Main Stage Event: “Women of Words”

 Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 pm

“No sensible man engages unprepared in a fencing match of words with a woman”, proclaims 20th century writer, Wilkie Collins.  Collins demonstrated a thorough understanding of the power of women and their words and so should we.

Joann7Join Jo-Ann Robertsthe well-known former host of CBC radio’s All Points West, as she delves into the world of words with distinguished poet and novelist Aislinn Hunter, rising literary star Eliza Robertson, and sparkling young slam poet Siling Zhang to consider the creative forces that inspire each of their stories.

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Aislinn Hunter is the winner of the 2015 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for her highly praised novel, The World Before Us.  Hunter has written two books of poetry, three books of fiction and a book of lyric essays, all of which have resulted in numerous nominations, prizes and awards.  The Globe and Mail describes The World Before Us as a thought-provoking novel, haunting and haunted, rooted in the power of history …. The sort of novel which forces you to look at the world – the people around you, the objects they hold dear – in a different light.

eliza6Eliza Robertson studied at UVic (with Steven Price) then did her MA at the University of East Anglia where she received the Man Booker Prize Scholarship and the Curtis Brown Award for best writer.  In 2013 she won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and was a finalist for the Journey Prize and the CBC Short Story Prize.  Her debut book of short stories, Wallflowers, has been praised by reviewers such as Natalie Serber of the New York Times, who compares the book to a solo swim across a chilly lake.  You become mesmerized by details …. without ever forgetting the mysteries and potential dangers that lurk beneath.

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Siling Zhang was born in China, raised in Red Deer, Alberta and now studies at Emily Carr University of Art in Vancouver.  Her energy and talent have created a stir at the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam (she placed first!) and led her to be featured on the TEDx Renfrew Collingwood (TED curated the neighbourhood event to showcase diverse ideas and expressions of exceptional people).  If you google Siling Zhang and listen to her Spoken Word Poetry performance given at this event you will agree that she is clearly a young talent to watch out for.

Given the diversity of backgrounds from which these women draw their stories we are sure to be drawn in and captured by the power of the words of these three dynamic women.