Book News Vol. 4 No. 9


The Vancouver International Writers Festival and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad present

Spoken World
In previous Book News we have told you about our upcoming special event Spoken World and in this edition we have given you a web link where you can get more information. I can honestly say that I believe this is one of those events that will be talked about for years and that people who attend will proudly proclaim “I was there”. Three of the performers have been to the Festival and we have experienced their formidable spoken word talent first hand. Regie Cabico was referred to us by the Spoken Word Festival in Calgary where he is said to have blown the roof off. I think it is safe to say that these four will never appear together in one place again, and certainly not appear with Sal Ferreras and his most excellent band. Not to be missed. I encourage you to check it out.

7:30 pm February 18 & 20
Performance Works
1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

Tickets: $20/$18 students & seniors (Vancouver Tix surcharges will apply). Tickets available through Vancouver Tix: 604.629.8849 or online at More information:

Spoken World workshop
A one day spoken word workshop for students in grades 9 – 12 with Regie Cabico, Morganics, Lemn Sissay and Kinnie Starr.
9 – 4:30 pm, Saturday February 21
$35 (lunch included)
Register today by phoning 604 681 6330.

About the Cultural Olympiad
The Cultural Olympiad is a series of multi-disciplinary festivals and digital programs showcasing the best in Canadian and international arts and popular culture.

Margaret Atwood’s Governor General’s Award winning novel The Handmaid’s Tale is being reviewed by the Toronto school board after a formal complaint was issued by a parent. You can read responses to the complaint by clicking on the second link.

Heritage Minister James Moore has promised no cuts to Canadian arts and culture spending in the upcoming federal budget. Moore has been touring the country and meeting with arts groups in an attempt to counteract the perception that the Conservatives are “anti-arts.”

The Vancouver Sun lists the publishing world’s naughty and nice for 2008.

This May, Random House of Canada will launch a Festival based on the New Yorker’s model. Although its roster is heavily weighted toward individuals associated with Random House, organizers say they want “to do outreach in the years to come with other publishers.”

Australian writer Harry Nicolaides has been sentenced to three years in prison for insulting Thailand’s royal family in a novel.

John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, has died at the age of 85 following a prolonged illness.


The winners of the 10th Annual Vancouver International Writers Festival Poetry and Short Story Contest have been announced.

The Mystery Writers of America has announced the nominees for the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, as it celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Poe.


Sebastian Barry’s most recent novel, The Secret Scripture, a finalist for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, is reviewed here in the NY Times.

The Guardian calls Gil Adamson’s novel The Outlander “a rare delight: a novel that is beautifully written yet as gripping as any airport page-turner.”

Robert Wiersma reviews books by 2008 Festival authors C.C. Humphreys and Kathlyn Bradshaw.

The Globe & Mail reviews three new collections of poetry. Correction Line by Dennis Cooley, Spirit Engine by John Donlan and The Place That We Keep After Leaving by John B. Lee.

Quill & Quire reviews two debut novels by Canadian writers, Jessica Grant’s Come, Thou Tortoise, and Cathleen With’s Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison.

Giller Prize-winning novelist Joseph Boyden responds to questions about his novels Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce in the Globe & Mail.

In the first article in a Globe & Mail series devoted to unjustly overlooked books, Jane Urquhart praises Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1995 novel The Blue Flower.

Roberto Bolano’s posthumously published book 2666 has been hailed as ‘the finest novel of the present century.’ The Guardian asks if the author is worthy of all the hype.


Vancouver-based author will read from her books The Sleep of Four Cities and Hagiography. Friday, January 23 at 7:30pm, free. Pelican Rouge Coffee House (15142 North Bluff Rd., White Rock).

Families can enjoy interactive literacy stations, readings by children’s authors Margriet Ruurs and Bob Heidbreder, and free pizza in celebration of Family Literacy Week. Saturday, January 24 at 11:30am. Free admission but registration required. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Branch (350 W. Georgia). For more information please contact Literacy BC at (604) 684-0624.

Every Day Publishing presents The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008, an anthology of flash fiction stories selected from Every Day Fiction’s first year of publication. Featuring Andrew LeBlanc, Lee Beavington, Kevin Shamel, K.C. Ball and Gay Degani. Saturday, January 24 at 4:00pm. Spartacus Books (684 E. Hastings).

Poetry and music celebrating Robbie Burns Day and Chinese New Year. Monday, January 26 at 7:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room (Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia).

Poetry-slam competition featuring Sasha Langford. Monday, January 26 at 8:00pm. Admission $5/3. Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial). More information at

Please join us as author Andrea MacPherson reads from her recent novel, Beyond the Blue, and from her new poetry collection, Away. Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30pm, free. Britannia Branch, 1661 Napier Street.

Author of Breaker reads from her work. Wednesday, January 28 at 5:30pm. Buchanan E476, 1866 Main Mall, UBC, Vancover. More information at

Interactive session combining simple, engaging activities that connect literacy, physical activity, and healthy eating. Thursday, January 27 at 10:00am. Free admission but registration required by emailing fa****@li******.ca or phoning 604-684-0624 ext 113. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Branch (350 W. Georgia).

On Edge Reading Series presents the author of the memoir, Thunder in My Veins: Memories of a Metis Childhood. Thursday, January 29 at 7:00pm, free. South Building, room 406, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island. More information at:

Writer and DaVinci’s Inquest actor Stephen Miller is writer in residence at the Wickaninnish Inn from January 30 to February 1. Stephen is the author of historical thrillers including Field of Mars and its sequel, The Last Train to Kazan. Morning and afternoon workshops on Saturday, January 31, reading and discussion 5:30 – 7:00pm. Fireside chat with Stephen on Sunday, February 1 from noon – 3pm. Tickets available for sale at Tofino’s Wildside Booksellers (1-800-863-4664 or Events are free of charge for guests of the Inn.

What is a sustainable short story? VR invites you tell them, in 1,500 to 2,500 words. Deadline March 16, 2009. Information:

Writing contest open to all writers living in British Columbia. Deadline: May 31, 2009. Complete information at

Produced by the Book News Collective: Hal Wake, Brenda Berck, Clea Young, Ann McDonell and Sandra Millard.

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Hal Wake
Artistic Director
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2009 Festival – 20-25 October inclusive
Vancouver International Writers Festival
Suite 202, 1398 Cartwright Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3R8
p: 604 681 6330 x102
f: 604 681 8400
e: hw***@wr*********.ca


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