Elephant Mountain Literary Festival – 2014


Words and wine, beer and bards will be featured in the just-announced lineup for the July 10 opening night social event for Nelson B.C.’s third annual Elephant Mountain Literary Festival.

“We’ve been putting the finishing touches on the evening,” said Festival director Lynn Krauss.  “We’re excited to be presenting brief readings by three local authors, including former Canadian poet laureate Fred Wah, and two performances by writers from away, including songs and prose by the Rocky Mountains’ most eloquent spokesman, Alberta’s Sid Marty.”  The event, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will be held at Nelson’s Hart Hall, 501 Carbonate St. (the former St. Savior’s Anglican Church hall).

B.C. WineGuys owner Jon Longille will offer for tasting various B.C. Interior wines, Krauss said.  Each vintage chosen will have qualities that match those of the writing by an author being presented.  “Jon did this for our readers at the opening social two years ago,” Krauss said.  “He and his choice of wines were a huge hit.”  A sampling of craft beers from the Nelson Brewing Company will also be available.

Governor-General’s Literary Award-winner Wah was Canada’s fifth poet laureate 2011-2013.  He is part of the group who created the current multimedia show “High Muck-a-muck: Playing Chinese,” about Chinese settlement in the West Kootenays, at Oxygen Art Centre July 5 to 19.  Marty, a fiction writer, poet and singer-songwriter, is a past winner of the Grand Prize at the Banff Festival of Mountain Books and of Alberta’s Grant MacEwan Literary Arts lifetime achievement award.

Also reading from their work will be Slocan poet Barbara Curry Mulcahy, and Nelson poet Jane Byers.  Rounding out the evening will be Edmonton’s current poet laureate, spoken word artist Mary Pinkoski, winner of the national CBC Poetry Face-off.

Cost for the evening is $20, which includes three drink tickets.  Admission can be purchased in advance from the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival website, www.emlfestival.com  Emcee for the event will be Nelson singer, musician, actress and playwright Bessie Wapp.

This year’s Festival includes an evening July 11 at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre featuring a talk by CBC Radio’s “Writers & Company” host Eleanor Wachtel and a reading by mystery writer Gail Bowen, winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel.  Long-time Toronto publisher Douglas Gibson will present a one-man show at 2 p.m. on July 12 at Nelson’s Civic Theatre about his adventures publishing such authors as Nobel Prize laureate Alice Munro, Peter Gzowski, W.O. Mitchell and Mavis Gallant

More information on the full Festival lineup July 10-13 is available on the Festival website.

Festival sponsors to date include Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, B.C. Arts Council, Columbia Basin Trust, City of Nelson and Areas F and H through the Community Initiatives program of the Columbia Basin Trust, Nelson and District Credit Union, Kootenay Co-op, Oxygen Art Centre, Hume Hotel, Selkirk College and Canada Safeway.

Photos: 2014 Elephant Mountain Literary Festival Opening Social presenters

a) Fred Wah; b) Sid Marty; c) Barbara Curry Mulcahy; d) Jane Byers



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