livewords is a Toronto reading series featuring poetry, spoken word, fiction & word-based perfomance.

About livewords

Our Story (so far):

livewords is a word-based performance series in Toronto, with a strong bias toward poetry in all its forms but also open to prose, and mixed-media performance.

livewords evolved from the Diamond Cherry Reading Series founded by Devon Gallant & Julie Cameron Grey. Diamond Cherry began at the Zemra Lounge on St. Clair Avenue West. After Devon & Julie handed it over to Edward Nixon, it moved first to the Renaissance Café (RIP 2009) just west of Danforth & Woodbine, then to the late, great It’s Not A Deli at Queen & Ossington. Diamond Cherry’s ‘last call’ show was held at the Tequila Bookworm on Queen Street West in October 2007.

After an autumnal retreat, livewords launched in January 2008 at the Concord Café at Bloor & Ossington, with our last show at that venue held on July 21, 2008. After a summer break, we moved into a new and larger space at Cervejaria, 842 College Street (just west of Ossington) in October 2008 which held us in its roomy embrace till June 2009. New owners closed the joint without warning and livewords was “homeless.” Taken in by The Central, 603 Markham Street, we our spending the ‘09 summer as its delighted guests.

livewords has a strong association with Misunderstandings Magazine, as Diamond Cherry had before it, having hosted the magazine’s issue launch parties/readings over the past three years.

livewords receives funding from the PWYC donations collected at our shows, and through the sustaining support of EN Consulting, a public outreach consultancy located at the Centre for Social Innovation. Individual readers at livewords have received support through the League of Canadian Poets and the Toronto Arts Council.

Our key people:

Featured livewords readers have included:

  • Andre Babyn
  • Ryan Bird
  • Steven Michael Berzensky
  • Clara Blackwood
  • Di Brandt
  • David Clink
  • Jeff Cottrill
  • James Deahl
  • Rocco De Giacomo
  • Nashira Dernesch
  • Sean Dixon
  • Ron Newberry-Evans
  • Kate Marshall Flaherty
  • Eric Foley
  • Mike Freeman
  • Devon Gallant
  • Julian Gobert
  • Roger Greenwald
  • Naoise Hefferon
  • Liz Howard
  • Luciano Iacobelli
  • Jim Johnstone
  • Anne Joyce
  • Ryan Kamstra
  • Bill Kennedy
  • Jeff Latosik
  • Steve McCabe
  • Dave McFadden
  • Marianne Micros
  • Kathryn Mockler
  • Jacob McArthur Mooney
  • Shane Neilson
  • Timothy Ormond
  • Jason Paradiso
  • Melanie Pierluigi
  • Ruth Roach Pierson
  • Robert Priest
  • Stuart Ross
  • Jacob Scheier
  • Lara Solnicki
  • Josh Stewart
  • Angela Szczepaniak
  • Dane Swan
  • Lindsay Tipping
  • Paul Vermeersch
  • Natalie Zina Walchots
  • Lisa Young

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