September 18th: Chris Pannell and Phlip Arima

Chris Pannell’s latest poetry book is A Nervous City (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013).
Chris Pannell w
In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Prize and the Arts Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year.
A Nervous City by Chris Pannell w
From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. and edited two book-length anthologies for the group.
He helps organize the reading series Lit Live as well as Hamilton’s gritLIT Literary Festival.
Phlip Arima is the author of five books of poetry and fiction, the most recent being Pin Pricks (Quattro Books).
Philip Arima 2014 w
He has also produced an audio CD, and directed and performed a poetry/music/dance collaboration for part of the Figure of Speech series at Majlis Multidisciplinary Arts. His work has been adapted to stage by Newfoundland’s Neighbourhood Dance works in collaboration with RCA Theatre, and to video by Vision Television.
Pin Pricks by Phlip Arima wPhlip Arima is the author of five books of poetry and fiction, the most recent being Pin Pricks (Quattro Books).
He is a former Artistic Director of the Art Bar poetry series and was a co-organizer/host of The Basement Reading series as well as one of the rotating hosts for the Syntactic Sunday series.
For more about Phlip and to read samples of his work please visit

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August 21st – Hot-Sauced Words Vacation Notice

Hello everyone…

There will be no Hot-Sauced Words Poetry Performances on August 21st.

See you in September!

July 17th Features

John Terpstra and Deena Kara Shaffer


John Terpstra:

John Terpstra
John Terpstra has published nine books of poetry and three of creative non-fiction. His work has been short-listed for the Governor General’s Award, the Raymond Souster Award, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction, Brilliant Falls by John Terpstra and has won the CBC Radio Literary Prize for Poetry, the Bressani Poetry Prize, and several Hamilton Arts Book Awards.

His latest book of poetry is Brilliant Falls, and his publisher, Gaspereau Press, will soon release (fall 2014) The House With the Parapet Wall, a new work of non-fiction.

He lives in downtown Hamilton, where he is self-employed as a cabinetmaker and carpenter.

Deena Kara Shaffer:

Deena Kara Shaffer
Deena Kara Shaffer’s poetry has appeared in many magazines including The Dalhousie Review, FreeFall, Canadian Voices: Volume 2. The Grey Totewas short-listed for the Marina Nemat Award. Currently a Learning Specialist at Ryerson University, Shaffer lives in Toronto.The Grey Tote by Deena Kara Shaffer
The Grey Tote is impressive for its attitude and language–its direct expression of fear, its realization of mortality in the technological labyrinth. The style is direct, spare, hard, clear, but with elegance and significant whimsy.”

A.F. Moritz


  • Audience Interaction Encouraged
  • Open Mic sign-up 7:30
  • FREE ADMISSION (but we do Pass-the-hat)

    Produced and hosted by James Dewar

    June 19, 2014


    JonArno Lawson and Jim Smith


    JonArno Lawson:

    JonArno Lawson w
    Enjoy It While It Hurts is an edifying miscellany of quarrelsome quips, holiday oddities, benevolent advice, curious thoughts and comically apocalyptic melancholia. This delightful collection of light verse and nonsense poetry written and illustrated by the award-winning, multitalented JonArno Lawson keeps alive the traditions of Edward Gorey, Shel Silverstein and Hilaire Belloc. Erudite, witty and wholly original, Lawson’s wordplay is serious business. 
    Enjoy it while it hurts wJonArno Lawson is the award-winning author of numerous books of poetry for children and adults, including Black Stars in a White Night SkyA Voweller’s Bestiary and Think Again. A two-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Children’s Poetry, he lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

    Jim Smith

    Jim Smith wJim Smith moved from his birthplace, Niagara Falls, to Kingston in 1952. He started writing seriously in Grade 8 in 1963. His first published story earned him $5 from West Coast Review in 1972. His magazine, The Front, lasted from about 1972 to 1980, and the spinoff Front Press published books and pamphlets in the ’80s by writers like David McFadden, bpNichol, Wayne Clifford and Stuart Ross. Between 1979 and 1998, Smith published about half a dozen books of poetry, plus a number of chapbooks and ephemera. In the mid-’90s he diverted himself to law, and has been a civil litigator for the last decade. His Mansfield books are Back Off, Assassin! New and Selected Poems (2009) and Happy Birthday, Nicanor Parra. He continues to live and write in Toronto.Back off Assassin

    “The strength of Smith’s poetry is in his ability to yoke wildly divergent extremes by sheer force of will, asserting that even trivial preoccupations are symptomatic of larger injustices. In this way, his absurdism constantly points to the world.” — Kirstie McCallum, Fiddlehead

    “After a slow, cover-to-cover exploration of the many canyons of Smith’s memory, one becomes certain that one has encountered an entirely singular personality, the way in which all great poets have found the sacred way to express themselves and no other.” — Spencer Gordon, Dangerous Literature

    “This is not a comfortable book. You won’t find many places to sit and relax, breathe purer air, calm yourself. Smith’s rancor and scornful guffaw can remind one of Jimmy Porter’s verbal tirades in Look Back in Anger.” — Patricia Keeney, ARC

    “Fucking good poet!” — Javier Cercas, author of Soldiers of Salamis


    May 15 2014


    Chris Hutchison and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang

    Chris Hutchinson w
    Chris Hutchison
    Chris Hutchinson was born in Montreal, grew up in Victoria, has since pursued various livelihoods (cooking in restaurants, working in offices, and occasionally teaching creative writing at high schools, colleges, and universities), and has made his home in such places as Vancouver, Dawson City, Kelowna, New York City, and, most recently, Houston, Texas.
    Chris Hutchinson - Jonas in Frames w
    He is the author of three previous poetry books and several chapbooks. His work has also been published in numerous magazines and journals, including PRISM International, ARC, Canadian Literature, Malahat Review, SubTerrain, Geist, and The Fiddlehead, in anthologies such as A Verse Map of Vancouver, Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, Third Floor Lounge, and Hammer and Tongs: A Smoking Lung Anthology, and been translated into Chinese.
    Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang
    Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang w Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of the poetry books Status Update (2013), currently nominated for the Pat Lowther Award and the Gerald Lampert award winning Sweet Devilry (2011). She is featured in Best Canadian Poetry 2013, and is also the author of several children’s books, including A Flock of Shoes and Warriors and Wailers. Sarah’s work has been named to the OLA Best Bets for Children 2010, Best Books for Kids & Teens 2011 & 2012, and the Toronto Public Library’s First and Best Book List (2012).
    Status Update w
    She is also the editor of the anthology Desperately Seeking Susans, and the forthcoming Tag: Canadian Poets at Play. Her new Young Adult novel, Breathing Fire was just released with Orca Books.


    Audience Interaction Positively Encouraged.

    SHOW STARTS @ 8:15

    Open Mic sign-up 7:30

    FREE ADMISSION (but we do Pass-the-hat)