Prefaces & Afterwords

Welcome to the Prefaces & Afterwords, Q&A interviews with authors. Watch this space for our conversations with writers who will be featured in upcoming events.

Shane Koyczan: Five Interesting Facts

Internationally recognized spoken word performer Shane Koyczan has emerged in a new wave of twenty-first century poets. Since his performance of “We Are More” at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the world has taken notice of Koycan. His anti-bullying “To This Day” video has reached over 14 million viewers and has led to a collaboration with TED Education.

On October 7th, Koyczan will be in Vancouver to discuss the process of transforming his book Stickboy into a contemporary opera. He will be in conversation with James Wright, the General Director of Vancouver Opera. Until then, get to know Koyczan.

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Bruce Cockburn: Five Interesting Facts

Bruce Cockburn: Canadian Music Icon, Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee, Order of Canada inductee, winner of 13 Juno Awards and most recently, Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award honouree during Canadian Music Week 2014. He boasts a truly extensive career, garnering praise from fellow musicians, activists and academic institutions. With 30 albums, Cockburn has earned high praise as an exceptional songwriter and pioneering guitarist, whose career has been shaped by politics, protest, romance, and spiritual discovery. His remarkable journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, blues, rock, and worldbeat styles.

Bruce Cockburn will be in Vancouver on November 10th to talk about his about his long-awaited memoir, Rumours of Glory—a chronicle of faith, fear, and activism that is also a lively cultural and musical tour through the late twentieth century. Until then, get to know Bruce Cockburn.

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Alan Doyle: Five Interesting Facts

Canadian musician and actor Alan Doyle enters the literary world with his new memoir, titled Where I Belong. Doyle has described his work as a “rowdy journey through the cod tongues, altars, girls and guitars of my young life in Petty Harbour.” Already a lyrical storyteller as front man of the band Great Big Sea, he describes his transition from writing music to writing a book as “natural and enlightening.”

Doyle will be joining us for an intimate evening on Granville Island on November 13th. In anticipation, get to know a bit more about him with these five interesting facts.

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Louise Penny: Five Interesting Facts

Louise Penny is best known for spinning her mysteries with sustained suspense and psychological drama, all while weaving in the unique flavours of the region in which her stories are set. Born and raised in Toronto, Penny worked as a journalist and a radio host for CBC before settling in Montreal, where she began dabbling in the mystery genre. Quebec is an important place for Penny; many of her novels are set in the small villages of the Eastern Townships, which combine New England charm with a Quebecoise flair.

Her forthcoming novel, The Long Way Home, returns to the mythical village of Three Pines, the setting for her Chief Inspector Gamache mysteries. You’ll hear Penny’s own insights on her latest book at our special event on September 3rd. Until then, get to know a little more about Penny, Three Pines and Chief Inspector Gamache.

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Anne Giardini: Rotten Shark and Writing in Iceland

It is Day One of the Iceland Writers Retreat and Andrew Evans, a seasoned travel writer, is speaking about ways that writers can create a strong sense of place in their work. His session is called “The Smell of Elephant Poo” but he has decided to test our writing skills by having us eat and then write a description of something more local – hákarl.  Hákarl is locally-caught shark that has been fermented in a cold damp place, and then hung to dry for several months.

The result of this process is passed around on a plate. It has been cut into cubes a bit larger than dice and the colours of sashimi, cream to pink to red to purple. Only six of us take up the challenge. Several plead their existing or new-found commitment to vegetarianism. Others just say no. Hákarl is, after all, a substance that chef Anthony Bourdain describes as “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting” thing he has ever eaten.

In the interests of literature, I ate it.

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