1. The Power and Politics of Prizes - The FOLD

1. Panel: The Power and Politics of Prizes

A panel discussion on the power and politics of prizes.[CC]

Session Description

The glamour of Canadian literary prizes is unquestionably entertaining, but it’s also complex. This must-see panel features poets, novelists, and nonfiction writers who know the thrill of winning and the disappointment that comes from being overlooked. Billy-Ray Belcourt, Samra Habib, Kagiso Lesego Molope and Casey Plett engage in a much needed discussion on Canada’s prize culture moderated by Catherine Hernandez. Closed Captioning will be provided for this event.

Saturday, April 25th : 8:00pm – 9:30pm EST.

Please note: This event has already taken place. Thank you to all who attended! Find other events to attend and view the full schedule of events here.

All festival events require an individual Eventbrite registration and will take place on the Zoom platform. Please download the app to your computer or your devices 15 minutes before the event.

Featured Speaker(s)

BBelcourt
Billy-Ray Belcourt
Bio
KMolope
Kagiso Lesego Molope
Bio
CPlett
Casey Plett
Bio
SHabib
Samra Habib
Bio
A Filipino woman with long dark hair wears a red dress and necklace.
Catherine Hernandez
Bio
BBelcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation and lives in Vancouver. He is the author of This Wound is a World (Frontenac 2017), NDN Coping Mechanisms (House of Anansi 2019), and A History of My Brief Body (Hamish Hamilton 2020).

Billy-Ray will appear in Brunch N’ Learn: Breaking Down Poetry, The Power and Politics of Prizes, and will moderate part of the discussion in Reconciliation and Resistance.

KMolope

Kagiso Lesego Molope

Kagiso Lesego Molope has won the 2019 Ottawa Book Award and the Inaugural Pius Adesanmi Memorial Award for Excellence in African writing. Her novels are Dancing in the Dust, The Mending Season, This Book Betrays My Brother and Such a Lonely, Lovely Road.

Kagiso is hosting the Fiction Workshop with Kagiso Molope, appearing in The Power and Politics of Prizes, and moderating the discussion at the Breakfast with Perdita Felicien.

CPlett

Casey Plett

Casey Plett wrote the novel Little Fish, the short story collection A Safe Girl to Love, and co-edited the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. She is a winner of the Amazon First Novel Award, the ALA Stonewall Book Award Barbara Gittings Literature Prize, and a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award. She has written for The New York Times, The Walrus, McSweeney’s, Maclean’s, and Rookie, among other publications.

Casey is appearing in the Grad TrackThe Power and Politics of Prizes, and The Art of Craft: Trans Brilliance Edition.

SHabib

Samra Habib

Samra Habib is a writer, photographer, and activist. Her memoir, We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Memoir was a finalist for Canada Reads in 2020. As a journalist she’s covered topics ranging from fashion trends and Muslim dating apps to the rise of Islamophobia in the US. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Advocate, and her photo project, “Just Me and Allah,” has been featured in Nylon, i-D, Vanity Fair Italia, Vice, and The Washington Post.

Samra is appearing in The Power & Politics of Prizes and Reconciliation & Resistance.

A Filipino woman with long dark hair wears a red dress and necklace.

Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez is the author of Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press). Scarborough won the 2015 Jim Wong-Chu Award, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, the Trillium Book Award, and longlisted for Canada Reads 2018. Scarborough is being adapted into a film by Compy Films, Reel Asian Film Festival and Telefilm, with Catherine authoring the screenplay. Her second book, Crosshairs will be published this September (HarperCollins Canada).

Catherine will be moderating The Power and Politics of Prizes.

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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