Sunday, June 22, 2008

NorthWords a whirlwind

It's been a week since the NorthWords Festival wrapped up, and it's taken that long to mentally process everything that went on.

Random impressions. Extreme good luck to find myself sitting between Newfoundland authors Bernice Morgan and Michael Crummey during supper one night. Both are good company, as well as top-notch writers. Jennifer Storm, a young Winnipeg author who writes with an assurance well beyond her years. Nova Scotia writer Lesley Choyce giving a highly entertaining reading during the closing gala, even though his home was threatened by forest fire. Local writer Annelies Pool bringing down the house with a hilarious short story. Richard Van Camp, NorthWords president and resident big brother, who seemed to be everywhere at once, organizing, chatting, providing encouragement and advice. And Anita Daher, whom I thought I knew so well, absolutely stunning me with her self-assurance and charm as the MC of the closing gala.

My own activities also a blur. My how-to-set-up-a-website-workshop: so much material, so little time. The panel on blogs - did I say anything intelligent? Reading at two open mics, despite creeping exhaustion.

The festival board of directors deserve a big ol' round of applause. A small group of people organizes this ambitious event every year, and things once again went off without a hitch. Events like NorthWords are part of the reason Yellowknife is such a fab place to live. Way to go!