Annual Words Alive Literary Festival draws York authors, poets

Governor General’s Literary Award winners and York University alumni Nino Ricci (BA Spec. Hons. ’81) and Jacob Scheier (BA Hons. ’08) will read at the fourth annual Words Alive Literary Festival this year in Sharon, Ontario.

Right: Nino Ricci

They will be joined by a host of authors, musicians and artists, including up-and-coming Toronto poet Adebe D.A. (BA Spec. Hons. ’08, MA ’09), a York alumna on the long list for the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize for her first poetry collection ex nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010), and York English Professor and Giller Prize nominee Michael Helm, whose latest book Cities of Refuge (McClelland & Stewart, 2010) hit number three on the Maclean’s magazine bestsellers list. David Rankine (BFA Spec. Hons. ’82), another York grad and the driving creative force behind the progressive rock group Dulcimerhead, will perform at the festival.

Left: Michael Helm

The Words Alive Literary Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Sharon Temple National Historic Site & Museum, 40 minutes north of Toronto, rain or shine. Admission is $5 for the day and includes workshops. Parking is free. “We are privileged to once again present an outstanding festival lineup,” says Jim Bolton, president of Words Alive 2010. “We return to our home in the enchanting setting of the Sharon Temple National Historic Site &d Museum for the feature events with our workshops taking place in the East Gwillimbury Town Centre.”

Right: Adebe D.A.

Also on stage this year will be Kate Taylor, critic and regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner for Mme Proust and the Kosher Kitchen (Anchor Canada, 2003); Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction nominee Elizabeth Abbott, who will read from A History of Marriage (Penuin Canada, 2009); and National Magazine Award winner James FitzGerald, who will read from What Disturbs Our Blood (Random House Canada, 2010).

The 2010 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest co-winner Carole Giangrande; bestselling author and broadcaster Bruce Meyer; York alumna author and educator Bianca Lakoseljac (BA Hons. ’95, MA ’98); Toronto author, editor and broadcaster Myna Wallin (Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar); and author of the Dakotaroo series for youth Krista Breen, will also read at the festival. They will be joined by performance poet Lara Bozabalian and former CBC Poet Laureate Michelle Muir.

Left: Jacob Scheier

In addition, there are workshops, an open mike stage and a live poetry contest. The gates will open at 9:30am, followed by opening ceremonies featuring Dulcimerhead at 10:30am and closing ceremonies at 5pm.

The Words Alive Literary Festival was founded in 2007 by York alumna Vali Stone (BA ’95), now an instructor at Georgian College who is writing a book on 9-1-1 operators. The festival is publicized by Edward Fenner, publisher of Existere: Journal of Arts and Literature at York, who also books the authors and poets.

For more information, author biographies and more, visit the Words Alive Literary Festival Web site.

For directions to the festival, click here.