Past Incite Events

The Vancouver Writers Fest in partnership with VPL presents

Past Incite @ VPL Events
An Exploration of Books and Ideas

Usually every second Wednesday, Free*
Alice MacKay Room, Central Library 

Incite 2017

JANUARY 18: Did you resolve to read more poetry in 2017? Start the year off right with readings from four fine poets. Journey into the tangled world of love and addiction in Rachel Rose’s Marry & Burn; look behind the headlines with Rob Taylor’s The News; reflect on the personal impacts of climate change with Jan Zwicky; and explore subjects as varied as veganism, sex and gun violence with Patricia YoungLearn more.

**JANUARY 19** - Special Incite:  Novelist, essayist, playwright and distinguished scholar Sarah Schulman offers an eye-opening and original perspective on the cultural phenomenon of blame and scapegoating, as explored in her acclaimed work, Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of RepairLearn more.

FEBRUARY 1: Join Glenn Dixon (Juliet’s Answer), Zoey Leigh Peterson (Next Year, For Sure) and Jowita Bydlowska (Guy) for an evening of readings exploring the gamut of romantic relationships: from the guileless passion of Shakespeare’s young Juliet, to a couple experimenting with polyamory, to the exploits of your “misogynist next door.” Learn more.

FEBRUARY 22: Three award-winning authors come together to tell compelling stories of family, heartbreak and finding your place in the world. Deborah Willis will enchant you with the eerie stories in her collection The Dark and Other Love StoriesMonia Mazigh writes of reunions and revolutions in Hope has Two Daughters; and Eden Robinson takes us inside the mind of Jared, a highschool dropout who’s more than meets the eye, in Son of a TricksterLearn more.

MARCH 1: Explore the many identities, cultures, sights, and scents of the West Coast with readings from three of its most promising young authors: Jen Sookfong Lee’s acclaimed novel The Conjoined explores the disappearance of two sisters in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Janie Chang’s second novel follows a Eurasian orphan’s search for her mother in early 20th century China. And Carleigh Baker illuminates life's witty, awkward and sorrowful moments in Bad Endings, a short story collection set in Vancouver that sparkles with magic realism. Learn more.

MARCH 15: In this highly anticipated Incite event, hear from three celebrated non-fiction authors including Kevin DonovanThe Toronto Star's award-winning journalist, whose new book, Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation, has been called “a high point in the history of modern Canadian journalism” by The WalrusAlexandra Shimo’s Invisible North explores the journalist’s search for answers on a troubled northern Ontario reserve. Pulitzer Prize winning author Paul Watson weaves together the epic story of the 1845 Lost Franklin Expedition with the modern discovery of the wreck in Ice Ghosts. Learn more.

**Special Incite** MARCH 20: Award-winning screenwriter Elan Mastai presents his first novel, All Our Wrong Todays. Set in an alternate version of 2016 where humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise, it follows the story of Tom, as a time-travel mishap strands him in our version of 2016, which seems like a dystopian wasteland in comparison. It’s a story of friendship, family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and love in its multitude forms. Learn more.

MARCH 29:Rebecca Rosenblum (So Much Love), Lori McNulty (Life on Mars) and Janet Rogers (Totem Poles & Railroads) present their new books and discuss human connections—how they form, and how they break down. Rosenblum details the lives of members of a small community after a young woman is abducted; McNulty’s “raw, moving, [and] strange” stories explore the absurdities of human (and nonhuman) relationships; and Rogers’ latest poetry collection illustrates the dynamics of colonialism in Canada. Learn more.

APRIL 12: Hit the ‘pause’ button on your frantic life and settle back as three acclaimed non-fiction writers share their moving, contemplative works of nonfiction. Sharon Butala tells of reinventing herself after the sudden death of her husband in Where I Live NowMichael Harris makes an argument for spending more time alone in Solitude; and Robert Moor takes us on a hike across the globe’s trails—and into the human psyche—in On TrailsLearn more.

APRIL 26: Join us as three acclaimed authors share globe-trotting tales of family, loss and adventure. Lisa See’s latest book, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, is about the bond of a mother and daughter separated by an ocean; The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan was inspired by the diaries of his father and tells of a young boy’s struggle to survive during the second Sino-Japanese War; and Carys Davies’ second fiction features stories set in Australia, Siberia, and more. Learn more.

MAY 10 - Take a trip to faraway eras and places with three richly imagined historical novels. Roberta Rich returns with A Trial in Venice, her third novel set during the Italian Renaissance. Alisa Smith dives into the world of World War II espionage in her debut novel. And Mary Burns imagines life as a young woman in Chicago, 1919, as the city is overtaken by social unrest in The Reason for TimeLearn more.

Incite 2016


Wednesday, May 18: The finale of Incite 2016 features three renowned writers who immerse readers in the fascinating worlds of their novels: Yasuko Thanh (Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains), Alissa York (The Naturalist) and Chris Cleave (Everyone Brave is Forgiven). 


Wednesday, May 4: Confronting identity, art and politics in their memoirs, three outspoken female writers connect during an animated discussion. Featuring Canadian singer-song writer Bif Naked (I, Bificus), poet and writer Betsy Warland (Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas) and writer and actress Carmen Aguirre (Mexican Hooker # 1).


Wednesday, April 27: Anne and Nicholas Giardini share writing wisdom from their close kin, Carol Shields, in Startle and Illuminate. Joining them for a discussion of craft are two authors of short fiction, Elizabeth McLean ( The Swallows Uncaged ) and Laura Trunkey (Double Dutch). 


A special Incite event.
Thursday April 21:
 Join Artistic Director Hal Wake for a conversation with Nick Bantock, author of the bestselling Griffin & Sabine series which turns 25 this year.


Wednesday, April 13: Resource extraction, embracing a more sustainable lifestyle and the future of democracy. Writers Andrew Nikiforuk (Slick Water), Carrie Saxifrage (The Big Swim) and Micah White (The End of Protest) weave compelling tales to investigate these themes in their crucial works of non-fiction. 


Wednesday, March 30: Celebrations for National Poetry Month start a few days early with an enchanting evening of verse. Hosted by Rachel Rose and featuring Alexandra Oliver (Let the Empire Down), Garry Gottfriedson (Deaf Heaven), and John Pass (Forecast).


Wednesday, March 16: Journey to faraway places with these novelists: Yann Martel (The High Mountains of Portugal) and Claudia Casper (The Mercy Journals).  


Wednesday, March 2: An evening of new literary voices: Jess Taylor (Pauls), Kevin Hardcastle (Debris), Kris Bertin (Bad Things Happen). 


Wednesday, February 17Join us for a smorgasbord of great non-fiction about food: Jenna Butler (A Profession of Hope), Stephen Le (100 Million Years of Food), and Susan Musgrave (A Taste of Haida Gwaii)


Wednesday, February 3: A novel, a poetry collection and a memoir about activism and protest: Sunil Yapa (Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist), Sarah de Leeuw (Skeena) and Sonja Larsen (Red Star Tattoo). 


Wednesday, January 20: An evening about outsiders and finding hope in unexpected places: Andrew Battershill (Pillow), Pauline Holdstock (The Hunter and the Wild Girl) and Billie Livingston (The Crooked Heart of Mercy).

cite 2015

Wednesday, May 20: Three seasoned voices of CanLit: Guy Vanderhaeghe (Daddy Lenin and Other Stories), Mark Anthony Jarman (Knife Party at the Hotel Europa) and Joan Thomas (The Opening Sky).


Wednesday, May 6: Three modern voices take the stage for an evening of dark humour with a hint of the supernatural. Globe & Mail columnist Russell Smith reads from his new story collection Confidence, Adam Lewis Schroeder reads from All-Day Breakfast and Kristi Charish reads from her "kick-ass" supernatural thriller Owl and the Japanese Circus.


Wednesday, April 22: A rare Incite event featuring mother and daughter. Beloved Canadian author Jane Urquhart reads from her new novelThe Night Stages. She's joined by Emily Urquhart who reads from her debut non-fiction book, Beyond the Pale, inspired by her daughter who has albinism.


Wednesday, April 8: Deni Béchard reads from The Last Bonobo, an exploration of the dissapearing Bonobos and the rainforest they call home. Activist Lisa J. Shannon reads from Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen, which tells the emotional story of an expatriate's return to the Congo, and Michael Wuitchik's My Heart Is Not My Own is a fictional look at a Sierra Leonean nurse/midwife who disappears at the hands of rebels, and the Canadian doctor who returns to Sierra Leone to find her. 


Wednesday, March 25: An exploration of memoir with three new Canadian voices. Cathie Borrie reads from The Long Hello, Lynette Loeppky reads from Cease and Kara Stanley reads from Fallen.


Wednesday, March 11: An evening of award-winning Canadian fiction. Two Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominees read from their new novels: Fred Stenson (Who By Fire) and Kim Echlin (Under the Visible Life). They’re joined by debut novelist Chelsea Rooney  (Pedal).


Wednesday, February 25: Susan Juby reads from her new novel The Republic of Dirt, a follow-up to her Stephen Leacock nominated book The Woefield Poultry Collective, and Julie Paul and Marguerite Pigeon read from their new short story collections.


Wednesday, February 11: Bestselling author John Vaillant makes his fiction debut with The Jaguar's Children, Marianne Apostolides reads from her sensual new novel Sophrosyne and Alix Hawley reads from her debut novel All True Not a Lie in It.


Wednesday, January 28: Acclaimed journalist and Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Linden MacIntyre talks about his new novel Punishment. He's joined by the winner of the Vancouver Book Award Michael Christie with his debut novel If I Fall, If I Die.


Wednesday, January 14: An evening of poetry with Patrick Lane, 2014 Governor General's Award-winner Arleen Paré and debut talent Kayla Czaga.


Incite 2014

Wednesday, May 21: Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Lynn Coady, 2009 Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest winner Eufemia Fantetti and NOW Magazine Book of the Year winner Nancy Lee.


Wednesday, May 7: Three emerging writers read from their latest. Ondjaki reads from Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret, Claire Battershill reads from Circus and Sean Michaels reads from Us Conductors.


Wednesday, April 16: Three writers who call BC home read from their new books. Kim Fu reads from For Today I Am a Boy, Brian Payton reads from The Wind Is Not a River and Audrey Thomas reads from Local Customs.


Wednesday, April 2: New work from short story writers Doretta Lau and Kathy Page, and novelist Eva Stachniak.


Friday, March 28: Award-winning historian Margaret MacMillan uncovers the political and technological changes, national decisions and human frailty that led Europe from peace to disaster.


Wednesday, March 26: Poetry Night! Readings from Jen Currin (School), Jane Munro (Blue Sonoma) and Adam Sol (Complicity).


Wednesday, March 19: The Dark Side: an evening with mystery and thriller writers Deryn Collier, Craig Davidson (aka Nick Cutter), Andrew Pyper, and Sean Slater.


Wednesday, March 5: Best Canadian Stories 2013 contributors Caroline Adderson, Cynthia Flood and Zoey Peterson read their stories.


Wednesday, February 19: Catherine Bush, Adrianne Harun and Andrew Steinmetz in an evening of new fiction and


Wednesday, February 5: Triple Olympic medalist Silken Laumann on overcoming a troubled childhood and achieving greatness in her new memoir, Unsinkable.


Wednesday, January 29: Arno Kopecky and Charles Montgomery talk about The Oil Man and the Sea and what makes a
Happy City.


Incite 2013

Wednesday, May 29: Former newspaper publisher Conrad Black talks to Kirk LaPointe about his new book Flight of the Eagle, a strategic history of the United States.


Wednesday, May 22: Bestselling author Meg Wolitzer talks about her new book, The Interestings and Jim Lynch reads from his latest.


Wednesday, May 8: Award-winning author Colin McAdam reads from A Beautiful Truth, paulo de costa reads from The Green and Purple Skin of the World and Shyam Selvadurai reads from his latest, The Hungry Ghosts.


Monday, May 6: Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin offers a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos.


Wednesday, April 17: Guy Gavriel Kay reads from his new novel, River of Stars, and Ruth Ozeki reads from her latest, A Tale for the Time Being.


Wednesday, April 10: Ania Szado reads from her highly anticipated new book, Studio Saint-Ex, Billie Livingston reads from her lively novel One Good Hustle and Patrick Taylor brings his Irish country charm.


Wednesday, March 27: Pat Morrow and Sharon Wood share their gripping stories of climbing Everest and reaching the summit in distinctly different ways.


Wednesday, March 13: An evening for poetry lovers, with John Barton, Nicole Brossard and Catherine Owen.


Wednesday, February 27: Join Canadian humourist Arthur Black and award-winning actor Jackson Davies for an evening of fun and laughter.


Wednesday, February 13: An evening filled with non-fiction, featuring Globe and Mail journalist Sandra Martin and Zac Unger.


Wednesday, January 16: A night of award winners, featuring Tamas Dobozy, Candace Savage and Tim Bowling.


Wednesday, January 30: A titillating night of intrigue, with C.P. Boyko, Barbara Lambert and Bradley Somer - three authors who tackle taboos, seductions and a bit of mystery.


Incite 2012

Wednesday, May 23: Trevor and Debbie Greene present March Forth, the inspiring true story of a Canadian soldier's journey of love, hope and survival, and Noah Richler examines peacekeeping in What We Talk About When We Talk About War.


Tuesday, May 15: Former CBC executive Richard Stursberg will be interviewed on stage by Marsha Lederman about his controversial new memoir, Tower of Babble: Sins, Secrets and Successes Inside the CBC.
*Please note, this event takes place on Tuesday.


Wednesday, May 9: This week, two Scotiabank Giller Prize winning authors take to the stage to discuss their latest books. CBC personality Linden MacIntyre discusses his new novel, Why Men Lie and Vincent Lam reads from his new work, The Headmaster’s Wager.


Wednesday, April 18: Irish novelist John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, reads from The AbsolutistBuffy Cram  reads from her debut collection of short stories Radio Belly and Owen Laukkanen shares his debut thriller The Professionals.


Wednesday, April 4: Will Ferguson takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam in 419 and Journey Prize-winner Yasuko Thanh reads from her new collection of short stories, Floating like the Dead.


Wednesday, March 21:  Tamara Faith Berger reads from her third novel Maidenhead, and Anakana Schofield and Ben Wood read from their debut novels, Malarky and The Bellwether Revivals.


Wednesday, March 7: BC author Steven Price reads from his new collection of poetry, Omens in the Year of the Ox, poet Julie Bruck shares her latest work, Monkey Ranch, and Vancouver-based W.H. New reads from his latest book of poetry, YVR.  


Wednesday, February 22 Ojibway author and storyteller Richard Wagamese reads from Indian Horse, BC author Anne DeGrace reads from Flying with Amelia and Robert Hough shares his latest work, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower.


Monday, February 20 Pico Iyer in conversation with Louise Dennys.
*Please note, this event takes place at the Improv Centre on Granville Island and admission is by donation.


Wednesday, February 8: Tess Gallagher reads from Midnight Lantern, a collection of her indispensable work from forty years of writing poetry, and award-winning Ontario writer Merilyn Simonds reads from A New Leaf.


Wednesday, January 25: William Gibson discusses his latest work of non-fiction, Distrust That Particular Flavor .


Incite 2011

Wednesday, December 7: Canadian writer Heather Jessup discusses her debut novel The Lightning Field and journalist JJ Lee discusses his new memoir, Measure of a Man.


Wednesday, November 23: Ray Robertson discusses his latest work of non-fiction, Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live and writers Cathy Stonehouse and Rebecca Rosenblum read from their latest short story collections, Something About the Animal and The Big Dream.


Wednesday, November 9: Join us for an evening with the award-winning author of The Birth House, Ami McKay and BC author Frances Greenslade.


Wednesday, September 28: Vancouver-based ER Physician and author of six medical thrillers, Daniel Kalla, shares the stage with poet Julia McCarthy and BC author Ashley Little.


Wednesday, September 14: An evening with Chilean-Canadian author, poet, educator and political social activist Carmen Rodriguez, and Vancouver-based theatre artist and writer Carmen Aguirre.


Wednesday, May 25: Award-winning novelist Madeleine Thien reads from her latest book, Dogs at the Perimeter, with authors Patrick deWitt and Jen Sookfong Lee.


Wednesday, May 11: Zsuzsi Gartner discusses her latest book, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives, and singer-songwriter Sylvia Tyson reads from her debut novel, Joyner's Dream.


Monday, May 9: A special Incite event with Bernhard Schlink, author of The Reader.


Wednesday, April 20: An evening with award-winning authors Joyce Carol Oates and Johanna Skibsrud.


Wednesday, April 6: Multimedia presentation by bestselling writer Timothy Taylor, and novelists Gurjinder Basran and Rupinder Gill in conversation with Hal Wake.


Wednesday, March 23: An evening with Canadian poet and storyteller Lorna Crozier, historical novelist, short fiction writer and essayist Pauline Holdstock, and bestselling author Susan Juby with her first novel for adults.


Wednesday, March 9: Dianne Warren talks to John Burns about her first novel Cool Water, which won the Governor General's Literary Award. With readings from poets Aurian Haller and Evelyn Lau.


Wednesday, February 23: Steven Galloway interviews Alexander MacLeod about his long-awaited collection of short fiction, Light Lifting. Readings by Gabriella Goliger and Théodora Armstrong.


Wednesday, February 9: A discussion of Making Waves: Reading BC and Pacific Northwest Literature with editor Trevor Carolan and contributing writers Colin James Sanders, Russell Thornton and Hilary Turner. 


Wednesday, January 26: Join us for the launch of Incite, featuring readings from Michael Christie, Amber Dawn and Andrew Pyper.


Presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library.




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