amongst books

amongst books

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Spring Writers Fest Picks


Another  month, another festival. We are spoiled wee beasties in Ottawa, are we not?

Last month VERSeFest provided a full & invigorating week of poetry in its various forms & styles. This month, the Ottawa International Writers Festival gives us five days of fiction, non fiction & poetry. Here are a few of the events I'm excited about so far. Doubtless there will be wonderful discoveries during the festival as well.

Prefestival event (one of three!):

Saturday, April 20, 2012, 8:30pm
Suddenly, A Knock on the Door - Etgar Keret in Conversation with Jonathan Goldstein

I've never read any of Keret's work. I just have a feeling about this one. He came to town before for the fest & everyone was talking about how interesting he was.

Also there's this:
What Do We Have In Our Pockets, an adaptation of one of his stories by Goran Dukic

& this: 

Ira Glass reading the cover story from Keret's latest book, "Suddenly A Knock on the Door"

& his films & his articles. the man seems to have many creative outlets. I'd like to experience for myself. I am always looking for the latest Cocteau.

Thursday, April 25, 2013, 8:30pm
the All in a Day Songwriter's Circle with Alan Neal

I always love these. I'm a big fan of Mr. Neal's. I listen to CBC All in A Day frequently. last fall's Lynn Miles event blew my cotton socks off. this year he's taken ten songs at random from his IPOD & taken on the mission of finding everything about them. he'll get musicians to perform them. there will be interviews & video clips as well. the man has a sense of whimsy. i enjoy that. & besides, i'm a music nerd. i do look up the histories of songs & read lyrics carefully. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Essentials of the Short Story: A conversation on craft with Nancy Jo Cullen and Tamas Dobozy, hosted by John Metcalf, 12pm

I try to write short stories, so any conversations on craft I can be part of, I want to be.  & Metcalf has strong opinions on the short story. I enjoy being provoked or disturbed, as the case may be. I know nothing of the two authors' work. I will listen & learn.

Writing your Life with Amber Dawn, Iain Reid and Miriam Katin, 6:30pm

I loved "Sub Rosa," absolutely loved it. It was fast-paced, dark, a fairy tale, a cautionary tale, an imaginative journey that I still miss being on. & Now Ms. Dawn is back with another book, an autobiography entitled "How Poetry Saved My Life," which apparently involves her life on the streets as a sex worker.

Every Happy Family with Cathy Marie Buchanan, Saleema Nawaz and Shyam Selvadurai, 8:30pm

Buchanan is the author of a book I'm looking forward to reading, the Painted Girls, set in the late 1800s in Paris, an era & locale I am fascinated by. I'm also intrigued by the other two novels by former Ottawa resident, Saleema Nawaz whose book Bone and Bread seems to deal with the juxtapositions of Montreal's Hassidic & Sikh communities. & Shyam Selvadurai, whose previous novel, Funny Boy I enjoyed immensely. I admit to being fascinated with South Asian culture &  history. I've said before, I think we could easily have a whole week devoted to South Asian / South Asian Canadian literature.

Sunday, April 27, 2013

House of Anansi Poetry Bash: Adam Dickinson, Sara Peters and Michael Crummey

I'm a big fan of Crummey's fiction & shall look forward to hearing him & the others read from their poetry collections.

There are many other poetry, fiction & nonfiction events during the festival. These are a few of the events that are currently on my mind as I begin to look at my calendar. Get your tickets & passes today. 

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