The 2022 edition of Word Feast: Fredericton’s Literary Festival will take place from Tuesday, October 11 to Monday, October 17. The theme of our 6th edition is History and Healing: personal stories, Queer History, healing from grief and trauma and, in November, military history. We will bring back our children’s menu and feature great new specials as well as favourite items on both our dine-in and take-out menus. Check back here for updates, add your name to our subscriber’s list, or become a member to get the news first every time and discounts on some of our ticketed events.

Events for Children and Youth

Word Feast is happy to offer a special menu for children, tweens, and teens, including virtual school visits by Deborah Ellis and Sara O’Leary on Thursday,October 13, and Saturday morning in-person workshops for middle- and high-school students.

Deborah Ellis
Sara O’Leary

Deborah Ellis is the author of the international bestseller The Breadwinner, which has been published in thirty languages. She has won the Governor General’s Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Deborah has donated more than $2 million in royalties to organizations such as Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Mental Health Without Borders, the UNHCR and the Children in Crisis fund of IBBY. She lives in Simcoe, Ontario.

Sara O’Leary is the author of many beloved picture books for children, including This Is Sadie, which was adapted by the New York City Children’s Theatre, and its follow-up, This Is Ruby, both of which have been selected for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Among her most recent books for children are A Family is a Family is a Family and A Kid is a Kid is a Kid, shortlisted for the Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

October 11, 2022, Coming Out Day

7 p.m., George Fry Gallery, 408 Queen St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1B6

Before Coming Out: a Conversation about Len & Cub. Leonard “Len” Keith and Joseph “Cub” Coates grew up in the rural New Brunswick village of Havelock in the early 20th century. This past spring, Meredith Batt and Dusty Green published their story in Len & Cub: A Queer History. On Coming Out Day, Dusty Green and thom vernon will talk about Queer history in New Brunswick.

Dusty Green
thom vernon

Dusty Green (he/they) grew up in northwest New Brunswick and holds degrees from St. Thomas University and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Green has previously worked at the New Brunswick Provincial Archives and Fredericton Region Museum. He is currently manager of communications and marketing at the New Brunswick Lung Association. While working at the Provincial Archives, Green came across the photos of Len and Cub and created a photo book that would be the precursor of Len & Cub: A Queer History.

Green founded the Queer Heritage Initiative of New Brunswick (QHINB) in 2016, with Meredith Batt joining in 2018 and currently serving as president. QHINB is an archival and educational initiative that aims to collect and preserve archival records of 2SLGBTQ+ history in the province. Since then, they have conducted oral history interviews and worked with numerous 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and organizations to ensure that New Brunswick’s queer history has a permanent home in the Provincial Archives.

thom vernon is a writer, actor, and academic. His doctoral research theorizes ‘failure’ as a tool for creative writers and scholars. His second novel, I Met Death & Sex Through My Friend, Tom Meuley (Guernica Editions 2024) takes on the lengths people will go to erase themselves in order to be present. See more at thomvernon.com.

October 12, 2022, New Brunswick Day

12-1 p.m., Isaac’s Way, 649 Queen St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1C3. Tables in the vault reserved under Word Feast; please arrive before noon to order your lunch.

Lunchtime Speaker: Nancy Bauer. In her 88 years, Nancy Bauer has had 5 novels and 15 short stories published, with a selection of her stories coming out next year. 500,000 words of her art journalism have been published, with a selection of those also coming soon. In addition, she has written many more unpublished stories, 10 or 12 novels, 100s of pondering essays, and a 90-thousand-word non-fiction thingamee. All this has been in pursuit of what the imagination is and what it is good for. In 20 minutes she will attempt to tell what she has discovered.

Nancy Bauer

7 p.m., Auditorium, Charlotte Street Arts Centre, 732 Charlotte St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1M5

Opening Night: Celebrating New Brunswick features a keynote presentation by Sue Sinclair and awards presentations. Hear readings by the Community Impact Award recipients, the Word Feast Postcard Story Contest winners, and the postcard contest judge, Triny Finlay.

Sue Sinclair by Peter Sinclair
Triny Finlay

Sue Sinclair grew up on the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk in Newfoundland and is currently living on Wəlastəkwiyik Territory, where she teaches creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. Almost Beauty features selected poems from her five previous collections, all nominated for or winners of national or regional awards. Sinclair edits poetry for Brick Books and is also editor of the Fiddlehead.

Triny Finlay is a queer poet, writer, teacher, and mother. Her long poem Myself A Paperclip (Goose Lane 2021) won the 2022 New Brunswick Book Award for poetry and was shortlisted for the 2022 Atlantic Book Award for poetry. She is also the author of the critically-acclaimed books Histories Haunt Us (Nightwood 2010) and Splitting Off (Nightwood 2004), along with the chapbooks Anxious Attachment Style (Anstruther 2022), You don’t want what I’ve got (Junction 2018), and Phobic (Gaspereau 2006). Her writing has appeared in anthologies and journals such as Best Canadian Poetry 2022, Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, The Fiddlehead, Grain, The London Reader, The Malahat Review, Marsh Blue Violet: A Queer New Brunswick Anthology, and Plenitude. She lives on the unceded and unsurrendered land of Wolastoqiyik, where she teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

3 p.m., Fredericton Public Library, 12 Rue Carleton St, Fredericton, NB E3B 5P4

James Mullinger, Brit Happens. Meet comedian and author James Mullinger at the library for a talk and a book signing. Westminster Books will be selling copies.

James Mullinger by Carla Bagley

James Mullinger is an award-winning writer, comedian, and filmmaker from London, England. He moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, in 2014 and was described by the Montreal Times as “Britain’s greatest gift to Canadian comedy.” Considered one of Canada’s top comics, he’s been nominated for a Just for Laughs Comedy Award and a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Live Show and performed sold-out shows across the country. Brit Happens is his first book.

6:30 p.m., Gallery on Queen, 406 Queen St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1B6

Poetry Bash. One of the highlights of Fredericton’s literary world. Organized by Ian LeTourneau, this year’s event features Brigitte Harrison, Thandiwe McCarthy, and Sue Sinclair.

Brigitte Harrison
Thandiwe McCarthy by Gary Weekes
Sue Sinclair by Peter Sinclair

Originaire de la Gaspésie au Québec et vit au NB depuis longtemps, Brigitte Harrison écrit à temps perdu et avec un regard lucide apprivoisé par la distance entre la réalité et le rêve. Quatre recueils de poésie publiés entre 2005 et 2015 et un nouveau recueil en cours de création. Elle vit dans la région de Moncton.

Brigitte Harrison is from the Gaspé region in Quebec and has lived in NB for many years. She writes when she can, casting a lucid gaze on life shaped by the distance between reality and dream. She published four collections of poetry between 2005 and 2015 and is working on a new one. She lives in Moncton. 

Thandiwe McCarthy is a writer, spoken word poet, and 7th-generation Black Canadian. As a writer, Thandiwe has published several essays featuring New Brunswick Black artists in The Maritime EDIT Magazine. His writing can also be found in Africanthology, a best-selling collection of essays and poetry from Black Canadian poets. Thandiwe has performed his poetry at UNB’s 2020 Art Centre exhibit: “Rediscovering the Roots of Black New Brunswickers.” As a community advocate, he has co-founded and is president of the New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance, helped republish the history book titled The Blacks of New Brunswick, and organized The New Brunswick Emancipation Celebration event. Thandiwe McCarthy lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick and his memoir titled Social Oblivion: Raised Black in Canada is now available.

Sue Sinclair grew up on the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk in Newfoundland and is currently living on Wəlastəkwiyik Territory, where she teaches creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. Almost Beauty features selected poems from her five previous collections, all nominated for or winners of national or regional awards. Sinclair edits poetry for Brick Books and is also editor of the Fiddlehead.

Friday, October 14, 2022

12 p.m., Snooty Fox, 66 Regent St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1C3

Open Mic. Have lunch with some of Fredericton’s writers and readers. If you like, you can bring a poem or a two-minute spoken word or prose piece to read in a friendly, relaxed environment.

7 p.m., on Zoom. Register ahead of time to receive the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrdeysrzIvHNErvAYko-5CKSbL_SX2Pso9

Poetry Bash: A Second Helping. Listen to amazing poets from across what is now called Canada. Readings by Michael Fraser, Susan Haldane, Nanci Lee, and Randy Lundy will be followed by a Q&A.

Michael Fraser
Susan Haldane
Nanci Lee
Randy Lundy

Michael Fraser is published in various national and international journals and anthologies. He is published in Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 and 2018. He has won numerous awards, including Freefall Magazine’s 2014 and 2015 poetry contests, the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize, and the 2018 Gwendolyn Macewen Poetry Competition. The Day-Breakers (Biblioasis 2022) is his third poetry collection. 

Susan Haldane lives with her husband on a farm near the northern boundary on Algonquin Park in Ontario. Her writing has appeared in a number of Canadian journals and anthologies and was included in Best Canadian Poetry 2020. Her first full-length collection Hard Bargain Road was published by Gaspereau Press in 2021.

Nanci Lee is a Syrian-Chinese poet and educator based in Mi’kmaki (Nova Scotia). When not writing or playing outdoors, Nanci works for Tatamagouche Centre, a justice-oriented retreat and learning centre focused on learning, gathering, transforming divisiveness through encounter. Nanci’s work has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, The Malahat Review, Matrix Magazine, The Antigonish Review, The Literary Review of Canada, The Fiddlehead, Rattle Magazine, and This Magazine. Hsin is her first book.

Randy Lundy is a member of the Barren Lands (Cree) First Nation, in Manitoba, Canada. He is the author of four award-winning books of poetry, most recently Field Notes for the Self (2020) and Blackbird Song (2018). He teaches in the English Department at the University of Toronto, Scarborough and is the Editor of the Oskana Poetry & Poetics series at University of Regina Press.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Workshops at the Library. After three years, Word Feast is pleased to offer workshops again. Work with Lynn Davies on children’s writing and/or Philip Lee on non-fiction. Cost for each workshop is $20 ($10 discount for Postcard Story Contest entrants and members). Registration at info@wordfeast.ca.

Lynn Davies

10:30 a.m. to noon, Lynn Davies. My Life as an Umbrella (or Writing for Children)

Young readers readily accept magical premises, take imaginative leaps, and make creative connections. A rabbit turns into a nail, a magpie tells the story of a wolf, and a 12 year old girl takes a midnight car trip with her mother, her dying grandmother, and the ghost of her great-grandmother. How do writers make the unbelievable . . . believable? We will look at some examples from children’s books and flex our writing muscles with a few creative exercises. The workshop will also consist of a brief overview of writing for a young audience and a handout of resources and ideas. Please come with the title of a children’s book you have read and enjoyed recently. Good for beginners and any curious writer.

Lynn Davies grew up in New Brunswick, and her first job was working in her parent’s bookstore in Moncton. She is the author of four books of poetry. Her poems have been broadcast on CBC Radio, translated into French and Spanish, and nominated for a Governor General’s Award. Her most recent book, So Imagine Me, Nature Riddles in Poetry (poems for children 4 – 104) was nominated for a Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Lynn also writes essays and book reviews.

12:30 to 2 p.m., Philip Lee. The Poetics of Non-Fiction.

Philip Lee

Philip Lee is a journalist, teacher, father, and grandfather whose latest book Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River (Goose Lane Editions 2020) was the winner of the New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction. Lee is a passionate defender of rivers and the people who love them. As founding Director of the Journalism program at St. Thomas, Lee created successful academic programs in journalism, communications, public policy and helped launch the careers of countless young Canadian journalists. He also developed the Dalton Camp lecture series, broadcast by CBC’s Ideas.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

1 to 4:30 p.m., Stepping Stone Senior Centre, 15 Saunders St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1M9

Book Fair, Authors’ Visits, and Auction

Spend your Sunday afternoon buying books and other items at our Book Fair and meeting poets Michael Pacey, Danny Jacobs and Jennifer Houle, and fantasy writer Cloey Kinney. We’ll accept bids for the online Word Feast Silent Auction until 2 p.m., and winners can pick up their items between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m., Reading and Q&A by Cloey Kinney.

Cloey Kinney

Cloey Kinney is a Canadian fantasy author best known for her debut series The King’s Guard. She is a freelance reporter and a student at Toronto Film School. Kinney’s achievements include ranking top ten nationally for World Literacy Canada at 13 years old, as well as interviewing personalities such as Netflix screenwriters and #1 NYT bestsellers.

2 p.m., Launch of WILD APPLES A Dialogue With Thoreau by Michael Pacey (Pottersfield Press) Each poem in this book begins with a quotation from Henry David Thoreau’s Journal, an inspiration for the lines that follow. Some of the poems are based on Thoreau’s experiences, but they reshape, alter and expand the chosen moments and hours; other poems are wholly imaginative responses to Journal entries.

Michael Pacey by Karen Estabrooks

Michael Pacey has been a fixture of his hometown’s literary scene for more than fifty years, publishing his early poems in the Fiddlehead while still in high school, and his first collection with New Brunswick Chapbooks while a sophomore at UNB.  In recent years he’s produced two collections:  The First Step and Electric Affinities.  More than 120 of Michael’s poems have appeared in leading Canadian literary magazines, and his poems have twice been recognized in the Best Canadian Poems in English series.

3 p.m., Danny Jacobs and Jennifer Houle, a Conversation on Horror

Jennifer Houle
Danny Jacobs

Jennifer Houle began publishing in Canadian literary journals in 2005, and is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, The Back Channels  and Virga (Signature Editions). Her first children’s book, Un Logis Pour Molly/A Home for Molly was published simultaneously in French and English by Éditions Bouton d’Or Acadie in June 2022. In 2020, Virga received the Fiddlehead Poetry Prize from the New Brunswick Book Awards. (More about Virga in Jennifer’s conversation with Kayla Geitzler on I’m Buying a New Brunswick Book Day.) A life-long Maritimer, she lives in Hanwell, NB, where she sits on the board of Word Feast, Fredericton’s Literary Festival and is actively involved in the arts community.

Danny Jacobs’s poems, reviews, essays, and creative nonfiction have been published in journals across Canada. His latest book, Sourcebooks for Our Drawings: Essays and Remnants (Gordon Hill Press, 2019) won the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Nonfiction. Danny lives in Riverview, NB with his wife and daughter, and works as the librarian in the village of Petitcodiac. He is currently at work on a collection of flash fiction. 

7:30 p.m., Fredericton Playhouse, 686 Queen St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1C2

Word Feast Presents Food for the Soul. A celebration of diversity with poets, performers, and speakers living on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of Wolastokuk. Wolastoqey dancers Abigail Brooks and Bronson Acquin Mandisodza will open the evening. In the first set of readings, poems on the festival theme of History and Healing will be read by a group led by Nomi Iudit. In the second, HerStory, the New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance to gives Black women in New Brunswick a platform to share their stories through poetry, prose, and powerful conversations. Read more about the people involved in the program (link to come).

History and Healing: Poetry by Nomi Iudit, Elisabeth Elder-Gomes, Gabriel Elder-Gomes, Emmanuelle Jackson, and Vy Phan, co-workshopped by Louis Anthony Bryan.

HerStory: Sydona Chandon, Dr. Mary McCarthy-Brandt in conversation with Dr. Jessie Sagawa, poetry by Dr. Sagawa, Chevelle Malcolm, and Uwera Nina, and an essay by Savannah Thomas.

Dr. Mary McCarthy-Brandt
Dr. Jessie Sagawa
Chevelle Malcolm
Savannah Thomas
Uwera Nina
Sydona Chandon

Event in partnership with Fredericton Playhouse and New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance

Tickets for Word Feast Presents Food for the Soul are on sale for $20 + HST at Fredericton Playhouse.

October 17, 2022. Virtual Panels on Pain and Healing

11 a.m. Atlantic, 10 a.m. Eastern, 7 a.m. Pacific, on Zoom. Register ahead of time to receive the link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qc-qhpz0oGtC2weQWVnayVrMW2Ir3loe8

Writing as Healing. Moderator Kayla Geitzler will lead a discussion of the power of writing to overcome grief and trauma, and readings by three authors of recent books on the theme: Martha Bátiz, No Stars in the Sky (Anansi), Kathy Friedman, All the Shining People (Anansi), and Margo Wheaton, Rags of Night in Our Mouths (McGill-Queens).

Martha Bátiz
Kathy Friedman
Margo Wheaton

Martha Bátiz is an award-winning writer, translator, and professor of Spanish language in literature. She is the author of four books, including the story collection Plaza Requiem, winner of an International Latino Book Award, and the novella The Wolf’s Mouth, winner of the Casa de Teatro Prize. Born and raised in Mexico.

Kathy Friedman emigrated with her family from South Africa to the suburbs of Toronto when she was five. She studied creative writing at the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her writing has appeared in publications such as GrainGeistPRISM internationalCanadian Notes & Queries, and the New Quarterly. She teaches creative writing at the University of Guelph and is the co-founder and artistic director of InkWell Workshops. Kathy Friedman lives in Toronto.

Margo Wheaton is the author of Rags of Night in Our Mouths (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022) and Wild Green Light (Pottersfield Press, 2021), a book she co-authored with David Adams Richards. Her debut poetry collection The Unlit Path Behind the House (McGill-Queens, 2016) received the Fred Kerner Award from the Canadian Authors Association and was shortlisted for the J.M. Abraham Award, The Gerald Lampert Award, the Fred Cogswell Award, and the Relit Award. Margo’s a poetry editor at The Dalhousie Review and is currently serving as a mentor in the P.K. Page Mentorship Program. 

Kayla Geitzler

Moderator Kayla Geitzler is from Moncton, New Brunswick, within Siknikt of the Mi’kma’ki, the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Named “A Rad Woman of Canadian Poetry,” Kayla was Moncton’s first Anglophone Poet Laureate and Frye Festival Poet Flyée (2019-2022). Her first book That Light Feeling Under Your Feet was a Calgary Bestseller & finalist for two poetry awards. Kayla is co-editor of Cadence Voix Feminines Female Voices, and co-creator of Poésie Moncton Poetry, an inclusive, living archive of video poems celebrating regional creators. Kayla is host of the Attic Owl Reading Series, and works as an editor, educator and writing consultant.

October 17

7 p.m. Atlantic, 6 p.m. Eastern, 3 p.m. Pacific, on Zoom. Register ahead of time to receive the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMofuuhrTIvHd2fc7OFNu3o6MTxPxf06WLM

The End of Life. A discussion on the end of life, choices, and witnessing death, with readings by authors of two new books on the subject: Blair Bigham, Death Interrupted (Anansi) and Bill Richardson (with Émilie Leduc, illustrator), Last Week (Groundwood) a book for youth and adults.

Blair Bigham by Ashley Sherwood
Bill Richardson

Blair Bigham, MD is a journalist, scientist, and attending emergency and ICU physician who trained at McMaster and Stanford Universities. He was a Global Journalism Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and an associate scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Canadian Medical Association Journal, among others.

Bill Richardson, winner of Canada’s Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, and former radio host has written several highly acclaimed books for children. They include The Aunts Come Marching, illustrated by Cynthia Nugent, winner of the Time to Read Award; After Hamelin, winner of the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award; and The Alphabet Thief, illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff, named among New York Library’s Best Books for Kids. Bill lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Coming in November: Two days of commemorating New Brunswick’s military history.

À venir plus tard cette année : des lectures publiques et visites d’auteurEs en français et bilingues pour jeunesse et adultes / Coming later this year: French-language and bilingual readings and author visits for children and adults