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Literary Events, Past, Present and Future

The range in literary events in this town is remarkable, going from vast galas to intimate readings to foreign workshops. Here’s a taste of three of them, and a note on an alumna.

A couple of weeks ago the Writers’ Trust held it annual gala at the new Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, a hip new place which is big, but made up as cool as a boutique hotel. Humber alumnus and prominent writer, Dr. Vincent Lam, joined the table hosted by the school’s new president, Chris Whitaker. The audience contained a who’s who of Canadian writers from Linden McIntyre to former Humber teacher Lawrence Hill and Miranda Hill, who has just agreed to teach in our correspondence program. The entertainment consisted of a literary quiz in which Humber was scoring fourth in a field of twenty and rising fast in the competition until a technical glitch caused the loss of many of the scores. We could have been contenders! See the photo of yours truly along with Trevor Cole, who is teaching for us in 2013.

Just this week I was hosting a reading at one of our favourite independent bookstores in town, Type Books, where three authors from Freehand Books and Arsenal Pulp read their new work. Among them was Ian Colford, pictured in a less-than-ideal photograph here. His new novel (his second since he spent three summers at the Humber School for Writers) is called The Crimes of Hector Tomas and it is an impressive and weighty (in the best sense) tome. The writing reminded me of Borges, although the size is much vaster.

This coming summer I will be teaching in a creative writing workshop in Vilnius, Lithuania again in association with SLS, an impressive writing school run by Mikhail Iossel, who directs the creative writing program at Concordia University in Montreal. For an article I wrote about the experience, see the link here.

And finally, congratulations to Kerri Flanagan, my own student in the Humber writing program, who had a very funny essay published on the back page of the Globe and Mail.