ChiSeries Toronto, September 18: feat. Beckett, Byenkya, Dalpe, Villegas

The Chiaroscuro Reading Series Toronto Branch hosts authors in the SF, fantasy and horror genres, every 3rd Wednesday of the month in the ROUND venue in Kensington Market. Hosted by Sandra Kasturi. Ukulele virtuosity by Kari Maaren!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 8 PM – 11 PM
ROUND venue
152a Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T 2L5 (map)

RSVP here!

NOTE that the Round Venue is not currently accessible–it is on the second floor, up a flight of stairs.

Authors reading:

Toronto author and editor Lex Beckett frittered their misbegotten youth working as an actor and theater technician in Southern Alberta before deciding to make a shift into writing science fiction. Their first novella, “Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling,” appeared in the July/August issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2018, and takes place in the same universe as their brand new novel, Gamechanger. Lex identifies as feminist, lesbian, genderqueer, married, and Slytherin, and can be found on Twitter at @LXBeckett or at the Lexicon, at

Mugabi Byenkya is a writer, poet and occasional rapper. He was born in Nigeria, to Ugandan parents and is currently based between Kampala and Toronto. Mugabi was longlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2015. His essays and poetry have been published in The Good Men Project, Amethyst Magazine, African Writer, Arts and Africa and The Kalahari Review, among others. He has been interviewed on Voice of America, NTV Uganda, Africa In Dialogue and Brittle Paper, among other media outlets. Mugabi’s writing is used to teach international high school English reading comprehension. His debut experimental epistolary speculative magical realist novel, Dear Philomena, was published in 2017 and he recently concluded a 42 city, 4 country North America/East Africa tour in support of this. In 2018, Mugabi was named one of 56 writers who has contributed to his native Uganda’s literary heritage in the 56 years since independence by Writivism. Dear Philomena was named a Ugandan bestseller in the same year. Mugabi wants to be Jaden Smith when he grows up.

Victoria Dalpe is an artist and writer based out of Providence, RI. Her dark short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and her novel Parasite Life came out in 2018 through ChiZine Publications. She is a member of the HWA and the New England Horror Writers. Currently, Victoria is co-editing the Necronomicon 2019 Memento Book with Justin Steele.

Halli Villegas is the author of three collections of poetry (Red Promises, In the Silence Absence Makes, and The Human Cannonball). Her book of ghost stories, The Hair Wreath and Other Stories, came out with ChiZine Publications. She received Honourable Mention for two of her stories in The Year’s Best Horror edited by Ellen Datlow. She is the co-editor of the anthologies Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing 2012 and In the Dark: Tales of the Supernatural. Her genre work has appeared in many anthologies including Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change, Chilling Tales 2, The White Collar Anthology, Bad Seed, Incubus, Girls Who Bite Back and Mammoth Best New Horror, 25th anniversary edition. In 2017 she won the $10,000.00 Carter Vanderbilt Cooper emerging writer prize for her story “Road Kill.” The story is included in the CVC 7 anthology (Exile Editions 2017) and was reprinted in the most recent edition of ELQ (May 2018). Her most recent publications are a non-fiction piece, “The Charm of the Old-fashioned Ghost Story” and her short story “A Mother’s Love is Never Ending,” both in issues of Nightmare Magazine.


KARI MAAREN is as the sparrow’s flight through the mead hall, metaphorically speaking. The author of Copper Cylinder-winning Weave a Circle Round, the composer of songs about terrible elves and problematic movie trailers, the creator of time-travel comics that are read by almost six people, Kari is nearly always trying not to mark. She probably doesn’t like your shoes.

The ChiSeries is sponsored in part by grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council – Conseil des arts de l’Ontario, ChiZine Publications and donations from attendees. Bakka-Phoenix Books is the official bookseller.