Where you’re from, where you’ve been and the places that move you. For writers, place is more than just geography—it’s inspiration, character, politics and history.
We’re talking to three of Canada’s finest writers, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Camilla Gibb and Steven Heighton, about how they write place in their books, and how the places they’ve lived, traveled and written in have affected them.
In an open and casual conversation, these talented authors will talk about writing retreats, the politics of place, travel, place as character and much more, with audience members invited to participate and ask questions or, if you prefer, to just soak up the literary goodness.
This is a relaxed, salon-style environment, moderated by Open Book and CBC Books columnist Becky Toyne. All are welcome, both readers and writers—whether established or aspiring, this will be a conversation no writer should miss!
This is a FREE event—RSVP at the Facebook event page.
Kamal Al-Solaylee, an associate professor at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University, was previously the national theatre critic at The Globe and Mail. He has written for numerous publications, including the Toronto Star, National Post, The Walrus, Quill & Quire, Elle Canada and Toronto Life. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Nottingham in England. He presents his first book, Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, which was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction in Canada and won the 2013 Toronto Book Award. The memoir and personal coming-out narrative tells the story of an Arab family caught in the turmoil of Middle Eastern politics over six decades.
Camilla Gibb is the Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author of Sweetness in the Belly and the recipient of the 2000 City of Toronto Book Award for Mouthing the Words. Gibb has a PhD from Oxford University and has been writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta. She is an adjunct faculty member of the graduate creative writing programmes at the University of Guelph-Humber, the University of Toronto and the Humber School for Writers. Gibb presents The Beauty of Humanity Movement, about the reverberation of conflict through generations, the enduring legacy of art and the redemption and renewal of long-lost love.
Steven Heighton is the author of the novel Afterlands, which has appeared in six countries; was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice along with a best book of the year selection in ten publications in Canada, the US, and the UK; and is currently in pre-production for film. He is also the author of The Shadow Boxer, a Canadian bestseller and a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year. His work has been translated into ten languages, and his poems and stories have appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry, Tin House, The Walrus, Europe, Agni, Poetry London, Brick, Best English Stories, and many others. Heighton's most recent book of poetry, The Waking Comes Late, won the 2016 Governor General's Award for Poetry; his works have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the Trillium Award, and Britain’s W.H. Smith Award.
Becky Toyne is the "Should I Read It?" columnist for Day 6 on CBC Radio One and a contributing editor at Open Book: Toronto. Her writing about books and publishing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post and on CBC.ca. Toyne is a regular host and interviewer at literary events, including IFOA, the Toronto Literary Salon and Ideas in Dialogue, and is a freelance publicist for the Writers' Trust of Canada.