2024 Festival:
October 21–27

46. Smells Like… 90s Lyrics Night

46. Smells Like… 90s Lyrics Night

A highlight of last year’s Festival, lyrics night is back! We Truly Madly Deeply loved the 90s when many of us were Livin’ La Vida Loca. You Oughta Know that in this Bittersweet Symphony of fun, celebrated authors read their favourite lyrics from the era like they’re still in Vogue. If you Believe that Nothing Compares 2 a silly night of MmmBop and Da Funk, then Come As You Are, Under the Bridge to Performance Works, for this Juicy night. You’ll be Tearin’ Up Our Hearts if you don’t visit us Where It’s At. Say You’ll Be There? Then say you’ll join us for our 90s Dance Party, immediately following this event (see Event #49)! Hosted by Elamin Abdelmahmoud.

Event Participants:

Elamin Abdelmahmoud

ELAMIN ABDELMAHMOUD is the 2023 Guest Curator for the Vancouver Writers Fest. A former writer for BuzzFeed News, his work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Rolling Stone, and others. He is the author of the number one national bestseller Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces.

Omar El Akkad

OMAR EL AKKAD’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and many other publications. His debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and has been translated into thirteen languages. His second novel, What Strange Paradise, won the Giller Prize. He was the 2022 VWF Guest Curator.

Mona Awad

MONA AWAD is the author of Bunny, named a Best Book of 2019 by Time, Vogue, and the New York Public Library. It was a finalist for the New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror. It is currently under option for film with Bad Robot Productions. Awad’s first novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and winner of the Colorado Book Award. Her third novel, All’s Well, was longlisted for the International Dublin Award and was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror. Rouge is currently optioned for film by Fremantle and Sinestra. She teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University and is based in Boston.

Kevin Chong

KEVIN CHONG is the award-winning author of several books of fiction and nonfiction. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Rumpus, and more. He currently lives in Vancouver and is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus.

Claudia Dey

CLAUDIA DEY is the author of Stunt, a Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire Book of the Year. Her plays have been produced internationally and nominated for the Governor General’s Award and Trillium Book Award. Dey’s writing and interviews have appeared in many publications, including The Paris Review and The Believer. Dey has also worked as a horror film actress and a cook in lumber camps across northern Canada, and is co-founder of the design studio and clothing label Horses Atelier. She lives in Toronto.

John Freeman

JOHN FREEMAN is the founder of the literary annual Freeman’s, the latest and final issue of which is themed to conclusions. The author and editor of twelve books, he lives in New York City. His latest is Wind, Trees, a collection of poems.

Aisha Harris

AISHA HARRIS is a cohost and reporter for the hit NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. She previously held editorial positions at Slate and the New York Times. Aisha earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Northwestern University and her master’s degree in cinema studies from NYU.

Jen Sookfong Lee

JEN SOOKFONG LEE was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast Can’t Lit.

Sean Michaels

SEAN MICHAELS was born in Stirling, Scotland, in 1982. Raised in Ottawa, he eventually settled in Montreal, founding Said the Gramophone, one of the earliest music blogs. He has since spent time in Edinburgh and Kraków, writ­ten for the Guardian and McSweeney’s, toured with rock bands, searched the Parisian catacombs for Les UX, and received 2 National Magazine Awards.

William Ping

WILLIAM PING is a Chinese-Canadian writer from Newfoundland. After completing his Master of Arts at Memorial University in 2020, he was named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies. He received the 2022 Cox & Palmer Creative Writing Award as well as the 2021 Landfall Trust. His debut novel, Hollow Bamboo, which he wrote for his master’s degree, received the Award for Thesis Excellence from the English department. His work has previously been featured on the CBC, in Riddle Fence, and in the anthologies Us, Now and Hard Ticket.

Emerging Authors presented thanks to the support of RBC

Sam Shelstad

SAM SHELSTAD's debut novel, Citizens of Light, won the 2023 Crime Writers of Canada Award for Best First Crime Novel. He is the author of the short story collection Cop House and his fiction has appeared in magazines including The Walrus and The New Quarterly. He contributes to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. You can find him online at samshelstad.com.

Michael V. Smith

MICHAEL V. SMITH has published six previous books, which include three collections of poetry, a memoir, and two novels. Also an award-winning filmmaker, drag queen, and professor, Smith teaches at UBC Okanagan, in Kelowna, BC, where he lives with his brilliant husband.

Chelsea Wakelyn

CHELSEA WAKELYN is a writer, musician, and mother to two lovely, eccentric humans. She has an MA in Health Leadership and has spent most of her adult life working in health care, both on the front lines as a mental health worker and behind-the-scenes in quality and process improvement. She is now a project manager collaborating on public health strategies to mitigate the drug poisoning crisis. She lives on Vancouver Island.
Emerging Authors presented thanks to the support of RBC.