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HAPPENING Poetry Night: Allen, Manole, Bandukwala, Wu

May 26, 2022, 8:00 AM5:00 PM EDT

HAPPENING Multicultural Poetry Nights celebrate poets who, among other things, identify as newcomers, refugees, or immigrants. Every Thursday in May (5, 12, 19, 26), there will be a poetry event featuring three poetry readings and an interview.
Despite the fact that poetry inhabits many geographical locations and speaks in different accents and languages, Literature continues to be the most exclusive of arts and the most resistant against outsiders. An immigrant’s linguistic, cultural, and political accents mark them as alien, and hence, undesirable company or colleague among fellow writers and poets.
Poetry Curator: Bänoo Zan
Feature Bios:
Lillian Allen
Poet. Educator. Spoken Word Performer. Two time JUNO Award winner and trailblazer in the field of spoken word and dub poetry, Allen artistically explores the aesthetics of old and new sounds in music to create her distinctive leading edge brand of Canadian reggae with new world sounds in her poetry recordings, with her powerful reggae dub poetry/spoken word recordings including her latest single Woken & Unbroken (2018).
Diana Manole
Bucharest-born Diana Manole immigrated in 2000 and is now proudly an award-winning Romanian-Canadian scholar, writer, and literary translator. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and has been teaching at Canadian universities since 2006. In her home country, she published nine creative writing books and earned 14 literary awards. Her recent poetry was published in English and/or in translation in the UK, the US, Belarus, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, Albania, China, France, Romania, and Canada. Her seventh poetry book, Praying to a Landed-Immigrant God, is forthcoming from Grey Borders Books.
Manahil Bandukwala
Manahil Bandukwala is a writer & visual artist. She is currently Coordinating Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine & Digital Content Editor for Canthius. She is a member of Ottawa-based writing collective VII. Her collaborative chapbook with Conyer Clayton, Sprawl | the time it took us to forget (Collusion, 2020) was shortlisted for the bpNichol Award. Her debut poetry collection is forthcoming with Brick Books in 2022. See her work at
Fan Wu
Fan Wu is a delirious pedagogue and melodramatic poet who lives between Toronto and Kingston. You can find his writing online at MICE Magazine, Shrapnel Magazine, and C Magazine.
About the Festival:
HAPPENING Multicultural Festival is the first and only Toronto festival created by community artists, giving center-stage to the talent and skills of immigrant, newcomer, and refugee artists. This multi-arts platform includes music, dance, visual arts, community-engaged arts, storytelling, spoken word, and poetry. HAPPENING gives space to embrace the cultural richness of our city, while creating professional development opportunities for artists, as well as offering a platform for organizations to connect, and form meaningful collaborations.
About the Curator:
Bänoo Zan is a poet and poetry curator with over 200 published pieces and three books, including Songs of Exile and Letters to My Father. She is the founder of Shab e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse and brave poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012).
To learn more about HAPPENING Multicultural Festival, visit:


May 26, 2022
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT