Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Word on the Street

On September 26, 2010, I attended the 21st Word on the Street Book and Magazine Festival in Toronto, the largest festival of its kind in Canada. Every year the festival showcases the best in Canadian writing, while offering diversity for every literary taste. This year the festival, which took place in Queen’s Park, added three new publishing houses: Random House of Canada Ltd. with McClelland & Stewart, and Penguin Group (Canada).

The festival invited special guests such as best-selling Canadian author and Man Booker Prize winner, Yann Martel (Life of Pi). He was the festival headliner on the Scotiabank Giller Prize Bestseller Stage to present his newest novel, Beatrice & Virgil.

The tents were crowded with people of every age and nationality. I volunteered at the Guernica Editions tent. This Toronto-based publishing house publishes books in English, French, and Italian. Guernica publishes poetry, anthologies of short stories, essays, and literary fiction. I couldn’t resist, so I bought seven books at amazing prices. It was a pleasure meeting a couple of authors who have published with Guernica Editions. Poet Karen Shenfeld is launching her latest book, My Father’s Hands Spoke in Yiddish, on October 17, 2010, and Elana Wolff’s recent collection of short essays on contemporary poems, titled Implicate Me, was released this year.

Many book aficionados came to the Guernica tent because they knew Karen and Elana, having read their work.

Being surrounded by books, authors, and nature on a sunny autumn day was a wonderful experience!


  1. Claudia, It was also lovely to meet you at Word on the Street. Thank you so much for mentioning my new book. I hope you can come to the launch in Toronto. Good luck with your own writing!

    Karen Shenfeld

  2. I love events like this, and Life of Pi is one of my favourite books. There's always something inspiring about being surrounded by people who share an enthusiasm for writing and reading, especially when you get chance to hear and see authors in person.

  3. What a fantastic day!!!

    Glad it was well attended! It always heartens my soul when book and literary fairs are packed to overcrowding - makes me feel that the written word is as popular as ever! Take care

  4. Lucky you! My idea of heaven, and I'd have bought and bought till my money ran out, too. :0)

  5. Sounds like a great event! So glad you had a good experience! :)

  6. Hi Karen,
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a message. Yes, it was a pleasure indeed meeting authors at this event. No promises, but I'll try to attend the book launch ;)

    Hi Joanne,
    Yes, being surrounded by authors is energizing. I love literary events. Thanks for sharing your opinion on the "Life of Pi". I haven't read it yet. I'll put it in my to read list. :)

    Hi Old Kitty,
    I wish we had a big event like that here in Montreal. This year I was lucky to attend this book event and the BookExpo in NYC. Yaayyy!!

    Hi Carole Anne,
    This year I've bought a lot of books. I just have to find the time to read them all LOL! I was lucky that I got freebies at the BookExpo back in May. ;)

    Hi Cathy,
    If you ever get a chance to attend a major literary event, don't hold back, just go! You'll be glad you did.

  7. That sounds like a wonderful event. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  8. Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for stopping by. I'm adding you to my blogroll since you're a loyal blogger ;)

  9. Claudia, what a wonderful experience! I love literary events. Meeting other authors and publishers is inspiring and a great way to network.

  10. It sounds like you had a great time. It's so much fun being in a book intense environment. When I was a teacher I went to several International Reading Association events. They were wonderful, full of books, book seller and authors.

  11. Hi Laura,
    Yes, literary events are always fun. Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Sharon,
    I was lucky this year I got to attend two major literary events. ;) Not only you get amazing books but you get to interact with authors.