15 Nov All the literary festivals I didn’t attend
The subtitle of this post is “and all the blog posts I didn’t write.”
Somehow, it’s halfway through November, there are now more leaves on the lawn than the trees, and the season of literary festivals has given way to th frenzy of holiday planning. Looking back, I realize I’ve missed a lot of amazing literary festivals over the past few months – so here’s homage to their excellence and my poor planning.
Going waaay back to July, the first entry on my “shoulda coulda” list is The Scream Literary Festival. Their theme this year was “The Book is Dead,” and everyone was invited to come shovel dirt on the coffin of this antiquated literary vessel. Events ranged from the usual poetry readings to a poignant and timely Bankruptcy Walking Tour, which featured a walk along Bloor St. to discover “a virtual graveyard of loved and lost bookstores.”
At the end of September, Word on the Street celebrated its 20 festival mark in Toronto. Among the numerous events and sponsor tents, Margaret Atwood read from her new novel, Year of the Flood, and those who attended the reading got a first-hand look at the infamous Long Pen.
In terms of prestige, it’s hard to out-do the annual International Festival of Authors, which takes place at Harbourfront Centre at the end of October. Ringing in its 30 edition this year, the IFOA XXX featured 10 full days of Canadian and international authors reading their works, discussing the publishing world, the craft of writing and just about everything to do with the written word. Although I missed this fest, I did follow the events through the Globe and Mail’s book blog, In Other Words, and I especially like the post The Commute to the IFOA by Dani Couture.
Of course, this list doesn’t take into account all of the weekend-long, independent, under-the-radar lit events – but I’m hoping I’ll actually get to some of those. Otherwise, there’s always next year.