BookFest/Festival du livre Goes Virtual
This year is Bookfest’s 19th year and they are celebrating the opportunity to deliver BookFest/Festival du livre in a virtual format. The event runs from October 15 – 18.
The Program Committee has worked diligently since November to develop and deliver a varied and full slate of diverse voices from BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ authors, fiction and non-fiction perspectives, and one of the favourite offerings each year, the Poetry Café.
For the Saturday evening spotlight event, they will be joined by Desmond Cole whose bestselling book, The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power, will challenge listeners to better understand injustice and anti-Black racism in Canada and around the world.
They will also present Shanti Mootoo, recently long-listed for the Giller Prize for her fifth novel, Polar Vortex; Stephen Heighton, one of five recently announced finalists for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction; Cree/Dene author, musician, and broadcaster Carol Rose GoldenEagle; David Ly, whose poetry explores identity, homophobia, and anti-Asian racism; and Hana Shafi, writer and artist internationally known for her empowering illustrations under the alias Frizz Kid.
BookFest/Festival du livre remains committed to francophone literature. On Friday evening, Mireille Messier, Andrée Poulin and Sonia-Sophie Courdeau will present their latest works.
The festival also includes home grown talent such as Madeline Sonik, originally from Windsor, whose new short story collection Fontainebleau is based loosely on her old east Windsor neighbourhood; fiction writer Kristyn Dunnion, originally from Kingsville; and poets Laurie Smith, Dorothy Mahoney, Daniel Lockhart, and Samantha Badaoa.
Organizers are grateful to all our sponsors including Canada Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council for their support of this year’s virtual event. Their sponsors have allowed them to provide this literary opportunity at no cost. Registration is required to access any of the sessions and can be found online. Additional details including our digital program are also available.
Next year will be their 20th anniversary and they are already planning for a marvelous celebration.