Koffler Centre of the Arts Announces Spring 2021 Books & Ideas Series

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A series of online literary events that recognize female voices and experimental literature, reflecting upon forgotten histories, intersectionality, personal narratives, and self-discovery

Our year-round Books & Ideas series spotlights provocative writers, novelists and thinkers, celebrating literary excellence and fostering critical dialogue through compelling book launches, author talks and in-depth interviews.

This spring, Books & Ideas continues to recognize female voices and experimental literature, featuring authors and books that reflect upon forgotten histories, intersectionality, personal narratives, and self-discovery. All programs will be presented virtually on our online platform.

Judy Batalion with Garvia Bailey
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 7–8 PM ET | FREE | Full details

Our 2021 Spring Books & Ideas season begins with the launch of Judy Batalion’s The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos. Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland – some still in their teens – helped transform the Jewish youth groups into resistance cells to fight the Nazis. Powerful and inspiring, featuring twenty black-and-white photographs, The Light of Days is an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds.

Judy Batalion will join storyteller, broadcaster, host, and producer Garvia Bailey in a virtual conversation. Presented in partnership with Toronto Public Library. Thanks to HarperCollins Canada and to event bookseller, Indigo.

Noon Time Writing Workshop with Judy Batalion: Memoir & Publishing
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 | 12–12:45 PM ET | FREE | Register now

In this lunchtime chat, author Judy Batalion will be sharing insights and advice about writing memoir (both books and essays) with an eye to having your work published. After Judy’s presentation, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions to further the conversation.

Tawhida Tanya Evanson with Sheniz Janmohamed
Thursday, April 29, 2021 | 7–8 PM ET | FREE | Register now

The Koffler’s Books & Ideas series is thrilled to present the new novel Book of Wings by Antiguan-Québecoise artist, Tawhida Tanya Evanson. In this sweeping, allusive novel, the celebrated poet, dervish, and oral storyteller comes to terms with what it means to stand on one’s own two feet in an uncertain world. Tracing a global journey, as a relationship with a lover and travel partner disintegrates, an artist finds herself on a path toward personal discovery and spiritual fulfillment that leads her deep into the North African landscape.

Tawhida Tanya Evanson will join spoken word artist, arts educator, and poet Sheniz Janmohamed in a virtual conversation. Presented in partnership with Diaspora Dialogues. Thanks to Véhicule Press and to event bookseller, A Different Booklist.

Riva Lehrer with Chase Joynt
Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 7–8 PM ET | FREE | Register now

The Koffler’s Books & Ideas series is proud to present artist, writer, and curator Riva Lehrer and her new book, Golem Girl: A Memoir. Winner of the Barbellion Prize, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, and named One of the Best Books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews, Riva shares her story as an artist born with disabilities who searches for freedom and connection in a society afraid of ‘strange bodies’.

Riva Lehrer will join award-winning author and filmmaker Chase Joynt in an online conversation. Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada, and to event bookseller, Glad Day Bookshop.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa with Danielle McNally
Thursday, June 17, 2021 | 7–8 PM ET | FREE | Register now

The Koffler’s Books & Ideas series is pleased to present bilingual writer and Aosda´na member Doireann Ní Ghríofa and her award-winning book, A Ghost in the Throat. In the eighteenth century, on discovering her husband has been murdered, an Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament that reaches across centuries to the young Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose fascination with it is later rekindled when she narrowly avoids fatal tragedy in her own life and becomes obsessed with learning everything she can about the poem Peter Levi has famously called “the greatest poem written in either Ireland or Britain” during its era. A kaleidoscopic blend of memoir, autofiction, and literary studies, A Ghost in the Throat moves fluidly between past and present, quest and elegy, poetry and the people who make it.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa will join Toronto bookseller and In Her Voice organizer Danielle McNally in an online conversation. Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada and to event bookseller, Glad Day Bookshop.

For full details on all of our Books & Ideas programs, including both audio and video links to past programs, please click here.

Books & Ideas was launched with the generous support of Dorothy Shoichet & Family and the Estate of Joseph Koenig. Thanks to event partners Toronto Public Library and Diaspora Dialogues; to HarperCollins Canada, Véhicule Press, Penguin Random House Canada and Biblioasis; and to booksellers Indigo, A Different Booklist, Glad Day Bookshop and Ben McNally Books.

ABOUT THE KOFFLER
The Koffler Centre of the Arts is a cultural platform that explores critical ideas and concerns of our time through a year-round program of exhibitions, publications, performances, literary events, digital initiatives and arts education programs. We examine complex issues through transformative art experiences that stimulate intercultural dialogue and promote social change. Through our in-gallery and off-site programs, the Koffler engages thousands of visitors each year. From school children and teens, to newcomers and seniors, we provide vital opportunities for self-expression and community connection, including to those in greatest need.

As a Jewish organization, we value – and aim to foster – social justice and equality while nurturing a passion for learning and understanding. We position Jewish identity in conversation with diverse perspectives and global voices to examine complex issues in a respectful, constructive way. These principles support the Koffler’s engagement with the best contemporary creative minds in producing and presenting art that provides common ground for experiences shaping our shared cultural life and defining our social values.

Visit us online at kofflerarts.org

Author Photos: Judy Batalion, courtesy of the author. Tawhida Tanya Evanson, photo by Temmuz Arsiray. Riva Lehrer, photo by Nathan Keay. Doireann Ní Ghríofa, photo by Al Higgins.


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The Koffler Gallery and its administrative offices are located at Artscape Youngplace, in Toronto’s vibrant West Queen West art and design district. The Koffler Centre of the Arts acknowledges the support of the Koffler Family Foundation, Cultural Season Sponsor CIBC Wood Gundy, the Ontario Arts Council through the Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Organizations Program, TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, our donors and patrons. The Koffler Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council.