7. Writers on Community & Isolation Part 2
A Mood Series Event
A Mood Series Event
In part two of this Mood Series event, writers from the Disability community discuss the importance of writing and the difficulties they face crafting and cultivating writing careers in a world that continues to devalue their lives and bodies. In the midst of an on-going global health crisis, writers Kim Clark (A One-Handed Novel), Dominik Parisien (Side Effects May Include Strangers) and Brandon Wint (Divine Animal) engage in an urgent conversation about the importance of community and the perils of isolation with moderator Syrus Marcus Ware.
This session is sponsored by Penguin Random House Canada.
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.
Brandon Wint is an Ontario born poet and spoken word artist who uses poetry to attend to the joy and devastation and inequity associated with this era of human and ecological history. Increasingly, his work on the page and in performance casts a tender but robust attention toward the movements and impacts of colonial, capitalist logic, and how they might be undone. In this way, Brandon Wint is devoted to a poetics of world making, world altering and world breaking. For Brandon, the written and spoken word is a tool for examining and enacting his sense of justice, and imagining less violence futures for himself and the world he has inherited. His first book of poetry, Divine Animal, is out now with Write Bloody North.
Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture. He has shown in galleries and festivals across Canada. He is part of the Performance Disability Art Collective and a core-team member of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. He is the co-editor or the best-selling Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (URP, 2020).
Kim Clark is a Nanaimo author, poet and wheelchair gimp. Clark’s newest literary work, A One-Handed Novel (Caitlin Press), takes an edgy dive into disability, sex, money and laughs. She has published short fiction and poetry, as well as co-editing the red-head anthology, Canadian Ginger (Oolichan Books) with Dawn Kresan. Her favourite festival audiences have been at Vancouver’s Growing Room Festival and the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts in Sechelt. Kim’s incredibly excited to have just co-produced the STORYHIVE web-series pilot, “Disease & Desire” (based on her A One-Handed Novel) with Sara McIntyre.
Dominik Parisien is a writer, editor, and poet. He is the author of the poetry collection Side Effects May Include Strangers (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020) and his recent work has appeared in Maisonneuve, This Magazine, PRISM International, The Literary Review of Canada, and others. As an editor, his anthologies have won the Hugo, Shirley Jackson, British Fantasy, and Aurora Awards. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual French Canadian. He lives in Toronto.
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.