To commemorate a tragedy.

This series of poems is a response to the 2012 mass shooting at a block party on Danzig Street, Scarborough (Toronto). The city’s east end becomes a source of poetic inspiration, and the two intersecting subway lines provide the organizing structure. From west to east, and north to south–Kipling to McCowan, Finch to Downsview–the stations on the way inspiring form, voice, and content, meditation, commentary, and geometry. The City is the Poem.

The Discovery Walk,
inviting my well-worked Clarks
to pry my feet from the confines
of the station,
wasn’t necessary to make
a most marvelous Discovery:
the bus sign, hung with steel
–from “Old Mill”


“[A]n enjoyable and various book all around.”
–University of Toronto Quarterly

Rouge is spiky and caustic yet delights in more ways than you could count Toronto the Good’s abundant pleasures, quirks and treasures.”
–Philippine Daily Inquirer

“For De Leon, Toronto and Scarborough are cities filled with life and inexhaustible rhythm. They’re messy, complicated, boring, romantic, fun, dangerous, and, for better or worse, discoverable.”


Publication Date: October 2018

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-988449-48-7
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.25″
96 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-988449-49-4

Photo of Adrian De Leon

Adrian De Leon is a writer and educator from Manila by way of Scarborough. He is the author of two poetry collections: Rouge (Mawenzi House, 2018), and barangay: an offshore poem (Buckrider Books/Wolsak & Wynn, 2021). He lives in Los Angeles, where he is an ethnic studies professor at the University of Southern California.

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