Women writers come together to share excerpts from new work

- March 7, 2024

A group of accomplished writers are coming together this weekend to share excerpts of their works with the local community at a public reading event in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The event will feature several women from the Dalhousie community, including Drs. Erin Wunker, Asha Jeffers, and Heather Jessup, all faculty members in Dal's Department of English and Creative Writing program

The event came to life after Dr. Jessup, who will host the event, was in touch with Dal and Concordia joint-post-doctoral fellow Dr. Kasia Van Schaik about her plans to come to Halifax this week to speak to the Dal English department as part of its speaker series. Her book We Have Never Lived on Earth was longlisted for the 2023 Giller Prize and the 2023 ReLit Award for short fiction.  

“Kasia mentioned writers in Halifax whose work she admires, and her visit aligned with International Women's Day,” says Dr. Jessup. “So, I offered to host an event to celebrate these amazing women and amazing writers alongside Kasia.”

Those local writers that will read at the event include Dal alum Charlene Carr (MA in English), whose book Hold My Girl was optioned in 2023 by production company Blink Studios for a series adaptation; Dr. Annick MacAskill, winner of the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry; and Stephanie Domet, widely-known from her time spent previously as host of Mainstreet on CBC and now as co-executive director of the AfterWords Literary Festival.

A night with verve

Dr. Jessup notes that the reading event will celebrate the recent publications and honours for these writers and will feature a wonderful sampling of lots of different kinds of literary work: novels, essays, poetry, and short fiction.

“The readings are short, about 6-7 minutes for each writer, which will allow for a lovely energy and verve to the evening in my experience,” adds Dr. Jessup. “[The writers] have been invited to read from published work or from works in progress, so we may hear work that’s not even yet published!”

Dr. Jessup extends this invitation to all to come together to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“International Women's Day is a day that matters deeply to me, and, in my mind, includes women, female-identifying or non-binary folks, and people of all genders who are grateful for all that women do in this world to bring peace, wildness, leadership, and generosity to the world,” she explains. “Unfortunately, misogyny and violence against women and non-cis folks continues to exist and having a moment to just revel in language and each other's remarkable company is a gift and a form of resistance and resilience.”

This free event takes place on Saturday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Halifax Women’s Council House, located at 989 Young Avenue. Staff from Bookmark, a local book vendor, will be present with books for sale.


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