Category Archives: Literary

Mississauga’s Third Youth Poet Laureate to Inspire Young Writers in the Community

The City of Mississauga – through its Culture division – recently announced that Qurat Dar will be its third Youth Poet Laureate for 2021-2023. Qurat Dar will serve as a literary ambassador for youth in the city, as well as help elevate the status of poetry, literary arts and young writers through community poetry events and projects.

This honorary position recognizes a young poet who writes excellent poetry or spoken word, and has written on themes that are relevant to the citizens of Mississauga.

Meet Qurat Dar

Qurat Dar is a spoken word artist, organizer, multi-genre writer and the 2020 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) National Champion. She was also a 2019 recipient of the Ron Lenyk Inspiring Youth Arts Award and a 2018 Best of the Net finalist.

Her work has appeared in Canthius, Augur Magazine, Art Gallery of Mississauga and other places. She also has a poetry chapbook (a short collection of poems) in the works with Coven Editions. When not dabbling in poetry, Qurat is busy studying environmental engineering at the University of Guelph. She is deeply interested in the intersections between the sciences and the arts, especially in the context of the climate crisis.

Continue reading Mississauga’s Third Youth Poet Laureate to Inspire Young Writers in the Community

Library Author Talk Series is the Perfect Addition to your Friday Night Plans

Mississauga Library’s online Author Talk series is back with a new lineup of talented writers. In addition to providing residents with the opportunity to hear from their favourite authors, the Author Talk series is one of the library’s many free online programs that helps residents stay connected. The Author Talk series is perfect for evenings spent on the balcony, in the backyard or at a local park connected to Wireless Mississauga – just use your own device!

Suitable for ages 13 and up, the series features a wide selection of talented authors, whose books span a range of genres from thrillers and true crime to romance and fantasy. The library looks for opportunities to highlight authors with Canadian roots, award winners and nominees, authors from a variety of diverse backgrounds, cultures, orientations and experiences, local authors when possible, as well as books and authors that library customers are currently interested in.

During the online Author Talk sessions, participants have the opportunity to ask the authors questions and hear about their experiences, writing processes and written works.

All Author Talks are free with registration. A Mississauga Library card is not required to register.

Continue reading Library Author Talk Series is the Perfect Addition to your Friday Night Plans

Local writers share their COVID-19 stories and win the #ApartTogether Writing Contest

The #ApartTogether Contest was featured through the 2020 summer of COVID-19. It was offered as a way of having writers write about their experiences and what they have gone through during this pandemic. Mississauga Arts Council offered three prizes for the best submissions – 1st place $250, 2nd place $150, and 3rd place $100. Mississauga Writers Group handled the admin part of the contest and will be featuring the submissions in their yearly anthology, the upcoming WordFest, Celebrating Family, Friends and Neighbours. Peel Weekly News published the different submissions and will be publishing the winners in their weekly newspaper. Heritage Mississauga will be posting all the writings to their city archives. 

21 submissions came in as poetry and stories. School, pet, family, sad and happy stories were judged by a panel of five judges. All of them were amazed at the submissions and were happy to be a part of it. So many submissions were from the members of the Mississauga Writers Group and as the director, I was very happy that they did step up. That is what it’s about. We are a writers’ group and we were given an opportunity to write about our everyday lives and how we were coping.  

The requirement was that we all lived in Mississauga and that it was a maximum of 500 words. Some were over but happily reduced the number of words. We insisted on having a bio and a photo for our promotions just like other contests and they obliged. One of the most difficult writings we have is our own bio – much like a resume but it is personal. Everyone stepped up and signed a permission slip to have their writings promoted within our four different venues.

Congratulations to our three winners! 1st place, Marisa Baratta – Together (poem); 2nd place, Angela Chao – Falling of Father Tree, 1950 (poem); and 3rd place, Frances Frommer – I Celebrate My Cats: Constant Companions During the Coronavirus Pandemic (prose). Their stories will and have been published in the Peel Weekly News. The announcement will be coming soon.

This was our first collaborative effort with a contest and it proved very successful. Our city is full of artists and writers and this just proves it.

Mississauga Library to Offer Curbside Pickup at Select Locations

Mississauga Library will offer returns at all locations except Mississauga Valley Library starting on June 17 and curbside pickup for holds as of June 23 at select locations across the city. This is part of the library’s phased approach to resuming services following the Government of Ontario’s announcement on May 14 allowing public libraries to offer curbside pickup.

“As we continue to take a measured approach to reopen City facilities, we are proceeding with returns and curbside pickup services for our library customers,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Based on the best advice of Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health, we are moving ahead to provide these services in a way that protects the health and safety of residents and our employees. We are slowly returning to business as usual to provide residents with the services they need.”

Starting June 23, curbside pickup will be available at the BurnhamthorpeCentralLorne ParkMalton and Meadowvale libraries. Additional locations will be phased in when it is considered safe to do so. 

Curbside pickup will be scheduled by appointment in keeping with physical distancing protocols. 

Visit mississaugalibrary.ca for more details, the hours of curbside pickup service and for information on how to book your appointment.

Drop-off boxes at all locations except Mississauga Valley Library will open to accept returns starting June 17.

“Customers will be able to pick up their holds at the curb at selected libraries and drop off returns at all locations, with the exception of Mississauga Valley Library,” said Jennifer Stirling, Acting Director, Mississauga Library. “We are taking all the necessary steps to protect public health and safety. These include implementing stricter cleaning and sanitization procedures and observing physical distancing protocols. We also continue to encourage customers to explore our extensive range of virtual resources as we prepare to resume additional services in the future.”

Library due dates and fines continue to be suspended until further notice.

Customers can continue to use their library card or virtual card to explore our vast collection of ebooks, audiobooks and other online virtual resources.

For more information, visit mississaugalibrary.ca and follow Mississauga Library on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

City’s New Poet Laureate Has Been Announced and Hits the Stage this Summer

The City of Mississauga’s second Poet Laureate was introduced to City Council earlier today and his first public appearance has been confirmed.

Wali Shah, a resident and student at the University of Toronto Mississauga will assume the role of Poet Laureate from the City’s first honorary Poet Laureate, Anna Yin this week.

Shah is a 22-year old spoken word poet and TEDx speaker who has performed with international recording artists including Selena Gomez and Kendrick Lamar. He will perform for the first time as Poet Laureate during the City’s Canada Day celebration on July 1 at Mississauga Celebration Square.

Nominations for the City’s top poetry post opened at the end of January. To be considered, candidates had to meet the following criteria:
• be a published poet or spoken word artist;
• be a current Mississauga resident;
• have an established body of work or have been recognized for notable contributions to the literary arts;
• some of their work should be relevant to Mississauga and/or subjects that reflect the life of the city; and
• have the ability to represent the values of the City in a professional manner.

“Wali’s selection as Poet Laureate makes a statement about the arts in Mississauga,” said Paul Damaso, Director, Culture Division, City of Mississauga. “Like Wali, our arts scene is young, cool, and emerging with unlimited potential. Wali is the perfect Poet Laureate for our City and he’ll do a fantastic job with championing and raising the profile of literary arts and spoken word across Mississauga and beyond.”

According to Damaso, Shah will focus on three key objectives as the new Poet Laureate:
• serve as a literary ambassador for the City of Mississauga to audiences both within and outside of the city;
• raise the profile of writers in Mississauga; and
• create an artistic legacy through public readings and civic interactions. Continue reading City’s New Poet Laureate Has Been Announced and Hits the Stage this Summer