Alumnus Michael Ondaatje headlines Kingston WritersFest
Acclaimed writer and alumnus Michael Ondaatje (MA ’67) heads an impressive list of Queen’s faculty and alumni taking part in this year’s Kingston’s WritersFest.
Mr. Ondaatje, whose book The English Patient won the Booker Prize and was made into an Academy Award-winning film, will kick off the festival by reading from his latest book, The Cat’s Table.
English professor Carolyn Smart will be sharing the stage with Mr. Ondaatje, Steven Heighton (Artsci’85, MA’86), Diane Schoemperlen (ex- Queen’s writer in residence) and several other notable authors for a tribute to late Kingston poet and Queen’s professor Tom Marshall.
“Tom Marshall was a very fine poet and novelist, and one of the most generous people I have known. His influence on and kindness towards peers and emerging writers alike was immense. I am very pleased to be part of this event to honour his legacy,” says Professor Smart.
Most events are at the Grand Theatre or Holiday Inn, but the Queen’s community won’t have to leave campus to see one internationally acclaimed author. A screening of the film The End of America, based on the best-selling book by author and U.S cultural critic Naomi Wolf, will be shown at Dunning Hall on Sept. 29.
Afterwards, Ms Wolf and history professor Ian McKay will take part in a talk (moderated by film and media studies professor Clarke Mackey) on potential threats to a free and open democratic society.
Kingston WritersFest and Queen’s joined together to launch the Common Reading Program this summer. All first-year Queen’s students received a copy of Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill. Students had the chance to read the book over the summer and are invited to attend a campus lecture and discussion with the author on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7 pm at the main gym in the ARC.
Other Queen’s alumni and faculty taking part in WritersFest include Naomi Duguid (Arts’72), David Helwig, Miranda Hill (Artsci’92), James Laxer (MA’68), Tanis Rideout (Artsci’99), Shelagh Rogers (Artsci’78), Trevor Strong (Artsci’92 and current M.Ed student), Judith Thompson (Artsci’76) and English professor Laura Murray.
WritersFest runs from Sept. 26-30 and Queen’s students get free rush tickets to on-stage events (but not food events or Writers Studio master classes). Click here for more details.