The Book Drunkard Literary Festival

Join internationally beloved poet and biographer Molly Peacock and award-winning multi-genre author Hollay Ghadery for an absorbing conversation on exploring creativity, selfhood, and how joy can coexist with grief through the lenses of their newest books, The Widow’s Crayon Box (Peacock, W.W. Norton & Co.) and Widow Fantasies (Ghadery, Gordon Hill Press).  

This event is open to everyone. 

Fantasies are places we briefly visit; we can’t live there. The stories in Hollay Ghadery’s Widow Fantasies deftly explore the subjugation of women through the often subversive act of fantasizing. From a variety of perspectives, through a symphony of voices, Widow Fantasies immerses the reader in the domestic rural gothic, offering up unforgettable stories from the shadowed lives of girls and women. 

The Widow’s Crayon Box by Molly Peacock is a book-length sequence of poems that dares to affirm the vast variety of emotional colors in loss and rejuvenation. 

After her husband’s death, Molly Peacock realized she was not living the received idea of a widow’s mauve existence but instead was experiencing life with all 152 colours of the crayon box. The result is a collection of gorgeous poems, which are joyful, furious, mournful, bewildered, sexy, devastated, whimsical and above all, moving. They illuminate both the life as a caregiver and the crystalline emotions one can experience after the death of a cherished partner. With her characteristic virtuosity, her fearless willingness to confront even the most difficult emotions, and always with buoyancy and zest, Molly charts widowhood in the 21st century. 

Hollay Ghadery is a multi-genre writer living in Ontario on Anishinaabe land. She has her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Fuse, her memoir of mixed-race identity and mental health, was released by Guernica Editions in 2021 and won the 2023 Canadian Bookclub Award for Nonfiction/Memoir. Her collection of poetry, Rebellion Box was released by Radiant Press in 2023, and her collection of short fiction, Widow Fantasies, is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press in fall 2024. Hollay is a co-host of Angela’s Bookclub on 105.5 FM, as well as HOWL on CIUT 89.5 FM. She is also a book publicist and the Poet Laureate of Scugog Township. Learn more about Hollay at

Molly Peacock is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including The Widow’s Crayon Box, The Analyst: Poems and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems, all from W.W. Norton, she recently wrote a book about a half-century friendship, A Friend Sails In on a Poem.  As a poetry activist, Peacock was the co-founder of Poetry in Motion on New York’s subways and buses, the founder of The Best Canadian Poetry series, and the creator of The Secret Poetry Room at Binghamton University. 

About the Venue

Blue Heron Studio

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Blue Heron Books was first opened in 1989. The Blue Heron Studio offers a creative space for learning, playing and a multitude of unique experiences.

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