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On October 19, the 23rd Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival returns to Granville Island with 5 full days of thoughtful, engaging, and inspiring literary events. From readings and signings, to workshops and performances, the festival is a great place to connect with a national literary community and catch a glimpse of some of Canada’s most prolific authors and a host of rising stars. Many Geist contributors are participating, so we've prepared a preview of their events. See you there!
Out Loud at Night Host: Hilary Peach Tue, Oct 19, 8:00pm Revue Stage $19.00 (Buy Tickets Online)
Listen to Canada’s best flying words with Spoken Word performances from Richard Van Camp, Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Ivan E. Coyote, and Sasha Langford (member of the Vancouver Poetry Slam Team).
Host: Kathryn Gretsinger Presenter: Sharon E. McKay Wed, Oct 20, 1:00pm - 2:30pm Performance Works $17 / $8.50 for student groups
In her role as Canadian war artist, Sharon E. McKay worked with Canadian troops in Afghanistan and was able to see firsthand the effect of the war on ordinary young people, especially girls whose dreams of education have been shattered by the Taliban. She has turned those experiences into riveting fiction that explores real life outside Canada’s borders
Host: Shaena Lambert Wed, Oct 20, 8:00pm Waterfront Theatre $19.00 (Buy Tickets Online)
Emma Donoghue, Kathleen Winter, Pascal Quiviger, & Robert J. Wiersema tackle the complex love between parent and child. All four writers paint compelling portraits that show us the inescapable truth that who you are depends largely on how you were raised.
Thu, Oct 21, 8:00pm $19.00 (Buy Tickets Online)
Caroline Adderson, Aaron Bushkowsky, Ann Eriksson, George Fetherling, William Gibson, Anosh Irani, Billie Livingston, & Miranda Pearson entertain with short story excerpts, poetry and passages from novels that contribute to the rich and varied literary landscape of this province. This event is sponsored by Random House of Canada.
Darwin's Bastards Host: Zsuzsi Gartner Friday, October 2, 10:00am-11:30am Granville Island Stage $17/$8.50 for student groups
Editor Zsuzsi Gartner talks with Yann Martel, Anosh Irani, William Gibson, and Adam Lewis Schroeder, whose explorations of the future in Darwin's Bastards fell outside of their comfort zones. They will talk about the genesis of their speculative writing and breaking the bounds of realism, and how this collection shows that the Canadian imagination can be as wildly inventive as any on earth.
Host: Shaena Lambert Fri, Oct 22, 10:00am - 11:30am Revue Stage $17 / $8.50 for student groups
Jack Hodgins, Charlotte Gray, Don McKay and Terence Young explore the nuggets of raw material that they shape into creative non-fiction, poetry or novels. Where do they get their ideas and how do they know when and if they are right to develop?
Moving Day - Terence Young: review by Leah Rae Host: Nancy Lee Fri, Oct 22, 10:00am - 11:30am Waterfront Theatre $17 / $8.50 for student groups
Who would have thought that the comic book – usually the preserve of super-heroes and evil villains – could be used to explore family life and the deepest secret thoughts of teenagers? Lynda Barry and Sarah Leavitt use words and pictures not to escape reality, but to bring it into focus and offer insight into how to deal with what life throws at us.
Host: Billeh Nickerson Fri, Oct 22, 1:00pm - 2:30pm Waterfront Theatre $17 / $8.50 for student groups
This afternoon poetry event is an annual favourite with students, teachers and poetry fans alike. This year the Festival has gathered poets from across the country to show off the power of the well-chosen word. They’ll converge on Granville Island to get you excited about the melodic line and the insights that grow out of keen observation. Poetry is the distillation of life and experience through language, and each of these poets promises to deliver fresh and startling takes on the world we share.
Host: Judith Keenan Fri, Oct 22, 8:00pm Emily Carr University Theatre $19.00 (Buy Tickets Online)
Paul Quarrington, novelist, musician, screenwriter and non-fiction writer, passed away in January 2010. Even after being diagnosed with lung cancer, Quarrington embarked on concert tours with his band, Porkbelly Futures. He produced his own solo CD and the Porkbelly’s third release, completed his non-fiction memoir, Cigar Box Banjo: Notes on Music and Life, and was the subject of a feature-length documentary. This night you’ll have the chance to view the documentary, in which he comes to terms with his life and death through the power of music, and you'll hear more about this remarkable man from both his publisher and one of his many friends.
Sat, Oct 23, 2:00pm Waterfront Theatre $17.00 (Buy Tickets Online)
Novelists Katherine Govier, Kate Pullinger, Joan Thomas and George Fetherling pull their characters out of the shadows of real history and breathe new life into them with detailed examinations of their lives and motives.
Sat, Oct 23, 8:00pm $25.00 (Buy Tickets Online)
Always a Festival favourite event, The Poetry Bash brings to Vancouver’s stage this year six poets, including two Poet Laureates of Canada, George Bowering and John Steffler, Governor General's award winner Erín Moure and the renowned American poet Tess Gallagher. The Festival is also a place to hear new and emerging voices. This year Steve McOrmond and Anna Swanson fit that bill, exciting us with the new directions of Canadian poetry.
Host: Trevor Carolan Sun, Oct 24, 1:30pm PTC Studio $17.00 (Buy Tickets Online)
Ivan E. Coyote, Billie Livingston, Sarah Selecky and Terence Young talk about the challenges of writing short stories. From finding inspiration to choosing the right beginning, these masters of the short story tackle a genre that is often more challenging than the novel. This event is sponsored by the UBC Writing Centre.