The top 10 book & lit events in Toronto for summer 2014
Book and literary events this summer in Toronto help keep the word from wilting in the heat. Traditionally a time when things die down and readers trod off to the beach with those big summer tomes to devour, there are still plenty of exciting talks, launches and readings in the city to keep those literary minds alight.
These particular happenings highlight the beautiful wide range of voices that make up Toronto's literary community, and often coincide with other larger cultural events like Pride and Luminato.
Here are my picks for the top book and lit events in Toronto this summer.
Globe and Mail/Ben McNally Books Author's Brunch
Leave it to Ben McNally to bring sophistication to book promotion. Four books, Mark Sakamoto's Forgiveness, Robert Wright's The Night Canada Stood Still, The third Horseman by William Rosen, and The Oakdale Dinner Club by Kim Moritsugu are featured and discussed over brunch on June 1 at the esteemed Vanity Fair Ballroom at the King Edward Hotel.
The Griffin Poetry Prize
The prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize hosts a shortlist reading on June 4 at Koerner Hall at The Royal Convervatory in the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning. The next evening the winners are announced, and given the whopping prize of $65,000. What better way of starting summer than listening to the lyrical wonder of some of the world's best poets reading their work?
Luminato Literary Picnic
Of the many lit events Luminato brings to the city, the Literary Picnic in Trinity Bellwoods Park on June 15th is it's most beloved. Forty-five authors read and present while you get to sit on blankets in the sun, kids from the local elementary schools act as jury and lead critiques, there's food vendors and booksellers and a whole lot of fun.
Hustlehard: Literary Works at the Drake Cafe
This think tank series at the Drake Cafe is part literary talk, part freelance commiseration, part network opportunity- what more could you ask for? The June 15th media focused line-up boasts contributors like Navneet Alang, Alexandra Kimball, Vivek Shraya, and Nicholas Hune-Brown and is hosted by Anupa Mistry.
Descant Summer launch
Head to the Piano Bar on the second floor of Pauper's Pub Tuesday, June 17th for a celebration of Descant's latest issue "A Summer Reader" featuring work by Trisha Rose, Mark Corkery, Heather Babcock, Alan Bao, Patrick Roscoe, and the always interesting Mark Kingwell.
Welcoming the World to Pride/Toronto Public Library
As a part of Pride's literary programming, there are two great events at North York Central location of theToronto Public Library. On Monday, June 16th Kamal Al-Solaylee reads from his award winning memoir "Intolerable: A Memoir Of Extremes, and then, on Wed, June 18th author Shyam Selvadurai (Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens and The Hungry Ghosts) will be featured.
IFOA & WOTS: When Worlds Collide
The exciting pairing of two of Toronto's most prestigious literary festivals, IFOA and Word on the Street, is producing wonderful events like When Words Collide and the York Quay Centre June 18th. Live performances and activities by such Canadian authors as Lynn Crosbie, Andrew Pyper, Dave Bidini and Zoe Whittall.
TIFF: Books on Film
TIFF goes out of its way to acknowledge film's debt to the written word with its series Books On Film, hosted by Eleanor Wachtel. Andre Dubus III reflects on the film version of his novel 'The House Of Sand And Fog' June 2, while Paul Fierlinger describes transforming J.R. Ackerley's memoir into the animated feature My Dog Tulip June 23rd.
The Beguiling/Bryan Lee O'Malley "Seconds" book launch
Canadian graphic novelist Bryan Lee O'Malley made Toronto famous with his Scott Pilgrim series, especially after Edgar Wright understood its brilliance and made it into a movie starring Michael Cera. Thank O'Malley in person at The Beguiling when they launch his newest book Seconds on July 30.
Word On The Street
Queen's Park fills with tons of literary vendors and events for this national literary festival every September that's held in cities across the country. From small indie presses to book giants, they always have amazing reading series with great Canadian and International authors, and you can walk away with your arms full of books.
What did I miss? Plug your favourite summer book and lit events in the comments below.
Thanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.
Photo by William Kimber in the blogTO Flickr pool.