Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers Festival, Mainstage, Sept 26 2012

MAINSTAGE at Manitoba Theatre for Young People


September 26, 2012

8 pm – 10 pm

Writing with a bite. These writers reframe our contemporary world in startling new ways.

Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes is a quiet master of many genres. His poetry collections include A Thaw Foretold and Calm Jazz Sea , shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. His short fiction has appeared in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Anthology. He has won the Silver Medal for Fiction at the National Magazine Awards, and the Danuta Gleed Award for best first book of stories by a Canadian. He has also published a novel, The Syllabus, and a memoir, The Lily Pond. His new book, The Reasonable OgreTales for the Sick and Well (biblioasis), mines the darkly magical world of fairy tales. Barnes lives in Toronto.

Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, and his experience of the Lebanese civil war has informed his work. His debut novel, De Niro’s Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for numerous prestigious national and international awards, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. His second novel, Cockroach, won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was also a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award, as well as the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His new novel, Carnival (Anansi), features a troubled cab driver in an unnamed city. Rawi Hage lives in Montreal.

Esmé Claire Keith

Esmé Claire Keith’s debut novel, Not Being on a Boat (Freehand Books), is a darkly comic story of Rutledge, a wealthy and manipulative man, and Raoul, his trustworthy and resourceful steward on an ill-fated luxury cruise ship. The National Post calls it “an ambitious satire of luxury culture” and readers and reviewers alike have appreciated its biting wit. Not Being on a Boat was shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and won the 2012 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. Keith was born in Montreal, and lives now in Winnipeg.

Pasha Malla

Pasha Malla’s story collection, The Withdrawal Method, won the Trillum Book Award and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize (Best First Book, Canada & Caribbean). A frequent contributor to The WalrusThe Globe and Mail, and CBC Radio, Malla is also the winner of an Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction, two National Magazine Awards for humour writing, and has twice had stories included in the Journey Prize anthology. His debut novel, People Park (Anansi), is an ambitious, hilarious story about an experimental city. Malla was born in St John’s NL, grew up in London ON, and now lives in Toronto.

Seán Virgo

Seán Virgo was born in Malta, and grew up in South Africa, Malaya, Ireland and the UK. He immigrated to Canada in 1966 and has lived on Haida Gwaii, various Gulf Islands, the Bruce Peninsula, Newfoundland, and for the last decade in Saskatchewan. Virgo has won the CBC Literary Competition twice, the BBC3 Short Story Competition, and National Magazine Awards for both poetry and prose. He has published both poetry and fiction books, includingA Traveller Came Bynonagon fugue, and Begging Questions. His new book is Dibidalen: ten stories (Thistledown). Virgo lives in Eastend SK, on the Frenchman River.




McNally Robinson selling books at the Thin Air Writers Festival




Nice furniture supplied by EQ3


Thin Air Writers Festival merch


Esmé Claire Keith and Pasha Malla backstage


Rawi Hage



Award winning author Rawi Hage


Award winning author Seán Virgo



Director of the Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers Festival, Charlene Diehl




Thin Air Writers Festival on MTYP main stage


Mike Barnes



Esmé Claire Keith reads from “not being on a boat”


Pasha Malla reads from People Park







Cheese supplied by Bothwell




Many books for sale at the Writers Festival



Séan Virgo reads from Dibidalen




Rawi Hage reads from Carnival





Séan Virgo is a wonderfully nice man



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