Posted: Wednesday October 2, 2013
Talon Authors Unite at WORD Vancouver

Since 1995 The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society has produced The Word On The Street Vancouver, the primary literary festival for Western Canadian book lovers and literacy enthusiasts. In 2013 this festival rebranded as WORD Vancouver. The first festival was a one day event at the then newly built Vancouver Public Library and it featured 60 exhibitors and attracted 18,000 festival goers. Since then, the festival has expanded to three days and now attracts an average of 30,000 attendees to events taking place at Carnegie Community Centre, Historic Joy Kogawa House, and Library Square.

The main festival event takes place each year on Sunday, September 29, at the Vancouver Public Library. This year, heavy winds and rains forced exhibitors off the Library Square concourse and into the library itself, which was infinitely more dry (and just as aesthetically pleasing). We’re proud to report that Talonbooks authors figured prominently at the event; eight (wow!) of our authors came in from the rain on Sunday, drenched and soggy, but excited to read from new (and old) work.


Festival exhibitors relocated to the VPL’s beautiful interiors.

First up, Daniel Canty and Oana Avasilichioaei read from the new inventory-novel Wigrum in the library’s Blenz cafe, which, due to the extreme weather conditions, doubled as the Canada Writes tent (thanks, Blenz!).


Daniel Canty and Oana Avasilichioaei frame Wigrum at the 32 Books table.

Next, outside on the covered CUPE Stage, poet Stephen Collis braved the humidity and read from his poetry collections The Red Album and To The Barricades.


The CUPE tent. Note: bookish Vancouverites are always well prepared for rain.

Meanwhile, over in the Poetry Bus – an actual Translink bus, parked to showcase the latest Poetry in Transit campaign – readings took place throughout the day, including Mark Cochrane, Mariner Janes, and the charismatic and prolific bill bissett, who read from a variety of his works, including the latest hungree throat.


The Poetry Bus, courtesy of B.C. Translink.


bill bissett, surrounded by fans, following his transformative reading. “Let it be known that bill bissett rocked the poetry bus,” said one enthused audience member.

Also in the Poetry Bus was the official Poetry in Transit reading. We are pleased to report that three Talon Poets were selected for the annual provincial campaign: Dina Del Bucchia, Stephen Collis, and Wanda John-Kehewin will each have one poem appear in a Vancouver transit shelter this year!


Dina Del Bucchia reads from Coping with Emotions and Otters.


Stephen Collis reads from To the Barricades.

While Dina Del Bucchia, Stephen Collis, and Wanda John-Kehewin read their funny, touching, and emotionally and politically charged poems in the jam-packed bus, Jordan Abel performed poems from the Place of Scraps as host of the Poetry is Dead Magazine event on the third floor of the library. PiD editor and Talon poet Daniel Zomparelli was also in attendance, of course!


Photo of Jordan Abel courtesy of Steel Bananas Art Collective

Thankfully, our camera survived the moisture, and the inspiring, fun, and exciting atmosphere (generated by the hardworking Rebus Creative organizers) is alive in these photos. Diehard attendees and readers may even find themselves going through WORD withdrawal this week. Fortunately, we can all look forward to the Vancouver Art/Book Fair at the Vancouver Art Gallery this weekend (more information on the Art/Book Fair is available here) and the Vancouver Writers Fest later near the end of October.

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