Archive for the ‘2013 Festival’ Category


Word Vancouver Wraps Up Another Year

October 7, 2013

The wind and rain couldn’t keep us down at this year’s Word Vancouver! Instead, we moved inside the library on Sunday and enjoyed another fantastic festival. Our exhibitors were nice and cozy in the promenade, moat, and Alice MacKay room of the VPL, while our reading venues relocated to the Blenz coffee shop, inside the library, and on the Poetry in Transit Bus. There is always such a wonderful sense of community during the festival, but this year it became something even more special.

Our other festival days were every bit as much of a success. We enjoyed returning to Carnegie Centre and Historic Joy Kogawa House, but we were also very excited to present new events this year at The Paper Hound Bookshop and The Cottage Bistro.

This year was also very exciting with the unveiling of our Automated Poetry Dispensers. These have been placed in various locations around town, including The Paper Hound Bookshop, Banyen Books & Sound, and book’mark The Library Store. Even though the festival has wrapped up for the year, the poetry dispensers will continue to be housed at some of these locations, and some new ones too, so be sure to keep an eye out for one near you!

Thank you again to everyone that made this year’s festival such a wonderful success. We couldn’t do it without you, and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Two of our fantastic volunteers (photo credit Monica Miller)

Two of our fantastic volunteers (photo credit Monica Miller)


Don’t miss out on Word Vancouver’s chapbook-making workshop!

September 24, 2013

What is a chapbook?

Chapbooks are small, handmade books that help authors share their writing with others. Chapbooks frequently incorporate elements of fine print—decorative elements such as embossing, hand-stitched spines, stamps, and beautiful calligraphy. Because most chapbooks are handmade, they usually have limited circulation.

Why do chapbooks matter?

Chapbooks allow authors the ability to control the production and dissemination of their work; they also provide emerging writers in particular with a venue for publication that is outside of the often hegemonic control of larger presses. Chapbooks help writers overcome barriers to entry in the Canadian publishing industry—they are a vital and important element of Canada’s diverse literary culture.

Do many Canadian writers have chapbooks?

Beginning in the early twentieth century, Canadian chapbooks flourished. Large presses such as the Ryerson Press and small presses like Crucible Press produced chapbook series that contained experimental work by emerging writers. In this era, chapbook “anthologies” were also produced by local writers groups, including many branches of the Canadian Authors’ Association.

At present, many small Canadian presses continue to produce beautiful chapbook series. Some of these presses include Gaspereau Press, JackPine Press, Leaf Press, and above/ground press. In addition, many authors continue to make chapbooks privately. Chapbook-making workshops are not uncommon in creative writing programs and at festivals like Word Vancouver!

Does Word Vancouver have a chapbook-making workshop this year?

Yes! Heidi Greco, poet extraordinaire and experienced chapbook-maker, will be leading a chapbook-making workshop at Carnegie Centre (401 Main Street, Vancouver) with the assistance of Gillian Dunks on Thursday, September 26th, from 2 PM-6PM.

Is the workshop free?

Yes! Show up with ten pages of typed work on a USB or CD, and all the materials required to create ten short chapbooks will be supplied free of charge.

If your work is not in typed form, please consider attending the Type-Up workshop in the Carnegie Learning Centre at 1 PM on Thursday, September 26th.

How do I sign up for this workshop?

Please sign up in person for Word Vancouver’s Chapbook-making workshop in the Carnegie Centre office on the third floor.

Will I be able to sell my chapbooks at the festival?

Yes! You will have the opportunity to sell copies of your chapbook on Sunday, September 29th, at the membership table in the Vancouver Public Library.


Only one week left until Word Vancouver!

September 18, 2013

Word Vancouver will soon begin!

 Join us in a celebration of reading and writing that will appeal to all ages! Vancouver’s annual Word festival will begin in one week’s time—join us for our first exciting poetry reading on Wednesday, September 25th at 12:30 PM at the Paper Hound Bookshop (344 West Pender Street).

This year’s festival will take place from September 25-29 at the Vancouver Public Library, the Historic Joy Kogawa House, Carnegie Centre, Banyen Books & Sound, and the Cottage Bistro. Check out our program for further information!

Poetry at Word Vancouver

This year, much of Word Vancouver’s programming highlights the city’s diverse and vibrant poetic scene. Whether you’re camping out for the narrative and lyrical, or the mischievous and experimental, our poetry tent’s got a spot for your taste. Check out Evelyn Lau, Vancouver’s current poet laureate; Brad Cran, Vancouver’s former poet laureate; and Amber Dawn, who reads from a volume about her experiences hustling on the streets of Vancouver.

What’s on this year for kids?

This year, Word Vancouver gives your kids the first word at the Family Literacy Tent and Kids Words. From deep sea diving with seahorses and soaring ravens to classic literature for tots, we’ve got it covered! Presenting authors include Paola Opal, Julie Morstad, Holman Wang, Roy Henry Vickers, and Robert “Lucky” Budd.

What are Word Vancouver’s fiction offerings?

Listen to readings by some of the best voices in fiction at the Canada Writes tent. Experience a wide array of stories that make the world of fiction a real experience not to be missed. Some presenting authors include Rawi Hage, Theodora Armstrong, Peter Darbyshire, and Cynthia Flood.

What about nonfiction this year?

Travel the seas and far away lands; hear candid voices and read insightful journalism in this year’s nonfiction highlights. Presenting authors include Arno Kopecky, Mark Leiren-Young, and George Szanto.

What else is on?

At Word Vancouver, there is always something happening a few steps away from you! Make a much-needed confession at Radix Theatre’s Letters Booth, or dance your thoughts away to the eclectic musical stylings of Dead City Scandal.

Want to compile your work into a chapbook? We’ll help you do it—and sell it during the next festival day! If you need to polish your short story or poem, there’s space for that, too. Listen, write, and make friends at Word Vancouver through a Chapbook-making workshop with Heidi Greco or Robert Mackwood’s presentation on getting a book published in Canada.

We look forward to seeing you at the festival!


Word Vancouver Team


Two Weeks To Go!

September 11, 2013

Western Canada’s primary literary festival returns in only two short weeks! We’re back with a new name and look and are very excited about the festival we have put together for you this year.

Poetry Vending MachineAlong with the debut of our new name and look, we are also introducing a new poetry initiative in 2013: The Automated Poetry Project. Through this project, Word Vancouver is transforming ordinary vending machines into poetry dispensers that will contain poems of BC and Canadian poets. The machines will be in multiple locations in downtown Vancouver during the month of September, including Bean Around the World at the corner of Hastings and Cambie and book’mark, The Library Store. There will be public readings by Automated Poetry Project poets as well, including one at a venue TBA on Wednesday, September 25. Stay tuned for more details!

hollyhockgardentotableThe popular Chapbook-Making Workshop returns to Carnegie Centre on a new day this year, Thursday, September 26. Also on Thursday is a demo and book signing at Banyen Books & Sound with Moreka Jolar and Heidi Scheifley, authors of Hollyhock: Garden to Table; and Twisted Poets Literary Salon at The Cottage Bistro. Word Vancouver returns to Historic Joy Kogawa House on Friday, September 27, for “Genesis of Play and Screenwriting” with playwright Dennis Foon.

Saturday, September 28, will bring a day full of professional development workshops at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. From “An Introduction to Story” with Nancy Lee to “Creating Content for Social Sharing” with Lisa Manfield, there are several useful workshops for writers of all levels.

Raven_hiresThe main festival day you know and love returns to Library Square on Sunday, September 29. The bustling and vibrant exhibitor marketplace will be located on Library Square and along Homer Street. Check out this year’s site map for full details about the site layout. You will notice on the map that our children’s venue, now called Kids Words, is located inside the library in the Harvey Southam Room (aka the children’s library). With authors such as Roy Henry Vickers and Robert “Lucky” Budd, Kallie George, and Sara Leach, there is something for children of all ages!

Carnival book coverThere will also be plenty of fantastic readings for adults in our Canada Writes and Poetry Tents. In the Canada Writes Tent you will find VPL Writer-in-Residence Rawi Hage, Peter Darbyshire, Adam Hart, Carellin Brooks, Shaena Lambert, and many more. The Poetry Tent will feature readings from Amber Dawn, bill bissett, klipschutz, and Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau.

Are magazines your thing? Magazine Words will have everything from a “Haiku Death Match” with Ricepaper‘s Kim Fu and Elaine Woo to subTerrain‘s panel “From Zine to Tablet: A Quarter Century Journey.”

If you’re looking for more panels and writing workshops, you won’t be disappointed! Just visit Word Talks and Writing Talks downstairs in the library where you’ll learn about “Adapting Classic for the Stage,” gather tips on how to “Get Published” with Janet Love Morrison, and much more.

Ukesters 2 croppedAnd don’t forget the Mainstage! We have a superb lineup of talent to entertain festival-goers all day long. We are pleased to welcome back some of last year’s acts, including the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam Team and The Ukesters, and also to welcome those new to the festival, including rockers Dead City Scandal and Mascall Dance. There’s a little bit of everything on the Mainstage this year, so be sure to grab a seat on the VPL steps and take it in!

Want more details about this year’s festival? View our official program guide online or visit our website for the most up to date information.


Crowd Funding Campaign for Automated Poetry Project at WORD Vancouver Festival

August 13, 2013

The team at WORD Vancouver is thrilled to announce an innovative new festival event: the Automated Poetry Project. WORD Vancouver will transform ordinary vending machines into poetry dispensers! Poems will be placed in vending machine capsules and dispensed for just a toonie each. The machines will be in multiple locations in downtown Vancouver during the month of September 2013.

We need your support to launch the Automated Poetry Project. For five vending machines, we need to raise $2000. Get involved–please donate to the Automated Poetry Project’s crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo:

If you would like to support the Automated Poetry Project but cannot make a donation at this time, please visit the WORD Vancouver website at to find out more information about volunteering at our event. Please also increase the Automated Poetry Project’s social media presence by sharing campaign updates on your own Facebook page, website, and Twitter account.