Thursday, April 15, 2010

Word to your druthers

For years, we've been hearing about the death of print, that soon we'll all be reading books on screens. I for one welcome our electronic publishing overlords. If it means more people reading e-books, it means books still have value; they'll still exist for our enjoyment, education and entertainment. And so will the ever-popular Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, now in its 12th year.

The fest kicks off on April 21 with its Grand Prix winner, Haitian-Canadian novelist and journalist Dany Laferrière, whose lifetime of globally relevant work sets the tone for the following four days of panel discussions, readings, book launches and soirées.

Politics, as usual, are not shied away from. The Writers in Peril series addresses control issues in cyberspace, censorship, war crimes and more. Non-fiction writers Elizabeth Abbott, Denise Chong, Sarah Elton and Cleo Paskal give their take on telling the truth. American novelist James Frey also talks truth, scandal and moving on as a writer.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon reads from his work and offers a poetry workshop, giving insight into his unique style and sometimes strange (yet perfect) word choice. India takes the spotlight as poet and critic Koyamparambath Satchidanandan introduces his work and M.G. Vassanji talks about the meaning of home and rediscovering India. Lebanese poet Joumana Haddad receives the fest's Arab Literary Prize. Novelist

Full report here

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