Extra Credit with the ‘Between Words and Worlds’ Panel

between-the-words-and-worlds

Last week, the Between Words and Worlds: New Canadian Women’s Writing panel had a great conversation at the Harbourfront Centre as part of the IFOA Weekly. We wanted to continue the discussion here by allowing the authors to share their thoughts on “in-betweenness” starting by revisiting the moderator, Soraya Peerbaye’s, answer to the question: “What does in-betweenness mean to you as someone juggling identities, and whether or not you feel yourself engaged in a diasporic conversation?”

Soraya Peerbaye

I don’t believe that my experience of in-betweenness is about juggling identities, about strategies or positions of identity. For me it’s relational; relations not only between places, cultures, and experiences, but also between what is known and unknown; relations with time, who we were, how we are catalyzed, how we awaken to new senses of ourselves.

If anything, I think the critique of CanLit,that is now at the fore, emerges from a sense that white/settler literature is sometimes isolated; asleep to the way its material is animated by tensions of history, of contemporary movements; asleep to the overtones in the voices of its characters. Yes, I feel myself engaged in a diasporic conversation, deeply – but that is a conversation I’ve sought to be a part of, and to be changed by. It isn’t inherent to identity.

You can read more over at Between Words and Worlds with Soraya Peerbaye.

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A Warm Reception for CanLit in China

11th Bookworm Literary Festival in Beijing, China. (L to R): Shari Lapena, Ronna Bloom, Christine Saratsiotis, Sylvain Neuvel and Geoffrey E. Taylor. March 2018.

11th Bookworm Literary Festival in Beijing, China. (L to R): Shari Lapena, Ronna Bloom, Christine Saratsiotis (Festival Deputy Director), Sylvain Neuvel and Geoffrey E. Taylor (Festival Director).

Last month Geoffrey E. Taylor (Director) and Christine Saratsiotis (Deputy Director) of the Toronto International Festival of Authors took three Canadian writers—Ronna BloomShari Lapena and Sylvain Neuvel— to the 11th Bookworm Literary Festival in Beijing, China, as part of our international touring programme. We asked the writers what they thought about the the reception of Canadian literature in China and more.

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Between Words and Worlds with Soraya Peerbaye

Woman sits upon a mountain and gazes at the landscape

Next week, the Toronto International Festival of Authors will present Between Words and Worlds: New Canadian Women’s Writing. To give readers a preview of what the event hopes to explore with regards to the stories we tell, we reached out to the event’s moderator, Soraya Peerbaye.

The panel discussion will feature Inanna Publications authors Ami Sands Brodoff, Connie Guzzo-McParland, Mariam Pirbhai and Mehri Yalfani, and is billed as a unique opportunity to explore foreground characters and experiences that are still rarely attended to in mainstream publishing in Canada. We asked Peerbaye what specific themes she hopes to cover on stage:

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3 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Don't Be Nice. Director: Max Powers. 2017. Movie.

Screenshot from Don’t Be Nice, a film by Max Powers

In 1999, UNESCO adopted March 21 as World Poetry Day to “honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media” around the world. Today marks its 19th year.

In Canada, we’re fortunate to also be celebrating the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month. This profoundly takes place during a time when social media dialogue and the issues of today are reviving an interest in poetry with a new generation. Poetry’s popularity is evidenced by the rise of Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey and The Sun and Her Flowers, among other poets, on Canadian and international bestseller lists. Also, responding to the demand for poetry, the League of Canadian Poets has released longlists for its Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and Raymond Souster Award, for the first time ever.

We’ve established our top three ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, and invite you to join us.

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Writing Women’s History: An Interview with The Red Word’s Sarah Henstra

Women's March

Online movements like #MeToo have forced an important conversation on power, consent, sexual harassment and assault into the spotlight which has led to real world actions like the Times Up Legal Defense Fund.

As it’s the first day of Women’s History Month, we wanted to take the time to chat with author Sarah Henstra ahead of her Toronto Lit Up book launch on March 8th.

Henstra’s arresting novel, The Red Word, is set on an American campus where a Canadian sophomore, Karen Huls, deals with the conflict of dating a member of the Gamma Beta Chi fraternity while living with the radical feminists of the Raghurst house. We asked Henstra why she chose to write about rape culture, and campus culture, in her book:

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