James Dewar

A prosecco toast to the readers
The final evening at Le Torrace, the group gathered in the Diksha room for the international premiere of eleven new masterpieces, both written and painted. This room is ideally suited for reading due to the panoramic mountain views out of the picture windows at each end of the room.

The evening began with a toast of Prosecco to writers, writing and new friends. The reading order was randomized to ensure everyone enjoyed equal billing. Continue reading


We rave every day about the tastes on our tongues. Giorgio, Leela and their helpers succeed in evoking moans of pleasure as table music at each breakfast, lunch and dinner. From the surprise of a crunchy cheese muffin-like thing at lunch, to a vellutata di Zucchine (soup) to a brioche with red cabbage, aubergine and cheese, roasted lamb with garden rosemary, Farro Perlato with porcini mushroom, to home-cured prosciutto and Caciotta cheese slices with truffles, all the way to Crema Catalana and Colomba Pasquale, every mouthful a surprise and a bit of a swoon. Our plates are always spanking clean after each meal.

The meals have served as inspiration for our writing as well as being the marker for the passage between activities. Many have remarked that although each repast is a veritable feast of taste and choice, none of the foods are too rich or too sweet, and we often leave almost directly from the groaning board of lunch for a long walk up and down or down and up these beautiful country roads, or book a taxi to take us to nearby Gubbio, Assisi or Perugia. Continue reading

James in Mallorca 3

From Poet Kate Marshall Flaherty: James Dewar is an innovative, creative, and affirming workshop guide and host of literary events. It was his inspiration to exclaim “give me a line!” for audiences to give positive feedback to poets after readings. It was he who imagined taking writers to the museum to write about the artifacts and historic sites.

It has been my great pleasure to work with him as a host at his HotSauced Words series, the most popular literary event series in all of Toronto! It has been a joy to be at his workshops, where he gives creative prompts for writing, insightful comments on editing, and truly exceptional guidance into the craft of poetry.

It is my pleasure to recommend James Dewar as the one of the most motivational workshop guides I have ever worked with.


From Poet Ron Potter: I trust James. With his guidance and critique of my writing I always find myself in a new place with many “ah ha” moments. He engages with my writing at a level that fascinates me.


From Poet Annabelle Murray: James Dewar was my editor and publisher for my two chapbooks of poetry. Before he even reviewed the poetry, he spent time getting to know me and my vision for my book. He handled my poetry in a considerate yet clear-eyed manner. He evaluated each poem within the context of the whole work, lending an objective eye, yet also respectful of my artistry as a writer. By the time we got to my second book, we had developed an easy poet/editor relationship and the whole thing was a piece of cake. James has an easy manner, a great sense of humour, and really understands how to help a writer let their own voice shine through the writing.


From Editor and Poet Susie Berg: As a professional editor, I was very curious to experience the editorial process from the other side, and James did not disappoint. His editorial work on my first full-length collection demonstrated to me how each person has a role in the creative process, and proved that a good editor sits with the work a while before encouraging it in the best direction it can go. James was a joy to work with. We talked through the poems and identified the spots that needed pressure; James then offered the tools that allowed me to step back and break through to make each poem better. Those tools have now become part of my regular toolbox; I think of his suggestions each time I work on a new poem.

james dewar

James Dewar

is a publisher, producer, emcee, editor, teacher and writer. As the publisher of Piquant Press he has edited and published over a dozen books and co-edited six poetry anthologies. Through Creative James Chapbook Publishing and Stone’s Throw Publication Services, he has guided scores of writers in the editing, design and publication of their books.

James was awarded the Teaching Excellence Certificate from Durham College for teaching advanced creative writing. He also teaches poetry and fiction workshops throughout Metropolitan Toronto and Durham Region. He has been a Contributing Editor for eight years with Metroland Media Group.

His first book of poetry, The Garden in the Machine, was published in 2007 by Hidden Brook Press. His poetry and short fiction have been published in several anthologies and literary journals. James has performed his work live on CBC, Rogers TV and several university radio stations, and is regularly invited to read his poetry at Toronto reading series. He produces and hosts his own poetry performance series, Hot-Sauced Words, now in its seventh year.

He offers personalized mentorship services for emerging writers. He is a Past President of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region and is working on a new book of poetry and a novel.