Okay, this one might seem self-serving, seeing as I’m the host, but that’s just further proof that I’m excited for the discussion. Journalists Arno Kopecky (The Devil’s Curve) and Waubgeshig Rice (Midnight Sweatlodge) will read from their books and then delve into a conversation about how indigenous communities can survive in the face of corporate globalization by sharing their stories and practices.
Wednesday, October 10, 3-4 p.m. at the Lincoln Park Room, Mount Royal University.
— Drew Anderson
THE PRICE OF OIL
Doubling up on Arno Kopecky, but his tale of the politics and the people of the Peruvian Amazon in The Devil’s Curve is a must-read. When you add the hard-nosed charm of Andrew Nikiforuk to the mix, you’ve got a winner. Nikiforuk’s latest, The Energy of Slaves, is an exhaustively researched tale of our oil dependence and the challenges society faces in extricating ourselves from its grip (you can read about it in this issue). Hosted by journalist-turned-politician Chris Turner, it’s sure to be a fascinating discussion of the impact oil and gas extraction has on communities and the environment.
Thursday, October 11, noon-1 p.m. at The Auburn.
WAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
A very good question.... Noah Richler and Felicia Mihali will try to come up with an answer. Failing that, they’ll be talking about topics such as depictions of war in culture, how that enters our collective imagination and then shapes national identity. At the very least, war is good for an interesting discussion.
Thursday, October 11, 5-6 p.m. at The Art Gallery of Calgary.
Although the appeal here is certainly not limited to rugrats, this is an ideal event for those with young’uns. Wordfest teams up with Quickdraw Animation Society to provide a little more visual flair than the average author discussion — they’ll be presenting a variety of short animated films related to books and writing, including the Oscar-winning The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
Friday, October 12, noon-1 p.m. at Conoco Phillips Theatre, Glenbow Museum.
STORIES CITIES TELL
There’s been a lot of ink spilled lately on what Calgary is. It’s an attempt, both locally and nationally, to come to terms with this new powerhouse in the Canadian political landscape. So it seems like a good time to check out four writers discussing how their characters relate to cities, both real and imagined, and how the city influences each writer’s work. Featuring Marcello Di Cintio, Gail Jones, Pasha Malla and Joe Meno.
Friday, October 12, 3-4:30 p.m. at John Dutton Theatre, Central Public Library.
DARK DIVERSIONS WITH JOHN RALSTON SAUL
If you’ve never seen John Ralston Saul speak, this is a must-attend. If you have, you’ve probably already booked this time off on your calendar. Saul is Canada’s unofficial philosopher-in-residence, a man who provides depth and nuance to our national discussion with succinct charm. For this event, Saul will be discussing his latest work, Dark Diversions, a novel about a journalist navigating the worlds of aristocrats and corrupt dictators.
Friday, October 12, 5-6 p.m. at the Vertigo Theatre Playhouse.
FRIDAY NIGHT SHOWCASE
This marquee event presents some heavy literary hitters. Linden MacIntyre, Rawi Hage, Mohammed Hanif, Annabel Lyon, Linda Spalding and M.G. Vassanji will read from their latest books and discuss their life in writing. If you want to get a glimpse into the minds of some great contemporary writers (all but one from Canada), this is your chance.
Friday, October 12, 7-9 p.m. at the Vertigo Theatre Playhouse.
POETRY OFF THE PAGE
Not to be outdone by Drew, here’s a second serving of self-interest — this event is being sponsored by your favourite Calgary alternative weekly. (Yes, I realize we’re the only one...). Lorna Crozier hosts Ken Babstock, Ivan E. Coyote, Phil Hall, A.F. Moritz and Sandy Pool, who just might get a little physical — or, at the least, vocally demonstrative — as the proceedings promise to “turn the stage into a page.”
Friday, October 12, 9:30-11 p.m. at the Vertigo Theatre Studio.
Nora Young, the host of CBC Radio’s Sparks and author of The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives are Altering the World Around Us, discusses her tome’s timely thesis — of which almost all but the most technophobic among us can surely relate to — with former Daily Planet host Jay Ingram.
Saturday, October 13, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Vertigo Theatre Playhouse.
Besides the Martin Amis-featured event (which you can read about in this issue), this may be the one to head to the Rockies for as it features not one but two 2012 Giller Prize shortlist nominees — Inside author Alix Ohlin and Whirl Away’s Russell Wangersky. Not to give short shrift to the other participants, though — Marjorie Celona and Vaddey Ratner. The foursome will discuss narratives in which ordinary lives are brought to the “breaking point,” thus offering insight into the meaning of “home, family and identity.”
Sunday, October 14, 1:30-3 p.m. at Kinnear Centre, The Banff Centre.