North America’s only feminist literary festival, Growing Room, has announced its events lineup of more than 50 events from Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 17, 2019, at accessible venues across Vancouver.
Celebrated writers from across North America will explore some of the most current, pressing ideas in literature today through reading, debating, performing and singing.
Growing Room A Feminist Literary Festival
Tickets: Available online starting February 1, 2019
Growing Room A Feminist Literary Festival is Room magazine’s annual literary festival, a celebration of diverse Canadian writers and artists which takes place every March on the traditional, unceded, and ancestral territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish peoples (Vancouver, British Columbia).
Curated by 2018 City of Vancouver Book Award-winner Chelene Knight (Dear Current Occupant), along with a programming team from Room including publisher Meghan Bell and Indigenous Brilliance organizers Jessica Johns, jaye simpson, and Patricia Massy, Growing Room seeks to highlight the incredible expanse of work created by talented, often minority authors, while re-sculpting the landscape of stories shared in Canada.
Int’l Women’s Day Burlesque Show and Dance Party Friday, March 8, 2019
A launch party like no other, Growing Room 2019 kicks off with performances from Virago Nation—an all Indigenous burlesque troupe—and DJ Kookum. Bring your dancing shoes.
Indigenous Brilliance One Year Anniversary Saturday, March 9, 2019
Indigenous Brilliance reading series celebrates its one-year anniversary with a day-long event featuring poets, writers, singers, visual artists, academics, medicine makers, beadworkers and more. Hosted by: Jessica Johns, Patricia Massy and jaye simpson.
Fire can both warm and burn you—how do creators balance rage with a gentler side? These exceptional creators lend us the privilege of sharing their Tender Rage: ways they love and yell, care and seethe, comfort and fume.
Featuring: Valeen Jules, Eden Robinson, Arielle Twist and Katherena Vermette.
Body Politics Saturday, March 9, 2019
Our culture’s fetishization of youth, thinness, whiteness and ability continues. What power does creative expression have to heal and affirm? And how do the politics of the body affect which voices are valued and heard in CanLit? Featuring: Lucas Crawford, Jónína Kirton, Arley McNeney, Hana Shafi and Andrea Warner.
Funny Feminists Sunday, March 10, 2019
An afternoon of witty poetry and prose that lets you punch up at the patriarchy with some of the most incisive, hilarious writers in the country.
Featuring: Ivan Coyote, Lucas Crawford, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Jo Dworschak, Samantha Nock, Eden Robinson, Hana Shafi and Lindsay Wong.
Black Voices Raised Sunday, March 10, 2019
Some of B.C.’s most necessary Black Voices bring the house down with their readings, as hosted by Whitney French, editor of the new Black Writers Matter anthology. Featuring: Siobhan Barker, Cicely Belle-Blain, Chantal Gibson, Robyn Maynard, Cecily Nicholson, Rabbit Richards.
The Vast Inscape: Writing about Mental Health Sunday, March 10, 2019
How can writing about mental health be both a source of inspiration and also one of a writer’s greatest barriers? How can we write responsibly about mental health in a culture steeped in stigma? Featuring: Meghan Bell, Triny Finlay, Lydia Kwa, Shazia Hafiz Ramji and Lindsay Wong.
Invisible Womxn Monday, March 11, 2019
Writers discuss why manywomxn writers choose to write about those who are either who are either derided, commodified, or even go completely unrecognized in our culture’s mainstream. In this panel, creating character becomes an act of insurgency via creativity. Featuring: Sharon Bala, Whitney French, Sara Graefe, Maureen Medved, Arielle Twist.
So You Think You Can Slam? Wednesday, March 13, 2019
The festival’s first ever Poetry Slam showcases some of the most sharp-tongued writers and performers in the game, this evening riffing on Tender. Featuring: bassam, Molly Billows, Estíqw, David Ly, Valeen Jules, Rabbit Richards, jaye simpson, LJ Weisberg.
Writing across Intersections: Asian Canadian & Diaspora Friday, March 15, 2019
Asian Canadian and diasporic literature is much more than a singular narrative of immigration stories. These writers demonstrate just that, as they talk about their writing, the books that shaped them, emerging voices they love, and their experience navigating labels and boundaries. Featuring: Kim Fu, Carrianne Leung, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Tania De Rosario, Yilin Wang.
Journalism: A New Hope Saturday, March 16, 2019
There is a battle for the future of journalism, as local newspapers vanish, politicians cry ‘fake news’ and conservative pundits spread vitriol as fact. But the tide is turning—as these four writers demonstrate. Featuring: Joanna Chiu, Alicia Elliott, Elizabeth Renzetti, Emily Riddle, Lorimer Shenher and Andrea Warner.
Whatever Gets You Through: Anthology Launch Saturday, March 16, 2019
Edited by Jen Sookfong Lee and Stacey May Fowles, this anticipated collection of essays offers long-form discussions of sexual assault and healing through topics including ice hockey, kink, boxing and tapestry-making. Featuring: Jen Sookfong Lee, Juliane Okot Bitek, Amber Dawn, Alicia Elliott, Heather O’Neill and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.
Keynote with Canisia LubrinSunday, March 17
Canisia Lubrin, author of Voodoo Hypothesis, editor, critic and one of the most lauded authors of 2018, wraps the Festival with a remarkable keynote address. In the second hour, mingle with other authors and volunteers who made Growing Room possible.