15. Writers on Loss and Grief
A Mood Series Event
A Mood Series Event
What happens when we lose something or someone? How do we grieve and how do we “move on”? In this Mood Series event, authors Therese Estacion (Phantompains), Amanda Leduc (The Centaur’s Wife), and Kimiko Tobimatsu (Kimiko Does Cancer) discuss the ways unexpected events shape writers, how illness, loss and absence can be woven into stories. Presenting works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, three incredible storytellers unravel the beautiful and painful work of writing loss and grief with courage and fortitude.
This session is sponsored by the Transatlantic Agency.
In these 70-minute conversations, belonging, hope, grief, love, isolation, magic, transformation, and fear, readers will hear from authors who have published or written work in unprecedented conditions. Moderators will discuss these moods and themes with authors, unpacking each mood and its connection to their lives and their work.
Each mood event will be followed by a discussion in our festival lounge – providing attendees with the opportunity to respond to the facilitated conversation.
Events scheduled for May 1-15 are available via an all-access festival pass. The festival pass costs $39 and gives you access to a virtual festival platform, which includes an auditorium hosting forty virtual events, an exhibit hall with a live chat feature for communicating with vendors, and a lounge for engaging in discussions before and after events with other festival-goers.
Passholders will have be able to compete in the space for incredible prizes and will have access to the platform and all of the recorded festival events, as well as bonus content, until May 30, 2021. If the cost of the pass is prohibitive, please fill out the Patron Pass form, and a pass will be made available.
Therese Estacion immigrated to Canada from Cebu, a city in the Visayan region of the Philippines, when she was a child. After recently becoming a bilateral below the knee and partial hands amputee, she began writing poetry that explores the topics of grief, disability, Filipino culture and memory. Her work has been published by the CBC, CV2, EdgeNorth, Homesick Zine, Pank Magazine, and the Yellowknifer. Her first book of poetry, Phantompains, will be released by Book*Hug in the spring of 2021. She is currently studying at Toronto’s Centre for Training in Psychotherapy and has a little dog named Scooby.
Amanda Leduc is a writer and disability rights advocate. She is the author of the novel The Centaur’s Wife (Random House Canada, 2021), Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space (Coach House Books, 2020), and The Miracles of Ordinary Men (ECW Press, 2013). Her essays and stories have appeared across Canada, the US, and the UK, and she has spoken across North America on accessibility, inclusion, and disability in storytelling. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories.
Tanya Boteju is a teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, BC). Part-time, she teaches English to clever and sassy young people. The rest of her time, she writes and procrastinates from writing. Her novel, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens (Simon & Schuster, 2019), was named a Top Ten Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association. Her next YA novel, Bruised (Simon & Schuster, 2021), has been selected as a Gold Standard book by the Junior Library Guild. In both teaching and writing, she is committed to positive, diverse representation.
The FOLD is a remarkable and wonderful event for authors and attendees alike. What an amazing community, dedicated to the vital need for inclusive stories and the critical role they play in building a better world.
Field Guide to the North American Teenager is my first novel and FOLD was my first Canadian literary festival. While American and Canadian culture overlap quite a bit, especially when it comes to bookshelves, Canadian literature is unique and I was very heartened by to be embraced by that community I consider home despite residing in the US. It was a homecoming I didn’t know I needed!
The Festival of Literary Diversity was an absolute joy–the organizers thought of *everything* and by anticipating authors’ needs, they freed us to focus on connecting with the audience and each other. There was no pretension, no posturing–just very genuine conversations with invested writers and engaged readers.
I have been to a lot of writers festivals and the FOLD is definitely near the top of the list of those I want to be invited back to.
Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.
Wherever I go in Canada and find another writer of colour, we eventually end up gushing about how great the FOLD is, how by normalizing diversity it liberates us to talk to audiences about craft. It’s hard to imagine the literary landscape returning to a prehistoric pre-FOLD era.
FOLD is a festival experience unlike any other I’ve had. The FOLD team strive to create a space that’s welcoming and engaging, while allowing for curiosity, ingenuity and the fostering of real community – and they succeed, every year.
The FOLD is one of the most important literary events on this continent. By focusing on diverse voices and giving authors space to share their stories and speak their truths, it is revolutionizing the writing and storytelling realm as we know it.
Being part of the FOLD community has provided me with a strong sense of belonging. Sharing diverse stories and listening to different voices that broaden my understanding of the world has impacted me as a person and motivated me as a writer.