Ottawa’s favourite open-air Literary Festival and Book Fair, Prose in the Park, will take place on June 4, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Parkdale Park. Sixty-seven moderators and panelists and more than 100 authors and a dozen small presses will be presenting and selling their latest works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The event is absolutely free. Everyone is welcome! As an added bonus this year, there will be an evening of poetry readings. The Poetic Prelude to Prose in the Park will take place on Friday, June 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Origin Studio, 57 Lyndale Avenue, Ottawa. The Poetic Prelude is also free and everyone is welcome. Eight Anglophone and six Francophone poets will read. Refreshments will be served gratis.
Prose in the Park (Prose des vents en français) is a bilingual festival dedicated to bringing together established and emerging authors from across Canada. We are pleased to have some of the best authors of Montreal joining the upcoming festival, including Heather O’Neill, whose Daydreams of Angels should be required reading for every lover of Canadian literature. From Kingston, we will be joined by Steven Heighton, a brilliant novelist and poet, whose novel Every Lost Country takes readers on a fantastic adventure to far-off Tibet. Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliot Clarke, will be joining other brilliant Canadian poets on the Sestina Villanelle panel on the future of poetry and its aesthetic and social value to Canadian society. And 2015 Governor General Award Winner for Young Adult Literature, Kanata’s Caroline Pignat, will be on the Young at Heart YA fiction panel. This year, we are offering three French panels, on which Éric Charlebois, Valérie Perreault , Michel Therrien, Martine Batanian and many more award-winning authors and poets will represent the amazing renaissance of francophone literature in Ontario.
Prose in the Park is offering twelve panels on June 4, spanning the full range of genres: from the crime fiction of Ian Hamilton (Toronto) and Dietrich Kalteis (Vancouver) to the suspense of Andrew Pyper (Canada’s Stephen King) and Michael Mirolla to amazing romance writers like New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling Authors Eve Langlais and Deborah Cooke. There is certainly no shortage of talent among an unprecedented roster of 58 panelists, moderators and poetry readers, and our Master of Ceremonies Sang Kim, winner of the Gloria Vanderbilt Short Fiction Award.
To celebrate Canadian writers of Caribbean heritage, we will be offering you a remarkable panel, Island Voices under Northern Skies, which will include 2015 Giller Prize judge Cecil Foster, Haitian-Canadian novelist Myrtelle Devilmé, H. Nigel Thomas and Cyril Dabydeen.
And of course, Prose in the Park would not be Ottawa’s most beloved open-air festival without the remarkable Charles de Lint, whose immense repertoire of fantasy, science fiction and YA literature, has a special place in the hearts of Canadians from coast to coast.
Prose in the Park is a truly grassroots event, which exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism in the National Capital Region. The six major Anglophone and Francophone writers groups in the NCR have pooled their resources in partnership with the Hintonburg Community Association to bring together this remarkable event. As Ian Shaw, the Chair of the Prose in the Park Organizing Committee puts it, “Prose in the Park is driven by pure-adrenaline volunteerism, whether it is from communicating with prospective panelists across Canada to raising funds through our Indiegogo campaign and door-to-door canvassing of local business, to setting up our canopy tents and chairs on the day of the festival.” Shaw adds, “We are also a bit of an upstart festival, coming out of nowhere just one year ago to attract 1200 book lovers in our first year. As well, we are probably one of the few literary festivals where the organizers are all writers themselves and which is not reliant on government funding.”
Bilingualism is part of the Prose in the Park DNA. “From the start, we wanted a festival that represented the National Capital Region and Canada across the linguistic spectrum. We have authors who write in French, in English and in both languages, and our 70% to 30% English to French ratio of panelists and book sellers closely matches the demography of Ottawa-Gatineau and Canada as a whole. This is something that we are very proud of,” says Benoit Chartier, Prose in the Park’s Director of Communications.
The full 2016 program is available on our website at www.proseinthepark.com.
For quotations and interviews with members of the Prose in the Park Organizing Committee and our panelists, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be very pleased to speak to you. Just give us a call at 613-697-8195 (Ian Shaw – Chair) or 819-598-4297 (Benoit Chartier – Director of Communications).
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