Pen to Power

Moderator: Jen Sookfong Lee

Event Number: 02
Tickets: $20.00

Youth under 30: $15.00
Student Groups: $9.50

Pen to Power

Tuesday, Oct 22
10:15am - 11:45am
Granville Island Stage

1585 Johnston Street

Setbacks in life are inevitable, but often lead to discovering our inner-strength. Three lauded storytellers know this all too well. During this empowering, humorous conversation, each shares their journey to self-awareness. Writers Fest veteran and multi-award-winning author Ivan Coyote depicts what it means to be trans and non-binary in Rebent Sinner. Alicia Tobin opens up about depression, and the importance of talking about mental health, in So You’re a Little Sad, So What?. Rapper and bestselling author Humble The Poet describes his rocky start to life, and the importance of forging our own wisdom through lived experience. We all have power. These writers demonstrate that knowing who we are—and celebrating that—is the first step to unleashing it.

About the moderator:
Jen Sookfong
 Lee is the author of seven books, including 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, and Gentlemen of the Shade. Jen teaches fiction at The Writers’ Studio with Simon Fraser University and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit.

Event Participants:

Ivan Coyote

British Columbia

Ivan Coyote is the author, co-author or co-editor of twelve books, including Tomboy Survival Guide, shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize and an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book and longlisted for Canada Reads in 2018. They are also the creator of four short films, three albums that combine storytelling with music, and six full-length theatre productions. Ivan is a seasoned stage performer and an audience favourite at storytelling, literary, film, and folk music festivals. Ivan lives in Vancouver, and Whitehorse, Yukon. Their new book, Rebent Sinner, is out from Arsenal Pulp Press in fall 2019.

Humble The Poet (Kanwer Singh)


Humble The Poet, a.k.a. Kanwer Singh, is a rapper, spoken-word artist, poet, internationally bestselling author and former elementary school teacher. He runs a wildly popular blog that has more than 100,000 monthly readers, and he has over 930,000 social media followers. His first book, Unlearn, sold nearly 30,000 copies. He has performed at concerts and festivals including Lollapalooza and has been featured in major media including BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post., @humblethepoet

Alicia Tobin

British Columbia

Alicia Tobin is a comedian and writer living and working in Vancouver. She is the co-host of two popular podcasts, Retail Nightmares and Super! Sick! Podcast! and the creator of Alicia Tobin’s Come Draw with Me, a live, entirely improvised comedy show that has been featured in a number of comedy festivals. She loves baked goods, animals, friendship and her miniature poodle, Hank Tobin. So You’re a Little Sad, So What? is her first book., @AliciaATobin