Spring EDITION 2008


SPRING EDITION 2008 - APRIL 13-19


SUNDAY, APRIL 13

NOON

 

  • INTERNATIONAL ENCOUNTERS: WHO WILL PROTECT THE WORLD? UNILATERAL ACTION AND MULTINATIONAL PEACEKEEPING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
    With Pulitzer Prize Winner Samantha Power
    Hosted by Lucy van Oldenbarneveld


    “One of the most striking talents to emerge in the human rights field in a long time.”
    —Aryeh Neier, founder of Human Rights Watch
     

    Samantha Power, the Anna Lindh Professor of Global Leadership and Public Policy Practwice at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, former policy advisor to Barak Obama and a foreign policy columnist at Time magazine, asks who possesses the moral authority, the political sense, and the military and economic heft to protect human life and bring peace to the unruly new world order?

    The author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize for the best book on U.S. foreign policy, Samantha Power discusses Sergio Vieira de Mello, the subject of her latest book, Chasing the Flame, who died in a terrorist attack on UN Headquarters in Iraq in 2003. In nearly four decades of work for the UN, Vieira de Mello distinguished himself as the consummate humanitarian, able to negotiate with—and often charm—Cold War military dictators, Marxist jungle radicals, reckless warlords, and nationalist and sectarian militia leaders. Join us for a conversation on this remarkable man’s life and career, his powerful legacy of humanity and ideological strength and what lessons can be learned from his time with the UN and the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

  • Click here to join the conversation about this event on our Online Discussion Board.

    Tickets: $20 General Admission / $15 Student or Senior / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $35

2:00 PM

 

  • OPL'S AWESOME AUTHORS
    Hosted by the Ottawa Public Library’s Jane Venus


    Join us in honouring the winners of this year’s Ottawa Public Library Awesome Authors Competition for Young Authors. Four hundred and eighty-three children participated this year, and judges Michel Lavoie, Ian Roy and JC Sulzenko selected the winners in each age group. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet tomorrow’s literary stars! 

    A Free Event.

    Day Pass: $35

2:00 PM

 

  • EXTRAORDINARY CANADIANS: WHY THEY MATTERED THEN, WHY THEY MATTER NOW
    featuring Charlotte Gray, Lewis DeSoto and David Adams Richards
    Hosted by John Ralston Saul


    How do civilizations imagine themselves? One way is through the people who made them: Extraordinary Canadians will rediscover twenty Canadians—rebels, reformers, thinkers, writers, painters, political leaders—who built modern Canada. Another way is through the eyes of eighteen of today’s most interesting and engaged writers—people who are building Canada today. Join us in celebrating the launch of this ambitious new series of biographies with John Ralston Saul, General Editor of Extraordinary Canadians. 

    John Ralston Saul, Canada’s leading public intellectual, hosts a conversation on Nellie McClung, Emily Carr, and Lord Beaverbrook with Pierre Berton Award winner Charlotte Gray, Booker Prize nominee Lewis DeSoto and Governor General’s Award winner David Adams Richards

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $35

4:00 PM

 

  • NEW SCIENCE SERIES: UNDERSTANDING EVOLUTION AND HOW THE HUMAN BRAIN REALLY WORKS
    With Gary Marcus


    “A shot across the bow of intelligent design by a rising student of the mind.” —Kirkus Reviews  

    How does a child learn to talk? Why is that humans can acquire language when no other species can? Through the integrated study of psychology, linguistics, and molecular biology, Professor Gary Marcus, Director of the NYU Infant Language Learning Center, aims to understand the origins of the human mind. Are we noble in reason? Perfect, in God’s image? Far from it, according to Professor Marcus, author of Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind, who argues that the mind is not an elegantly designed organ but a kluge, a clumsy, cobbled-together contraption, and unveils a fundamentally new way of looking at the human mind. Think duct tape, not supercomputer.   

    Taking us on a tour of the fundamental areas of human experience—memory, belief, decision-making, language, and happiness—while making a brilliant case for the power and usefulness of imperfection, don’t miss this enlightening discussion on how the accidents of evolution created our quirky, imperfect minds—and what we can do about it.  

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $35

4:00 PM

 

  • WRITING WORKSHOP FOR TEENS
    With Brian Doyle

    Registration fee $25: Registration is limited, call
    613-562-1243 to reserve space.

4:00 PM

 

  • THE DUSTY OWL READING SERIES PRESENTS
    Vivian Demuth and Eliot Katz
    Hosted by Steven Zytveld


    The Writers Festival is proud to host the Dusty Owl Reading Series in welcoming novelist Vivian Demuth and poet Eliot Katz, both writers who tackle the largest issues of our time through a very human lens. Vivian Demuth’s novel Eyes of the Forest is set in the lookout towers, logging camps and mines of the boreal forest, blending magic realism and ghost story into a narrative whose core is the unspoken war for the future of the forest. Eliot Katz’s collection of poetry, Unlocking the Exits, serves as a State of the World Address for the turn of the century, taking on the plight of society’s outsiders, especially the homeless, in the context of the Western world’s wars. 

     A Free Event

    Day Pass: $35

6:00 PM

 

  • POETRY CABARET #1
    Fred Wah, Rachel Zolf and Stuart Ross
    Hosted by Michael Dennis


    Three of Canada’s most singular voices share their work and get to the heart of craft and creativity with poet Michael Dennis. Fred Wah, co-founder of TISH, winner of the Governor General’s Award, Stephanson Award for Poetry and the Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Fiction, makes his Festival debut with Sentenced to Light, an astonishing series of unique collaborative image-text projects; Poet and founding poetry editor for The Walrus magazine, Rachel Zolf, a finalist in the CBC Literary Competition and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, makes her Festival debut with Human Resources a collection that inhabits the intersection of creation and repackaging and explores the visceral and psychic cost of selling things with depleted words; and Festival favourite Stuart Ross returns with I Cut My Finger, a collection that showcases his trademark humour and surrealism, pointedly experimental works and poems of human anguish.

    “Wah has carved out a position for himself in western Canadian literary culture that is all but unassailable." —Canadian Literature 

    “Rachel Zolf transforms a necessary social anger into the pure fuel that takes us to ‘the beautiful excess of the unshackled referent.’” —Lisa Robertson 

    Stuart Ross is “Canada's foremost writer of the surreal … Absurd, surprising, topical, surreal—his new work builds on the mythic significance and brilliance of several career-long metaphors and subjects.” —The Globe and Mail 

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $35

8:00 PM

 

  • MESSAGIO GALORE Take V
    Curated by jwcurry & performed by Alexander's Dark Band (jwcurry, Maria Erskine, Nicholas Power, Rob Read) and Auxiliary (John Lavery and Carmel Purkis)

    A celebratory investigation into what constitutes sound poetry, surveying its composers through over 100 years of selected Canadian and international works. Tonight’s one-time-only edit reaches back to the 6th century for Venantius Fortunatus’ CRUXword, premieres two new works (by curry & Read) and presents compositions by Jaap Blonk, Fortunato Depero, the Four Horsemen, Claude Gauvreau, Raoul Hausmann, Mike Patton, Kurt Schwitters and Frank Zappa (among many others). Be aware: this will be a relentless ear experience taking approximately two hours (plus a break). Kreegah Bundolo!

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $35

MONDAY, APRIL 14

11:00 AM
and
1:00 PM

 

  • STEP INTO STORIES: ALIEN INVADERS: SPECIES THAT THREATEN OUR PLANET
    With Ann Love and Jane Drake


    All our Step Into Stories events for children are free of charge!

6:00 PM

 

  • FESTIVAL BOOK CLUB
    Brian Doyle on Getting Even by Woody Allen


    “I am greatly relieved that the universe is finally explainable. I was beginning to think it was me.”
    —Woody Allen 

    Our new feature, The Festival Book Club, kicks off with acclaimed storyteller Brian Doyle, winner of the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work, discussing his pick: Woody Allen’s Getting Even, which offers a look into Allen's bag of shtick, back when it was new.  

    Tickets: $5

7:00 PM

 

  • THE BIG IDEA: WHAT DID JESUS REALLY TEACH?
    The Historical Jesus, the Evolution of Christianity
    and Living Faith
    With Barrie A. Wilson and Rex Weyler

    Hosted by Kathleen Petty

    Two respected scholars examine the gospels and recent archaeological discoveries, explore the heart of the differences between Christianity and Judaism and, ultimately, try to answer the question of who Jesus Christ really was. In How Jesus Became Christian, Barrie A. Wilson, professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at York University, asks, “How did a young rabbi become the god of a religion he wouldn’t recognize, one which was established through the use of calculated anti-Semitism?” In The Jesus Sayings: A Quest for the Authentic Teachings, Rex Weyler, journalist, writer, and co-founder of Greenpeace International, provides a fresh and provocative view of Jesus’ message and his mission. Join us for a lively and enlightening conversation on who Jesus Christ really was and what he taught.  

  • Click here to join the discussion on this event, and read a review of How Jesus Became Christian, on the Writers Festival Discussion Board.

    How Jesus Became Christian is a groundbreaking and highly controversial work that is sure to provoke considerable attention.”
    —Prof. Patrick Gray, University of Toronto  

    “Rex Weyler liberates the historical Jesus to tell the Christian story anew . . . Read this book.”
    —Matthew Fox 

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

8:30 PM

 

  • WRITING LIFE #1
    With Anne Simpson, Stan Dragland and Maryse Condé
    Hosted by Adrian Harewood


    Maryse Condé's appearance generously supported by the Embassy of France

    The Writing Life begins with three respected authors making their Festival debuts and discussing their craft with CBC Radio’s Adrian Harewood. Acclaimed Nova Scotian novelist and poet, Anne Simpson’s second novel, Falling, begins when a young woman makes a mistake that will claim her life, while at the other end of the beach her brother, Damian, is unaware that she is drowning. Newfoundland’s Stan Dragland, winner of the Gabrielle Roy Prize and the Rogers Non-Fiction Award, presents his fourth book of fiction, The Drowned Lands. Set in small-town Ontario in 1913, it explores the effect of political and social conflict and our relationship to the natural environment. Guadeloupean novelist, playwright, critic and teacher, and Winner of the Grand Prix Littéraire de la Femme and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction Maryse Condé’s latest novel in English translation is The Story of the Cannibal Woman, a deft exploration of post-Apartheid South Africa and a smart, gripping thriller that begins when Rosélie’s husband goes out for a pack of cigarettes in Cape Town and never comes back.

    “In concise, beautiful language, Anne Simpson’s Falling ... confronts our deepest fears, and teaches us how to survive.”
    —Beth Powning 

    “Here is emotion as fast-flickering and dazzling as sunlight on water. The Drowned Lands is a deeply affecting story, beautifully told.”—Lisa Moore 

    “Condé makes one woman’s search for identity a vehicle to explore a vast range of racial, cultural and gender issues in a seething novel that exposes the violent ferment of post-Apartheid South Africa.” —Publisher’s Weekly  

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

tuesDAY, APRIL 15

11:00 AM
and
1:00 PM

 

  • STEP INTO STORIES: LADY GINNY'S TEA PARTIES
    With Susan Rennick Jolliffe


    All our Step Into Stories events for children are free of charge!

1:00 PM

 

  • SECRETS OF THE WRITING LIFE:
    Tips, Tricks and Advice on Writing
    With Alison Pick and Anne Simpson
    Hosted by Sean Wilson


    Join us for a special Writing Life session with two of Canada’s finest literary talents—both acclaimed poets and novelists. Alison Pick is the winner of the National Magazine Award and the CBC Literary Award. Her first novel, The Sweet Edge, was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year. Anne Simpson’s first novel, Canterbury Beach, was shortlisted for the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. She has won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Griffin Poetry Prize. Short readings will give us a taste of their work and will be followed by an on-stage conversation on the creative process, with plenty of time for audience questions. 

    “Alison Pick’s first novel, The Sweet Edge, is gorgeous. It’s also strange and funny and terribly sexy.”—The Globe and Mail  

    Falling
    “is a tender and wise novel; a remarkable story of love lost, and then found.” —David Bergen 

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    (Group rates available for schools: call 613-562-1243 for information.)

6:00 PM

 

  • DON DOMANSKI ON THE ROLE OF THE POET
    A short lecture and onstage conversation with Rob Winger


    “Each poem, beautiful, bewitching, unfolds with crystalline clarity and with a music that is both lush and subtle. Don Domanski’s poems are intimate, but intimate on a grand scale. As far as I am concerned, there is no better poet writing in English.” —Mark Strand 

    Don Domanski, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for his book All Our Wonder Unavenged, was born and raised on Cape Breton Island and now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The jury described his work as “Stunningly beautiful and delicate... a deeply moving vision about the intricacies of the everyday world. A spiritual and metaphysical triumph.” Join us for a talk on the importance of poetry and the role of the poet followed by an on-stage conversation on the craft hosted by Governor General’s Award nominee Rob Winger. 

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

7:00 PM

 

  • SECRETS OF LITERARY PUBLISHING
    Why we Publish and How to Survive and Thrive in Today's Turbulent Marketplace
    With Stan Dragland (Brick Books), Beth Follett (Pedlar) and Alan Briesmaster (Quattro)
    Hosted by Sean Wilson


    Stan Dragland's appearance presented with support from Tree Reading Series and the The Writers' Union of Canada.

    Raincoast Books, home of Harry Potter in Canada, has shut down its domestic publishing program. Books coverage in newspapers from coast to coast is shrinking. Canada’s big box monopoly decided to not to order any poetry last fall. A recent poll found that a third of Canadians didn’t read a single book for pleasure last year and the stronger Canadian dollar is eating into already slim profit margins. Many are asking what the future holds, and yet, Canada’s literary presses continue to seek out new voices and work to promote great writing. Why? How? What draws them to a manuscript?  

    Join our distinguished panel of writers who publish—Brick Books co-founder Stan Dragland, Pedlar Press founder and publisher Beth Follett and Quattro co-founder Allen Briesmaster—for an in-depth discussion on the industry today and the relationship between their writing lives and their publishing lives. 

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors 

8:30 PM

 

  • POETRY CABARET #2
    With Anne Simpson, Alison Pick and Don Domanski
    Hosted by Stephen Brockwell


    Stephen Brockwell hosts an evening of award-winning poetry and a conversation on writing with three of Canada’s most respected and acclaimed poets. Anne Simpson, winner of the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Griffin Poetry Prize, is the author of three books of poetry. Her most recent, Quick, explores the human body—how it contains all that it does, how it is altered, and how it is transformed after death. Alison Pick, whose poetry has won the CBC Literary Award, National Magazine Award and the Bronwen Wallace Award, returns to the Festival with her latest, The Dream World, a sparkling tour through the lush and varied backcountry of human experience that explores the mystery concealed within the world we know and recognize. Don Domanski’s most recent collection is the Governor General’s Award-winning All Our Wonder Unavenged. His writing is a form of osmosis, spirit seeping through the details of each poem, creating a marvel of metaphysics and language distilled to purest energy. Intensely moving, these fluid poems open up our perceptions of what it means to be alive in a sentient universe. 

    “Simpson’s intelligent poetic language renders, in three dimensions, images of compelling resonance. . . .”—Quill & Quire  

    “Pick’s wonderfully personal, lyrical language takes the reader to the spiritual heart of things. Meditative and often elegiac, this is language that sings and is always in the right key.”—Jury citation, E.J. Pratt Poetry Award  

    “Domanski’s is a vision that encompasses life and death withoutuseless rage or intellectual bleakness, but with an acceptance thatis both passionate and articulate.”—Gwendolyn MacEwen, Books in Canada  

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors


wednesDAY, APRIL 16

11:00 AM
and
1:00 PM

 

  • STEP INTO STORIES: ONE FOR SORROW
    With Mary Sheppard


    All our Step Into Stories events for children are free of charge!

6:00 PM

 

  • FESTIVAL BOOK CLUB
    Daniel Poliquin on Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje


    “A beautifully detailed story, perhaps the finest jazz novel ever written.” —The Sunday Times  

    In choosing his selection for the Festival Book Club, Daniel Poliquin, noted writer and literary translator and the winner of numerous awards including the Trillium Book Award, Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the Ottawa Book Award, wanted to focus on “authors who taught me to push my limits.” His selection, Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter, is set against the colorful backdrop of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, and combines fiction, fact, and poetry to portray the life and times of pioneering jazz musician Buddy Bolden.

    Tickets: $5

7:00 PM

 

  • THE BIG IDEA: WHOSE JUSTICE?
    International Law, American Empire and the
    Search for Justice
    With Erna Paris and Michelle Shephard
    Hosted by Adrian Harewood


    Erna Paris, winner of ten national and international writing awards, including the Pearson Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for History, returns to the Festival with The Sun Climbs Slow, an exploration of the history of global justice, the politics behind America’s opposition to the creation of a permanent international criminal court, and the implications for the world at large. In Guantanamo’s Child, Michelle Shephard, a national security reporter for the Toronto Star and the recipient of Canada’s top two journalism awards, tells the troubling story of Canadian Omar Khadr, who has spent a quarter of his life growing up in American custody at Guantanamo Bay. She argues that this case asks all the uncomfortable questions and reveals the fundamental problems with how the “War on Terror” is being fought, and why it’s failing. Join us for a conversation on the tension between unchallenged political power and the rule of international law and the search for global justice in an era of terror and unilateral military action. 

    “In The Sun Climbs Slow Erna Paris describes, movingly and convincingly, the dawn of a new age of international law. There could be no better guide to the emerging world in which no guilty person, however powerful, can escape responsibility for acts of barbarism. Obligatory reading for the forward looking.”—John Polanyi, Nobel Laureate 

    “You will be shocked, saddened and in the end made angry at the story this page-turner of a book exposes. I read it straight through and Omar Khadr’s plight is one you cannot forget.” —Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York  

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors

7:00 PM

 

  • THE BIG IDEA: IS HYPER-PARENTING DESTROYING CHILDHOOD?
    With Carl Honoré
    Presented with the Parsifal Waldorff School
    Hosted by Neil Wilson

    Under Pressure can be viewed as a wake-up call to parents and educators, as well as a solid summary of how children are being raised in the 21st century. Honoré covers a lot of territory, investigating academic testing and homework issues, extracurricular activities and sports, consumerism, and safety issues. . . . This is not a parenting book or a how-to manual, but rather a comprehensive look at the state of the childhood nation.” —Quill & Quire  

    Join us for a fascinating and urgent look at childhood today and how we are raising a generation of overprogrammed, overachieving, exhausted children. Carl Honoré, the bestselling author of In Praise of Slow and Under Pressure, examines how our modern approach to children is backfiring: our kids are fatter, more myopic, more injured, more depressed and more medicated than any previous generation. He argues that we have destroyed the magic and innocence of childhood and discusses the use of technology as babysitting, how enrolling children in hours of extracurriculars every week can do more harm than good, and how we underestimate the resilience of our children at the expense of their freedom. 

    A Free Event.

8:30 PM

 

  • WRITING LIFE #2
    With Gale Zoë Garnett, Ahmad Saidullah and
    Elizabeth Hay
    Hosted by Kate Heartfield

    “The mark of Zoë Garnett’s great talent is authenticity, an authenticity of voice that is totally persuasive because it is true to the rhythms of the language as it is spoken, an authenticity that has the power of autobiography.” —Barry Callaghan 

    “Not only is Ahmad Saidullah’s imagination unique, but his singular voice stands out from the myriad forms of expression in modern writing and deserves to be heard. Brimming with unexpected humour and poignancy, and rich in sub-text, Saidullah’s stories never disappear. They haunt you!”
    —Deepa Mehta 

    “Hay exposes the beauty simmering in the heart of harsh settings with an evocative grace that brings to mind Annie Proulx.”—Washington Post  

    The Writing Life continues with three acclaimed authors sharing their work and discussing their craft with the Ottawa Citizen’s Kate Heartfield. Poet, author and actor Gale Zoë Garnett returns to the Festival with the novella Room Tone, an affectionately intimate behind-the-scenes look at filmmakers and filmmaking, through the eyes of Nica Lind, the gifted and photogenic daughter of a French Nouvelle Vague actress and a Swedish cinematographer. Ahmad Saidullah, born in Ottawa and raised in India, makes his Festival debut with the short story collection Happiness and Other Disorders, which offers astonishing portraits of characters and societies torn apart by violence and oppression. Festival favourite Elizabeth Hay returns with Late Nights on Air, her Giller Prize-winning bestseller about Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, who returns to a small radio station in Yellowknife. 

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors


THURsDAY, APRIL 17

11:00 AM
and
1:00 PM

 

  • STEP INTO STORIES: DEAR SYLVIA
    With Alan Cumyn


    All our Step Into Stories events for children are free of charge!

6:00 PM

 

  • THE SLINGS AND ARROWS OF LITERARY TRANSLATION
    Presented in partnership with University of Ottawa's School of Translation and Interpretation and the Literary Translators Association of Canada
    Featuring Luise von Flotow, Mark Fried, Antonino Mazza, John Woodsworth, Seymour Mayne, and Marc Charron

    Our evening on Literary Translation begins with a Literary Translation Quiz: interactive translation activity in French and English—with occasional other languages; continues with readings from N-exposant nouvelle, a recent anthology of English Canadian short stories in French and Pluriel, a bilingual anthology of Canadian poetry, moderated by editors Seymour Mayne and Marc Charron; and concludes with presentations from John Woodsworth’s translation of Anastasia by Vladimir Megré (Russia), Mark Fried’s translation of Espejos / Mirrors by Eduardo Galeano (Uruguay) Antonino Mazza from Italville, an anthology of Italian writing in English and Luise von Flotow from Everybody talks about the weather. We don't: The Journalism of Ulrike Meinhof.

    A Free Event.

6:00 PM

 

  • FESTIVAL BOOK CLUB
    rob mclennan on By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept  by Elizabeth Smart and The Double Hook by Sheila Watson  


    Unable to narrow his Festival Book Club choice to just one book, rob mclennan will discuss By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, Elizabeth Smart’s passionate fictional account of her intense love affair with the poet George Barker and The Double Hook by McLuhan protégé Sheila Watson: a lyrical, allusive novel about a remote BC village. Join us for a conversation on two groundbreaking Canadian books.

    Tickets: $5

7:00 PM

 

  • THE BIG IDEA: HOW DO WE FIND HAPPINESS IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY?
    Searching for Equilibrium in an Unpredictable World
    with Patricia Pearson
    Hosted by Kate Heartfield


    “If only more psychology were written with the literate intelligence of this book. It is a weaving of stories that accomplishes a great deal: cultural analysis, psychological insight, and personal reflection. You will enjoy it and learn from it.”—Thomas Moore 

  • Click here to read the article from the March 30 Ottawa Citizen by Shelley Page.

    Patricia Pearson, winner of two National Magazine Awards, a National Author’s Award and the Arthur Ellis Award, questions what it is about today’s culture that is making people anxious, and offers some surprising answers—as well as some inspiring solutions based on her own fierce battle to drive the beast away. Drawing on personal episodes of incapacitating dread, she delves into the history and geography of anxiety. Why are North Americans so much more likely to suffer than Latin Americans? Why did Darwin treat hypochondria with sprays from a hose? Why have we forgotten the insights of some of our greatest philosophers, theologians and psychologists in favor of prescribing addictive drugs? In her new book, A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine), a blend of fascinating reportage and poignant memoir, she shares her struggle to withdraw from antidepressants and to find more self-aware and philosophically grounded ways to strengthen the soul. Join us for a witty, insightful and highly personal look at recognizing and coping with fears and anxieties in our contemporary world. 

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

7:00 PM

 

  • BOOK LAUNCH: RENEGADES: CANADIANS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
    With Michael Petrou
    PLEASE NOTE: This event is being held in the War Museum's Barney Danson Theatre


    Between 1936 and 1939, almost 1,700 Canadians defied their government and volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War. They chose to leave behind punishing lives in Canadian relief camps, mines, and urban flophouses to confront fascism in a country few knew much about. Four hundred died there. Michael Petrou a foreign correspondent at Maclean’s magazine, has drawn on recently declassified archival material, interviewed surviving Canadian veterans, and visited the battlefields of Spain to write the definitive account of Canadians in the Spanish Civil War. His new book, Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War reveals who these men and women were, why they volunteered, how they lived and died in Spain, and how the Canadian government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reacted to their decision to illegally join another country’s war. Join us for the launch of this intimate and unflinching story of idealism and courage, duplicity and defeat.

    A free event.

7:30 PM

 

  • BOOK LAUNCH: The Prairie West as Promised Land
    with Chris Kitzan and Doug Francis
    Presented by Library and Archives Canada
    and the University of Calgary Press

    Room 156


    In the formative years of agricultural settlement from the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War, the West was ripe with promise for those wishing to escape religious persecution, unproductive land, or intolerable living and working conditions. Some saw the Prairies as an ideal place to create a Utopian society; others seized the chance to take control of their own destinies in a new and exciting place.

    A free event.

8:30 PM

 

  • POETRY CABARET #3
    With Steve Venright, Nathaniel G. Moore and RM Vaughan
    Hosted by Stephen Brockwell


    Our celebration of Poetry Month continues with Stephen Brockwell hosting three groundbreaking wordsmiths and a conversation on their cutting-edge work. Steve Venright’s latest collection, Floors of Enduring Beauty, laden with delirious extended prose poems, distorted philosophical musings, elaborate advice for instant gratification, has been described as Baudelaire meets Lewis Carroll meets Monty Python. Nathaniel G. Moore’s Let’s Pretend We Never Met is a poetic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that sails renowned Roman poet Catullus into our modern times, cashing in romance for a bitter but more honest currency. Troubled, by writer and video artist RM Vaughan, is the poetic account of the true story of a patient/psychiatrist relationship gone horribly wrong, documenting how an innocent flirtation with his therapist escalated into dangerous sexual misadventure.  

    “Steve Venright proves that Spiral Agitator, one of the most exciting books of Canadian poetry in recent memory, was no fluke, and that his is one of the most fascinating careers in contemporary Canadian poetry.”—Books in Canada  

    “This book shocks and seduces equally ... Hail Moore! Canada has a major new literary innovator to fear, admire, even desire.”—Todd Swift 

    Troubled is at once a disturbing Elizabeth Smart-like memoir charting the turns and culs-de-sac of an infatuation and an artful literary revenge. It’s risky as Baked Alaska. What would it be like if all abused patients were endowed with such talent and courage?”—Don McKay 

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members


FRIDAY, APRIL 18

11:00 AM
and
1:00 PM

  • STEP INTO STORIES: THE FEATHERED CLOAK
    With Sean Dixon


    All our Step Into Stories events for children are free of charge!

6:00 PM

 

  • FESTIVAL BOOK CLUB
    Sean Dixon on the Epic of Gilgamesh


    “Beautifully retold and a page-turner in the bargain. Like Seamus Heaney’s recent retelling of Beowulf, this book proves that in the right hands, no great story ever grows stale.”—Newsweek (on Stephen Mitchell’s translation) 

    In Sean Dixon’s acclaimed novel, The Girls Who Saw Everything, the Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Women’s Book Club, who enact the books they read, begin the Epic of Gilgamesh and find the book beginning to enact them instead. So it seemed only natural to conclude the Festival Book Club sessions with Sean discussing the world’s first book. A thousand years older than the Iliad or the Bible, the story of a king who reigned in the Mesopotamian city of Uruk in about 2750 BCE, it is a timeless story of self-discovery and acceptance, of mortality and divinity. 

    Tickets: $5

7:00 PM

 

  • NEW SCIENCE SERIES: UNDERSTANDING NATURAL DISASTERS AND MANMADE CATASTROPHES
    With Marq de Villiers
    Hosted by Embassy Magazine’s Lee Berthiaume

    “Marq de Villiers has written a delightful book on wind and weather that is both informative and fascinating. The author has previously published successful books on exploration, history, politics, water, and travel, and in this book he demonstrates that he can persuasively write on weather and climate as well.” —Books in Canada  

    Tsunami, earthquake, volcano, hurricane, pandemic—are these and other natural calamities more probable—and more frequent—than they were? Are things getting worse? If so, what can we do about it? Are the boundaries between natural and human-caused calamities blurring? Are we ourselves part of the problem? Governor General’s Award winner Marq de Villiers, author of Dangerous World, examines these questions in a time when we truly need to understand the dangers that we face, to act in such a way that we are not making things worse, and to prepare as well as we can for the inevitable disasters when they come. 

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

8:30 PM

 

  • ME SEXY: AN EXPLORATION OF NATIVE SEX AND SEXUALITY
    with Drew Haydon Taylor
    Hosted by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm


    Is Cree really the sexiest of all languages? Do Native people have less or more pubic hair? Does Inuit sex have a dark side? Join us for the answers to these questions and more with award-winning playwright, columnist and comedy-sketch creator, Drew Hayden Taylor. Drew spent fifteen years writing and researching Aboriginal humour for the book Me Funny. We’re not exactly sure about the research on his follow-up Me Sexy, but we can tell you it features twelve important voices in the Native culture — including Joseph Boyden, Kateri Ackiwenzie-Damm, Tomson Highway and Marissa Crazytrain, a descendant of Chief Sitting Bull—tackling a variety of previously taboo subjects with humour and insight.  

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members


SATURDAY, APRIL 19

NOON

  • NEW SCIENCE SERIES: UNDERSTANDING RISK: THE SCIENCE AND POLITICS OF FEAR
    with Dan Gardner
    Hosted by Sarah Dearing


    “Gardner is forensic in his dissection of bogus claims in advertising and politics...His chapters on the risk of being a victim of crimes of terrorism provoke a peculiar mix of comfort and despair.”—The Observer  

    Even though we are the safest and healthiest humans who ever lived, we are increasingly preoccupied with threats that are, by any rational measure, trivial. Dan Gardner, a columnist and senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen and winner of the National Newspaper Award and Amnesty International’s Media Award sets out to explain how we make decisions and run our lives. His new book, Risk, helps us to understand how to deconstruct the information we’re bombarded with and respond more logically and adaptively to our world. 

    Tickets: $12 General /  $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $30

2:00 PM

 

  • THE TELLING YEAR - BELFAST 1972
    with Malachi O'Doherty
    Hosted by Adrian Harewood

    Sponsored by PODCO New Media

    “The most subtle and astute account of the IRA campaign yet written.” — Fintan O’Toole  

    A young man’s first experience in journalism begins in the horrific year of Bloody Sunday. He returns home at night to streets ruled by Provo gunmen where the army and IRA hold fire to let his mother walk to work between them. One of Northern Ireland’s best-known and most respected journalists shares his experiences of Belfast on the verge of civil war. 

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $30

2:00 PM

 

  • LOOKING FOR ANNE: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Lucy Maude Montgomery's Beloved Classic
    with Irene Gammel


    Looking for Anne is a fascinating and wonderful book… presented in a captivating narrative that is very well organized and a great read.”—Carole Gerson 

    Published in 1908, and not once out of print, Anne of Green Gables is a stunning success selling over 50 million copies in 17 languages. But why Anne? How does Montgomery’s classic work pull so many international readers into the vortex of Anne’s freckled face and carrotty braids? How does this little book create such enduring interest around the world? The answer is far more intriguing than any story even Anne could have imagined. 

    Blending biography and cultural history, penetrating and uncensored, join us for a definitive look at one of the most popular books of all time with Irene Gammel, the Canada Research Chair in Modern Literature and Culture at Ryerson University in Toronto and the internationally acclaimed author of Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic.

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students $ Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $30

4:00 PM

 

  • INTO THE DARKNESS: A First Hand Account of an Attack on the London Underground
    with Peter Zimonjic
    Hosted by Graham Green


    “This unique account of 7/7 looks unflinchingly at the human damage of the day itself.  There’s no political agenda here, no retrospective examination of the events:  just a terrifically powerful and important historical document.”—Chris Cleave, author of INCENDIARY 

    Before he boarded his Circle Line train on the morning of July 7, 2005, Peter Zimonjic, columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and the Sunday Telegraph had never seen a dead body. Coming in the opposite direction was a train carrying Mohammed Sidique Khan with a bag full of explosives. As the trains passed each other in the tunnel, Sidique Khan detonated his bomb. Peter’s train came to a standstill and he managed to smash the window in his carriage and crawl into the carnage, where he and several others spent the next hour desperately trying to help the injured and dying. His new book, Into the Darkness, documents the bravery, the triumphs, the despairs, and the shortfalls that occurred on a day when the innocence of thousands of ordinary commuters was lost forever.

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $30

4:00 PM

 

  • EASY GREEN: Simple Eco-Ideas for Everyday
    with Gillian Deacon


    Green for Life is a helpful guide that helps you see the very simple things you can do in every part of your every day that will positively impact our future.”—Sir Richard Branson 

    With every new day’s headlines, the world is shifting into a new reality. Freakish weather patterns, widespread smog alerts, and unsafe water advisories are problems that we all need to tackle. But we still have to drive cars, pack school lunches, do laundry, unclog toilets, and throw dinner parties. So how do we do the things we do without making a mess of our world? Green for Life by award-winning broadcaster and writer Gillian Deacon is a practical guide to living the life you want, but with the reduced impact the planet needs. Don’t miss this informative session for all of us who know we have to do something, but don’t know where to start.

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $30

6:00 PM

 

  • WRITING LIFE #3
    with Mary Swan, Elyse Friedman and Diane Schoemperlen
    Hosted by Sean Wilson


    The Writing Life concludes with three of the country’s finest writers known for their short stories and novels. Mary Swan, winner of the O’Henry Award for short fiction, whose first novel The Boys in the Trees is set in the late 19th century and explores the effects of a terrible crime on a small Ontario community. Screenwriter and author Elyse Friedman returns with Long Story Short, a novella and short stories that begins with a young man who is ultimately forced to deliver a death blow to irony—which visits him in the form of a washed-up ’80s sitcom star. Governor General’s Award winner            
    Diane Schoemperlen’s new book, At a Loss for Words, A Post-Romantic Novel, is the story of a middle-aged author who gets dumped by one of the most passive-aggressive Mr. Nice Guys in fictional history.

    “This is a mesmerizing novel that can truly claim to be filled with a ‘terrible beauty’.”—Alice Munro on The Boys in the Trees  

    “Reading a story collection can be like having to jump into 10 or 12 cold lakes, one after another. But a Friedman story is like an indoor pool with the thermostat set to 86 degrees. It’s easy to slip right in.”—The Montreal Gazette

    “Hardly at a loss for words, Diane Schoemperlen turns a tale of spurned love into a literary frolic.” —The Ottawa Citizen

    Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $30

8:00 PM

 

  • POETRY CABARET #4
    with A.F. Moritz, Elise Partridge and Kevin Connolly
    Hosted by David O'Meara


    The 2008 Spring Edition concludes with three of Canada’s most acclaimed poets, all published by House of Anansi, sharing their work and talking poetry with David O’Meara. A.F. Moritz, winner of the ReLit Award and the Bess Hokin Prize for Night Street Repairs, makes his Festival debut with The Sentinel, which describes renewal and regeneration, the despair brought on by global capitalism, and a place where decay and loss meet their antithesis. Fielder’s Choice, Elise Partridge’s first collection was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for poetry. Her most recent, Chameleon Hours is evidence that lyric poetry—clean, bracing, unadorned—truly can be equal to challenging subject matter. The follow-up to drift, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, Kevin Connolly’s fifth collection, Revolver, is a daring marriage of brilliant technical skill and explosive imagination. Each of the poems in this extraordinary collection is written in a different vocal register—“revolving” through poetic voices with precise control and sharp wit.

    “A.F. Moritz’s work leaves me reassured about the potential efficacy of poetry, of mind engaged with world on all fronts...politically, mythically, philosophically.’’ —Don McKay 

    “Partridge is a technical wizard for whom thinking and feeling are not separate activities. She is a hawk-like observer of the particular...many times ascending to pitch perfect verse.”—The Globe and Mail  

    “Huge imaginative leaps. Driven by surreal imagery and associative wordplay.”—Quill & Quire on Kevin Connolly

    Tickets: $15 General / $12 Students & Seniors / Free for Festival Members

    Day Pass: $30

 

 

 

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