two big events for august

Early each month I usually post info on a number of smaller Vancouver lit readings taking place around the city, but there really isn't that much happening in August. Instead, I figured I'd use this space to profile two big literary events happening in the city this month: the Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival and the Main Street Magazine Tour. If you're interested in other readings in town (which certainly do exist, if few in number), I encourage you to visit the Federation of BC Writers events listing page.

Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival
Friday, August 12th (7 PM) and Saturday, August 13th (12 - 8 PM)
CBC Studio 700 (Friday) and Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park (Saturday)

Friday night will be an evening of recognition, with awards being given out to members of Vancouver's literary community. George Bowering will be receiving the main award of the evening, and other awards will be given to Poetry is Dead, RC Weslowski, Sean Cranbury, Betsy Warland and Mother Tongue Publishing.

The full-day festival at Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park kicks off at 12:30 PM with a reading by George Bowering, and closes at 7:30 PM with a performance by CR Avery. In between, dozens of poets and musicians will perform, run workshops, and participate in discussion panels. And I've heard rumour that there'll be a literary game show...

I'll be involved briefly, as well, participating in a discussion on collaboration from 5:00 - 5:30 on the "Granville Stage". The full schedule for the day is here.

Here's an interview about the festival with Summer Dreams founder Bonnie Nish and volunteer (and silaron regular) Daniela Elza:

I'm excited to actually be able to make it to Summer Dreams this year (I've been out of town the last couple years), as Summer Dreams was one of the first literary events I participated in way back in the early 2000s. As event founder Bonnie Nish notes in the video, the whole point of Summer Dreams was (and still largely is) to pull together the diverse writing groups in the city for one big collective event. Our SFU writing and publishing group, High Altitude Poetry, participated in the first few years of Summer Dreams, and through the festival I got a big boost of confidence and made a number of good friends.

I'm looking forward to seeing old and new faces alike this year. The same goes for the second event of this post...

Main Street Magazine Tour
Thursday, August 18th, 6 - 10 PM
Starting at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens

The Main Street Magazine Tour is moving North this year, touring around Chinatown, giving the area a chance to show off its growing number of new artist-friendly spaces, such as 221A, Blim, and Hogan's Alley Cafe (which hosts one of the city's many new reading series, the aptly "Hogan's Alley Poetry Reading Series") - speaking of which, if you don't know anything about Hogan's Alley, you best get learning.

The tour is, as usual, split into two, which means options, people. Tour "A" lets you take in readings and panels organized by Room, Event, and Prism (featuring, among others, Gillian Jerome, Donato Mancini, and Jen Currin), while Tour "B" gives you discussions and workshops organized by Poetry is Dead and Lester's Army. The evening closes with a reading of "deliciously rotten writing". Will any of it be on the subject of cheese? One can only hope. For a full schedule, click here.

I was lucky enough to participate in last year's Main Street Magazine Tour and it was a blast, featuring a very warm and diverse crowd. You are both warm and diverse, no? Then you should join in.

Happy August, all!

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