Frye Festival Wraps Up & Author Camilla Gibb Coming in May

Dave Bidini reading at the Night Howl Thursday April 26, 2012.

Another great Frye Festival has come and gone. Authors from our region, across Canada, Louisiana and France spent the last week in Greater Moncton to meet with their fans, exchange ideas and create memorable events filled with words and music. Our editor, Kellie Underhill, attended many events on the weekend and will be sharing her impressions later this week.

“The 2012 Frye Festival was the perfect way to celebrate Northrop Frye’s 100th birthday,” says Dawn Arnold, Chair of the Festival. “More than 35 authors fed our imaginations through book clubs, jams, conversations and workshops, sharing Frye’s legacy with audiences of all ages.”

This year’s line-up featured amazing Canadian writers such as Terry Fallis, David Gilmour, Eva Stachniak and Dave Bidini, as well as local favourites Riel Nason, Sue Goyette, Antonine Maillet and France Daigle.

Many children’s authors were also in Moncton to meet with kids of all ages and to let them in on the pleasures of reading. The Festival’s School-Youth Program gives 10,000 students in communities across south-eastern New Brunswick and, this year, all the way to Miramichi, Campbellton and Quispamsis, an opportunity to engage with authors and share their literary talents on a public stage. All of the School-Youth Program’s components, including authors’ visits to schools, the Young Writers Program and Frye Academy are provided free of charge.

This year also marks Northrop Frye’s 100th birthday, and the Frye Festival, which takes its inspiration from this great thinker, created many events to celebrate the occasion: Drama-Urge, a live conversation between Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan, a centenary lecture and the launch of a special edition of ellipse magazine.

“Birthday celebrations will continue all year,” adds Arnold, “with the crowning moment coming in July when we unveil a life-size bronze statue of Frye in front of the Moncton Public Library. One of Moncton’ greatest sons will finally have a permanent place in our daily lives in the heart of downtown.”

To celebrate Northrop Frye’s 100th birthday, the Frye Festival held its very first 24 hour playwriting competition. Eight participants wrote a play about Northrop Frye’s ideas over a 24-hour period last weekend. According to the judges, the participants were not short of talent and humour! The winners will each take home a prize of $500 and they are: Kelly Vanbuskirk (English student category), Ron Kelly Spurles for My Overnight Frye Masterpiece (English open category), Marie Cadieux for Pat, Prout et l’autre (French open category), and Chad Comeau for Petit Frye et son monde imaginaire (French student category). The judges for this first competition were local playwright Marshall Button and Governor General’s Award-winners Herménégilde Chiasson and Catherine Banks.

The Frye Festival welcomes Camilla Gibb in Moncton this May
For a third year, 16 bilingual high school students from districts 1, 2 and 11 comprised the Frye Academy jury, read four books by living Canadian authors and debated the books to choose an overall winner. Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly was crowned winner, and the award-winning author will be in Moncton on Saturday, May 26 to meet with the Frye Academy jury and with the public. Other finalists for this year’s prize include 178 Secondes by Katia Canciani, Strange Heaven by Lynn Coady and Cinq secondes by Jacques Savoie. Jurors read the books in the original language of publication.

The 2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury called Sweetness in the Belly, “a timely and compelling novel of ideas which explores the ethics of cultural identity in a multicultural era. . . . [It] is a sophisticated, ambitious and deeply affecting novel which is devastatingly relevant to our contemporary world.”

Camilla Gibb is the author of four novels— Mouthing the Words, The Petty Details of So-and-so’s Life, Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement. Her books have been published in 18 countries and translated into 14 languages and she was named by the jury of the prestigious Orange Prize as one of 21 writers to watch in the new century. Camilla was born in London, England, and grew up in Toronto.

A luncheon with Jeff Rubin on June 20
On June 20th, bestselling author and former CIBC Chief Economist Jeff Rubin will be in Moncton to present his latest book, a follow-up to his bestselling Why Your World is About to Get a Whole lot Smaller. Rubin will take part in a luncheon organized jointly by the Frye Festival and the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon will be Rubin’s only appearance in the Maritimes this spring/summer.

The Frye Festival is Atlantic Canada’s largest literary event and Canada’s only international bilingual literary festival. The 2013 edition will take place in Greater Moncton from April 22 to 28.

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