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All Write in Sin City

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Let's talk about writers and writing, right here in Sin City. Before we were the Motor City, one of the nicknames we were known by was "Sin City." Maybe that's why we've got so many great stories to tell. Our Windsor-Detroit region is full of inspiring poetry, first rate fiction, outstanding non-fiction, amazing writers, and exciting publishers. At All Write in Sin City, we aim to bring them to you. Check out our shows here, or take a listen wherever you listen to podcasts.
93 Episodes
Cheryl Thompson is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University in the School of Creative Industries. She is author of Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture. She previously held a Banting postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. Her work has appeared in The Conversation, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Spacing, Herizons Magazine, Halifax Coast, and She was born and raised in Toronto, where she currently resides. She has also lived in the United States and in Windsor, Ontario. Her most recent book is Uncle: Race, Nostalgia, and the Politics Of Loyalty.
Alexa Winik is a Canadian poet and writer from Windsor, Ontario. She was awarded the 2020 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, presented by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in various journals. She holds an MLitt in Women, Writing, and Gender and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of St Andrews. Winik has also served as poetry editor for the online literary journal The Scores. In 2019, she was the poet-in-residence with the At Sea Residency in Margate, England, as well as a finalist of Mid-American Review's James Wright Poetry Award.Close River by Alexa Winik was the winner of the Magma Open Pamphlet Competition in 2020 Alexa has recently returned to Windsor from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Nick Conrad's poems first began to appear in national and international literary reviews in the late 70's. More than 125 poems have since appeared in a variety of journals and review in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland as well as on the web and in various anthologies. He lives in Toledo, Ohio. Nick’s most recent book is Lake Erie Blues, published by Urban Farmhouse Press.
Hammett Award and Nero Prize-winning novelist Stephen Mack Jones is the author of the critically acclaimed thrillers AUGUST SNOW and LIVES LAID AWAY. LIVES LAID AWAY was short-listed for the CWA-UK "Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award." He has also contributed an essay to the non-fiction book WHAT NOW?: Essays On Life After Trump (2021, Wellstone Center of the Redwoods.) His new book, DEAD OF WINTER, was published in May. Stephen Mack Jones is also a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary fellowship. Once-upon-a-time he worked in advertising and marketing communications for which he is deeply sorry and promises never to do that again. He lives in suburban Detroit and has three adult children that mostly like
In this episode we are celebrating two of Windsor’s earliest and most influential women writers, both of them women of African heritage who lived in Windsor in the 1850s: Mary Miles Bibb and Mary Ann Shadd Cary. We are joined Teajai Travis, Amina Abdulle, and our own Irene Moore Davis. Teajai Travis is an Afro-Indigenous artist and activist, born and raised in Waawiiyaatanong, the last stop of the Underground Railroad. As an art practitioner, Teajai uses poetry, spoken word and traditional hand drumming to spin a tapestry of narratives to breathe flesh and blood to the long-lost stories of his ancestors. In 2017 he launched his Missing from History: Women of the Underground Railroad project to identify the important role women played in the intricate network of freedom fighters known as the Underground Railroad. He went on to develop these stories through poetry, spoken word, and theatre. More recently, Teajai’s exploration of his family history led to a multi-disciplinary project called Born Enslaved. He is a member of the founding board of The Windsor Youth Centre, the founder of an arts based community outreach initiative called The Bloomfield House, involved in many organizations, and currently the Executive Director at Artcite Inc. This year, in collaboration with Friends of the Court at Mackenzie Hall, Teajai successfully advocated for the renaming of a City of Windsor park in honour of nineteenth century writer, educator, and activist Mary E. Miles Bibb. Irene Moore Davis is a Windsor, Ontario-based educator, writer, historian, and podcaster. In addition to being one of our All Write in Sin City co-hosts, Irene is President of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, Program Chair at BookFest Windsor, and actively involved with many other community organizations. Irene has published works of poetry, short fiction, history, and journalism. Her forthcoming book is titled Our Own Two Hands: A History of Black Lives in Windsor from the 1700s Forward. She is a graduate of the University of Windsor, Western University, and Queen's University, and is an administrator at St. Clair College, where she also teaches English, Underground Railroad history, and Black cultural studies.  Amina Abdulle is a poet and a teacher who's passionate about art and expression. Born in Somalia, Amina has been living in Canada since she was 7 and is proud to call Windsor her home. Amina has been working as a teacher for the last 10 years. She has taught English at the high school level and is now the Department Head of ESL at Kennedy Collegiate. She is also the co-founder Black Staff Equity Alliance as well as a member of various organizations within the city that focus on equity and justice. Amina sits on the board of two organizations and tries to use her time and voice to support her community in whichever ways she can. Amina began writing fiction at a very young age and quickly fell in love with poetry and all forms of artistic expression. A graduate of the University of Windsor's Creative Writing program, Amina began to focus on writing works of poetry that touch on several issues including her cultural background and issues of identify.
Harvey Ovshinsky is a writer, producer, story consultant, educator, and public speaker. He was only seventeen when he started The Fifth Estate, one of the country’s oldest underground newspapers. Five years later, he become one of the county’s youngest news directors in commercial radio at WABX-FM, Detroit’s notorious progressive rock station. Both jobs placed him directly in the bullseye of the nation’s tumultuous counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. Later, as a documentary director, his work was awarded broadcasting’s highest honors, including a national Emmy, a Peabody, and the American Film Institute’s Robert M. Bennett Award for Excellence. Now he’s sharing the behind-the-scenes stories from his career in Scratching the Surface from Wayne State University Press. The memoir also doubles as a survival guide and an instruction manual that speaks not only to the need for storytelling and the role that endurance and resilience play in the creative process.
Dale Jacobs is the author of Graphic Encounters: Comics and the Sponsorship of Multimodal Literacy. He is the editor of Sunday with the Tigers: Eleven Ways to Watch a Game and The Myles Horton Reader, and co-editor of A Way to Move: Rhetorics of Emotion and Composition Studies. His academic/creative nonfiction book, The 1976 Project: On Comics and Grief, is forthcoming. He is the editor of The Windsor Review and teaches in the English Department at the University of Windsor. Heidi LM Jacobs’ novel Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 2020. She is a librarian at the University of Windsor andone of the researchers behind the award-winning Breaking the Colour Barrier: Wilfred "Boomer" Harding & the Chatham Coloured All-Stars project. She is currently writing a book about the 1934 Chatham Coloured All-Stars, the first Black team to win the Ontario Baseball Amateur Association Championship. Their new book together is 100 Miles of Baseball: Fifty Games, One Summer. The book was inspired by their realization in 2016 that something was missing in their relationship with baseball. So, they drew a one-hundred mile radius around their home in Windsor, and set a goal of seeing fifty games within that circle. That took them across southwestern Ontario and into Michigan and Ohio, to games at the high school, university and major league levels.100 Miles of Baseball is the story of their sports-driven road trip and their rediscovery of their love of the game.
Vanessa Shields is a poet, writer and workshop facilitator in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Her first book, Laughing Through A Second Pregnancy – A Memoir, was published by Black Moss Press in 2011 to rave reviews. In April 2013, Shields edited a poetry anthology entitled, Whisky Sour City (Black Moss Press). I Am That Woman (Black Moss Press), her first book of poetry, was published in 2014, Look At Her (Black Moss Press)  in 2016. In 2017, Shields was part of a Group of Seven poets published in an anthology about the history of Windsor, entitled Because We Have All Lived Here (Black Moss Press). In 2018, the chapbook Feminism: Revisit, Revise, Revolutionize: A Two-part Harmony was published by the League of Canadian Poets’ Feminist Caucus with Shields as co-editor/introduction writer. She writes a monthly blog for the League of Canadian Poets on being a writing parent. She is passionate about promoting poetry and the writing life, and is often on a jury for major awards and/or contests.Shields self-published a collection of children’s poetry entitled From A to Ziffery Zanks with Windsor illustrator Glen Hawkes in 2019. A new collection of poetry, thimbles has just been published by Palimpsest Press.
Ellie Csepregi has been a cultural worker since 1972… a nomad who is currently situated in Windsor, Ontario, who graduated from the University of Windsor, and who has taught high school for over twenty years. Her work has been performed by dance and theatre companies in Vancouver and has appeared in several publications including The Windsor Review, Rampike, Ash (Oxford University Press), Spittoon (Beijing), Cranberry Tree Press Anthologies, and Whisky Sour City Anthology (Black Moss Press.) Tiers is her first full book of poems. Visit her website:
Lainey Cameron is a debut author who has achieved great success with her novel, The Exit Strategy. It’s the winner of the 2020 Readers’ Favorite Award for women’s fiction and #1 Amazon Bestseller in Feminist books. The book has also been honored with: •      A Gold Medal in the 2020 Readers Choice Awards (for women's fiction) •      A Finalist designation in the 2020 Best Book Awards by American Bookfest •      A nomination as a notable indie for 2020 by Shelf Unbound•      And it was longlisted for Chanticleer Somerset Book Awards The story was inspired by Cameron’s decade of being the only woman in the corporate boardroom. It tells the story of a Silicon Valley investor who first meets her husband’s mistress across the negotiating table. Cameron was introduced to us by the folks at The Detroit Writing Room, and she also hosts a podcast, The Best of Women’s Fiction. A digital nomad, she  picks locations around the world to live, write and host podcast for months at a time. Originally from Scotland, she admits to a soft spot for men in kilts and good malt whiskey. 
Cecily Nicholson is the author of Triage, and From the Poplars, which won the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize. Her most recent book, Wayside Sang, won a Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. She volunteers with community impacted by carcerality and food insecurity. Her performances, talks and residencies have been hosted by educational spaces such as New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Centre for Indigenous Research Creation at Queen's University, Woodland Pattern Book Centre, Milwaukee, and the Surrey School District. Cecily is currently the (virtual) Writer-in-Residence for the University of Windsor.  She spoke to us from her home in British Columbia. 
Jade Wallace’s fiction, poetry, and essays have been published, or are forthcoming, in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Sweden, New Zealand, and India. They are the author of several chapbooks, most recently the collaborative ZZOO (Collusion Books, October 2020) and Test Centre (ZED Press 2019), and the solo Rituals of Parsing (Anstruther Press 2018). Jade’s most recent chapbook is Southern Ontario Gothic Tour in 2020. Their writing has won the Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize and the Anita and Alistair MacLeod Prize, and has been nominated for The Journey Prize. A former legal worker, they are currently the Reviews Editor for CAROUSEL, an organizing member of Draft Reading Series, an M.A. student in Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, and one half of the collaborative writing partnership MA|DE. Note: at 40:45, there is a reference in a poem about suicide. Full website references:
It has been twenty five years since Christopher Paul Curtis first earned a Newbery Honor as well as an Honor from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, his critically acclaimed debut novel which was subsequently adapted for a Hallmark TV movie. In 2000, he became the first African American man to win the Newbery Medal for his 1999 novel Bud, Not Buddy, which also received the Coretta Scott King Award. His books Bucking the Sarge (2004), Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (2005), Mr. Chickee’s Messy Mission (2007), Elijah of Buxton (2007) which also received a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award, The Mighty Miss Malone (2012), The Madman of Piney Woods (2014), and The Journey of Little Charlie (2018) which was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. His books regularly appear on lists of the best children’s books of the year, and in 2013, The Watson’s Go to Birmingham – 1963 was named one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years. Born in Flint, Michigan, Mr. Curtis has resided in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, where in his free time, he enjoys reading, playing basketball, and collecting music.
This podcast is a little different than our usual programs. Dr. Naomi Long Madgett, the Detroit Poet Laureate, had been on our interview “wish list” for some time. Last fall, we tried to interview her here on the podcast about her latest book, You Are My Joy and Pain. That did not work out, and sadly, a few weeks later, she passed away. Today, we’ll be paying tribute to Madgett’s career as a poet, publisher and Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2020. We’re talking with two people in the Detroit literary community about her work, her legacy and how they will remember her. Our featured guests today are:Leisia Duskin, a graphic designer, artist and instructor who is a Board Member of Broadside Lotus Press and a longtime collaborator with Dr. MadgettAnd M.L. Liebler, an internationally known Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer and also the Poet Laureate for St. Clair Shores, MichiganListeners who would like to know more about Dr. Naomi Long Madgett’s career can find biographies on, at, and also a more recent version at this link: M.L. Liebler:  www.mlliebler.comBiography of Leisia Duskin, Graphic Designer, Educator, and WriterLeisia Duskin is an artist, graphic designer, and educator. A graduate of the College for Creative Studies, Ms. Duskin is a Special Instructor teaching graphic design, varied format and apparel printing in the Printing and Graphics Program at Cornelius Golightly Career and Technical Center, Detroit Public Schools Community District.   In 1983, she received a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts for her book of poems entitled Lights Out in Ten (edited by poet Stella Crews). Leisia Duskin’s poems have been published in the South End Newspaper (Wayne State University) and in the Broadside Press anthology, Hipology: Horizons in Poetry, edited by Ron Allen and Stella Crews, Detroit Perspectives: Crossroads and Turning Points (Great Lakes Books Series) 1991..Ms. Duskin joined Dr. Madgett to support the writing efforts of others published by Lotus Press. Their teamwork led to a life-long friendship.  Dr. Madgett commissioned Ms. Duskin to create two illustrations for her acclaimed book, Octavia - And Other Poems (1988), reprinted as Octavia - Beyond Guthrie (1992). Over the years, Leisia Duskin would win the Lotus Press Graphic Design Excellence Award in 2008 for outstanding book design, and inclusion in the Henry Ford College Faculty Graphic Design and Photography Exhibition in 2014, for the 2012 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award book cover design Three Birds Deep by poet Sheila Carter-Jones.  Her most recent book layout and cover design was for the Naomi Long Madgett (NLM) Poetry Award is Blues Legacy by poet Jacquese Armstrong, 2019.Ms. Duskin joined the Board of Directors of Lotus Press in 2000, and served as Board President from 2005 to 2015.
Our guest is D.A. Lockhart. He is the author of seven books, including Devil in the Woods, The Gravel Lot That Was Montana, This City at the Crossroads, Big Medicine Comes to Erie, and an essay collection called Wënchikàneit Visions. D.A. Lockhart holds degrees from Trent University, Montana State University, and Indiana University. His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry in English 2019, TriQuarterly, ARC Poetry Magazine, Grain, Belt, and The Malahat Review among others. He is also the publisher at Urban Farmhouse Press and poetry editor for The Windsor Review. He is a Turtle Clan member of the Lenape people, a registered member of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation, and currently resides at Waawiiyaatanong on the south shore of the Detroit River (also known as the border cities of Windsor ON and Detroit MI). This year, he has published two new books, Breaking Right (with Porcupine’s Quill) and Tùkhòne: Where the River Narrows and the Shores Bend (with Black Moss Press.)
G. A. Grisenthwaite is Nłeʔkepmx, member of the Lytton First Nation. His stories and poems have appeared in The Anitgonish Review, Our Stories Literary Journal, and Prism International. His work has earned a number of prizes, including the 2014 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. He lives in Kingsville, ON. His first novel is Home Waltz, published by Palimpsest Press in 2020.  Resources:
Welcome to a special edition of All Write in Sin City podcast. The podcasting elves are taking a break over the holidays, but thanks to the wonders of modern tech, we’ll be back in 2021 to bring you more great interviews and readings.  In this episode, we’re sharing some of the great readings we enjoyed throughout this year. All of the recordings were done safely and remotely, but you’ll certainly hear the authors’ passion and dedication. We loved all of our interviews, and here we have selected four readings: two of fiction; two of poetry, with authors from both sides of the Windsor – Detroit border in order to celebrate the diversity of all of our presentations at All Write in Sin City. So, relax, and enjoy! Each author’s reading from Fartumo Kusow, Brian Gilmore, Natalie Zina Walschots, and Margaret Noodin is preceded by the original introduction. You might even want to join in with some audience participation with Margaret! You can hear the full interviews and more at
Dr. Dale Jacobs teaches Composition and Rhetoric with interests in comics, composition pedagogies, literacy, and visual rhetorics at the University of Windsor, Ontario. In addition to numerous books and articles on rhetoric, he is the editor of North by North Wit: An Anthology of Canadian Humour (Black Moss Press, 2003) and Ice: New Writing on Hockey (Spotted Cow Press, 1997). He has edited Sunday with the Tigers: Eleven Ways to Watch a Game (Black Moss Press, 2015). Dale Jacobs is the new editor in chief of The Windsor Review which is published biannually by the University of Windsor Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Department of English and Creative Writing. Established in 1965, The Windsor Review features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and review essays. The Windsor Review at 50: latest edition of the Windsor Review Fall 2020:
Stories by Joseph Harris have appeared in Midwest Review, Moon City Review, Great Lakes Review, The MacGuffin, Third Wednesday, Storm Cellar, and have received the Gesell, Tompkins, and Detroit Working Writers’ Awards for fiction. He holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota, an MA from Wayne State University, and a BFA from Emerson College. His collection of short fiction, You’re in the Wrong Place, is a collection of linked short stories about young people in Ferndale, Michigan, struggling to find their way after the crash of 2008. It was recently published by Wayne State University Press. Note that there is some strong language in the reading. But it's a great story.
Bob Campbell is a writer based in Flint, Mich. ​His creative nonfiction and essays have appeared in Belt Magazine, Forge Literary Magazine and Gravel Magazine. He is a contributor to Belt Publishing’s Midwest Architecture Journeys, published in October 2019. Bob was a staff writer for the Flint Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader and Detroit Free Press. He was also an electrician at AC Spark Plug, formerly a division of General Motors, before moving into journalism. ​His debut novel, Motown Man, was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in November 2020.Note that there is some strong language in the reading. But it's a great story.
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