THE SCREAM Wake/ Final episode retrospective/Ephemera drop-off centre
WHEN: Thursday, July 7, 2011, 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Lounge @ 99 Sudbury Street
WHAT: Recreations, reflections, and responses to 19 years of The Scream
WHO: Gerry Shikatani, Jessica Westhead, Tony Burgess, Derek McCormack, Kevin Connolly, Lisa Foad, Stuart Ross, Tamara Romanchuk, The Emergency Response Unit, Tom MacKay, Evan Munday, and more!
ORGANIZER: The Scream Literary Festival

The Scream in High Park
WHEN: Monday, July 11, 2011, 7 p.m.
WHERE: High Park Amphitheatre, High Park
WHAT: The one that started it all – 12 readings under the High Park stars
WHO: Gary Barwin and Gregory Betts, Christian Bök and Darren Wershler, Margaret Christakos, Dani Couture, Sheila Heti and Misha Glouberman, Aisha Sasha John, Shawn Micaleff, Alisha Piercy, Angela Szczepaniak, Hugh Thomas, Nick Thran, Mark Truscott, and mystery guests …
ORGANIZER: The Scream Literary Festival


You were asked to put together a series of events in homage or critique of the Scream Literary Festival. Here’s what you good people came up with.

Mercury event in resonance with the Scream
WHEN: Wednesday, July 6th, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Linux Caffe, 326 Harbord Street (at Grace, a short walk south from Christie Subway station)
WHO: confirmed readers: Richard Truhlar, Guy Ewing, and Brian Dedora
ORGANIZER: The Mercury Press

Pre-Scream Pivot featuring The Scream's past Artistic Directors
WHEN: Wednesday, July 6th @ 8:00PM
WHERE: The Press Club (850 Dundas Street West)
WHAT: Toronto's best-looking reading series hosts a pre-Scream Pivot with Bill Kennedy, Peter McPhee, and Matthew Remski.
ORGANIZER: Sachiko Murakami for Pivot Readings at the Press Club (

Evie Christie, Malcolm Sutton & Jacob Wren
WHEN: Friday July 8th, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
WHERE: Parkdale Public Library
WHAT: Three dynamic writers read from their recent work, inspired by the Scream in High Park's call for an "unFestival". Jacob saw on the internet that it would be the last Scream in High Park ever, realized he hadn't read in Toronto in a really long time, and asked a few of his favourite local writers to join him. A rare event.
WHO: Evie Christie, Malcolm Sutton, Jacob Wren

Variations on a Scream: Mobile Street Mic
WHEN: Friday, July 8th @ 7pm-?
WHERE: Starting in Bellevue Square, and traveling through Kensington Market & downtown Toronto.
WHAT: The Steel Bananas Art Collective will be meandering the streets of Toronto armed with a wagon, microphone, and Polaroid camera, inviting passersby to take a moment to offer "Variations on a Scream" and improvisational poetry on the street. Each poet-for-a-moment will be photographed for a large piece to be presented to the Scream organizers, in appreciation for their years of work and dedication.
WHO: Passersby, chance meetings with closeted or not-so-closeted poets, and YOU.
ORGANIZER: The Steel Bananas Art Collective

Meet the Presses SCREAMING Chapbook Market
WHEN: Saturday, July 9, noon - 5 pm
WHERE: Clinton's Tavern, 693 Bloor Street West
WHAT: The Meet the Presses collective celebrates the final Scream Festival with a stapled, folded, stitched, and trimmed chapbook market! Some of us believe the chapbook is the natural and friendly form for publishing poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Come join us and check out this stubborn resister of eBooks and spines!
WHO: BookThug, Emergency Response Unit, Gesture Press, Proper Tales Press, Serif of Nottingham, Underwhich Editions and lots more presses from Ontario and perhaps further!
ORGANIZER: Meet the Presses (

The Wrecking Ball
WHEN: Saturday, July 9th, 8pm
WHERE: The Hard Luck Bar, downstairs
WHAT: Experimental poets share the stage with heavy metal bands. A literary demolition derby. Collaborative elements encouraged.
WHO: poets: angela rawlings, Damian Rogers, Chris Doda, Dani Couture
bands: Sylvus/ Vilipend/ Ein Traum
ORGANIZER: Natalie Zina Walschots
Facebook Event:

Our Final Mainstage Lineup for Monday, July 11th

The Scream Literary Festival is pleased to announce its final Scream in High Park lineup! The Scream Mainstage will be held at the CanStage amphitheatre in High Park on Monday, July 11th, 7-11pm

The Scream Unfestival

The Scream Unfestival is proceeding apace, and it’s not too late to throw together an event. Click here for event details.

The Sad Letter

Dear Scream friends, colleagues and alumni:

After eighteen years of doing the improbable, the Scream Literary Festival is closing its doors this summer, and we need your help to give it the send-off it deserves. We plan on having two more shows: an opening night reading on Thursday, July 7th and wake to celebrate the festival, and a Mainstage in High Park on Monday, July 11th to end it where it began. We’re still finalizing all of our details, and apologize for the day. Please check back here in the near future for venue and lineup information.

Shutting down the Scream has been no easy decision. I've been involved with the festival in one capacity or another since its inception and I'll certainly feel its absence as keenly as anyone. After many difficult discussions with those closest to the Scream, however, we came to the conclusion that it's better to end it well than to watch its contrarian spirit diminish.

Our resistance to convention (and good sense) has proved our greatest strength: we believe that art must take risks if it is to be an art that matters, and it's clear that those very risks are anathema to a literary industry that survives through its many compromises. We pursued an idiosyncratic line in an era that has tended towards offering more of the same, and while I can't say for certain what it all amounts to I do know that our madness has produced some of the finest literary performances this city has seen.

This festival has been built on the back of its artists, volunteers and concerned citizenry, who have invested time, talent and energy far beyond any reasonable remuneration (or sane reasoning). We hope to make this last festival a celebration of your efforts.

To that end, we have some final requests:

We have one final request, aimed at all of those who do such good work keeping lit alive in this town. We'd like to invite you to organize a literary event between Tuesday, July 5th and Sunday, July 10th (except for Thursday the 7th, which is our opening night) as part of what we're tentatively titling “Wreck our brand™: a Scream unFestival”. It could be a reading, a workshop, a new series, an homage, a critique, a protest or what-have-you. You don't need our permission – hell, we're not going to support it directly – but do something in a Screamly spirit and we'll post the info to our site. To be clear - we're keeping these events at arms length because we have neither the staff nor the money to support them. But nothing is more in keeping with the origins of the Scream than making an event without money or support, so go and build something that matters to you.

Please circulate this email, especially to those you know who have been involved with the Scream in the past. And do mailto:''>send me a note if you'd like to get involved, stay informed or just share your thoughts. I'll try to respond as quickly as I can.

Bill Kennedy
Artistic Director,
The Scream Literary Festival

so long ...