How To Attend

1) Click the ‘Register to Attend’ button beside the event you want to attend.

2) Register to attend by filling in your name and email.

2) On the day / time of the reading, click the link in the confirmation emails or reminder emails.

For more: read the FAQ

May 28, 2020

Online at 7 p.m., CDT (Winnipeg)  

Double Launch: Joel Robert Ferguson with The Lost Cafeteria and Alexis Kienlen with Mad Cow 

Join us to celebrate the launch of two terrific books: Joel Robert Ferguson’s first poetry collection, The Lost Cafeteria, and Alexis Kienlen’s debut novel, Mad Cow.

About Joel Robert Ferguson: 
Joel Robert Ferguson grew up in the Nova Scotian village of Bible Hill, lives in Winnipeg,  and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University. His poetry has been published around Canada and internationally, appearing in ArcThe Columbia Reviewfilling StationThe Malahat Review and others. The Lost Cafeteria, published by Signature Editions, is his first book.

About The Lost Cafeteria

Taking its cues from the 20-century life writing by the likes of Seamus Heaney, William Everson, Sylvia Plath and Alden Nowlan, The Lost Cafeteria is a stylistically shapeshifting bildungsroman-in-verse that examines and attempts to resolve the author’s parochially religious upbringing with his secular, peripatetic adulthood.

Exploring the shape of the “I-within-history,” Ferguson mixes confessional lyric poetry with experimental détournements of texts from high and low culture to visit (and revisit) issues of labour, rebellion, family (biological and chosen), class, travel, memory (personal and historical), religion, place, and the meanings of the word “home.”

About Alexis Kienlen: Alexis Kienlen is a poet, fiction writer and journalist who now lives Edmonton, on Treaty 6. Mad Cow is her first novel. She’s published two books of poetry with Frontenac House, and works as an agricultural journalist for “Alberta Farmer” newspaper.

About Mad Cow: Told from two points of view—a mother and her daughter—Mad Cow examines farming life in small-town Alberta, a life fourteen-year-old Allyson wants only to escape. Meanwhile her mother, Donna, dealing with her own assortment of problems and setbacks, soldiers on through the daunting days. But when a strange affliction starts picking off the local cattle, everything changes, and when tragedy strikes the extended family, life as they know it is seemingly over forever. Now Donna and Allyson must work together to keep the family and the farm intact, all while dealing with overwhelming grief and the fact their once thriving livelihood is failing.

Support independent publishers, authors, and your local economy by ordering books from your local independent bookseller. Check this map to see who is offering curb-side pickup or delivery near you, or order from McNally-Robinson Booksellers, our local indie. 


June 4, 2020

Online at 6 p.m., CDT (Winnipeg)  

Double U of M Press Book Launch: Magdalene Redekop with Making Believe and Sean Patterson with Makhno and Memory. Hosted by Royden Loewen.   


Magdalene Redekop is a Professor Emerita of English at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Mothers and Other Clowns: The Stories of Alice Munro.

Sean Patterson is a doctoral student in History at the University of Alberta, exploring historical memory in Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region over the 20th century. Makhno and Memory: Anarchist and Mennonite Narratives of Ukraine’s Civil War, 1917–1921 is his first book and his based on his work in the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg’s joint masters program.
Host Royden Loewen is a professor of history and Chair of Mennonite Studies at the University of Winnipeg. His most recent book is Horse-and-Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World and he contributed a chapter to After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America.

Making Believe by Magdalene Redekop


Making Believe sharpens its rhetorical edge on the whetstone of genre-play, granting special attention to the dual questions of art’s place in a culture, and of Mennonite culture’s place in art. Her critical-creative voice is fierce and generous; this is literary history written by a witness, something especially needed in the larger field of Canadian literature where memories can be both short and revisionist. Read it and be reminded of how you believe.” – Tanis MacDonald, Associate Professor of English and Film Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University.

About the Book:

Making Believe responds to a remarkable flowering of art by Mennonites in Canada. After the publication of his first novel in 1962, Rudy Wiebe was the only identifiable Mennonite literary writer in the country. Beginning in the 1970s, the numbers grew rapidly and now include writers Patrick Friesen, Sandra Birdsell, Di Brandt, Sarah Klassen, Armin Wiebe, David Bergen, Miriam Toews, Carrie Snyder, Casey Plett, and many more. A similar renaissance is evident in the visual arts (including artists Gathie Falk, Wanda Koop, and Aganetha Dyck) and in music (including composers Randolph Peters, Carol Ann Weaver, and Stephanie Martin).

Confronted with an embarrassment of riches that resist survey, Magdalene Redekop opts for the use of case studies to raise questions about Mennonites and art. Part criticism, part memoir, Making Believe argues that there is no such thing as Mennonite art. At the same time, her close engagement with individual works of art paradoxically leads Redekop to identify a Mennonite sensibility at play in the space where artists from many cultures interact.

Makhno and Memory by Sean Patterson


“In this immaculately researched book, Sean Patterson has forged a new way of thinking about the anarchist Nestor Makhno and the Mennonites in the Ukraine just after the Russian revolution. Faith and class collide in this telling. There is no ideology here, only a desire to make sense of how history is shaped, and who gets to tell the story, and how vengeance and justice become two sides of the same coin.” – David Bergen, author of Stranger and The Time in Between.

About the book:

Nestor Makhno has been called a revolutionary anarchist, a peasant rebel, the Ukrainian Robin Hood, a mass-murderer, a pogromist, and a devil. These epithets had their origins in the Russian Civil War (1917–21), where the military forces of the peasant-anarchist Nestor Makhno and Mennonite colonists in southern Ukraine came into conflict. In autumn 1919, Makhnovist troops and local peasant sympathizers murdered more than 800 Mennonites in a series of large-scale massacres.

The history of that conflict has been fraught with folklore, ideological battles and radically divergent cultural memories, in which fact and fiction often seamlessly blend, conjuring a multitude of Makhnos, each one shouting its message over the other.

Drawing on theories of collective memory and narrative analysis, Makhno and Memory brings a vast array of Makhnovist and Mennonite sources into dialogue, including memoirs, histories, diaries, newspapers, and archival material. A diversity of perspectives are brought into relief through the personal reminiscences of Makhno and his anarchist sympathizers alongside Mennonite pacifists and advocates for armed self-defense.


Support independent publishers, authors, and your local economy by ordering books from your local independent bookseller. Check this map to see who is offering curb-side pickup or delivery near you, or order from McNally-Robinson Booksellers, our local indie. 

June 11, 2020

Online at 7 p.m., CDT (Winnipeg)


Celebrate the winner of the 2020 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction: Lauren Carter’s This Has Nothing To Do With You. In conversation with writer Ariel Gordon. 

Lauren Carter is the author of four books, including her debut novel, Swarm, which was longlisted for CBC Canada Reads and the poetry collections Lichen Bright and Following Sea. She is a past winner of the Prairie Fire Fiction Contest and the ROOM Magazine Poetry Prize, and has been long-listed multiple times for the CBC Literary Prizes. She lives in the country outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she’s working on multiple projects including a third poetry collection and running the Pandemic Response Reading Series. In 2020, she received both the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer at the Manitoba Book Awards.

Ariel Gordon is the author of two collections of poetry with Palimpsest Press, both of which won the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry at the Manitoba Book Awards. She is the ringleader for Writes of Spring, a national poetry month project that sees poetry published in the Winnipeg Free Press. Her latest book is Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests (Wolsak & Wynn).

About the book: 

When Melony Barnett’s mother commits a violent murder, Mel is left struggling with the loss of her parents and her future. For more than two years, she drifts around the continent, trying to carve out a life that has nothing to do with her past, before returning to her Northern Ontario home and adopting a rescue dog—a mastiff with a tragic history.

As she tries to help the dog heal and repair her relationship with her brother, Matt, she begins to uncover layers of secrets about her family —secrets that were the fuel for her mother’s actions.

This Has Nothing to Do With You is a compulsively readable novel that follows a dynamic cast of characters, revealing the complexity of the bonds that are formed through trauma and grief—with siblings, lovers, friends, and dogs.


“Unflinching and mesmerizing, Lauren Carter’s novel explores the daily impact of generational trauma, the need to love unreservedly, and a woman inching toward healing by dredging up the past.”— Emily Pohl Weary

“Grommet the Dog is my new favourite character! All his poor, messed-up people held me riveted to the page. Lauren Carter has created a novel for our times: how do we learn to live in a world filled with tragedy? With compassion as big as her talent, Lauren infuses this epic story of the broken-hearted with love, life, and hope. This Has Nothing to Do with You is an antidote to apathy and despair. I’m an instant fan.” – Angie Abdou

“I found it tender and devastating. A deep dive into the trauma created by family secrets — and secret-keeping. Also, an ode to Northern Ontario!” – Sarah Selecky


Support independent publishers, authors, and your local economy by ordering books from your local independent bookseller. Check this map to see who is offering curb-side pickup or delivery near you, or order from McNally-Robinson Booksellers, our local indie. 

Past Events:

This recording will be posted on LitHub! Link coming soon! 

Upcoming Readings: 

Stay tuned for details about upcoming events! 

Read our F.A.Q.

What Is the PRRS?
To get a glimpse into why I started the Pandemic Response Reading Series, check out this video. And, if you like what you see, please buy books and toss a few bucks in my tip jar to help me continue with this work.Thank you!
When Are the Readings?
The readings are on various days and at various times, dependent on writer availability and time zone; please refer to the event listing for the specific date/time. We always list the time in CDT (Central Daylight Time), which is Winnipeg. To convert to your timezone, visit this page:
How Do I Attend Readings?
Readings are held over ZOOM video conferencing as webinars. Click the Register to Attend buttons beside each event banner to sign up to attend (we’ve done it this way to remedy recent security concerns). Then, to attend the reading at the day and time of the event, simply click the link provided in your registration email (or in the reminder email). Feel free to click through a few minutes early to get settled; the event will be open for arrivals 15 minutes in advance but we won’t begin broadcasting until the start time. If you haven’t downloaded ZOOM before clicking the link to attend, you may be prompted to download it, but you can also download it in advance to your phone, computer, or iPad, either by searching for the app (mobile) or clicking the top option on this page (for a computer): During the webinar, you will only be able to view and listen to the presenters, and chat in the chat function. When we enter the Q and A session of the evening, you will be able to ask questions either in audio or in the Q and A chat box (please save questions for the evening of the event). We look forward to your participation!  
What Is Your Criteria For Readings?
We host readings by authors who are publishing books in Spring 2020 with Canadian publishers.
How Do I Purchase Books?
Please help support your local economy, independent presses, and authors by purchasing books from your local independent bookseller, direct from publishers and/or from the author. You can find a map of independent booksellers who are offering delivery or curbside pickup here. Or, please consider ordering from McNally-Robinson Books, the local independent bookseller serving Winnipeg and Saskatoon.
How Can I Apply To Read?
If you meet the criteria, please get in touch or ask your publicist or publisher to reach out! Email Lauren Carter at lauren _AT_ or through her contact page.

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