Online program
  • November 9, 2021 - 5:30 – 7:30 pm
  • December 7, 2021 - 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Three-Thirty Book Club

Presented in partnership with the U of T Scarborough Library

A series of guided online discussions about selected works of literature, engaging with and expanding on themes in the exhibition 'Three-Thirty'

The Three-Thirty Book Club is a free, virtual program that aims to foster a sense of community by providing a space to examine the Doris McCarthy exhibition Three-Thirty, and its themes, through selected works of literature: Kei Miller’s book-length poem The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, Austin Clarke’s short story collection In This City and Robin Wall Kimmerer’s non-fiction text Braiding Sweetgrass. The Book Club is presented in partnership with the U of T Scarborough Library.

Curated by Anique Jordan, Three-Thirty is a multi-site exhibition, that investigates the way power is exercised through the construction, manipulation, and occupation of space. Artists Ebti Nabag, Aaron Jones, and Kelly Fyffe-Marshall explore the role of systems, voice, and presence by transforming sites in Scarborough, asking how communities and land are shared, written onto, and transformed by those who are often not seen as powerful. Presented in the era of a Black Lives Matter and a global pandemic, these questions have never been more urgent.

Running monthly from October – December 2021, the Three-Thirty Book Club will explore selections recommended by Anique Jordan, and from the Toronto Public Library’s Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage book collection, one of the most significant and comprehensive collections of Black, Caribbean, and Canadian literature in Canada (and the source material for Aaron Jones’ work in the exhibition). Led by artist and Doris McCarthy Gallery Educator-in-Residence Kachely Peters, each Book Club session will delve into a text, using it as a starting point to address themes present in the exhibition such as space-making, agency, power, and community innovations, in addition to other potential topics, through guided discussion.

This is a public program, all are welcome! Participants can register for one, two, or all sessions, depending on interest. After registering, participants will be provided with the Zoom link for the Book Club.

SESSION 1: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 @ 5:30-7:30pm
The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion by Kei Miller

In this collection, acclaimed Jamaican poet Kei Miller dramatizes what happens when one system of knowledge, one method of understanding place and territory, comes up against another. We watch as the cartographer, used to the scientific methods of assuming control over a place by mapping it, is gradually compelled to recognize—even to envy—a wholly different understanding of place, as he tries to map his way to the Rastaman’s eternal city of Zion. As the book unfolds the cartographer learns that, on this island of roads that “constrict like throats,” every place-name comes freighted with history, and not every place that can be named can be found.

Free Book Accessibility Resources:
UofT online
Excerpt from Scottish Poetry Library

SESSION 2: Tuesday, November 9 @ 5:30-7:30pm
In This City by Austin Clarke

Poignantly capturing the sorrow and torment of the dispossessed, this collection of stories focuses on the contemporary experiences of urban dwellers longing for a place to call home. Private lives and intimate pains are made public, and the rawness of the moment is redeemed by the elegance of Clarke's prose and the innate sympathy of his eye.

Free Book Accessibility Resources:
UofT online
Toronto Public Library (eBook)
Toronto Public Library (physical copy)

SESSION 3: Tuesday, December 7 @ 5:30-7:30pm
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

Free Book Accessibility Resources:
UofT online
Toronto Public Library (eBook)
Toronto Public Library (audio book)
Toronto Public Library (physical copy)

About the facilitator

Kachely Peters is a visual artist based in Toronto. A recent alum from the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Studio Art program, Kachely mainly works with drawing and painting. Delving into themes such as belonging, love, and the intimacy of experience, her recent works have taken a closer look at in-between spaces. Kachely is the Doris McCarthy Gallery’s current Educator-in-Residence, focused on developing programming to activate and contextualize the exhibitions Three-Thirty and From Boys to Men: The Road to Healing.