Sunday Jan. 22, 2012, is the date the Newfoundland and Labrador reading community has been waiting for.
The third annual SPARKS Literary Festival will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in Memorial Universitys Petro-Canada Hall in the School of Music. Once again it will feature a whos who of Newfoundland and Labradors writing community, among them some of the winners of this years main literary awards, as well as talented students and graduates from Memorial Universitys creative writing program.
The response weve had from the readers and the listeners is exactly what I was hoping for when I first conceived of SPARKS, said festival director and English faculty member Mary Dalton. The gathering of people in a festive atmosphere to celebrate the written word, the literary creations of Newfoundland and Labrador and the role of Memorial University in the writing life of the province is just what SPARKS was designed to do.
Professor Dalton established the festival in 2009 with the support of then-Dean of Arts Dr. Reeta Tremblay.
In the 2012 incarnation of SPARKS, Russell Wangersky, who appeared at the inaugural festival, will read from the winner of this years Winterset Award, his novel The Glass Harmonica.
It's the kind of festival writers live for rooms full of readers, questions with bite, rapt audiences quiet enough to hear a pin drop I'm happy to be there any time I'm asked, he said.
Among the readers is another recent award-winner, Lesleyanne Ryan, an English graduate who won this years Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers.
The festival is organized into four major sessions, each of which will feature readings in a variety of genres, followed by discussion with the audience. Participating authors are Frank Barry, Mark Callanan, Danielle Devereaux, Marjorie Doyle, John Ennis, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Joel Thomas Hynes, Stephanie McKenzie, Edward Riche, Lesleyanne Ryan, Stephanie Trevorrow, Leslie Vryenhoek, Agnes Walsh, Russell Wangersky, Patrick Warner and Shoshanna Wingate.
A vital element of the festival is the presence of book and journal displays reflecting the variety of ways in which literature is produced in Newfoundland and Labrador, including letterpress and audiobook productions.
SPARKS 2012 is once again sponsoring a haiku competition, open to all; the winner will be announced during the final session of the festival. This years festival also has some new features. In addition to the previously announced $2,500 Cox & Palmer Literary Award, (today.mun.ca/news.php?news_id=6652), a limited edition print entitled Candle Burning, featuring a linocut image and last years award-winning haiku, will be available for sale at the event with proceeds going to support the festival.
The festival will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2011, at the Petro-Canada Hall in the School of Music. Books and other materials will be available for sale. An evening reception will follow the day-long event. A lunchroom will be provided for the use of audience members between 12-1 p.m. and food will be available for purchase. Admission is free. Parking (at no charge) will be available in lot 15B.