the world, it rarely reflects that diversity in its artistic offerings. While I can't speak for every artistic discipline, I can say that at least one group is pushing forward the multicultural-art agenda: literary collective Diaspora Dialogues.

Diaspora Dialogues is a group that "supports the creation and presentation of new fiction, poetry and drama that reflects the complexity of the city back to Torontonians through the eyes of its richly diverse communities." I was fortunate enough to be accepted into their mentorship program in the fall, but I was already a regular attendee at their events before then. Perhaps the best part about going to a Diaspora Dialogues reading is the variety: there are poetry readings, short story readings, and occasionally performances of short plays and music.

These events are great for both seasoned readings-goers and newbies looking for an unpretentious introduction to public readings, and it just so happens that there's a reading this week at U of T's Hart House. Part of the year long Grand Design festival that asks "artists, community activists, engineers, architects, environmentalists, planners, philosophers, scientists, sociologists and musicians to share their visions of space and design, examining how they intersect with their work," the evening promises to be entertaining. If you need any additional incentive here it is: the event is free! And while you're at Hart House, don't forget to have a peek at the pyramids out front!

Thursday, January 25th
Hart House

Image of mini stack of Toronto books by me.

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