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Radar: Rowers Pub Reading Series, This is Our Night, Images Festival, Last Train Home, My So-Called Mondays

BOOKS AND LIT | Rowers Pub Reading Series: Ronna Bloom, Lillian Allen, and Scott Griffin
In honour of National Poetry Month, the Rowers Pub Reading Series presents an evening with three authors boasting very different backgrounds. Jamaican-born dub poet Lillian Allen has been writing and performing spoken word poetry in Canada for nearly two decades, winning two Junos in the late 1980s for best spoken word album. Ronna Bloom has taken a different approach to the artform; as a psychotherapist, teacher, and poet, she combines the many strands of her life by teaching poetry as a means to overcome personal frustrations of her patients. The pair will be joined by Scott Griffin who, despite not being a poet himself, has contributed more to Canadian poetry than almost any other individual in recent years. In 2000, the businessman turned philanthropist founded the Griffin Poetry Prize, one of the most generous literary prizes in the world. He's also an author in his own right, having published a memoir in 2006 called My Heart is In Africa which recounts his unlikely decision to give up the boardrooms of Bay St. to become a bush pilot for the Flying Doctors Service in Africa.
Harbord House, 150 Harbord St., Free, 7:30 pm

FASHION | This is Our Night: The Fashion District Canadian Fashion Show Launch
For three years now the Fashion District Lifestyle Boutique has been providing Toronto's style-conscious with unique, limited run fashions. The Queen St. store carries pieces by Canadian jewelers, fashion designers, and artisans that are truly one-of-a-kind and run the gambit of styles from punk and goth to classic couture. Growing in popularity here in Toronto, the store's client list also boasts some heavyweight international celebrities in Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson. On the heels of LG Fashion Week, tonight Fashion District presents its own celebration of Canadian couture and entertainment at the Gladstone with a swanky party featuring the debut of a new line by Sher Fashion as well as new spring styles by the boutique's favourite Canadian designers.
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. West, $30, 6:30 pm

FILM | Images Festival
Toronto's celebration of the moving image continues tonight with a bill of new and experimental films at Workman Arts. The Images Festival is offering up two programs for your viewing pleasure; the first, cryptically entitled Located on the Strategy Map, presents seven short films from all over the world, including the Danish Tanklove, in which the inhabitants of a small town fall in love with, what else, a tank. The second program, S is for Student: Your Own Worst Anomie is curated by three university students from U of T, York, and OCAD and includes the quirky hand-drawn tale of umbilical redemption Shoreline by Israeli animator Omer Gal. You can also check out the ongoing Crude Oil video installation at the Gladstone Hotel, which documents the work day of a crew of a remote Chinese oil drilling station in real time.
Workman Arts, 651 Dufferin St., $10, 7 pm - 10 pm
Gladstone Hotel, 2nd floor, 1214 Queen St. West, Free, 12 pm - 6 pm

PARTY | My So-Called Mondays
If you're like me, then you know there's no greater pleasure in life than curling up on the couch with an Afghan and a bag of popcorn and watching Claire Danes as Angela Chase on My So-Called Life. Sure, we've all enjoyed MSCL in the privacy of our own homes, but isn't it time we came out of the basement and celebrated our love for Jared Leto out in the open? Well now's your chance. The Beaver's My So-Called Mondays is a paean to that tragically short-lived sitcom and all the other facets of 90's culture that we're ashamed to say we love. The soundtrack will be all the guilty-pleasure tunes from a time when all bands needed to gain credibility was an over-sized plaid shirt, and there'll be free popcorn and (not free) delicious cocktails. Adolescence would have been so much easier with cocktails.
The Beaver, 1192 Queen St. West, Free, 10 pm

FILM | Last Train Home
China may be may be the next modern superpower, but one of the driving engines of its economic ascendancy is a very un-modern figure: the migrant worker. Last Train Home, the debut film from Chinese-Canadian director Lixin Fan, captures the story of the Zhangs, just one of the millions of couples who leave their children at home each year to seek work in booming coastal cities. Much like the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath, the Zhang's saga takes on epic proportions in the context of China's massive social upheaval as it struggles to modernize its economy. The winner of documentary film prizes all over the world, Last Train Home's run at the Bloor Cinema ends tonight.
Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St., $5, 7 pm

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Photo: "Goodnight my beloved" by bokemucho loco, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.


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