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The Tartan Turban Secret Readings

  • 577 Kingston Road Toronto, ON, M4E 1R3 Canada (map)

Barrett and Welsh, unit 301

You are invited to the 20th session of The Tartan Turban Secret Readings curated by author Arif Anwar at Barrett and Welsh on Friday, August 23rd, 2019, from 7 pm to about 10 pm, featuring Arif himself, Uzma Jalaluddin, Anar Ali, Siobhan Jamison, Kateri Lanthier, Justine Mazin and Kirby. More features will be posted shortly.

Arif Anwar, our curator, is an author and public policy professional. He was born in Bangladesh and has worked for BRAC and UNICEF Myanmar on public health issues. After moving to Toronto, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in education from the University of Toronto. Arif’s first novel, The Storm, was published in 2018 by HarperCollins and has been translated into multiple languages. The Storm, received immediate international acclaim and was praised for an ambitious narrative that plays out over several decades, and the impact of one major storm on five different love stories. Visit to learn more about Arif and his work.

Anar Ali’s short story collection, Baby Khaki's Wings, was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Prize. She is a screenwriter and works in film and television, most recently, for a new medical drama from CTV/NBCUniversal. Ali lives in Toronto. Her novel Night of Power (Penguin Canada, 2019) was released on August 19th and is a heart-wrenching story of a family in crisis. Gripping and unforgettable, Anar Ali's debut novel vividly illuminates the injustices of displacement and the nuances of identity--of losing a home and coming home again.

Uzma Jalaluddin, a high school teacher, writes Samosas and Maple Syrup, a regular column about modern Muslim life for the Toronto Star. She’s also been a guest on the TV show Cityline, speaking on the Muslim experience. Her first novel, Ayesha At Last (HarperCollins 2018) is a modern Pride and Prejudice set in a close-knit Toronto Muslim community. The book was named the 2019 Cosmopolitan UK Book of the Year, long-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour (Canada) and the Toronto Book Awards, and short-listed for the Kobo Emerging Writer Award. It was also one of The Globe and Mail's 100 Favourite Books of 2018.

Siobhan Jamison is the author of Maternity and Other Corsets - a novel inspired by 10 years in Europe as a wife to a French painter and then as a single parent to their daughter. She was longlisted for the 2017 CBC poetry prize for her poem Godot. She was born in Manchester and holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. She has been teaching at Seneca College for almost 20 years and currently resides in downtown Toronto with her partner and son.

Kirby’s earlier chapbooks include Simple Enough, Cock & Soul, Bob’s boy, The world is fucked and sometimes beautiful, and SHE'S HAVING A DORIS DAY (knife | fork | book, 2017). They appear in Matrix Magazine, Dusie, Canthius, Carousel, Burning House, The Rusty Toque (Pushcart Nominee) and can be heard on bandcamp. A collection of essays, Poetry Is Queer, from Kirby’s ongoing class/ workshop is forthcoming, along with their new chapbook, She Ascended Into Heaven (Anstruther Press, 2020). Their full-length debut, THIS IS WHERE I GET OFF is out now from Permanent Sleep Press. Kirby is the owner/publisher of knife | fork | book, Toronto.

Kateri Lanthier’s poems have been published in many journals, including The Fiddlehead, Event, Hazlitt, Green Mountains Review, Arc, Best Canadian Poetry 2014, Halibut Haiku, The Walrus, and the Literary Review of Canada. She won the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize. She is an Adjunct Professor, MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing, University of Toronto. Her books are Reporting from Night (Iguana, 2011) and Siren (Signal Editions, Véhicule Press, 2017), which was longlisted for the 2018 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her first creative non-fiction essay is forthcoming in the anthology Against Death (Anvil Press, 2019). Poems from Siren have been included in four print anthologies.

Justine Mazin is a writer and screenwriter from Toronto. Her short story, “Packing Snow”, was a finalist for the 2016 CBC Short Story Prize. She has completed a novel which is currently being considered by publishers and is working on a TV series, a dramedy, set in Toronto. Whenever she has an idea she can’t shake she turns it into short fiction; one day she hopes to publish a collection of her stories.

To book a seat (it's free), visit our Eventbrite page at:

For updated information and for author headshots, follow this Facebook group and Facebook event page.

Open mic: Anyone attending is welcome to read or perform (if you are a musician) in our open mic sessions. If you are a writer or musician who would like to perform in the open mic session, we ask that you listen in to at least one session to get the flavour of the evening and join in on your next visit. To participate in TTSR #20 please contact Arif Anwar (or series curators, Gavin Barrett or Mayank Bhatt) — beforehand as this will allow Arif to line up readers and manage the evening efficiently. There are detailed open mic guidelines posted in our FB group. Open mic readers who have published works they would like to offer for sale are free to mention it on finishing their readings.

Earlier Event: August 19
R.I.S.E. Poetry Mondays
Later Event: August 20
Last Chance Slam