Vancouver Writers Festival

A cavalcade of police on motorbikes spluttered past as I headed for the Vancouver Writers Fest. A crowd gathered on a West Georgia corner and only then I made a connection to the “other” visitors in town that weekend. That didn’t deter the many people gathered at the Writers Festival however, an annual event held at the Vancouver Public Library.

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Room, a local magazine of short stories on display

Author colleague and mentor, Debra Purdy Kong was there for a stint along with her expanding collection of mystery novels, set in the lower mainland. There were publishers and other authors selling their wares; readings from poets and fiction writers; and workshops conducted both inside and outside the library.

This was all offered free. Well, it started out free, but then I heard Shuswap poet, Garry Gottfriedson read from his, Deaf Heaven, and wanted to hear more. Next Joy Kogawa, author of Obasan (and another ten published works) was book signing her, Gently to Nagasaki, so the free was only if you could resist what was on offer.

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Juliane Ogot Bitek, reading from her anthology, 100 Days; inspired by Cecily Nicholson’s photos

On the skytrain heading home, I read the first poem in Garry’s collection, Moral Standards, and had to stop at one poem. He had a way with words that hit hard at truths bringing emotions to the surface. Unlike the skytrain that sailed over burbs, I decided to take in his words slowly — one or two poems a day.

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