Sunday, October 27, 2013

The days are just packed at the VWF 2013

I want to record highlights from the Vancouver Writers Fest but every event I've attended has been outstanding, so this is very difficult.

Anne Carson was at two out of the four sessions I was at yesterday, and her readings will live long in my memory. At the Poetry Bash, Carson got us to participate as she read meditative prose poems from her first published collection, Short Talks. Her deadpan humour was perfectly hilarious. Her way with words, perfectly genius. I feel lucky to have been part of her appreciative audience.

I also feel blessed to have been at two of Tomson Highway's events. The amazing Patricia Cano performed songs and readings in English, French and Cree from Highway's latest play, The (Post) Mistress. Tomson accompanied her on piano while another musician played the saxophone. It was magical. The inclusion of theatrical and spoken word events is part of what makes VWF so special.

At Word!, I was thrilled to hear portions from two Fringe theatre plays, Corin Raymond's Bookworm and Alison Wearing's Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter. Tanya Evanson's high energy poetry rounded out that fabulous spoken word line-up.

And then all of the other great stuff from fantastic authors -- novels and short stories and memoirs -- I've been in literary heaven. I've spent $223 on books. My suitcase will be much heavier going home today. One last treat awaits before I leave: Helen Humphreys in conversation with Kathryn Gretsinger this afternoon.

I was missing one ticket
when I took this photo; it
turned up in my pocket later.
I chatted with the executive director of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words at one of the sessions and I asked for her top author pick. She chose Humphreys without hesitation. A reader after my own heart. Conversation with other festival-goers has been another great pleasure this week. My friends and I arrived early for events held at Performance Works so that we could get good seats. Yesterday, we discussed the importance of place versus character in fiction as we waited, continuing the stimulating topic raised at Corner Stories. Other people in line contributed their thoughts. Reading is even better when shared with other readers.

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