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Upcoming — November 19 and 24, 2016


Toronto and Hamilton area launch events for In the Company of All

THE ST. THOMAS POETRY SERIES recently published In the Company of All a book of prayers from Sunday mornings at St Cuthbert’s. The Toronto launch hosted by the publisher will be November 19, 2016 at St. Thomas’s Church, 383 Huron Street, Toronto at 7:30 p.m. A Hamilton Area launch hosted by Redeemer University College will be held on campus in the Redeemer University College dining hall November 24, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
see the news item here
see the Toronto launch notice here
see the Hamilton area launch notice here
click here for John's reflections on writing poems and prayers for Sunday mornings


Recent — November 12, 2016


A Rocha annual gathering reading in Hamilton

A Rocha is focused on transforming people and places through hands-on conservation projects, environmental education programs and sustainable agriculture initiatives.
      John’s poetry was featured at this year’s A Rocha annual gathering in Hamilton, Ontario. Music was provided by the Nabi Sue. Participants enjoy a dinner from the catering staff at Karam Kitchen and listened to A Rocha interns share stories of creation care. A Rocha is an international Christian organization which engages in scientific research, environmental education, community-based conservation projects and sustainable agriculture.
see the notice of the event here


Recent — October 11, 2016


LitChat with John: Daylighting Chedoke

LitChat is a Hamilton, Ontario based literary salon supported by the Hamilton Public Library and Hamilton Arts Council. On October 11, 2016, John lead a conversation about tracking down the natural landscape in an urban environment focusing on his recent essay “Daylighting Chedoke.” “Daylighting Chedoke” appeared in issue 8.2 of HA&L Hamilton Arts and Letters.
see the notice of the event here read “Daylighting Chedoke” here


Recent — April 10, 2016


Writing the gritty city

GritLit, Hamilton’s annual readers and writers festival hosted a panel discussion about writing the gritty city on Sunday afternoon, April 10, 2016 at 4:00pm. Featuring Kim Echlin, David Lee, Rachael Preston, John Terpstra and Brent van Staalduinen.
More information at this link


Recent — April 12, 2016


For Those who enjoyed John’s Art Bar Reading two years ago…

A diverse audience attended the Tuesday, April 12, 2016 edition of the Art Bar Poetry Series, held at the Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth. 8 P.M. John shared the stage with Sheniz Janmohamed and Zach Da Costa.
More information at this link

Recent — June 16, 2016


“Selections” for “The Storied Landscape of Hamilton” at Queen’s

…On Thursday June 16, John participated in a 4-day conference on Making Coomon Causes: Crises, Conflict, Creation, Conversation in the context of global climate change, soil depletion, “the enclosure of the commons,” the acidification of the oceans, ground water contamination, mass extinctions at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. John was part of a session on “Urban Space as Environmental Commons: The Storied Landscape of Hamilton” along with Matthew Zantingh (Briercrest College and Seminary), Chair, Daniel Coleman (McMaster University), “Yard Work," Doug Sikkema (University of Waterloo), “Semiotics and the City: Reading the Lines of Hamilton." John read portions of Falling into Place as well as a few poems in which Hamilton is the subject. Time 1:15 – 2:45.
More information and a schedule at this link


Recent — March 31, 2016


Perspectives on the Chedoke Watershed

John joined Redeemer University College professors Darren Brouwer (Associate Professor of Chemistry) and Edward Berkelaar (Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies), head of natural lands for the Royal Botanical Gardens Tys Thysmeyer, Stewards of Cootes Watershed head Alan Hansell and City of Hamilton Director Water & Wastewater Planning & Capital Mark Bainbridge in exploring the history of and current challenges facing Hamilton’s Chedoke watershed. Location: Hamilton Spectator Auditorium. Time: 7 P.M.
More information at this link View the poster for this event here

Recent — September 14, 15 & 16, 2015


Seasoned Adults Learning at Trinity (SALT) Readings in Chicagoland

On September 16, 17 & 18 John gave a series of readings of “personal poetry and private memoirs” in the Ozinga Chapel Auditorium of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights. Illinois. Day 1: Memoir readings from John’s book, The Boys: or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, relates to his three brothers-in-law, who each died from the same terminal disease, but who inspired others with their humor, liveliness, and courage. Day 2: Non-fiction prose from John’s latest book, The House with the Parapet Wall, weaves stories of caring for his elderly mother with notions of home and place; and stories of the 19th century brick houses in his city neighborhood and the families who lived in them, then and now. Day 3: Jazz accompanied poetry readings from John’s many books of poetry, including poems commissioned by his church music director and written specifically for Sunday mornings, but meant for the whole world.

More information at this link

Recent — February – April, 2015


Public Reading Itinerary late March through April 2015

From late March through mid-April John will be giving readings in Hamilton and Toronto.

Location — Terryberry Public Library — 100 Mohawk Road West, Hamilton — Wednesday, March 25; 7:00 pm — call: (905) 546-3921


See the notice here

Location — Westdale Public Library — 955 King Street West, Hamilton, ON — Tuesday, April 14; 7:00 pm — call: (905) 546-3456




Location — Book launch with Margo Swiss — St Thomas Church — 383 Huron Street, Toronto — Thursday, April 16, 8:00 pm



See the notice here

Recent — February – April, 2015


Public Reading Itinerary February through mid-March 2015

From late February through mid-March John gave readings in Hamilton, various New Brunswick locations and Grimsby. The New Brunswick readings were given during a week-long residency at St Mary’s in Halifax from Monday, March 2 to Friday, March 6.

Location — Locke St Public Library — 285 Locke Street South, Hamilton — Thursday, February 19, 2015; 2:00 pm — call: (905) 546-3492

Location — St Mary’s University — Wednesday, March 4 — contact: Brian Bartlett bbartlett6364@gmail.com

Location — Lorenzo Reading Series — UNB Saint John — Monday, 9 March; 7:00 pm — call: (506) 654-3753 — contact: Alison Hughes aehughes@unb.ca

Location — Something’s Brewing Cafe — St Stephen, NB — Tuesday, March 10; 7:00m — contact: Agnes Kramer-Hamstra agnes.akke@gmail.com

Location — St Andrew’s Anglican Church — 7 Saint Andrews Avenue, Grimsby, ON — Sunday, March 15; 4:00 — call: (905) 945-8894 — contact: Max Woolaver mwoolaver@rogers.com



Recent — Ancaster — February 5, 2015


Redeemer University College launch and reading

John read from his latest release The House with the Parapet Wall at a launch hosted by Redeemer University College and the Dapartment of English. The House with the Parapet Wall was recently featured on in an interview with John conducted by Bernadette Rule for ArtWaves. Earlier in February John talked to Open Book about the book’s genesis, the McGarrigle sister connection and the long journey to “a room of one's own.”

Location — Executive Dining Room — 777 Garner Road, East, Ancaster — Thursday, February 5, 2015
See the poster here Read the “Lucky Seven” interview here Hear the ArtWaves interview here

Recent — Hamilton — October 29, 2014


under the trees: A creative writing workshop with John Terpstra and Ariel Gordon See the notice here

Recent — Hamilton — October 24, 2014


Book launch: The House with the Parapet Wall



Join John and Marilyn Gear Pilling for the luanch of their most recent books. John will read from his newest memoir The House with the Parapet Wall, and Marilyn will read from On Huron's Shore, a collection of stories published by Demeter Press. On Huron's Shore is a collection of linked stories about mothers, daughters, and sisters, set in the landscape of the Huron County of the mid-fifties juxtaposed with the Huron County of today. The House with the Parapet Wall is John’s fourth work of literary non-fiction. Grieving the diminishment and death of his elderly mother, John Terpstra finds solace in a seemingly unusual place: the stories (both historical and fanciful) of the nineteenth-century houses in his Hamilton neighbourhood and of the families which have inhabited them.

Location — Gallery on the Bay — 231 Bay Street North, Hamilton — Friday, October 24
More information about John’s book here More information about On Huron’s Shore More information about the launch here

Recent — British Columbia — September 25 to October 1, 2014


“Wood and Words” tour with Kate Braid in BC

John gave a series of readings with Kate Braid in British Columbia between Thursday, September 25 and Wednesday, October 1. Locations included Victoria, Hornby Island, Pender Island, Naniamo and Vancouver. Both John and Kate are or have been woodworkers and / or carpenters. Kate was the first woman to be admitted into the BC Carpenter’s Union. Kate has published five books of non-fiction and five of poetry, including co-editing with Sandy Shreve the ground-breaking book of Canadian form poetry, In Fine Form. Her work has won or been short-listed for a number of awards and is widely anthologized. Like John, Kate has done collaborations with musicians in her work. She has written extensively about her fifteen years as a carpenter including two books of poetry and her most recent work, a memoir, Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World.

Itinerary:
Thursday 25 September, 3 p.m.
Tiamat, 5255 Seawright Road, Hornby Island
Hosted by Cornelia Hoogland, Poetry Hornby Island

Friday 26 September: 7:30 pm,
Hillside Coffee and Tea, 103-1633 Hillside Ave., Victoria,
Hosted by Planet Earth Poetry.

Monday 29 September:
Pender Island, Anglican Church Hall (Fireside Room),
Hosted by two local book clubs.

Tuesday 30 September: 7:00 pm,
The Vault Cafe, 499 Wallace St., Nanaimo,
Hosted by Wordstorm.

Wednesday 1 October:
Vancouver Public Library, Alma Van Dusen Room, 350 W. George St. Vancouver

Check here more about Kate Braid
For more information about dates and venues, see the poster here See the BC Booklook story on the event here

Recent — Toronto, Ontario — July 17, 2014


Hot-Sauced Words at the Black Swan Tavern on the Danforth

James Dewar hostsed a poetry performances by John Terpstra and a reading of Irving Layton poems at The Black Swan Tavern. The Hot-Sauced Words poetry performance started at 8:15; Open Mic sign-up 7:30

Location — The Black Swan Tavern — 154 Danforth Ave. (2nd floor) Toronto — Thursday, July 17
for more information see this link

Recent — Claremont, Ontario — June 21, 2014


The Artist Garden presents... a “Minstrels’ Evening in the Garden”

This event features a Summer, Saturday evening in the garden with poetry, great music, great art and great food with acoustic musician and singer/songwriter Peter Tigchelaar, award-winning poet John Terpstra and sculptor Heidi Brannan. Those who attended enjoyed a real BBQ from The Artist Garden chefs with s'mores on the campfire for dessert!

Location — The Artist Garden — 1710 Claremont St, Claremont, ON — Saturday, June 21, 6:30 PM
see the event notice here.

Recent — Hamilton, Ontario — April 6, 2014


Closing Night with LitLive: All About the Hammer

gritLIT partnered with LitLive for a gala closing night celebrating the recently-published works of seven Hamilton authors. Presenters include Chris Pannell (A Nervous City), John Terpstra (Brilliant Falls), Jeffery Donaldson (Slack Action),Amanda Jernigan (All the Daylight Hours), Marilyn Gear Pilling (A Bee Garden), Amanda Leduc (The Miracles of Ordinary Men) and David Haskins (This House Is Condemned).

Location — Homegrown Hamilton — 27 King William St, Hamilton, ON — Sunday, April 6, 7:30 PM
for tickets to the event see this link
see the event description here.

Recent — Hamilton, Ontario — April 5, 2014


Steel City Stories presents: Arrivals and Departures

Many attended Arrivals and Departure, a Steel Cities Stories event hosted by John. The event featured stories by Suzanne Burchell (Storyteller), Graham Crawford (Hamilton HIStory + HERitage), John A. McCurdy (Local Historian), Zak McDonald (Comedian), Rochelle Martin (Death Midwife), Renée Wetselaar (Artist & Community Advocate).

Location — First Unitarian Church — 170 Dundurn Street South, Hamilton, ON — Saturday, April 5, 7:30 PM
for tickets to the event see this link
see the event poster here.


Recent — Hamilton, Ontario — Saturday, March 15, 2014


Pen versus Guitar — round two





Photographs: Bruce Papky


Peter Tigchelaar and John faced off again with more live rounds of song and words.

Location — Hamilton — Saturday March 15, 8:00 PM
for the 2013 round see the posting here.

Recent — Dundas, Ontario — March 2, 2014


John Laing Singers The Poet's Corner Reading

The John Laing Singers presented an afternoon of poetry brought to life through music with live readings by John. With a professional string quartet as accompaniment, the afternoon’s choral music was based on poetically substantial texts, including: Invisible Harps, featuring music such as Three Shakespeare Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Dark Night of the Soul by Norwegian phenomenon Ola Gjeilo, Five Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre (with poetry by his wife, Hila Plitmann), and the Cantique de Jean Racine by Gabriel Fauré. John read from his most musical poems. The readings were scattered throughout the concert. 

Location — St. Paul’s United Church — 29 Park Street West, Dundas, ON — Sunday March 2, 3:00 PM
for more about the event see this link
see the poster here.

Recent — Hamilton, Ontario — February 9, 2014


The House with the Parapet Wall: Presentation, The Bruce Duncan Memorial Lecture Series

The Giant’s Rib Discovery Centre (GRDC) presented John Terpstra, speaking on themes in his new work in progress, The House with the Parapet Wall. The presentation was part of this year’s Bruce Duncan Memorial Lecture Series. The Bruce Duncan Memorial Lecture Series runs once a month from September through May. This series presents topics relevant to the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve as a part of the GRDC’s public education programs.

Location — Hamilton Waterfront Trust Centre — 57 Discovery Drive, Hamilton — Sunday February 9, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
for more about The Giants Rib see this link
see the event description here.

2013 — North Bay, Ontario — November 14, 2013


Reading and Talk at Nipissing University, North Bay

The public was on heand to attend a reading and talk by John Terpstra about his poetry in Dr. Sarah Winters and Dr. Susan Srigley’s “The Bible as Cultural Text” Dialogue course.

Location — Nipissing University, Room A 122 — 100 College Drive, North Bay — November 14, 3:30 – 4:30 PM
see the notice here.

2013 — Toronto, Ontario — November 13, 2013


The St. Thomas Poetry Series 25th Anniversary poetry reading



Hamilton Poets Bernadette Rule and John Terpstra at the reading — Photograph: David O'Rourke.


Many attended The St. Thomas Poetry Series 25th Anniversary poetry reading. Featured poets were Philip Gardner, Richard Greene, John Reibetanz, Bernadette Rule, Margo Swiss and John Terpstra.

Location — St. Thomas’s Church Parish Hall — 383 Huron Street Toronto — November 13, 8:00 PM
see the notice here.

2013 — Toronto, Ontario — November 7, 2013


Lunchwords reading at York Univerisity

John read from his most recent work and from Naked Trees, as a part of the Faculty of Environmental Studies' lunchtime poetry series, LunchWords. The Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at York University has undergraduate and graduate programs in Environmental Studies, many of which focus on reading, writing, and art as important for environmental politics and praxis. LunchWords is a new event for FES and John was invited to be one of their first guest speakers. In this series, the aim is to foster an ongoing discussion about environmental literature and writing of all kinds, by providing a space for students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear writers read their work and to engage in lively conversations afterwards.

Location — York University, Toronto — HNES 109 — November 7, 12:45 – 2:00 PM
see the notice here.

2013 — Hamilton, Ontario — November 2, 2013


Now I’m a storyteller too…

John and other Hamilton-based speakers participated in a telling “tales without notes” for Brushes with greatness, a storytelling event hosted by Steven Bunn, featuring stories by John, Robin McKee, Deidre Pike, Lisa Pijuan, Jeff Goodes and Lou Molinaro

Location — Christ’s Church Cathedral — 252 James Street Hamilton — November 2, 7:30 PM
for more details watch this link
see the notice here.

2013 — Toronto, Ontario — June 13, 2013


Imago poetry / story-telling / jazz piano evening at Enoch Turner Schoolhouse

This past June John read at an Imago Evening held in Toronto’s historical Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, with Brad Woods, storyteller (Greg Woods on percussion), and Mike Janzen, jazz piano with The Sybil Shanahan String Quartet. Also participating were Lynne McIlvride, visual artist and Jeanine Noyes, singer/song-writer

Location — Enoch Turner Schoolhouse — 106 Trinity Street Toronto — June 13, 7:30 PM
more details at this link


2013 — Toronto — May 8, 2013


Toronto Launch of Brilliant Falls.

The Toronto launch of Brilliant Falls was on Wed 8 May at St Thomas Church, 383 Huron Street, Toronto, where John read with John Reibetanz, who also has a new book to launch.

Location — St Thomas Church — 383 Huron Street, Toronto, Ontario


2013 — Toronto — May 7, 2013



Reading At the Art Bar Poetry Series

John supported the publication of his new book Brilliant Falls with a reading at the Art Bar Poetry Series, held at Q Space, 382 College Street West, in Toronto on Tuesday, 7 May, 8:00. Gaspereau Press author Sue Goyette read from her new poetry collection at the same event. They were joined by author Jacob McArthur Mooney.

Location — Q Space — 382 College St West, Toronto, Ontario


2013 — London, Ontario — May 4, 2013



Reading from Brilliant Falls, in London, Ontario

One Day after the Hamilton booklaunch for John’s new book of poetry, Brilliant Falls Gaspereau Press authors Sue Goyette and John Terpstra launched their new poetry collections at the Organic Works Bakery, 222 Wellington Street, London. This event was a special year-end poetry party to cap off Poetry London’s 2012/2013 season and also featured authors Debra Franke and Jessica Hiemstra.

Location — Organic Works Bakery — 222 Wellington Street, London, Ontario


2013 — Hamilton — May 3, 2013



Launching Brilliant Falls, John’s new book of poetry from Gaspereau Press.

The Hamilton booklaunch for John’s new book of poetry from Gaspereau Press, called, Brilliant Falls was on Friday 3 May at Gallery on the Bay, 231 Bay North, Hamilton, Ontario. John read with Marilyn Gear Pilling, who was also launching that night.

Location — Gallery on the Bay — 231 Bay North, Hamilton, Ontario


2013 — Nova Scotia — April 17, 18 & 19, 2013



Nova Scotia Readings and
Gaspereau Tra-la!


As part of the Gaspereau Press launch of Brilliant Falls, John was in Nova Scotia April 17, 18 and 19. All Gaspereau Press spring poetry books were officially released at Gaspereau Press Poetry Tra-La!. Readings featured John, Peter Sanger, Allan Cooper, Harry Thurston and Sue Goyette. Andrew Steeves will be hosting.

Location — The Company House — 2202 Gottingen Street, Halifax, NS — April 19, 7:00 PM

The weekend included two readings featuring John, and Peter Sanger. John read from Brilliant Falls; Peter Sanger read from his new book Fireship: Early Poems — 1965–1991.

Location — Fables Club — Tatamagouche, NS — April 17, 7:00 PM
Location — Alderney Gate Public Library — 60 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth, NS — April 18, 7:00 PM


2013 — Picton, Ontario — April 13, 2013


Prince Edward County Authors Festival reading

John participated in an author readings and Q&A — fiction, nonfiction and poetry event in Picton, Ontario with Paul Vermeersch and his Posse of Poets, Oana Avasilichioaei and Moez Surani as part of this year’s two-day Prince Edward County Authors Festival

Location — Books & Company — 289 Main Street, Picton, ON — April 13, 10:15 AM
more information about the festival here.


2013 — Hamilton — Monday, March 25, 2013


Reading at Bryan Prince Bookseller with Kate Braid

John joined Kate Braid for Wood ‘N’ Words, a reading held at Bryan Prince Booksellers, March 25. Kate Braid, from Vancouver BC, read from her book Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World, and John, as a fellow (ahem) carpenter, read work-related work.

Location — Bryan Prince Bookseller — 1060 King Street West Hamilton, Ontario
for more details watch this link
see the notice here.


2013 — Hamilton — Friday, March 8, 2013


Pen versus Guitar



Dozens joined John and Peter Tigchelaar for a house concert and reading featuring live rounds of song and words at the home of Paula and Bruce Papky. Peter and John told stories of their high school escapades. Peter played his ukelele, mandolin and a unique, also small instrument called Hammertone, singing his own songs as well as Credence Clearwater Revival, a Shaker hymn, and a Benedictine chant for a Friday. John read poems that spanned immigration, squirrel house-invasion and woodworking.

Location — 12 Matilda Street, S., Dunadas, Ontario — 8:00 pm.
for more details see the notice here
Photograph by Bruce Papky.



2013 — Chicago — Sunday to Tuesday, February 17 – 19, 2013


Events at Trinity Christian College



John read from his work in the Chicago area on Sunday, February 17. 6:00 pm, at Hope Church, 5825 West 151st St, Oak Forest, Illinois. Mark Jones accompanied the reading on jazz piano. Featured in the videos at the link below are the poems “Easter Pantoum” and “How it all goes round”
      On the afternoon of Monday, February 18 John was interviewed by Deborah Bowen in the Fireside Room at Trinity Christian College, 6601 West College Dr., Palos Heights Ill., 60463 (see photograph above). This was followed by a reading from his work. He was a guest in Pete Post’s Education class at 8:00 in the morning on Tuesday, February 19 to discuss The Boys.


for more images see this link.
for videos see this link
The photos and video were taken by Erick Sierra, Assistant Professor of English, Trinity Christian College; photos and videos are courtesy of Trinity Christian College.



2013 — Hamilton — Friday & Saturday, February 22 & 23, 2013


The Inspiration of Place: A Poet’s Interaction with Hamilton

On Friday Evening John was be the special guest at a conference that owed it’s title and inspiriation to John’s book Falling Into Place. John also presented a breakout session at this conference on Saturday.

Location — Philpott Memorial Church — 84 York Blvd, Hamilton
view a video preview at this link
for more details see this link



2012 — Durham, Ontario — Saturday, November 4, 2012 — 1:00 pm



Words Aloud 9: Travels with Tellers of Tales

John Joined writer Olive Senior and Toronto singer / songwriter Corin Raymond for this annual event, and The West Grey Library system supported the festival, and poetry in general, by purchasing five books suggested by audience attendees. They are Tanya Davis’s At first, lonely, Terry Ann Carter’s Day Moon Rising, John Terpstra’s Naked Trees, Oliver Senior’s Trees, and Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm’s edited volume of contemporary indigenous writing, skins.

Location — Durham Art Gallery — 251 George Street East, Durham
read more at this link
view the you tube video at this link



2012 — Toronto — Saturday, October 22, 2011 — 5:00 pm


CHARLES TAYLOR PRIZE ROUND TABLE: Words of Love

The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction presents a conversation on writing about the elusive, fraught and romantic world of love with authors Elizabeth Abbott, James Chatto and John Terpstra. The CBC’s Mary Ito moderates.

Location — Lakeside Terrace — Harbourfront Centre



2012 — Toronto — April 28, 2011 — 7:00 PM


Image Magazine and Imago Present: Bearing the Mystery at The Glenn Gould Studio

Held at Toronto’s historic Glenn Gould Studio the evening featured an hors d'oeuvres reception, a concert from singer-songwriter Miranda Stone, and readings from poets John Terpstra and Luci Shaw and award-winning novelist Deborah Joy Corey. The evening was capped off with a discussion with all four artists.

Location — The Glenn Gould Studio — 250 Front Street West





Photograph: Bruce Papky.


view a youtube video of John reading from his work at Words Aloud 9 at this link



read the CTP jury citation for The Boys at this link