Saturday, October 20


The Annual Spell Off

Geist Magazine Team
The Vancouver Sun Team
You, the audience
Spell Mistress: Carol Munro
10:30 AM–12 NOON
Revue Theatre

The annual etymological face off among journalists from The Vancouver Sun, writers and editors from Geist magazine, and the audience. The Vancouver Sun team this year will be pitted against those who passionately put together a magazine of Canadian ideas and culture. And what more cultural activity than a spelling bee? Bring your notepad and pen and join Spell Mistress Carol Munro in a morning of the arcane and the witty.

The Vancouver Sun was this year's winner. And here are the words: Acaricide, Allottee, Aphesis, Arboraceous, Blimpery, Blind pig, Blue law, Bodhran, Borborygmus, Bricolage, Brilliantine, Broach, Cat’s cradle, Cheroot, Claque, Claudication, Cloud-cuckoo-land, Cockalorum, Espial, Fanfaronade, Fenestrated, Linage, Nunatuk, Pika, Probabilistic, Raiment, Rhododendron, Seakindliness, Somersault, Susurrus, Syllabary, Tlingit, Toe rubber, Transhumance, Tussive, Umiak, Valetudinarian, Venous, Wallaroo, Xeranthemum, Zamboni, Ziggurat.

This event is sponsored by The Vancouver Sun.



Murder, She Wrote: An Interview with Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George
In conversation with Shelagh Rogers
10:30 AM–12 NOON
Performance Works
$13 + $.50 facility surcharge
This event is sold out.

Elizabeth George's 14 bestselling murder mysteries, starring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, are filled with explorations of the human heart. Although she lives in the United States, all her mysteries are set in England, where she conducts meticulous research to get the settings and landscapes just right. She engages her legions of faithful readers in asking not only “who dunnit?” but “why”? “When I begin a mystery, I know the killer, the victim and the motive.” Everything else after that, she says, is revealed in the writing. Come spend a morning with one of the finest mystery writers working today.




The Cracked Mirror

Jakob Arjouni
David Davidar
Ian Holding
Edeet Ravel
Moderator: Erica Johnson
10:30 AM–12 NOON
Waterfront Theatre
$13 + $.50 facility surcharge

This morning's conversation will take you to corners of the world that are rarely revealed in travelogues or the nightly news. Zimbabwe's treatment of its white farmers, the political turmoil of Bombay in the 1990s, the challenging Israeli-Palestinian question and the discrimination faced by the Turks in Germany are the topics of fiction for these writers. With insight, tenderness and occasional wit, they grapple with the tough issues that their countries have faced and allow us to enter into new worlds. Isn't this what keeps us reading fiction, after all?



Bringing the Past to Life

Peter Behrens
Mary Novik
Host: Jerry Wasserman
10:30 AM –12:00 NOON
PTC Studio

One of the powerful things about historical fiction is that it can sweep us away into a world very different than our own. But to be successful, historical fiction needs to have both factual and emotional authenticity. Mary Novik's Conceit is a sensual evocation of Elizabethan England. Peter Behrens's The Law of Dreams captures the terrible tragedy of Ireland's great famine of 1846. Come and be transported.



Tarnished Heroes

Justin Cartwright
Liam Durcan
Anna Porter

2–3:30 PM
Revue Theatre
$13 + $1.50 facility surcharge

It would be nice if all our heroes were pure of heart and free of blemish. But that is rarely the case, either in fiction or non-fiction. In two novels and one non-fiction work, these writers tell the stories of characters who are capable of heroic acts sometimes accompanied by questionable motives. Complex moral issues are not restricted to fictional accounts, and charting the right course can be as difficult in real life as in imagination.



Poets Laureate

George Bowering
Carla Funk
George McWhirter
Agnes Walsh
Moderator: Gary Geddes
2–3:30 PM
Performance Works
$13 + $.50 facility surcharge

Four honoured poets read from their work and chat about the pleasures and challenges of being a Poet Laureate. George Bowering was Canada's first Poet Laureate. George McWhirter was recently named Vancouver's first Poet Laureate. Agnes Walsh is St. Johns's Poet Laureate and Carla Funk is Victoria's first.



Three Masters, One Mistress of Short Fiction

Barry Callaghan
Alistair MacLeod
Patricia Robertson
Seán Virgo

2–3:30 PM
Waterfront Theatre
$13 + $.50 facility surcharge

There's great freedom to explore in the short story—freedom to write in different styles, different settings, different voices—albeit for a short time. Although Alistair MacLeod became a household name in Canada with his novel, No Great Mischief, it is the short story that has held his attention for more than 30 years. Four writers who love this genre talk about its challenges and its rewards, both for the writer and the reader.



Tricks of the Trade

Todd Babiak
Elizabeth Hay
Ray Robertson
Michael Winter
Moderator: Anne Giardini
2:00–3:30 PM
PTC Studio
This event is sold out.

Is there a surefire formula for writing fiction? Some writers believe that if you put a person in a place with a problem, then your story is launched. Some authors write methodically, plotting out their characters' moves in advance, while others sit down before their computers without a clue as to what they are going to write, how their characters might behave. Learn the secrets of these four Canadian authors. How do they get their stories moving? What inspires them? Just how, exactly, do they do it?



The Poetry Bash

Marilyn Bowering
Niels Hav
Dennis Lee
Barbara Nickel
Richard Siken
Priscila Uppal
Agnes Walsh
Tom Wayman
Host: Ryan Knighton
8:00 PM
Performance Works
$20 + $1 facility surcharge

Ryan Knighton will introduce you to a panoply of poets who will satisfy poetry lovers of all persuasions. International voices, new voices, seasoned voices—an evening of readings that will delight your ears and demonstrate once again why poetry matters. Get your tickets early for one of the Festival's most popular events.




Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Peter Behrens
Tim Bowling
James George
Janice Kulyk Keefer
Alessandro Piperno
Linda Rogers
Host: Paul Grant
8:00 PM
Waterfront Theatre
$15 + $.50 facility surcharge

Settle back this evening to hear seven fine writers read aloud from their new works. Be it Peter Behrens's Governor General's Award-winning novel, Gail Anderson-Dargatz's tale about family, New Zealander James George's multi-continental story, Italian Alessandro Piperno's Jewish family saga set in the opulence of contemporary Rome, Janice Kulyk Keefer's Ukrainian-Canadian family saga, or Linda Rogers's epistolary novel of early Victoria, there's more than enough to introduce you to some riveting and entertaining fiction that you will want to explore further.



An Intimate Evening with Barbara Gowdy

Barbara Gowdy

8:00 PM
PTC Studio
This event is sold out.

Barbara Gowdy has an uncanny ability to climb into others' skins. Known for inhabiting the minds of unorthodox protagonists—such as a herd of elephants or a female necrophiliac—Gowdy in her new novel explores the vulnerability of a child-stalking kidnapper, a choice of topic that has been controversial. She confesses to walking her neighbourhood by night, fascinated by the ordinary lives of other people. Her five previous books have appeared on bestseller lists throughout the world, so it's obvious that readers are fascinated as well. In this intimate evening, Barbara Gowdy shares her thoughts and stories with her audience face to face.

This event is sponsored by Weyerhaeuser.