Archive for Sandra Kasturi

January 18, 2011 – Amani, Sandra Kasturi and Rob Welch

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , on January 18, 2011 by theartbar

Rob Welch

Rob Welch takes you down to a place in the Art Bar, you can hear his poems go by You can stay the night with him. And you know he’s half English but that’s why you want to be there and he feeds you toast and marmalade that are tasted from white pages. Just when you think there’s no better he gets you on his wavelength and lets the poem answer that you’ve always been a lover. And you want to listen to him you want to listen blind and you know that he can win youbecause you’ve heard his British accent in your mind.

Listen to Rob’s reading

Listen to interview with Rob

Amani (The Contemporary Blues Poet) is a Writer, Producer, Spoken Word Artist, Singer, Actor and Creative Consultant that brings a unique flavour to everything that she does. Described as a Tour de Force on Stage, she has the ability to create lyrics about life experiences that leave you wanting to hear more.

Listen to interview with Amani

Sandra Kasturi is a writer, publisher and editor. She is the poetry editor of ChiZine.comand the co-publisher of ChiZine Publications. Sandra’s poetry and fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Prairie Fire, Taddle Creek, Contemporary Verse 2, Shadows & Tall Trees, Tesseracts 14, Evolve andChilling Tales. He first poetry collection, The Animal Bridegroom (Tightrope Books) is now sold out. Her second collection, Came Late to the Love of Birds will be out in 2012. She is fond of single-malt scotch and doesn’t sleep much.

Listen to Sandra’s reading

(Photos and recordings by Stephen Humphrey)

(Edited and assembled by Rob Welch)


May 11: Hey Shakespeare, is that a banana in your pants or are you just happy to kick it at Art Bardy Har-Har Night?

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by theartbar

Can poets be funny?

Does comedy have a place in poetry?

Why are haikus so especially funny?

Did the photographer have two many beers?

Valentino Assenza

Valentino Assenza, host of the annual Art-Bardy-Har-Har night full of good humour and ready to experience life without Tylenol. One day at a time, dude. Always inclined to public service, Valentino took time to caution about the dangers of Rock Band (TM).


Cathy Petch

Cathy Petch was F*****n’ Freestyling or she was milking old material, depending on how well you know her stuff. Apparently her kitchen is her bathroom, her cat is a racist and your baby is ugly.


Mike Bryant

Mike Bryant is a nerd. He said it in front of everybody, even his wife. He can talk about Star Wars for hours. He can quote “Howl” and Neuromancer in the same breath. He can speak wookie with a slight accent and he wants to sell you razors.


Dave Silverberg

Dave Silverberg lives alone and writes haikus about fooling the pizza guy. He sees Mike Bryant’s Star Wars nerd and raises him one sports nerd. He writes stalker-like letters to Sealtest. And eggnog.


Why so serious?

Valentino Assenza is in his usual good humour and sure of his hockey loyalties, but has an ominous curiosity about Lady Gaga. By the way, “Art Bardy Har-Har” was his idea, but he’s too modest to brag.


Sandra Kasturi

Like many individuals, Sandra Kasturi wants to know the whereabouts of William Shatner’s genitals. She does a mean Jack Nicholson, and you don’t want to see her attic. She does not love the pig light.


Yehuda Fisher

Yehuda Fisher has cool hair and his own personal stash of lightsabers. He has the bat signal on his wallpaper. Geeks in the house. What part of drunk at 3 am didn’t you get? And she liked it.


Jeff Cottrill

Jeff Cottrill has a show about a grouch who lives in a trashcan. No, not that one. His open piece clearly demonstrates that Cottrill is literally his own worst critic – as in reviewer, but that doesn’t mean he’s above using a faux southern accent.


February 9: A night in red satin… and black velvet

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by theartbar

Candles, chocolate, light jazz, wine, loads of ambiance… and a crooner in black velvet.

The Art Bar Love Lounge featured six of Toronto’s best romantic poets sharing their work.

(Photo by Pete de Lepper)

Priscila Uppal started off the night. Among her five collections of poetry are Live Coverage and Ontological Necessities, from Exile Editions. This year she will be releasing Successful Tragedies: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books) and Traumatology (Exile Editions). She is the Canadian Athletes poet-in-residence for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, and shared some of her sports themed poetry.

(Photo by Pete de Lepper)

Priscila was surprised at the musical intro by crooner Romeo Satin – I think she actually blushed.

(Photo by Stephen Humphrey)

Sandra Kasturi’s poetry collection The Animal Bridegroom has an introduction by Neil Gaiman, so she pretty much wins at life. She is currently working on another poetry collection Come Late to the Love of Birds, and two novels – one about a lady detective, and one a steampunk epic. Her poetry dazzled the room!

(Photo by Pete de Lepper)

Norm Cristofoli runs and Labour of Love. Due to his online bios being pretty ambiguous, Romeo Satin began his intro with a quick boogie, then rewrote the lyrics to Copacabana to feature Norm’s awesomeness. Norm’s piece “My Heart Goes Boom” was a highlight of the evening, with the entire crowd chanting along.

(Photo by Pete de Lepper)

David Silverberg is the Managing Editor of and the Artistic Director and Founder of Toronto Poetry Slam.

(Photo by Pete de Lepper)

Romeo Satin and the “Rome-ettes” broke out the theme from Shaft for him. His love poem to “Eggnog” was incredibly dramatic and heartfelt.

(Photo by Pete de Lepper)

Lara Bozabalian is the author of four chapbooks, and her first full length collection The Cartographer’s Skin will be published by Piquant Press this month. She is the head of English at a public high school by day, and a member of the Toronto Poetry Slam Team by night. Her quietly intense poems were dreamy and riveting.

(Photo by Pete de Lepper)

Amanda Hiebert is an actor, writer, and slam poet. She likes roller coasters, peanut brittle, her grandfather’s laugh, old hats, and kissing cute boys. These are her muses. Luckily for those in the Art Bar Love Lounge, she also likes sharing her soul. Amanda read a series of poems showing how her relationships and heart have evolved over the years.

Thanks to everyone who came out, to the amazing open mic readers, and to Romeo Satin (aka Pelayo Matute) for the brilliantly stylish and hilarious musical introductions.

~ Cynthia

July 21: Three women

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , , on July 21, 2009 by theartbar

Three women who write poetry in extraordinarily different approaches complimented each-other wonderfully at the Art Bar on July 21.

One addressed people in her life in personal, declarative verses, another quietly voiced tiny and towering truths in softly-spoken, zen-like poems, while another found comic mileage in princess stories gone horribly wrong.

Nashira Dernesh

Nashira Dernesch‘s poems confront love, death and the everyday with honesty, unvarnished sincerity and kindness. She claims the goal of her poetry is “to make a feast of all her losses.” The poems from her chapbooks, It’s No Secret You’ll Feel Better and This Snowing Under are full of personal history. Nashira dedicated the reading to her sister, Shannon, who was on hand to listen for the first time.


Souvankham Thammavongsa

Once again, Souvankham Thammavongsa proved that neither a loud voice nor towering stature were required to command the attention of a room as she presented compact, keenly-crafted poems which focus on both the minute and the cosmic. Souvankham says the architecture of her verse concentrates on “material, proportion, and balance.”

Her 2007 poetry collection, Found, is now a short film.


Sandra Kasturi

Poet, publisher and soon-to-be novelist Sandra Kasturi delivered an animated, frequently irreverent performance of work that drew on genres such as science-fiction, horror, fairy tales (the earlier, gut-level kind, before the Disney treatment), a hint of Gothic, bodice-ripping romance, along with a generous dollop of kitchen-sink humour. Young mistress, behave!


– Stephen Humphrey