Get to know Canada’s Longest-Running Literary Festival

We polled the staff, and what we love best about working for the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) is connecting with fellow book lovers like you! Many of us had the chance to meet many of you during the 39th edition of the Festival in 2018, by reading your social media posts, and striking up conversations in signing lines, in the Festival Hub and just before the authors hit the stage. Now, we’re hoping this post will help you get to know us a little better–as well as some of your fellow attendees!

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Ce que je n’ai pas lu à Thessalonique/What I Didn’t Read in Thessaloniki

Maxime Raymond Bock at the Language From Canada – Between Two Languages and Many Cultivars panel. Photo credit Thessaloniki Book Fair.

Photo credit Thessaloniki Book Fair.

Francophonie were the guest of honour at Greece’s Thessaloniki International Book Fair this past May. We wanted to publish Maxime Raymond Bock’s blog post in the original French text with the full English translation (translated by Melissa Bull) to follow it. If you’d also like to see the thoughts of all three authors who attended—Maxime Raymond Bock, Shari Lapena and Alissa York—then check out From Thessaloniki, With Love: Canadian Authors in Greece.

Enjoy!

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Poetry and Canadiana

By Canisia Lubrin

Delegates banner - Canisia Lubrin

The Delegate Programme is an opportunity for local authors and journalists to enrich the level of discussion at select events throughout the International Festival of Authors. Canisia Lubrin—author of Voodoo Hypothesis and contributor to The Unpublished City—wrote about her experience as an IFOA 2017 delegate and for her, poetry and the Festival’s Canadian-ness left a lasting impression.


There is a sort of despairing desire that takes its cue from ecstasy. When I first participated in IFOA back in 2014, as one of what seemed like a legion of emerging writers to read in a pilot event called Brave New Word, I did not know by which vein I’d entered that storied, yet abstract character of being a writer—even momentarily, one that had been prescribed or is upheld as such, yet still a thing I regarded without that wild absolute geometry of the author.

I hardly had a moment to pause with any sufficient reverie towards the experience and its meaning. How the years churn out their consequence I will not speculate on now. What sees me as an IFOA delegate for the 38th edition of the Festival is a kind of elaborate dream, one that got wrapped into air when a certain clarity is found in that modulated appeal of event after ecstatic event, and here I was: in the throes of something now familiar, yet unexpected—something oddly warped in a strangeness prone to amnesia.

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The Walking Cities Panel at IFOA 2017

Walking Cities is a literary program connecting writers from Canada and the UK in 4 cities—Toronto, Winnipeg, Montréal and Vancouver—to exchange ideas related to identities, places and territories. The project is present by the British Council Canada and you can watch the short films here. In partnership with the British Council Canada, IFOA 2017 hosted a panel […]

“Serious” Authors Can Be Funny Too

By Emily Saso

delegates-banner-emily-saso

The Delegate Programme is an opportunity for local authors and journalists to enrich the level of discussion at select events throughout the International Festival of Authors. Emily Saso—author of The Weather Inside—wrote about her experience as an IFOA 2017 delegate and for her, she found hilarity even in the most serious panels.


I expected many things from this year’s International Festival of Authors: intellectual debates, empathetic insights, writing tips, and the chance to meet my favourite authors. What I didn’t expect, however, was comedy.

As a delegate at IFOA 2017, I was lucky enough to attend seven panels. At none of them was humour explicitly on the table. In fact, one event was actually called—wait for it—Futile Fates. Throughout the festival, the writers before me included literary icons, horror masters and articulate historians. Humorists? No. However, at each panel, I spent half of the time in stitches.

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