Join us for an event with readings by author Chris MacDonald (The Things I Came Here With), recently nominated for the Heritage Toronto Book Award, and DJ Roz Weston (A Little Bit Broken). This event is open to the public.
About Chris’s book:
“Does it hurt?” When you’re a tattoo artist, that’s the most universal question. For Chris MacDonald, the answer is simple: hurts less than a broken heart. Those words are painted above the entrance to his shop, Under My Thumb Tattoos, as a reminder.
Chris and his brothers were as wild as the wind, in their house among the fields of Alliston, Ontario, when their parents divorced. Shell-shocked, they were uprooted and brought to Toronto by their dad. Their mother’s mental illness worsened in the aftermath, and she disappeared. As a teenager, Chris left home and found himself immersed in the city’s underbelly, a world where drugs, skateboarding, and punk rock reigned. Between the youth shelters, suicidal thoughts, and haunted apartments, a light shined: and it was art.
He eventually found himself following the path of his brother, Rob, and pursuing life as a tattooist. Then, at the height of a destructive summer, everything changed: he met Megan, the girl who would become his rock of ages.
This remarkable memoir examines what tattooing means to MacDonald and traces the connection his artistic motives have to both his family and childhood. The Things I Came Here With is about how crucial our past is to understanding our future, but it’s also a love letter to his daughter about the importance of expression, life’s uncertainty, and beauty.
About Roz’s book:
It never gets better, but it does get easier. That’s the first thing Roz says to anyone who asks him for advice. Anyone who’s lost, or just putting the pieces back together. When you’re broken, fixed becomes an obsession.
Roz is a multi-platform entertainer and storyteller who’s used to hosting three shows a day on five hours of sleep a night. On The Roz & Mocha Show, ET Canada Live and Entertainment Tonight Canada, Roz built an audience and turned them into family. But as with most families, there is just some shit we don’t talk about.
From growing up in a small town to getting lost, drunk and terrified in New York; from finding comfort in the arms and beds of strangers to kicking an opioid addiction he didn’t know he had; from broken bones to broken hearts and a broken marriage. From navigating grief and guilt following the devastating loss of his father to persevering in the face of an ongoing and private battle with his own body. All is shared in Roz’s disarming signature blend of blunt truth and humour.
A Little Bit Broken is a deeply personal and inspiring account of self-forgiveness, redemption and recovering from bad choices–because let’s face it, the reason we make bad choices is that they usually feel really good. And Roz has made them all.
We are not our mistakes. We are not our scars. We are not our guilt.
This book is for anyone who thinks they’re too far gone or beyond repair. Anyone too ashamed to admit to or face the hurt because their current place in the world seems too goddamn good to complain about anything. We hide it or deny it and carry on. But it’s nothing we can’t fix.