WordsThaw 2014
Second Annual Spring Symposium
February 20 - 22

WordsThaw 2014

An Intellectual Icebreaker at the Cusp of Spring

Visit our WordsThaw 2014 website for schedules, ticket information, and more!

Here's what's in the works for WordsThaw 2014:

Friday, January 10

Prequel Event: Glosas for P. K. Page
Mark the fourth anniversary of P. K. Page’s passing with the Victoria launch of A Crystal Through Which Love Passes (BuschekBooks, 2013), edited by Jesse Patrick Ferguson. With readings by John Barton, Yvonne Blomer, and Sandy Shreve, the launch of A Crystal Through Which Love Passes is co-organized by Planet Earth Poetry and The Malahat Review as a prequel to WordsThaw 2014.

Tuesday, January 28

Prequel Event: CNF Night in Canada
Even if you’re not yet bored by hockey on a cold January night, tear yourself away from the game and join The Malahat Review at Russell Books in downtown Victoria for an intellectual icebreaker in advance of WordsThaw 2014. We’re celebrating the stick-handling skills of three creative nonfiction “Hall of Famers”: Vancouver Island authors Maleea Acker (first period), Jay Ruzesky (second period), and Madeline Sonik (third period).

Thursday, February 20

A Lansdowne Lecture by Daphne Marlatt
In the opening event to WordsThaw 2014, Vancouver writer Daphne Marlatt celebrates the fluid relationship between language and place—in particular, Vancouver—and how they stream into and out of one another, both of them accruing allusive sediments. Lansdowne Lectures sponsored by the Faculty of Humanities.

Friday, February 21

Words on Ice: Evolution of the Author
A reading featuring writers at every stage of a writing career. From high school-aged writers, University writing students, authors without a first book, those who've published a first book, to those with an established writing career. Panelists include paulo da costa, Cynthia Flood, Phil Hall, Anita Lahey, David Leach, Daphne Marlatt, Miranda Pearson, and Benjamin Willems. Hosted by John Barton and Yvonne Blomer.

Saturday, February 22

Author as Avatar: Social Media and Blogging

Facilitator John Threlfall will lead a discussion with local writers, bloggers, and publishers about the importance of social media for writers. Questions to be covered will include: How important is it for an author to develop a following and community on social media? What is the best tactic for an author to take while participating in social media? Roundtable panelists include Will Johnson, Sarah Petrescu, and Emily Shorthouse.

Spirit of Place: Writing Local History
What role does history play in contemporary society? Has the rapid pace of today’s world led us to lose contact with our past? How acquainted are we with Victoria’s rich and fascinating heritage, with the stories and lives behind the streets and buildings we pass each day? Local-history authors will discuss their research, their craft, and how the writing (and reading) of local history can shape our perception of the present in powerful ways. The past is not dead. But it relies on writers to keep its spirit alive. Readers include John Adams, Linda Eversole, and Peter Grant. Moderated by Rosemary Neering.

Shining a Light: Writer as Witness
All writers are observers, perceptually attuned. But what is the difference between seeing and witnessing? In many cases, to be a witness is to dare—to risk one’s emotions, or one’s reputation, in order to make known what others would keep hidden. Representing different backgrounds and genres—First Nations, environmental science, and poetry—panelists will explore the various ways writers use their craft to speak out, raise awareness, and shine a revealing light on some uncomfortable truths. Readers include Gary Geddes, Monique Gray Smith, and Andrew Weaver. Moderated by Amy Reiswig.

The Inner Life of our Words: Writing and the Human Spirit
Is there a relationship between poetry and the inner life? And if there is, what form or direction—or directions—does this relationship take? Can writing and reading be a useful, even insightful tool to probe the spiritual life (or lives) of the self, of another person, of a community, or even of an age? With moderator Andrew Rippin as their “guide,” poets Marita Dachsel, Tim Lilburn, and Jane Munro, each approaching the inner life of our words from a unique perspective, talk about how poetry can be a catalyst to discovering and expressing not only “what we know,” but about “what we want to know.”

Brief Encounters: One-on-One Critiques of Your Work
This year at WordsThaw, we'll have one-on-one critiques set up in several genres over the lunch break. We'll have local writers available to critique your writing in the following genres: poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, life-writing, or young adult/children's writing. Critique spots will be filled in advance (once registered for WordsThaw), on a first-come first-served basis. Writers include Maleea Acker, Dede Crane, JoAnn Dionne, Catherine Greenwood, Matthew Hooton, Steve Noyes, Aaron Shepard, Robin Stevenson, and Christine Walde.

If you'd like to volunteer for WordsThaw 2014, send us an email and let us know what interests you (social media volunteer, postering, ticket-taking, table-sitting, etc.). All WordsThaw volunteers will receive a free pass to the symposium and a one-year subscription to The Malahat Review.

Connect with us on Twitter: #wordsthaw