So Fresh

A Scarborough Reading


it’s limited edition, styll.
— Adrian De Leon, “Victoria Park”

Scarborough has gotten a lot of attention in the last few years.
Last year, Nuit Blanche set up in Scarborough for the first time, and new authors that hail from the suburb are showing up on bookshelves and award lists all over, such as David Chariandy’s Brother, Catherine Hernandez’s Scarborough and Carrianne Leung’s That Time I Loved You.

For people living in Scarborough, this is no surprise. The creative scene has been vibrant from the start. Between the open mic event RISE to the many events organized by Scarborough Arts, residents are not strangers to creating and celebrating art in their neighborhood.

This special evening is designed to showcase and celebrate new writing coming out of Scarborough. Hosted by writer Diriye Hassan, it will feature a reading and talk by award-winning writer Carrianne Leung, author of That Time I Loved You and The Wondrous Woo and shorter readings by emerging writers Natasha Ramoutar (Writer In Residence at Firefly this year), Adrian De Leon, Tara Farahani and Lul Yoseph.

From spoken word to short stories and everything in between, we’re celebrating some of Scarborough’s freshest new writing.

This event is organized by Natasha Ramoutar as part of our Writer In Residence program.

Featured Writers:

Firefly Writer-in-Residence Natasha Ramoutar is an Indo-Guyanese writer by way of Scarborough (Ganatsekwyagon) at the east side of Toronto. She is a graduate of the Master of Professional Communication program at Ryerson University. Her award-winning research creation project focused on the representation of women in Muay Thai by creating a digital fiction game based on interviews. Her micro-fiction was selected from over 4000 submissions to be part of the My City, My Six exhibition at Toronto City Hall, and she was the 2018 winner of the Ontario Book Publishers Organization’s What’s Your Story? Contest. Her work has been included in projects by Diaspora Dialogues, Scarborough Arts, and Nuit Blanche Toronto and has been published in The Unpublished City II, PRISM Magazine, Room Magazine, Living Hyphen and more.

Our headliner Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo (Inanna Publications) was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You, was released in 2018 by HarperCollins and was also shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards, recently longlisted for Canada Reads 2019 and was considered one of the best fiction titles of 2018 by CBC Books. Her work has also appeared in The Puritan, Ricepaper, The Globe and Mail, Room Magazine, Prairie Fire and Open Book Ontario. She is currently UTSC Writer-in-Residence, hosted by the Department of English at UTSC.

Adrian De Leon is an Abagatan (Southern) Ilokano writer and cultural educator from Manila by way of Scarborough. He teaches Philippine cultural history in classrooms, museums, and martial arts gyms. Adrian’s first poetry collection, Rouge, was published by Mawenzi House in 2018. He has just completed his second poetry collection, Barangay, and is currently at work on his first novel. With Natasha Ramoutar (Firefly) and Téa Mutonji (Shut Up, You’re Pretty), Adrian is editing a pioneering anthology on Scarborough’s emerging writers. When he isn’t hammering away at creative writing projects at local cafes, Adrian moonlights in the humanities. He is PhD Candidate in History at the University of Toronto, Lecturer in English at the University of Toronto Scarborough, a Junior Fellow at Massey College, and a 2017-2018 Fulbright Scholar. He has published variously on Philippine indigeneity and migrant labor, as well as global urban food cultures.

Tara Farahani is a Toronto-based writer, researcher, and creative visionary. Informed by her lived-experience as an Iranian-Canadian Diaspora, she carries an inherent desire to challenge norms, ignite thoughtful dialogues, and engage in continuous learning in all walks of her professional and personal life. When she isn’t busy nerding out on social research, you will find Tara tucked away in the corners of cafes across Toronto writing creative non-fiction prose, or working on her Co-Founded project, not for you. zine. In 2018, Tara was the successful recipient of CUE’s 2018 Writing Program bursary to work on her upcoming non-fiction prose book, I Had a Very Happy Childhood, and has been featured on Metro Morning Radio, CBC News, Flare Magazine, Ryerson Alumni Magazine, and the Toronto Star for her poetry and advocacy work. In 2018-2019, Tara Farahani has been appointed the Jack Layton and John C. Eaton Chair’s newest Artist-in-Residence, exploring what it means to honour our lived experience through the writing form in her project From Under the Rug.

Lul Yoseph is a 18 year old Spoken word artist. She is a Eritrean-Canadian and currently a native to Toronto, speaking 2 languages, English and French. She started writing at the age of 13 and has performed on 50+ stages. Lul’s passion for writing results in various topics of her poems like: Identity, racism, gender, and past experiences. Lul will blow you away with her words and similes in her poetry.

Host Diriye Hassan likes doing cool things with great people. His work and experiences cover a wide spectrum of organizations from VEX Robotics to the University of Toronto, from TIFF to the TEDx UTSC conference. Throughout his non-linear path to the present, his love, advocacy, and support for all things Scarborough is never far behind. He is currently working on several different things that he promised several different people he’d finish soon. Please remind him gently to stop checking out Raptors highlights and to get that other stuff done.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Doors will open at 6pm. We will begin at 6:15pm.


We’ll be at our beautiful studio, 1898 Danforth Ave, unit 2.
It’s fully wheelchair accessible and a short stroll from the Woodbine subway station.


We’re limiting this to thirty participants, so get your tickets soon! You can claim them right here.

  • General Admission, $18 each (15 available)

  • Student tickets at $12 each (high school students, post-secondary students, mature students, etc. 10 available)

  • No-fee tickets for anyone who wants to attend but can’t afford to at this time.

Planning to join us?