The annual Blue Metropolis festival is a week long celebration of literature in all its many forms. Once again, workshops, panels, interviews, and those who love the printed word come together. Ireland and Latin America get special attention, and there’s an award for Native literature with the First People’s Literary Prize.
You can’t read ’em all, so here are our picks for what to check out.
Barney Hoskyns Launches Small Town Talk
If you love the British’s biting wit and ability to critique with surgical precision (and who doesn’t?), you’ll want to check out this launch. Barney Hoskyns is a long-time music journalist — yes there are a few — and has written about everything from Ozzy Osborne, the Californian music scene of the 60s, and Led Zeppelin. At this event, he launches his latest, Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock about the New York town of Woodstock.
April 12 at 7 p.m. at Librarie Drawn and Quarterly (211 Bernard W)
The Walrus Talks Resilience at Blue Metropolis
The Walrus continues its series of intellectual panels with writers, thinkers, and commentators. This time, the topic is resilience, and among those participating are artists and medical professionals. Listen to the much celebrated Canadian novelist Heather O’Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl who Was Saturday Night), poet Rupi Kaur, Dr. Liam Durcan, and chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission Murray Sinclair, among others.
April 13 16 6 p.m. at Concordia University H-110 in the Hall Building (1455 De Maisonneuve W). $17
Thomas King interviewed by Rosanna Deerchild (host of CBC’s Unreserved).
Thomas King wrote what is likely to be the most one of the most influential books on Native/non-Native relations, The Inconvenient Indian. It’s the sort of book that sits alongside No Logo, Silent Spring, and Never Cry Wolf in raising awareness of issues that need to be at the forefront of public discourse. While the book’s messages may not be comfortable to all (it’s all about the land, stupid), it’s one the world needs to hear. Check out this controversial, irreverent thinker.
Moot Court, Room 100, McGill University (3660 Peel St). April 15 at 5:30 p.m.
Catch Thomas King with the equally incredible Joseph Boyden on April 16 at 6 p.m. at the Musee d’art Contemporain (185 St. Catherine Street).
My Life in Numbers: Daniel Tammet interviewed Paul Kennedy
Many will know the name of British writer, Daniel Tammet, who writes about life with Asperger’s syndrome and savant syndrome. Numbers and language seem to be his thing.He holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits and he knows (at least) 10 languages, including Icelandic. Many have read his young adult novel Born on a Blue Day, and most recently he released Thinking in Numbers.
April 16 at 2 p.m. at Hotel 10 (10 Sherbrooke St. W)
Anne Carson interviewed by Eleanor Wachtel
Poet, classicist, and translator Anne Caron is a woman who straddles many disciplines. Most recently she translated Iphigenia among the Taurians, but her works on eros, gender, art, and culture are simply brilliant.
April 16 at 4 p.m. at Grande Bibliothèque de Montreal (475 Maisonneuve E). $15
Carmen Aguirre interviewed by Carmine Starnino
Aguirre follows up Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter with Mexican Hooker # 1. Growing up with violence and crime in Chile (not Mexico), she writes about resistance and revolution.
April 17 at 7 p.m. at Drawn and Quarterly (211 Bernard W).
Blue Metropolis / Metropolis Bleu takes place from April 9-19, with most events between April 14-17 and is centered at Hotel 10 (10 Sherbrooke W). A $60 pass provides access to most events, or buy tickets to individual events which range in price from free to around $20. The list of events can be found HERE and tickets can be purchased HERE.