Anne Michaels appearing at Words in the Woods

By Trina Berlo
September 9, 2016 

The schedule has been announced for Words in the Woods, the inaugural Dunedin Literary Festival, on Saturday, Sept. 17.
The day starts at 11 a.m., with local historian Helen Blackburn followed by readings by local poet and translator Paul Eprile and the New Farm’s Brent Preston.

Author Anne Michaels will be doing a performance of her children’s book The Adventures of Miss Petitfour at 12:30 p.m. – with musicians David Sereda, David Gray and Colleen Allen.

Michaels will also close the festival with an evening Q-and-A starting at 5 p.m. which will include a reading and discussion to mark the 20th anniversary of her acclaimed novel, Fugitive Pieces. After the 30 minute interview with Cecily Ross, she will be joined again by Sereda, a singer and pianist, for an intimate evening of music, words, poetry and theatre

Michaels, Poet Laureate of Toronto, has been published in more than 45 countries. She is the recipient of dozens of literary awards including the Orange Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Lannan Award for Fiction. She has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize twice, shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Award and twice longlisted for the Impac Dublin literary award.

Both appearances by Michaels will be at Dunedin Hall. The later one is a ticketed event and seating is limited.
In the afternoon, Michael Fraser will be doing a poetry reading, followed by a reading by Joseph Kertes, a reading by Michael Helm and mystery writer John Brooke.

Kertes, author of the 2009 novel Gratitude, which won a Canadian National Jewish Book Award and the US National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will be reading from his most recent novel The Afterlife of Stars.

Helm will read from his upcoming and highly-anticipated novel After James, a ‘genre-bending work of astonishing vision’ followed by a Q-and-A. Helm is the author of The Projectionist, a Giller Prize finalist, In the Place of Last Things, a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and Cities of Refuge.

Nicola Ross, author of Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes, will be doing a guided hike and nature-writing workshop starting from Dunedin Park at 2 p.m. Tickets for the hike cost $10.

Tickets for the two events are available at Curiosity House Books. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with most events happening at Dunedin Park.

There will be activities for children: Colour large-format pages from local illustrator Steve McDonald’s newest book Fantastic Collections, play in the park with games and toys put together by Cardboard Castles Children’s Emporium, walk among the art installation of life-sized wired horses by Dunedin metal and wood artist Jim Leithead of Cedarfox Sculpture.
At Storybook Park, younger readers can participate in daylong activities, which focus on reading, play and fun. Pet the adorable sheep and then settle in for story time with Jenn Hubbs at 11:30 a.m. with a reading of The Sheepover by John and Jennifer Churchman.

Visitors to the festival can browse through the artisan market and sample goods by the Neal Brothers. Their cookbook Goodness includes recipes by area food activists Miriam Streiman of Mad Maple Country Inn, and The New Farm’s Brent Preston and Gillian Flies.

Curiosity House Books and Gallery will set up a pop-up shop in a vintage trailer to sell the featured authors’ books, as well as gifts and merchandise.

There will be gourmet food trucks set up outside the Dunedin Hall.

For a full itinerary and ticket prices, visit