Looking to familiarize yourself with the fantastic range of talent associated with the Department of Writing? Don’t miss the third annual Victoria Festival of Authors, where the literary talents of Writing faculty and alumni will be showcased alongside top local and visiting authors.
Running Sept 25 to Oct 1 at a variety of downtown locations, the VFA features the talents of Writing professors Bill Gaston and Lee Henderson, as well as current instructors Marita Daschel and Annabel Howard, plus celebrated alumni authors Esi Edugyan, Eden Robinson, Yasuko Thanh, Carla Funk, Garth Martens and Erin Fisher. Better still, VFA co-artistic director Vanessa Herman is an alumnus herself. Explore the entire author lineup here.
Featuring a range of local and national authors, the VFA offers seven days of readings, events, workshops, master classes and discussion panels all aimed at connecting book-makers and book lovers. They embrace poets, fiction and creative nonfiction writers, as well as other storytellers who come from a spectrum of communities and are at all levels of their writing careers.
It all kicks off on Sept 25 with a celebration of the shortlisted authors for the 2018 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Among this year’s nominees are professor Bill Gaston (A Mariner’s Guide to Self-Sabotage), professor emerita Lorna Crozier (What the Soul Doesn’t Want), recently retired veteran instructor Patrick Friesen (Songen), and Dr. Maria Tippet (Sculpture in Canada: A History), a longtime friend and supporter of UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts. (Winner announced Oct 17.)
Here are the events we’re involved in at a glance, but be sure to check the VFA schedule for full event info and ticket prices:
• La Palabra en el Tiempo | The Word-in-Time: Poetry and Flamenco – described as “a 75-minute depth-charge of frenzied dance & guitar, troubled song & English-language poetry” by Governor General’s Literary Award nominee & MFA alumnus Garth Martens, alongside guitarist Gareth Owen & flamenco dancer Veronica Maguire (Sept 26)
• Noon-Hour Author’s Fare – a casual conversation with writers Bill Gaston, Erin Fisher & Jan Zwicky (Sept 27)
• The Literary Twist – a tasty combination of music, literature, cocktails & art emceed, by alumna Yasuko Thanh & featuring Eamon McGrath, Vivek Shraya & Tom Wilson (Sept 27)
• Pure Poetry – current Writing instructor Marita Dachsel moderates a discussion with poets David James Brock, Laisha Rosneau & Katherena Vermette, as hosted by Victoria Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer (Sept 28)
• We Are the Weirdos, Mister – discover writers who remix & defy genres when professor Lee Henderson hosts this panel featuring Dina Del Bucchia, David James Brock & Daniel Zomparelli (Sept 29)
• Who Was the Real Lolita? – MFA alumna & instructor Annabel Howard explores the real-life origins of Nabokov’s famous novel with The Real Lolita author & “literary detective” Sarah Weinman (Sept 29)
• Poetry is All Around Us – alumna Carla Funk moderates what promises to be a fascinating discussion with poets Jonina Kirton, Dan MacIsaac, Laisha Rosnau & Katherena Vermette (Sept 29)
• Dream | Love | Leap | Transcend – Double Man Booker Prize & Giller Prize nominated alumna author Esi Edugyan joins international authors Sheena Kamal, Darrel J. McLeod, Sarah Selecky & Sarah Weinman at this panel discussion (Sept 29)
• This Life, Here – explore the human desire to belong with this panel featuring alumni Erin Fisher & Esi Edugyan plus Sheena Kamal & Sarah Selecky, hosted by bestselling local author & national literary critic Robert Wiersema (Sept 30)
• The Trickster in Literature – celebrated alumna author Eden Robinson wraps the whole festival up with this final “In Conversation” event with Daniel Heath Justice (Oct 1).
Tickets are available online for all events, and students can receive a 20% discount by using the promo code Student2018 when booking. While some events are free, most range from $15 to $25, with the day-long workshops being more.