Vol. 9 No. 23


An Evening with Louise Penny

New York Times bestselling author, Louise Penny is back with her latest Chief Inspector Gamache book, The Long Way Home. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny.

Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12377&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Join in a group re-read of the first nine books of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series to prepare for the release of the latest book, The Long Way Home, http://gamacheseries.com/.

An Evening with David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell talks to Hal Wake, the Vancouver Writers Fest's Artistic Director, and reads from his new novel, The Bone Clocks.

Saturday, September 27 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12382&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/davidmitchell) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Stickboy: From Page To Stage

Join us for an enlightening conversation about the process of transforming Stickboy, a book by world-renowned spoken word artist Shane Koyczan, into a contemporary opera. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/stickboy.

Tuesday, October 7 at 7:30pm
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12580&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/stickboy) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Bruce Cockburn

Legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn talks about his long-awaited memoir, Rumours of Glory.

Monday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12385&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/brucecockburn) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Conrad Black

From the acclaimed biographer and historian Conrad Black comes Rise to Greatness, a major new reexamination of the history of Canada—a revealing, groundbreaking account of the people and events that shaped a nation. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/conradblack.

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12599&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/conradblack) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Alan Doyle

Alan Doyle, singer-songwriter and front man of the Canadian band Great Big Sea, talks about his new memoir, Where I Belong.

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 pm
Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island)
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12388&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/alandoyle) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.


The 32nd annual Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts runs from August 14-17, 2014. The festival features established literary stars and exciting, new voices including Angie Abdou, Steven Galloway, Linda Holeman, Heather O'Neill and Miriam Toews and a finale event with spoken word artists Jillian Christmas, Zaccheus Jackson and Brendan McLeod. Complete details at writersfestival.ca.


The winners of the 2014 PEN Literary Awards have been announced. Among the chosen few were cultural critic James Wolcott, playwright David Rabe and poet Frank Bidart.


Four lost Dr. Seuss stories are set to be republished this autumn. A "smooth-talking Grinch and a new adventure for the helpful elephant Horton" are just two of the characters that will appear in Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories.


A century has officially passed since the outbreak of the First World War. "Chosen from 1,000 years of English writing about war, poet and Oxford professor Jon Stallworthy selects some of the best attempts to think through this most extreme of human experiences."

James Joyce's Ulysses is being adapted into a virtual reality game called 'In Ulysses.' In the game, players will experience the full effect of Joyce's stream of consciousness "as they step into the mind of Stephen Dedalus" going through the "infamously daunting" third chapter, 'Proteus.'

A number of books that made it onto last week's 2014 Booker Prize Longlist have yet to be released. Booksellers are frustrated, especially since the prize's official rules declare that nominated books must be made available within ten days of the announcement. "What's the point in keeping it [the prize] just for the publishing industry?"

And that's just one of the controversies surrounding this year's list. There's also the lack of women and Commonwealth writers, as well as notable omissions and unusual inclusions. Read more, here:

Do you hate internet slang? Do you believe that it's vandalizing our language?" As it turns out, "modern text-speak bears a striking resemblance to the system of abbreviations and shorthand present in medieval manuscripts."

Forget abbreviations...apparently medieval manuscripts weren't so discerning in their content either. At least not the margins, which were often filled with "with imagery depicting everything from scatological humor to mythical beasts to sexually explicit satire."

Have you ever been fictionalized? Michelle Huneven discusses the trauma of being written into someone else's book, here:

"Read the signs. Identify the authors. Earn your Poetic License!" It was inevitable. As the MFA vs. NYC debate continues, it's only logical that a parody should have arisen called MFA vs. DMV.

A social media campaign called #WeNeedDiverseBooks is just one of many that have been highlighting the lack of diversity in children's publishing. In this interview, Anjali Singh, editorial director of Other Press, discusses "cultivating politically important literature, seeking new voices, and race and class in publishing."

Speaking of voices that are certainly not new (and most definitely dead, male and white), Shakespeare has come under criticism this week. After seeing King Lear in New York, American radio personality Ira Glass tweeted "Shakespeare sucks." Novelist Rebecca Mead responds to Glass and the "scourge of relatability", here:

David Sedaris recently wrote a piece in The New Yorker about his habit of picking up litter where he lives in the UK. Now, in recognition of his work, his local council is naming a garbage truck after him. Meet Pig Pen Sedaris.

The CBC is running a series on literary landmarks all across Canada. This week's feature is on Fredericton, New Brunswick. You can check out that link (and other landmarks in other cities), here:


Christine Fellows, a Winnipeg musician and adjunct creative-writing instructor at UBC, recently travelled through the Yukon as Dawson City Music Festival's songwriter-in-residence. She's interviewed about her northern-inspired poetry and music project, here:

In this month's New Yorker Fiction podcast, Tim Parks reads and discusses a story by Peter Stamm called Sweet Dreams. It is the tale of a young couple in the process of furnishing their apartment and trying to imagine their future together, highlighting "desires and anxieties, which are very much measured off against each other."

The New Yorker's Poetry podcast has also been released. The August edition features Jennifer Michael Hecht reading Noctuary by Lucie Brock-Broido.

Siegried Sassoon's war diaries have been made available online as a part of a "remarkable archive of 4,100 handwritten pages digitized by the Cambridge University Library Project. Some of the notebooks still bear traces of mud from the battlefields, where Sassoon arrived in 1915."

Who would you invite over for a literary dinner? For author Amy Bloom, the answer would be Sappho, George Bernard Shaw and James Baldwin. She discusses her choices, and more, here:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is this week's guest on the Guardian book club podcast. She talks about her third novel, Americanah, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, here:

Are you feeling nostalgic for last year's Writers Fest? Over at CBC Radio, they've been rebroadcasting interviews with Anthony De Sa and Tomson Highway (among others!) You can check out all those episodes here:


Vancouver author reads from her new kidsbook The Indigo Queen. Sunday, August 10 at 2:00pm, free. Please RSVP to http://eepurl.com/XSBz9. Seating is limited! Y'S Books, 4307 Main Street at 27th, Vancouver. More information at ysbookstore.blogspot.ca.

Author launches her latest book Sensational Vancouver. Tuesday, August 12 at 7:30pm, free. Vancouver Police Museum, 240 East Cordova, Vancouver. More information at anvilpress.com.

R.J. Harlick, author of the wilderness-based Meg Harris mystery series, will be discussing and reading from her latest book. Various dates and locations between August 12 and August 16. For more information, visit vpl.ca.

Crime writers E.R. Brown, Sam Wiebe, and R.J. Harlick discuss how B.C.'s dark side plays into their most recent novels. Saturday, August 16 at 2:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver.

Author presents the finale to her trilogy with the last book, The Book of Life. Monday, August 18 at 7:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.


Author Sam Wiebe launches his latest book Last of the Independents. Tuesday, September 2 at 7:00pm. Shebeen Whiskey House, 212 Carrall Street, Vancouver.

Fantasy author reads from his swashbuckling adventure novel Traitor's Blade and gives a talk on the use of swordplay in fantasy and historical literature. Thursday, September 4 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

An evening of fiction and poetry with Ann Eriksson reading from her new novel, High Clear Bell of Morning, and Gary Geddes reading selected poems from,"What Does a House Want? Monday, September 8 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

An evening of poetry with three award-winning B.C. poets: Garry Gottfriedson, Pamela Porter and Henry Rappaport—all with new collections to showcase. Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia. More information at vpl.ca.

Features Cynthia Flood and Elise Partridge plus open mic. Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation at the door: $5. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at pandorascollective.com.

Five poets/readers/poetry-lovers/writers with extensive public reading experience read poems from one of their favourite dead poet's work. Sunday, September 14 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Diane Tucker reads from her new poetry collection, Bonsai Love. Tuesday, September 16 at 7:30pm, free. la Fontana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings Street, Burnaby. More information at burnabywritersnews.blogspot.ca.

Christopher Levenson, poet and author, will present with Peter Braun, Master Printer of New Leaf Editions, and Sigrid Albert, graphic artist, a discussion about the genesis of producing a rare book of poetry and etchings. Sunday, September 21 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Vancouver Is Ashes is the first detailed exploration of a landmark, yet seldom revisited event in Vancouver's history. Lisa Anne Smith uses eye-witness accounts to investigate events of that pivotal day. Monday, September 22 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Festival promoting books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests. September 24-28, 2014. Complete details at wordvancouver.ca.

Pandora's Collective in conjunction with Word Vancouver features Rita Wong, Jami Macarty, Lilija Valis & Kevin Spenst plus open mic. Thursday, September 25 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation at the door: $5. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at pandorascollective.com.