Fans of Newfoundland and Labrador writers and writing should start circling Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, in their calendars.
The second annual SPARKS Literary Festival will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Petro-Canada Hall in the School of Music on the St. Johns Campus and will feature a stellar group of writers from various genres who are sure to entertain and enlighten audiences.
According to poet and professor of English Mary Dalton, who founded the festival in 2009 with the support of then-dean of Arts, Dr. Reeta Tremblay, "SPARKS is a celebration of the literary achievements at this university, and of the broader writing community of which Memorial is a part. It is a celebration which the city has embraced, as readers and listeners came out in droves for the inaugural festival last January, filling the Petro-Canada Hall for every session and creating a lively party in the lobby between sessions. The name of the festival gestures towards the fires of imagination in the acts of both writing and reading; SPARKS is a bringing together of those energies in an event that honours literary community.
The festival is divided into four sessions, each of which will consist of a lively mix of various genres and a combination of readings and discussion. The authors taking part include: Andy Jones, Kevin Major, Bernice Morgan, Dana Evely, Al Geehan, Stan Dragland, Robin McGrath, Larry Matthews, James Langer, Kate Evans, Libby Creelman, George Murray, Samuel Thomas Martin, Marie Wadden, Emily White and Jane Urquhart.
In programming the festival, Ms. Dalton has maintained an eclectic mix of writers at various stages of their careers, from up-and-coming creative writing students like Dana Evely to writers of national and international stature such as Kevin Major.
"This is a literary bright light for the month of January, said Mr. Major. I love the mix of well-established and emerging writers. To judge by last year's festival it will be a day filled with readings that are, by turns, elegant, irreverent, profound, humourous. A great celebration for the written word," added the former Memorial writer-in-residence and author of the new novel, New Under the Sun.
The festival will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 23, 2011, at the Petro-Canada Hall in the School of Music. Books will be available for sale and local journals and letterpress publishers will be displaying material. An evening reception will follow the day-long event. Admission is free and parking will be available in Lot 15B.