Turn us on

We are now accepting proposals for poetry workshops, classes, reading/writing groups, publisher showcases, launches, special projects at our new KFB POETRY LAB both on site during shop hours and possible off site events.

This can be anything from a single two-hour time slot on a weekday or Saturday afternoon, to something monthly, bi-monthly or even weekly depending on the scope of your project, availability and approval.

We are especially interested in the ongoing growth/promotion of poetry readers and writers. Turn us on.

Proposals should include a clear [1 page] statement of: Course/Project. Ideal number of participants. How participants will engage. Half/Full day (2 hours or 4) Saturday or weekday (Tues- Sat 1-5:30PM) or off-site possibilities. Desired fees.

SUBMIT TO knifeforkbook [at] gmail [dot] com  SUBJECT: Turn us on

If you’re a publisher who would like to launch or showcase your [poetry] titles/catalogue, there’s a number of ways we can do this. Please contact Kirby at knifeforkbook [at] gmail [dot] com.

PLEASE NOTE: KFB / The Dark Side Studio is in no way a ‘rental hall’ and this should not be construed as such. Any/all KFB POETRY LAB proposals are subject to approval by knife | fork | book.


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knife | fork | book
at The Dark Side Studio | 244 Augusta Avenue | 2nd Floor | Kensington Market | Toronto

Doors 6:30 Poetry 7
Access: We are a second floor walk-up with two all-gender washrooms. Please remove your shoes upon entrance.
PAUL VERMEERSCH is a poet, professor, artist, and editor. He is the author of several poetry collections, including the Trillium–award nominated The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010)  Don’t Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something (ECW, 2014) and Self-Defense for the Brave and Happy (ECW, 2018). Vermeersch holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph for which he received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. His poems have been translated into Polish, German and French and have appeared in international anthologies. He edits Buckrider Books, an imprint of Wolsak & Wynn Publishers Ltd. He lives in Toronto. Photo by Justice Darragh.
KATH MACLEAN is a multi-media artist and author of three books of poetry, Translating Air (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2018), For a Cappuccino on Bloor and Kat among the Tigers. She lives in Toronto.
KAREN MAC CORMACK is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, most recently RECHELESSE PRATTICQUE (Chax Press, Tucson/Victoria, 2018). Other titles include AGAINST WHITE (Veer Books, London, 2013), TALE LIGHT: New & Selected Poems 1984–2009 (BookThug, Toronto, 2010) and Implexures (Chax Press, Tucson/West House Books, Sheffield, 2008). Her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies including Moving Borders, Out of Everywhere, Another Language, and Prismatic Publics. Her texts have been translated into French, Portuguese, Swedish and Norwegian. An extended interview with her appears in Scott Thurston’s Talking Poetics (Shearsman, 2011). Of dual Canadian/UK citizenship she currently lives in the USA and teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Poet and scholar STEVE MCCAFFERY was born in Sheffield, England. He received his B.A. from Hull University, his M.A. from York University, and his Ph.D. in English from SUNY at Buffalo. He is a scholar, poet, and performer whose wide-ranging influence is especially present in concrete and sound poetry. His numerous books of poetry include the full-length collections Modern Reading: Poems 1969–1990 (Writers Forum, 1991), Seven Pages Missing: Selected Texts Volume One (Coach House Press, 2001) and Volume Two (Coach House Press, 2002), Verse and Worse: Selected and New Poems of Steve McCaffery 1989–2009 (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2010). Together with bpNichol, he edited Sound Poetry: A Catalogue for the Eleventh International Sound Poetry Festival (Underwhich Editions, 1978) and Rational Geomancy: The Kids of the Book-Machine: The Collected Research Reports of the Toronto Research Group 1973–1982 (Talonbooks, 1992). He is acknowledged as one of the founding theoreticians of Language Poetry and his extensive scholarship is represented in numerous publications, including the books Imagining Language: An Anthology, edited with Jed Rasula (MIT Press, 1998), North of Intention: Critical Writings 1973–1986 (Roof Books, 1986), Prior to Meaning: The Protosemantic and Poetics (Northwestern University Press, 2001), and The Darkness of the Present: Poetics, Anachronism and the Anomaly (University of Alabama Press, 2012). Among his many rewards and acknowledgements, McCaffery has twice received the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative North American Poetry, the Dora Mavor Moore Award in theater and has been nominated twice for Canada’s Governor General’s Award. He is currently the David Gray Chair of Poetry and Letters at SUNY Buffalo (a position previously held by Robert Creely and Charles Bernstein).




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The remarkable occasion when an evening accomplishes exactly what it set out to do. A seamless forty minutes of poetic interplay between AARON BOOTHBY, CANISIA LUBRIN, and KLARA DU PLESSIS, (a full, appreciative house, spellbound), meticulously crafted and hosted by du Plessis. Beautiful indeed.  knife | fork | book

Photos: KIRBY


“this reading will be beautiful”

Klara DuPlesis

I’ve been toying with the idea of curating a reading for years now–by curating I mean more than putting certain poets together on stage. By curating I also mean selecting the exact poems the readers will share, as well as the thematic arc of the poems’ placement and progression.

The reading will be about 1 hour long, including work by myself (Klara du Plessis), Canisia Lubrin and Aaron Boothby. The format will still be that of a poetry reading without any performative extras. But there won’t be preambles and one reading will lead directly to the next.

The work of myself, Lubrin and Boothby share preoccupations with language/expression/silence, environment/growth/fluidity, responsibility/political import/engagement without didacticism. I hope some of our shared creative concerns will be highlighted in the format of this reading.

This reading will be a first experiment. Something that has a lot of potential, could be developed further–I am curious to see how it feels and hope that you’ll join to offer feedback as to further directions this could take or aspects that could be improved upon. For sure, though, this reading will be beautiful. – KLARA DU PLESSIS


A Curated Reading with LUBRIN, BOOTHBY, DU PLESSIS



knife | fork | book
at The Dark Side Studio | 244 Augusta Avenue | 2nd Floor | Kensington Market | Toronto

Doors 6:30 Poetry 7
Access: We are a second floor walk-up with two all-gender washrooms. Please remove your shoes upon entrance.
CANISIA LUBRIN is an award-winning writer, critic, teacher and former community arts administrator. She has written for the stage and for a wide range of print and online publications, including Room MagazineThe PuritanThe Rusty ToqueArc Poetry Magazine,VallumLemonhoundThe Unpublished CityThe Globe and MailQuill & QuireThe Capilano Review, and Cordite Poetry Review. Lubrin was featured on CBC’s 2017 HERStory in Black and is a 2017-2018 Poetry in Voice Poet in Residence. Poetry editor at Humber Literary Review and advisor to Open Book, Lubrin is co-artistic director and co-host of Pivot Readings and is Consulting Editor with Buckrider Books/Wolsak & Wynn. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and is the author of augur (2017) and Voodoo Hypothesis (2017), which was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award, appeared on multiple end-of-the-year book lists, and was named a CBC Best Book of the Year.
KLARA DU PLESSIS is a poet and critic originally from Bloemfontein, South Africa. Klara’s chapbook Wax Lyrical was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in print and online. Klara curated the monthly Resonance Reading Series and is the editor for carte blanche. Her first collection, Ekke (Palimpsest Press), “is a watershed debut from one of Canada’s most exciting young voices.” She lives in Montreal.
AARON BOOTHBY (Reperspirations, Exhalations, Wrapt Inflections, Anstruther Press) is a poet originally from California now living in Montreal whose work has appeared in The Puritan, Whisky Island, small po[r]tions and other journals.