International Festival of Authors – Michael Connelly, Dani Couture, Denise Mina, William Deverell.

By Sam Mooney

This is the 30th Anniversary of the International Festival Of Authors – IFOA.

For the record theatre doesn’t have to be a play, any performance in front of an audience can be theatre.  In June I reviewed the Griffin Poetry Prize short-list readings, it was poetry as theatre, and it was great.

Tonight I went to see (or hear) Michael Connelly, Dani Couture, Denise Mina, and William Deverell read from their newest works.  Ian Rankin was the host, introducing the writers.  Each author reads for 20 minutes – except poets who read for 10, (kind of a strange rule).

Denise Mina read the first chapter of her newest novel Still Midnight.  The final sentence was terrific and it left me longing for more.  If you haven’t read anything by Denise Mina then you owe it to yourself to read one of her books, sooner rather than later.

Michael Connelly and William Deverell also read from their new novels.  Dani Couture read from her latest collection of poems, as well as reading poems that will be published in a new collection in the spring.

Sometimes it’s wonderful to have someone read to you.   In a way hearing an author read from their book is like watching a movie trailer, it leaves you wanting the whole book.  I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

On the way out I was talking with a woman who was somewhat disappointed.  She had expected more discussion.  There are round table sessions, interviews, and lectures if those are more to your taste.

There is also YoungIFOA for children.  Kids know that story time is theatre, it’s when we become adults that we forget this, and categorize things so tightly.

This is the third year for IFOA Ontario.  There are readings in Barrie, Burlington, Don Mills, Midland, Orillia, Parry Sound, and Uxbridge.  So if you can’t get to Toronto maybe you can go to one of these events. 


The International Festival of Authors – IFOA – runs until October 31 in various venues at Harbourfront.
-Tickets to most events are $15 and are available at the box office – Harbourfront Centre Box Office, York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West – by phone – 416.973.4000 or online.
IFOA Ontario runs until November 3.