Couplets Episodes

Episode 19: Stevie Howell & Síle Englert

Thurs, July 26th (6pm – 7pm) | Main gallery, TAP Centre for Creativity (203 Dundas Street, London)

Stevie Howell is an Irish-Canadian writer, critic, and editor whose first collection of poetry, ^^^^^^ [Sharps], was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Their poetry has appeared in publications in the US (including BOAAT, Prelude, and Gigantic Sequins), in Canada (including Hazlitt, The Walrus, and Maisonneuve), and overseas (including The Rialto, The Moth, and Southword). They have written literary criticism for The Rumpus, Ploughshares, and The Globe and Mail. Stevie is the poetry editor at THIS Magazine.

“If you mend a broken bowl with a seam of gold, then the fracture becomes more precious than the bowl itself. Stevie Howell’s poems are that sort of precious. Stevie’s voice is funny, in a dark, tragic, self-conscious sort of way. Restless, in a wise, far-reaching sort of way. Beautiful, in a broken sort of way. I return to them again and again.” —Nick Flynn, author of My Feelings

Howell & Englert banner

Síle Englert is a poet, fiction writer, and visual artist from London, Ontario. Her stories have been shortlisted and longlisted in Room Magazine and Prism International’s fiction contests. Her poetry ha​s​ placed second in CV2’s 2-Day Poem Contest and been featured in journals such as Room and Crannóg (Ireland) and in the anthologies Ascent Aspirations and Saving Bannister.

Tending toward both the disturbing and the whimsical, Síle Englert’s written work wanders the haunted spaces between the literary and fantasy. As writer Cathy Greentree (aka The Internet’s Mom) writes, “Síle’s stories treat time like a barbed arrow, dragging all the viscera of the past, still steaming, into the future. Her poems expose the sharp things hidden in murky waters and the hard knots inside the softest embrace.”


Episode 18: Vincent Colistro & David Janzen

Thurs, June 28th (6pm – 7pm) | Main gallery, TAP Centre for Creativity (203 Dundas Street, London)

Vincent Colistro’s poems have appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, Geist, Arc, and elsewhere. He was a prize-winner in the Short Grain contest and was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Poetry. Late Victorians (Signal Editions, 2016) is his first book. He lives in Toronto.

Late Victorians re-sets the machinery. The voice here is way beyond chatter; these narratives arrive cock-eyed because they take place just adjacent to life’s usual misery. Vincent Colistro’s poems have things to tell us, slantwise, manic, wry, desperate, dishevelled, and stylish.” —Ken Babstock

Colistro & Janzen banner

David Janzen is a writer, musician, and theorist. He has published critical and creative writing on music, ideas of crisis, the poetry of Li Bai, the Alberta Oil Sands, and political philosophy and has won the EVENT Non-fiction Prize and a National Magazine Award Honourable Mention. David also performs music under the moniker Local Haunts. He lives in London’s Old East Village.

A long-dead philosopher once wrote that we make our own history, but we must do so under the heavy weight of the past, haunted always by what has come before. Drawing on time-honored folk-country melodies, modern poetry and the gritty rhythms of prairie cities, [self-titled EP] Local Haunts explores these haunted histories. Not the big narratives but the tiny, everyday histories—of desire and upheaval, of longing and leaving.

Episode 17: Julie Cameron Gray & David Barrick

Thurs, May 24th (6pm – 7pm) | Main gallery, TAP Centre for Creativity (203 Dundas Street, London)

Julie Cameron Gray is originally from Sudbury, Ontario. She is the author of two poetry collections—Lady Crawford (Palimpsest Press, 2016) and Tangle (Tightrope Books, 2013)—and has previously published in The Fiddlehead, EVENT, Prairie Fire, Carousel, and Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope Books, 2011). Lady Crawford was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award in 2017.

Between imperial dinners and managing investments, Lady Crawford offers a rare glimpse of the inner-life of a woman who has married into a royal lineage, chronicled in a series of metamorphic poems. Julie Cameron Gray reports from a world filled with parties and art before revealing the cost of an identity shed, as so many married women before her. Heartbreaking, drunken, and lavish, Lady Crawford is a powerful second collection from one of Canada’s finest poets.

Gray & Barrick banner final

David Barrick lives in London and teaches writing at Western University. His poetry has been published in The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Matrix, and The Prairie Journal. His current manuscript project uses dream logic to examine how childhood fears emerge subconsciously throughout a person’s life. He is co-director of the Poetry London reading series.

“David Barrick’s poems are trippy. His lines teem with vivid images: odd and misplaced, threatening and sad, funny and uncanny. The razor-sharp language of the poems cuts deep into unconscious stirrings—sometimes farther than you might want to go. The voices in his poems speak a kind of dream logic that makes sense within the confines of the poem, but start to blur and slip beyond the final line. And yet, like a recurring dream, the poems stay with you, as if trying to tell you something crucial that you have yet to comprehend.” —Tom Cull

The Collaborative Speed Dating Special

Thurs, May 3rd, 6pm – 9pm | the venue formerly known as The ARTS Project | 203 Dundas Street, London

Join former and future Couplets participants for an evening of collaborative speed dating: icebreakers (in the form of writing prompts), initial then persisting but blissfully short-lived awkwardness, a host who rings a bell every 5 mins to indicate it’s time to change seats, and alcohol!

Everyone is welcome, and all are free to tag-in or tag-out of participation over the course of the evening. But let us know if you can commit to specific times (by filling out this form), and we’ll owe you a high-five.

This event is part of The ARTS Project’s launch party for its new brand, for which RSVPs are requested. So RSVP already! Geez. We’ll see you there!

The Tingfest Special: Angie & Andy Make a Porno Comic

Thurs, March 29th, 6pm – 7pm | TAP (The ARTS Project), main gallery | 203 Dundas Street, London


You know Angie Quick
from her big-canvas schtick,
but what happens in miniature’s
also horny as minotaurs.


Sure, Andy Verboom
can auto-pantoum,
but it often panks the hankering to
just pound out a Clerihew.

Banner bad

This Couplets special will not be kid-friendly unless your kids are super cool with the existence of a wide variety of sexual acts.

Episode 16: E Martin Nolan & Michelle Brown

Thurs, March 29th, 6pm – 7pm | TAP (The ARTS Project), main gallery | 203 Dundas Street, London

E Martin Nolan is a poet, essayist, and editor from Detroit. He edits interviews at The Puritanwhere he’s also published numerous essays, interviews, and blog posts. His long, illustrated poem about Donald Trump, “Great Again,” can be found at His non-fiction writing focuses on literature, sports, and music. His first book of poems, Still Point, was published with Invisible Publishing in fall of 2017.

Still Point examines North America as unified whole and disrupted centre, contrasting the calm and tumult of Hurricane Katrina, the deconstruction of Detroit, the financial crisis of 2008, and the BP Gulf oil spill and weaving lyrical sequences and individual pieces into a coherent whole focused on humanity’s relationship to itself and to nature. Still Point tells a story of beauty and horror and how normalcy stubbornly persists amid history’s arc.

Nolan & Brown banner final

Originally from Victoria, BC, Michelle Brown lives in Toronto with her husband and three-legged dog, Bo. Previously shortlisted for CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize and longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, Safe Words (Palimpsest Press, 2018) is her first full-length collection.

From a student’s confrontation with a teenage streaker to a company man’s complete undoing at his summer party, Michelle Brown’s Safe Words finds rich darkness in happy partnerships. A maiden name is “handed down / like a sweater,” a taxi ride “ends… at someone else’s life.” Played against a backdrop of pop culture, late-night swagger, and vivid imaginary landscapes, Safe Words is the rare poetic debut that delivers passion and control, wielding humour and empathy in equal parts.

Episode 15: Penn Kemp & Marta Croll-Baehre

Thurs, Nov 23rd, 8pm – 9pm | 42 Adelaide (upper) studio, gallery, & event space | 42 Adelaide St N (upper unit), London

*Please note the special time and location for this Couplets event:


Penn Kemp is the League of Canadian Poets’ Spoken Word Artist, was London’s inaugural Poet Laureate, and has been the Writer-in-Residence at Western, where her project was the DVD Luminous Entrance: a Sound Opera for Climate Change Action (Pendas Productions). Her recent works include a celebration of Eldon House’s Teresa Harris, the poetry collection Barbaric Cultural Practice, and two anthologies edited for the League’s Feminist Caucus Living Archives series—the latest being Performing Women: Playwrights and Performance Poets. Her forthcoming poetry book, Local Heroes, will be published by Insomniac Press in 2018. Follow Penn Kemp on Twitter and on Facebook.

Performing Women: Playwrights and Performance Poets is an anthology of six essays by prominent Canadian women playwrights and performance poets. The contributors explore dramatic personal experiences of their work in performance. The anthology expands the possibilities of performing to include ritual and visual references as well as the resonance of sound. Essays include Cornelia Hoogland’s “Red Dresses Hang from the Trees and Towers,” Penn Kemp’s “Sounding the depth, the surface resounding,” and Sheri-D Wilson’s “Spoken Word Poetry as Political Act.”

Kemp & Croll-Baehre banner

Marta Croll-Baehre, a Newfoundland-born poet, is completing her Honours Specialization in English at the University of Western Ontario. Her poetic affiliations include the late April Rabbit Poetry Reading, the Tangle Collaborative Arts Event, and Poetry London. Her latest work, titled Limit Al Lives and co-written with Emma Croll-Baehre, probes the relationship between liminal bodies and topographical, ideological, and cultural borderlands.