by Annette Reinhart
Another outstanding group of Canadian writers will be coming to Denman Island for our 2014 Readers & Writers Festival. Don’t be surprised to find a political journalist, a street-wise performer, a renowned activist, a socially aware poet, a historical researcher, several outstanding BC novelists, an adventurer and a national publisher in the mix for 2014.
We are happy to confirm the participation of Maude Barlow, one of Canada’s outstanding activists and writers, in our 2014 festival. She is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and author of sixteen books which focus on the global water crisis. She has served as Senior Advisor on Water at the UN General Assembly and is a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right; she has one of the most thorough and comprehensive understandings of her subject of anyone alive. Her latest book, Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, completes a trilogy that presents the issues and then outlines solutions for this complex problem. http://www.canadians.org/maude
Another writer working on the theme of water is Rita Wong, Associate Professor in Critical and Cultural Studies at Emily Carr in Vancouver. Downstream: A Poetics of Water is a work in progress that will lead toward a book and media that poetically explore how the local relates to the global through water. “Cultural perspectives shape how people view and interact with water, be it as a commodity, a resource, or a reminder of how all life on the planet is interrelated.” blogs.eciad.ca/ritawong
Chris Turner, a Canadian journalist and author who was the federal Green Party candidate for Calgary Centre in 2012, is also someone who has been looking at how life on this planet is interrelated – he is one of Canada’s leading voices on sustainability, livable cities, and building a green economy. As stated in the Georgia Straight, “Turner, an award-winning environmental writer, lays bare how science has been politicized, controlled, and methodically stifled.” The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada is a book about the Conservative government’s cuts to basic science and environmental monitoring that clears the way for resource extraction. www.thegeographyofhope.com/
The business of books and publishing is what Douglas Gibson, one of Canada’s most renowned editors and publishers, knows very well. He has published a memoir of a more than 40 year career as publisher and later, president of McClelland and Stewart. Stories about Storytellers has 21 short chapters, each one focusing on the personal and professional relationship with a writer Gibson edited. The list includes Mavis Gallant, Alastair McLeod, Stephen Leacock, Morley Callaghan, Alice Munro (whom Gibson mentored) as well as many Canadian prime ministers and other well-known figures. http://douglasgibsonbooks.com/
Caroline Adderson is part of the Vancouver literary community Caroline-Adderson is an author of essays, children’s books, short stories and novels. She has been a nominee for a Governor General’s Award and received the Marian Engel Award which is given annually to an outstanding Canadian female writer in mid-career. Her third and latest novel is The Sky is Falling, a story told as a series of reminiscences 20 years after the narrator, Jane, was involved in an idealistic/activist community in her 1980’s student days. www.carolineadderson.com
Another BC writer, Angie Abdou made her extraordinary literary debut in 2006 with her short story collection, Anything Boys Can Do. This was followed by her first novel The Bone Cage in 2007 which was considered as a finalist for CBC’s Canada Reads. Her second novel, The Canterbury Trail (2011) has received several awards and is a story about mountain culture and a ski community. There are loose parallels with Chaucer’s pilgrims traveling to a sacred shrine and Abdou’s characters embarking on a blissed-out skiing expedition, but that is just the starting point….. www.abdou.ca
Known for blissing out his audiences, Vancouver’s Zaccheus Jackson is a modern storyteller with a hip hop twist. He is a member of the Blackfoot people and tours performing his unique blend of storytelling and urban guerrilla poetry. His spoken word accounts have impressed audiences with his rapid-fire delivery, intricate rhyme patterns and social criticism. You will have to hear him to believe it! www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vYwTh25XpI
One of Canada’s foremost native authors and storytellers, author of six novels, a book of poetry, two memoirs and an anthology of his newspaper columns, is Richard Wagamese. He has written much about the horrific impact of the residential schools on former students and the pain and suffering victims often pass on to their own children. His recent book, Indian Horse, is inspiring and delivered straight from the heart; but beyond that, it teaches us a horrific part of our history that continues to resonate in our society. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wagamese
A tragic and lesser-known chapter in Canadian history forms the background for the latest novel, Into the Heart of the Country, by Pauline Holdstock. As described in this Globe and Mail book review: “…[she] explores the relationship between the English fur traders in Churchill, Manitoba and the native women on whom they relied for their survival. It is a vivid literary interpretation of the historical research begun by Sylvia Van Kirk into the complex role played by women in Canada’s fur-trade culture.” She has written many more novels, short fictions and essays; her novel, Beyond Measure, was a finalist for the 2004 Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and won the BC Book Prizes for Fiction in 2005. www.paulineholdstock.com
Another award-winning author, Derek Lundy from Salt Spring Island, has written non-fiction books about a number of topics that include sailing, sail racing and the history of Northern Ireland. His most recent book, Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America, is a fascinating adventure story of his motorcycle ride along both the Mexican and the Canadian border areas with the US. The book combines his many personal adventures and hardships with an interesting look at history and its contemporary consequences for North America. www.dereklundy.com
There is much more information available on the links provided above for each author, and festival news will be updated frequently in our media. Check back on this website and follow us on Facebook!
Posted February 2014