Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

In Her Voice Festival: Writing the Self

June 1 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Please join us for the third annual In Her Voice Festival!

Our second event of the Festival will feature three authors, who have written about their personal lives in moving and constructive ways, discussing the ins and outs of putting their lives to the page. Our three authors, Yasuko Thanh, Alicia Elliott, and T Kira Madden will be joined by moderator Alexandra Shimo for an hour-long panel, followed by an audience Q and A. Books will be for sale and an official signing will end the event.


Saturday, June 1st

4 to 5:30pm

(Doors at 3pm)


The Centre for Social Innovation Annex – Lounge

720 Bathurst Street



You can purchase tickets through Eventbrite.

Please note: we do try to keep ticket prices as low as possible to make our events as accessible as we can. If you would like to attend the conversation but have difficulty covering the cost of a ticket please email Olivia (olivia@benmcnallybooks.com) for a complimentary ticket.

Mistakes to Run With chronicles the turbulent life of Yasuko Thanh, from early childhood in the closest thing Victoria, BC, has to a slum to teen years as a sex worker and, finally, to her emergence as an award-winning author. As a child, Thanh embraced evangelical religion, only to rebel against it and her equally rigid parents, cutting herself, smoking, and shoplifting. At fifteen, the honour-roll runaway develops a taste for drugs and alcohol. After a stint in jail at sixteen, feeling utterly abandoned by her family, school, and society, Thanh meets the man who would become her pimp and falls in love.


Yasuko Thanh‘s story collection Floating Like the Dead was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. One of its stories won an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Short Story. The title story won the Journey Prize for the best story published in Canada in 2009. Quill & Quire named Floating Like the Dead a Best Book of the Year. CBC hailed Yasuko Thanh one of ten writers to watch in 2013. Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, her debut novel, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust for Fiction, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, and was nominated for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. She lives in Victoria, B.C., with her two children. In her spare time she plays in a punk band called 12 Gauge Facial, for which she writes all the songs and music.

A bold and profound work by Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is a personal and critical meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America.
In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight and understanding to the ongoing legacy of colonialism. What are the links between depression, colonialism and loss of language–both figurative and literal? How does white privilege operate in different contexts? How do we navigate the painful contours of mental illness in loved ones without turning them into their sickness? How does colonialism operate on the level of literary criticism?


Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations of the Grand River living in Brantford, Ontario, with her husband and child. Her writing has been published by The Malahat ReviewThe ButterRoomGrainThe New Quarterly, CBC, The Globe and MailViceMaclean’sToday’s Parent and Reader’s Digest, among others. She’s currently Creative Nonfiction Editor at The Fiddlehead, Associate Nonfiction Editor at Little Fiction | Big Truths, and a consulting editor with The New Quarterly. Her essay, “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” won Gold at the National Magazine Awards in 2017, and another of her essays, “On Seeing and Being Seen: Writing With Empathy” was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2018. She was the 2017-2018 Geoffrey and Margaret Andrew Fellow at UBC, and was chosen by Tanya Talaga to receive the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Prize in 2018. Her short story “Unearth” has been selected by Roxane Gay to appear in Best American Short Stories 2018. Alicia is also presently working on a manuscript of short fiction.

Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden’s raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.
With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai’i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It’s a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.


T Kira Madden is an APIA writer, photographer, and amateur magician. She is the founding editor-in-chief of No Tokens, and facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. A 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature, she has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo, where she was selected for the 2017 Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. She lives in New York City and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Alexandra Shimo is an author and journalist based in Toronto. Raised in London, England by a single mum, a struggling artist, she returned to her birth town of Toronto after her BA at Oxford in politics, philosophy and economics, and an MA from Columbia University in journalism. A former producer for CBC radio and editor at Maclean’s, Canada’s largest current affairs magazine, she is passionate about journalism and social justice, and pursues these interests through her volunteer work, and her books and essays about history, poverty and human rights. She lives with her partner Lia Grimanis and their baby son Jacob, and teaches creative non-fiction and memoir at the University of Toronto. In her spare time, she also teaches meditation at Octopus Garden, and sits on the advisory board for Up With Women, which helps formerly homeless women and children escape poverty, and for DreamCatcher Mentoring, which offers career guidance to northern and indigenous youth.


June 1
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


CSI Annex Lounge
720 Bathurst St
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2R4 Canada


In Her Voice