27. Writers on the Beauty of Transformation - The FOLD

27. Writers on the Beauty of Transformation

A Mood Series Event

Session Description

Sometimes change involves subtle, careful moments that blend and blur over time. But sometimes change happens quickly, churning and transforming us with breathtaking abruptness. In this Mood Series event, Tawhida Tanya Evanson (Book of Wings), Shani Mootoo (Polar Vortex) and H. Nigel Thomas (Easily Fooled), explore the craft of writing — how powerful stories and unforgettable characters change what we know and understand about ourselves and the world around us.

About the Mood Series

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.

How to Register

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.

Featured Speaker(s)

A middle-aged Iranian woman with dark hair and dark-rimmed glasses. She wears a black turtleneck top.
Shani Mootoo
Bio
A senior Black man with a beard stands against a leafy green cityscape. He wears a black shirt and a brown blazer and clear glasses.
H. Nigel Thomas
Bio
The face and bare shoulders of a young Black woman with short hair. The photo has a yellow tint.
Tawhida Tanya Evanson
Bio
A blonde White woman in a long-sleeved back shirt stands leaning against a light grey wall.
Rachel Giese
Bio
A middle-aged Iranian woman with dark hair and dark-rimmed glasses. She wears a black turtleneck top.

Shani Mootoo

Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland, grew up in Trinidad and lives in Canada. She is a fiction writer and visual artist. Her novels, including Cereus Blooms at Night, Valmiki’s Daughter, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, and her most most recent, Polar Vortex, have been nominated for Various prizes, including The Scotiabank Giller Prize.

A senior Black man with a beard stands against a leafy green cityscape. He wears a black shirt and a brown blazer and clear glasses.

H. Nigel Thomas

H. Nigel Thomas is a retired professor of United States literature. He has published dozens of essays in literary journals and anthologies as well as eleven books that include five novels and three collections of Short stories. His novel Spirits in the Dark was nominated for the QSPELL Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award; and No Safeguards, another novel, was nominated for the Paragraphe Quebec Writers’ Federation Hugh MacLennan Fiction Prize. His novel Easily Fooled will be published in 2021. He is the founder and English-language coordinator of Lectures Logos Readings.

The face and bare shoulders of a young Black woman with short hair. The photo has a yellow tint.

Tawhida Tanya Evanson

Tawhida Tanya Evanson is an Antiguan-Québecoise poet, author and artist. Her two poetry collections are Bothism (Ekstasis 2017) and Nouveau Griot (Frontenac 2018), and her debut novel, Book of Wings, is forthcoming from Véhicule Press in 2021. With a 20-year practice in spoken word, Evanson performs internationally and has released several studio albums and videopoems. In 2013, she was Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and received the Golden Beret Award for her contribution to the genre. She is program director of Banff Centre Spoken Word and moonlights as a whirling dervish.

A blonde White woman in a long-sleeved back shirt stands leaning against a light grey wall.

Rachel Giese

Rachel Giese is an award-winning journalist and author, and is the editorial director of Xtra, an online magazine covering LGBTQ2S+ politics, activism, culture, health, sex and relationships. Her book Boys: What it Means to Become a Man was named one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 Favourite Books of 2018 and won the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Polticial Writing.

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.

Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her

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!

Ben Philippe, author of Field Guide to the North American Teenager

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.

Zetta Elliott, author of Dragons in a Bag

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.

Harold Johnson, author of the memoirs Clifford and Firewater

Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.

Kathy Page, author of Dear Evelyn, winner of the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

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.

Ian Williams, Author of the Giller Prize-winning novel Reproduction

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.

Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out On The Ground

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.

Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon Of The Crusted Snow

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.

Ann Y.K. Choi, author of Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety

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