Tartan Turban Secret Readings #7

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Barrett and Welsh

577 Kingston Road

Suite #301

Toronto, ON M4E 1R3


View Map

Event description


You are invited to the 7th session of The Tartan Turban Secret Readings curated by Aparita Bhandari, at Barrett and Welsh on Friday 26 January 2017.

You can follow along via this FB event page which will continue to be updated with details.

We hope you will come, read, share and listen, but if life/the evening/your acrobatic gerbil has other plans for you, we completely understand.

Featured Readers:

Featured artists: actor/playwright Shaista Latif, Odissi dancer Supriya Nayak, (accompanied by Shawn Barry on sitar), musical artist Rehaset, writers Dawn Promislow, Andrea Gunraj and Jacqueline Valencia.

Supriya Nayak will dance and introduce us to Odissi, an Indian classical dance form accompanied by Shawn Barry on the sitar. Supriya has performed in India and internationally in South Africa, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, China and the USA. In Canada, Supriya has danced for Anandam Dancetheatre, the Toronto Dance Community Love-In and Sampradaya Dance Creations.

Supriya will be accompanied by sitarist Shawn Barry, a lifelong percussionist-turned-sitarist. Shawn has embraced Indian melodies and continues to study with the goal of becoming an accomplished soloist and accompanist. Shawn frequently accompanies dancers in the Kathak and Odissi styles.

Jacqueline Valencia is a writer and critic. She is the author of There Is No Escape Out Of Time (Insomniac Press, 2016) and is the founding editor of These Girls On Film, a literary editor at The Rusty Toque and staff film critic at Next Projection. Jacqueline is a board member of CWILA (Canadian Women In Literary Arts).

Rehaset is a Saudi-born, Ethiopian Canadian independent artist, working primarily as a composer and singer; currently she is on a journey developing Buna!, an Ethiopian musical with support from b current’s bcHub training program for emerging theatre makers. She is currently a part of the Generator’s APT program.

Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dawn Promislow’s Jewels and Other Stories (Mawenzi House, 2010), was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award 2011 and named one of the eight best fiction debuts of 2011 by The Globe and Mail. She was the 2015-2016 writer-in-residence at the Toronto Heliconian Club. Her poem lemon was shortlisted for the Berfrois New Poetry Prize 2015. She has lived in Toronto since 1987.

Andrea Gunraj is the author of The Sudden Disappearance of Seetha and a contributing author to Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity and Sexual Violence at Canadian Universities: Activism, Institutional Responses, and Strategies for Change. She is Director of Communications and Public Education at Eva's Initiatives for Homeless Youth and is working on a new novel partially inspired by real-life experiences of a former resident of the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children.

Shaista Latif is a writer, performance maker, director and voice actor. Her performance works explore the politics of inclusion and class.

We encourage you to support our featured artists by buying signed copies of their works at the reading. (Cash only please).


Open mic sessions:
Anyone attending is welcome to read or perform (if you are a musician) in our 3 open mic sessions.

If you are a writer or musician who would like to perform in the open mic session, we ask that you listen in to at least one session to get the flavour of the evening and join in on your next visit.

To participate in TTSR #7 please contact Aparita beforehand. Aparita is curating this session and this will allow her to line up the readers and manage the evening efficiently.

Open mic readers are given 4 minutes in total - you may read a work of creative writing (fiction/poetry/drama/screenplay) - or a work of reportage or creative non-fiction. This is not a lecture series, so no academic works please.

Your reading doesn't have to fit into the evening's theme and it doesn’t matter if it’s not in English or French - one of our open mic readers read a stunning series of poems in Spanish based on interviews with jailed murderers in Mexico. Simply accompany your readings with an explanation of the context and a brief translation in English.

If you are reading at an open mic please read no more than:
4 pages of poetry or,
2 single pages of double-spaced prose, or
3 pages of a screenplay or play,
- up to a 4 minute maximum for any creative material, including a brief introduction to yourself and your work.
At the end of 4 minutes, there will be a simple buzzer to let you know your time is up, to save any reader the embarrassment of being stopped by a curator.

Don't let yourself be intimidated by these guidelines. They are designed to make sure the evening is enjoyable for all. The ambience at our readings is intimate, extremely informal and very supportive.

If you have published works that you would like to offer for sale, feel free to mention it when you finish your reading.


About The Tartan Turban Secret Summer Readings:

Barrett and Welsh hosts a (not so) “secret" reading series on its rather lovely open-air office rooftop deck while it's warm, and in its large open concept studio space in cooler weather.

The Tartan Turban Secret Readings feature poetry, drama and prose readings that celebrate Canadian multicultural writing created by multicultural, minority and BIPOC writers. The idea is to provide a platform for minority writers who have very few such platforms while welcoming all writers who want to celebrate Canada’s multiculturalism, diversity and indigenous heritage, and have talent to share.

Curators change from reading to reading. If you would like to read or curate, contact Gavin Barrett or Mayank Bhatt who are co-curators for the series.

Readings ideally take place every 3rd or 4th Thursday or Friday, but this varies depending on what is convenient for featured readers and curators.

The series has moved indoors for winter.

The hope is to also intersperse the readings with musical performances from multicultural/minority/BIPOC musicians eventually. Maybe a tabla or bongo player may pop in to accompany the readers or to play between readings. Maybe one of you will invite a Metis fiddle maestro.

Please feel free to bring any of your friends of every minority whether "visible" or otherwise - non-minorities are warmly welcomed too. Feel free to suggest others you think might be ideal as curators, participants or happy listeners.

The sessions may be photographed, filmed and possibly streamed on FB/YouTube live. (if we can arrange for a production partner to organise this.)

Readings may be collected for a book for publication at the end of the year, so ideally everyone will be reading unpublished work.

For those wishing to attend, please note that our space can safely accommodate no more than 30 people, with seating provided for 25. Please bring your own folding chairs, mats, cushions should Eventbrite attendee signups rise above 25.


Barrett and Welsh does provide complimentary refreshments and light snacks, but in keeping with the community-centric spirit of the series, we encourage attendees to bring and/or share their own beverages and snacks (and to carry their own drinking cups/glasses).


We’ll have someone posted at street level until 7 pm to get people in. (Ground level entrance is auto-locked by security after that.) Please arrive before 7 and encourage your guests to do same. if they arrive later, they’ll need to text one of us to let them in and we’ll swing by in 10 min intervals (sorry!)

Barrett and Welsh’s offices are at the top of an office building that was once a large townhouse, so there are a couple of steep flights of stairs to get in. If you (or any guests) have mobility challenges, please be aware that you may need a helping hand up the stairs, as there is no elevator. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.

Want to receive updates about the next reading?

Simply follow this group for updates on the next session and the link to the Eventbrite registration page for each reading. (we do ask that you register if you plan to attend). You can also sign up for our email list here.


About Barrett and Welsh:
Barrett and Welsh is a minority-led, creativity-powered, change-making ad agency that puts ideas first to make ideas last. A certified B-Corp, it has speciality practices in inclusion communications (mainly multicultural/minority and persons with disabilities) and urban sustainable development (mainly transit).

About the series co-curators
Mayank Bhatt's first novel Belief was published late last year by M G Vassanji’s Mawenzi House press. The novel explores youth radicalisation and alienation, and the impact of terrorism on a family in the context of the failure of immigration and settlement framework in Canada.

Mayank Bhatt immigrated to Toronto in 2008 from Mumbai (Bombay), where he worked as a journalist. His short stories have been published in TOK 5: Writing the New Toronto and Canadian Voices II. In Canada, he has worked as a security guard, as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce and as an organizer for the Festive of South Asian Literature and Art. He lives in Toronto with his family.

Mayank co-curates the Tartan Turban Secret Readings with Gavin Barrett. (see organizer description below for a brief bio on Gavin).

Share with friends

Date and Time


Barrett and Welsh

577 Kingston Road

Suite #301

Toronto, ON M4E 1R3


View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved