Keynote Address - Dogs, Doorknobs and Decorum with Aritha van Herk
Location Knox United Church
The Fernie Writers' Conference is pleased to welcome Aritha van Herk back to Fernie. She was an instructor for the 2011 Conference and returns to put writers through their paces. Aritha is also set to deliver the Conference keynote address on the evening of Friday, July 20. An engaging storyteller and accomplished author, Aritha's talk will inspire writers and readers alike to look for stories in unlikely places.
Her talk, titled Doors, Doorknobs and Decorum, is a meditation on the various inspirational and aspirational moments
that writers stumble into, fall over, and embrace, accidentally or otherwise, deliberately or inadvertently. She will discuss of the fibre of writing, its strange infections and happy obsessions, its tricks and trade-offs, its terrors and taboos.
Aritha teaches creative writing, Canadian literature and contemporary narrative at the University of Calgary in the Department of English. Sheis a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and is active in Canada's literary and cultural life.
Her novels include Judith; The Tent Peg; No Fixed Address, nominated for the Governor General's Award for fiction; Places Far From Ellesmere; and Restlessness. Her critical works, A Frozen Tongue and In Visible Ink stretch the boundaries of the essay and ask questions about reading and writing as aspects of narrative subversion.
With Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta, winner of the Grant MacEwan Author's Award, Aritha ventured into new territory, transforming history into a narratological spectacle. The book frames the permanent exhibition that opened at the Glenbow Museum in 2007.
She has served on many juries, including the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She is well known both locally and nationally, as a writer and a public intellectual.