How she move

When I heard that people like Jennifer Kawaja and Ian Iqbal Rashid were behind the new film How She Move, I just knew I had to go see it.

Check out the film at:

I liked how this was not another story about a white female teacher ‘saving’ the black kids. I loved watching the incredible, athletic, dance moves. The stories were all about poor Toronto black kids and their families. The female characters were complex, strong and their primary struggles were not romantic.  The male characters were not two-dimensional stereotypes. The happy ending was a bit Hollywoodish, but, hey, I love happy endings.

Another thing very cool about the opening night–it was dyke city at the Paramount! In particular, it seemed like nearly all the queer women of colour I know came out to support the film on it’s first weekend in the theatres.

Go see it! 

A post-modern Toronto moment

My girlfriend and I had a post-modern Toronto moment today on the subway. We were on our way home from the Downsview Park Merchant’s Market. We went there solely for the really amazing international food court they have there–you should check out the Salvadorean and Afghani stalls. 

When we boarded the eastbound Keele car, we saw a white woman wearing a wide-brimmed black and gold sombrero. She was quite a sight amongst the parkas and touques. I turned to exchange a glance my girlfriend when I caught sight of a pair of Latino men also looking at the sombrero lady. They were smiling, and one of them snapped a photo of her with his cell phone. This whole scene made me laugh–the Latino men gazing and taking a photo of the sombrero. An upside-down and backwards take on who usually are the ones gazing and taking photos and the ones being observed. Kinda funny, right?

Our quiet laughter caught the attention of a white woman sitting near us. She frowned a little and politely asked if we were laughing at the woman in the big hat. We admitted we were. She respectfully told us that she thought it was great that the sombrero lady was being different, and perhaps was infusing some lightness on the TTC. I think that were being given a bit of a light scolding about not laughing at people who are different.  And I sort of agreed with her, and feeling a tad guilty, stopped laughing.

It was all just a little ironic, though. But this is what being a Torontian feel like to me. A nice white bystanding woman educating the brown tittering gals (with bellies full of kebabs and papusas) who were noticing the smirking (and clicking) Latino men watching the white woman in the big sombrero.   

Sounds like the start of a good story. Maybe.

My first ever visit to Midland and Penetanguishene

I read at the Midland Public Library on Wednesday. The librarian and I weren’t really sure what to expect because the region is a little quiet in the winter (it’s more popular, especially with cottagers, in the summertime). But I wanted to do a reading there anyhow since I like small town readings, and I was going to be there for some work I was doing at the local mental health centre anyway.

I prayed for good weather because I’d been warned that no one would come out if it snowed. Luckily, the big thaw was still in effect. We set up the books and waited for folks to arrive, and they did. Some gals came from Barrie, some from Penetanguishene, and some from just down the street. A good size crowd with good energy, questions and small town friendliness.

If you were there, thanks for coming out! 

New Year Happenings…

Happy New Year!

I started my year by reading at the First Annual Mayworks New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon. Sixty poets performed for 5 minutes each, for 5 hours. The organizers got the idea from the New York Poetry Project’s New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon, which has been running for over 3 decades and boasts ten hours and over 100 poets. The Holy Trinity Church, where the marathon was held, prickled with the good energy of a first-ever-held event that is sure to be continued on for years to come.

Next week, I’m off to Midland, where I will be reading at their public library on Wednesday January 9th, 7pm. If you live in Simcoe County, try to make it out.

For Desilit book club members, if you are looking for a copy of Stealing Nasreen,  check out the local independent bookstores (Pages, Toronto Women’s Bookstore, Book City, This Ain’t the Rosedale Library, Another Story) to find a copy. You can also order direct from the publisher and receive delivery within a couple of days by e-mailing your request to