Word On The Street

On Sunday, September 25th, from 3 to 5 pm, Diaspora Dialogues is participating in the Word On The Street Toronto Festival! Hosted by Aparita Bhandari and featuring Judy Fong Bates, Marjorie Chan, George Elliott Clarke, and Cherie Dimaline, this year’s panel will explore the multifaceted question: How would one write Toronto in the future? Based on the city’s current trajectory, would a book or a play taking place in 2030 or 2040 Toronto be a dystopian piece or utopian? What characterizes each fate in the context of the city? Our panel will also have an interactive component, allowing audience members to partake — in which a select few will have the chance to write a paragraph to be critiqued by the panelists.



Judy Fong Bates is thrilled to be a part of Toronto’s Word on the Street, 2016. Her latest work, The Year of Finding Memory, a family memoir, was a Globe and Mail Best 100 Book for 2010. She lives with her husband on a farm outside of Campbellford. They are both devoted gardeners and enthusiastic hikers.

Marjorie Chan, 5th Anni Yearbook

Marjorie Chan is a theatre artist based in Toronto.  She is the recipient of a Dora Award in performance as well as the prestigious K.M. Hunter Artists’ Award. Her acclaimed drama China Doll was nominated for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production (Dora Awards) as well as short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Chan has been Playwright-in-Residence for Theatre Direct Canada as well as Playwright-in-Residence and Associate Artistic Director for Cahoots Theatre Projects. In addition to her writing and performing, Chan runs Crossing Gibraltar, a theatre training and outreach program for youth from refugee and newcomer backgrounds.

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The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17), George Elliott Clarke is a revered poet. Now teaching African-Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke, McGill, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard. He holds eight honorary doctorates, plus appointments to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada. His recognitions include the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award.

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Cherie Dimaline is a Metis author and editor who’s award winning fiction has been anthologized internationally. Her first book, Red Rooms was published in 2007 and her novel, The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy was released in 2013. In 2014, she was named the Emerging Artist of the Year, Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, and the first Aboriginal Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library. Her latest book, A Gentle Habit is the August 2016 selection for the All Lit Up summer book club. A new young adult novel, The Marrow Thieves, is forthcoming from Cormorant Books in spring 2017.



Aparita Bhandari is a graduate of the University of Toronto and she is currently an arts reporter based in Toronto.

Diaspora Dialogues is thankful for its generous sponsors and donors: