The Vancouver Writers Fest has announced its 2017 lineup. This year’s event marks both the festival’s 30th anniversary, and its final year under the leadership of long-time artistic director Hal Wake, In light of Wake’s retirement, the event aims to celebrate its “contribution to Canadian literary culture, and Wake’s own stewardship of the organization, which has grown to host more than 20,000 visitors every year,” according to a release.
Though there are a few big international names in the mix – including Nicole Krauss, Akjil Sharma, and Ann Cleeves – the lineup, as is typical for the event, spotlights Canadian authors, both bestselling and emerging. Writers like Gurjinder Basran, Ahmad Danny Ramadan, and Grace O’Connell join the ranks of Linden McIntyre, David Chariandy, Barbara Gowdy, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson in a number of panel discussions, readings, and workshops. Margaret Atwood and Andrew O’Hagan will close out the fest with a discussion on a writer’s responsibility to challenge the status quo in difficult times.
The event, which takes place Oct. 16–22, promises to touch on an array of genres, with a number of poets, cartoonists, and memoirists in attendance. Perennial favourites like the Literary Cabaret, in which a live jazz band interprets author readings, and the Poetry Bash, will return.