Friday, December 10, 2010

Allan Street has gone on the road.

For me Allan Street is no longer a place, it's an idea. The Allan Street Reading Series has housed literature for many months, and now it will do so in a different way.

Please consider this an OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS. Allan Street will begin to post your poems, short stories, letters, whinges, and voice recordings.

Slowly this website will be adapted into an online resource as I teach myself html and other things (keyword-slowly). Two podcasts of past Allan Streets are also being edited (slowly). Please consider this an operational hiatus while I attempt to continue curating the Allan Street Reading Series ON THE ROAD.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Please send your poems, stories, letters, or voice recordings of literature to jennerberger[at] Please include a brief email telling Allan Street a bit about yourself. Cv not required, like, at all. Please send your best draft. If you haven't had any work published before though, you should really really still send it. I'll be able to go over it with you and talk about editing. I don't have a ton of time, but we can definitely put something wonderful together if you put in some work beforehand.

Poetry guidelines: 1-4 poems

Fiction guidelines: Anything over in the 2500-3000 word range will be released in installments. 50-2000ish words is a preferred length.

Letters: Letters, especially back and forth correspondence are loved, cherished and encouraged. Especially if they maintain a narrative but they don't gotta.

Voice Recordings: Video or .mp3 files of you reading something are so highly encouraged.

Email me with any questions. Tell your friends. Allan Street can't offer compensation until she gets her act together and applies for some grants, but until then you can definitely put a publication on your resume.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Don't forget, Rememberer launches tonight
Readings and treats at the Allan Street Reading Series' first book launch.
Posted by Sue Carter Flinn on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Tonight is the launch for Invisible Publishing's Rememberer, at the Allan Street Reading Series. Edited by Jenner Berger, Allan St.'s lovely host, tonight's reading will include Andrew Hood, Laura Dawe, Geordie Miller, Joshua Tibbetts and Berger.

If you can't make it, be sure to stop by the Invisible table at Saturday's Zine Fair, where they'll also have copies of Bats or Swallows, a new collection of stories by Montreal's Teri Vlassopoulos.

Here's more about the book, written by Sean Flinn for our Fall Arts Preview:

Rememberer (Invisible Publishing), combines the convenience of a planner with a collection of short stories from a variety of contributors, plus illustrations (text, visuals and activities) by Yo Rodeo. "I always had this image in my head of someone reading one story after pencilling their to-do list over morning coffee," reveals Jenner-Brooke Berger, who edited the stories. Even with an organizer, life can't always be "compartmentalized"; the feeling informs the writing.

"Part of our approach was to just try to keep everything very simple, but we wanted it to still read as very handmade, and scrappy," explains Paul Hammond, co-creator, with Seth Smith, in Yo Rodeo. (Coast production designer Megan Fildes designed the book.) "The coolest thing about this book, is when you've used it up, it's half ours, and half yours. It's a collaborative project to the end." Pick one up at the Zine Fair, October 23 at St. David's Church Hall, noon-5pm. Admission is free.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


The Art of Correspondence
Allan Street Reading Series shows how letters can preserve and empower

Rebecca Spence, Arts Editor

As the lights began to dim, guests’ attention turned away from their micro-brewed beers and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and towards the makeshift stage set up in the cozy Allan Street apartment. A sign made out of patterned fabrics and strings of twinkling white Christmas lights decorated the wall behind an empty chair. Soon enough, six writers would occupy not only that chair, but also the complete attention of about 50 people packed into the living room. From a theatrical performance from Nate Crawford, the director of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, to a poem delivered by Ben Gallagher, who just sailed across the Gulf of Maine, the Allan Street Reading Series featured a variety of creative expression.

It is inspiring to learn that all of this started with Dalhousie graduate Jenner Berger. The 23-year-old began hosting these gatherings monthly back in March when she was taking creative writing classes and working for a publisher. Having met a lot of writers who were willing to share their work with her, she hoped to be able to share that work with others.

The Sept. 29 reading was special because it doubled as a CKDU fundraiser. It was also the first reading to incorporate a theme. Called “Open Letters,” it aimed to emphasize the importance of the art of correspondence.

“By the time this month came I was feeling a detachment from my city, from writing, from people in general,” says Berger, who finished her degree in English and Creative Writing in August. “Open Letters is about getting in touch with each other.”

One of the event’s highlights was a show and tell performance from Lindsay Stewart, a visual artist whose primary medium is mail. She shared her most profound mail experiences, from trading teen magazines with her pen pal from England when she was 12 years old, to starting up a mail club at her high school in grade nine. The NSCAD student keeps all of her mail in a multitude of boxes at home. “My letters are my most cherished possessions,” she says. “I would never give them away or sell them for an infinite amount of dollars. I love them.”

Alison Creba, the founder of City Mail, a free postal service, also shared her essay about letter writing. She spoke of letters as “narrative artifacts” that helped great writers such as Jack Kerouac practice their craft of spontaneous prose. She spoke about how reading old letters transforms the way we see ourselves, and it allows us to play biographer. “We have come to write our own histories,” she says earnestly.

A mailbox was set up in the kitchen for anybody who wanted to write a letter postage-free. Guests could also sign up to be part of a “Mail Swap”, in which one sends and receives an anonymous package within the group. In this case, you were supposed to send something that inspires creativity such as a piece of writing or a photograph.

Ben Gallagher had never attended or performed at the Allan Street Reading Series before, but he found that the event’s theme helped draw links between the diverse styles of literature. “The works start to speak to each other and it’s pretty beautiful,” he says.

There were a lot of first-timers at last week’s reading, and Berger hopes that they will continue to come back and show their support. She assumes that the idea of being in someone’s home, sitting on their couch, looking at their bookshelves, would help people feel comfortable. “I feel like we have a nice space for it,” she says. “When you go to a reading at a bar I find it doesn’t always fill up and the emptiness can be nerve-wracking.”

Overall, the hostess couldn’t be more pleased with the way the night turned out. “Everyone was so courteous and quiet, and you could really feel that there was something people were appreciating,” she says as she calmly takes a sip of her Strongbow cider. “It was really nice.”

Printed in the Dalhousie Gazette Friday October 8th
Thanks Rebecca!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I am interested in the mail

An essay on letters by Alison Creba, director of "City Mail" as read to Allan Street September 29th. Click to enlarge, you might have to zoom also which is usually found in the "view" option of your internet browser.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Allan Street with CKDU presents: OPEN LETTERS

letters by Lindsay Stewart, reading this month

I find it impossible to ignore the uproar in this city's energy. It seems like after the hurricane hit everyone began to settle into themselves in a post-summer kind of way, the problem is we don't always like ourselves in this process. We wonder if staying here is the right choice, or if leaving was wrong too. There's newness and uprooting and everyone is a little bit lost. Interestingly, it doesn't last very long and soon the comfort of finding your routine before the winter hits eliminates all that dis-ease. But instead of calling your Mom on the phone to yell at her, let's just grab this unsettledness, pat it on the back, maybe even read it to a room full of people.

Open Letters will be just like each Allan Street in the past, except it will carry a theme, and it will encourage you to be honest about your unrest.

Allan Street is also very pleased to announce Open Letters as a part of CKDU's funding drive.

View the facebook event HERE.

Also join Allan Street's new facebook group HERE.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This reading series was borne in March of this year, to a room full of supportive friends. Now it's broadened to a community of people, some gracing the Allan house for the first time, others putting us on the radio. With the translocation of our resident baker and guardian angel, Allan Street will see the appointment of new people making this night possible. Besh might help with the baking. One young man fixed the Allan Street toilet. Rian might lend us a microphone to turn every reading into a podcast.

July, silently, will be the "So long, Julia" edition." But perhaps, in the dusts of Pride Week's boisterous trails, July, at the top of our lungs, will be Pride Street. I'm proud myself and of all of your every time we get together like this. I'd like to feel that forever, but for now, I'll just see you on Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July reading series

The next reading series will take place Wednesday July 28th at 7:00 p.m.
Featuring the literary majesty of

Dean Irvine
Laura Kenins
Corey Mombourquette
Chantelle Rideout

Excitement! Poster coming soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Toronto's cleverest literary magazine is on tour.

Monday, July 19, 2010
The Company House
2202 Gottingen Street
6 P.M.
Readings by Kim Dawn, Peter Norman, Ryan Turner, and maybe Zach Wells.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

CBC Podcast!

We got it! I'm assuming that CBC just couldn't say no to the overwhelming e-mails asking for our very own podcast. I'm also going to make an assumption it wasn't my Mom e-mailing 40 times, but that's neither here nor there.

Listen to Allan Street on CBC Radio!! HERE
(Just click listen in the box that says "Allan Street Reading Series"
Whatcha think? Leave a comment.

Great thanks goes to Simon Thibault for making this all happen.

Fuller Terrace Lecture Series

Tonight the Fuller Terrace Lecture Series will be exploring the difficult subject of faith. Stewart Innes, a dear friend of Allan Street, will be giving his lecture on what it's like growing up churched. The event is this evening at 9:00 p.m at 2664 Fuller Terrace. Stay tuned to the blog, a review will follow!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Help us get a CBC podcast!

Allan Street was recently interviewed by Simon Thibault for CBC radio's Mainstreet. Simon recorded excerpts of each reader, as well as interviews from your host, and guests.

If you were like me and missed the episode, help us out by getting our own podcast.

Simply drop Mainstreet a quick email and ask them to podcast the Allan Street Reading episode at 3:00 PM on Friday, July 2, by Simon Thibault. E-mail

You can also e-mail from a form found HERE

The greatest turnout yet

Wednesday June 30th
The Wine and Nanaimo Allan Street Edition

I had a feeling about this one. So we vacuumed the stairs, hung things in the hedges, and baked nanaimo bars until the kitchen exploded. Brett and Emily flew in from Calgary and CBC radio interviewed your excited host on the back deck. Local artist Kerri MacLellan gifted Allan Street the most beautiful banner. To the friends who couldn't squeeze in and left-- my sincere apologies.

Thanks so much to the readers, and all the guests for coming.

Carsten Knox

Kelsey McLaren

Allan Street resident baker Julia Boone (right)

really attractive guest (left) and Allan Street banner maker Kerri MacLellan (right)

Allan Street alumni Vanessa Lent and fellow guests

Upcoming Allan St reader Laura Kenins, foreign import Sophie Brauer 2 days fresh from her Copenhagen stint (welcome back Soph), Steph Domet and fellow guests

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Allan Street alum Ben Stephenson publishes his poems!

New literary website Gulper Eel, based out of France focuses on " offbeat journalism, fiction, poetry and other beguiling content."

Fiction writer Ben Stephenson was part of the very first Allan Street series in March. He has recently been flirting with poetry, and poetry is interested.

Read Ben's hillarious and poignant poem "Untitled" HERE

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Allan Street is a monthly literary-salon style reading series in Halifax curated by writer and editor Jenner-Brooke Berger.

Fiction and poetry is read to a blushing audience under low light by local hidden and not-so hidden literary talents one Wednesday a month at 7:00 p.m. The intimate setting of Allan Street encourages heightened emotional reactions by way of literature, wine and baked goods.

The Allan Street Reading Series is free to all guests, and operates on a donations-based budget. Allan Street operates within its means, but has a few tricks up its sleeve, and is seeking to expand in more ways than one. More news to come.

Allan Street would not be possible without the help of Julia Boone, Ben Stephenson and Richard Light. All artwork copyright Ben Stephenson 2010.