SPARKS Literary Festival

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Please note that because of impending weather the SPARKS literary festival has been postponed until Feb 5th.
Justin Brake

Justin Brake

Justin Brake is a journalist who makes his home on the Island's west coast, on the traditional, unceded lands of the Beothuk and Mi'kmaq. He works as a reporter and editor with The Independent and believes, in the face of Newfoundland and Labrador's social, political and economic calamities, good journalism is the antidote.

Andreae Callanan

Andreae Callanan

Andreae Callanan is a St. John's poet and essayist; her work has appeared in Riddle Fence, CV2, The Walrus, The New Quarterly's falling in love with poetry: an anthology, and on CBC Radio. Her poetry has been recognized with McGill University's Lionel Shapiro Award, Memorial's Gregory J. Power Poetry Prize, and the Lawrence Jackson Writers' Award, and was shortlisted for the 2009 Fresh Fish Award. She is currently pursuing an MA in English from Memorial.

Bridget Canning

Bridget Canning

Bridget Canning’s short fiction has won awards with the BC Federation of Writers Literary Writes competition, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters awards and been shortlisted for the Cuffer Prize. Her work has been published in several Canadian publications, including Riddle Fence. She was selected as one of the 2015 apprentices with the Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Mentorship.

Eva Crocker

Eva Crocker

Eva Crocker is the Chief Staff Writer and Vice Editor at The Overcast. Her short story collection, Barrelling Forward, will be released on March 17th and was included in The Toronto Star's Most Anticipated Spring Fiction of 2017. 

Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey has published ten books of poetry and fiction. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the Giller Prize and won the Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize. Galore won Canadian Authors' Association fiction prize and the Commonwealth Prize (Canada & Caribbean Region). Sweetland was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Governor-General's and Raddall Atlantic Fiction Awards. Little Dogs: New and Selected Poems was published by House of Anansi in the spring of 2016.

Mary Dalton

Mary Dalton

Mary Dalton is the author of five books of poetry, among them Merrybegot, Red Ledger, and Hooking: A Book of Centos, released in 2013 by Véhicule Press. A collection of Dalton's prose writings, Edge: Essays, Reviews, Interviews, appeared from Palimpsest Press in the fall of 2015. A letterpress chapbook, Waste Ground, is forthcoming from Running the Goat Press. Dalton lives in St. John's, where she is Professor of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 2009 she founded the SPARKS Literary Festival, which she also directed until last year.

Amy Donovan

Amy Donovan

Amy Donovan has an MA in social anthropology from Dalhousie University. Her research centred around community land ownership in Scotland, and human relationships to nonhumans. Her creative work often plays with nonhuman perspectives, and considers how nonhumans experience environmental change. Amy is currently working on a novel as part of her MA in creative writing at MUN. Her poetry has appeared in Riddle Fence magazine.

Allison Graves

Allison Graves

Allison Graves received her BA with honours in English literature from Dalhousie University in 2014 and is now completing her MA in creative writing from Memorial. In her thesis project at Memorial, she is working with Lisa Moore on a collection of short stories about non-places. Along with her studies, she is working at Drawn & Quarterly in Montreal as a production and editorial intern. Her work has appeared in CRIT, The Sappy Times and The Overcast. She has curated exhibitions and projects for Eastern Edge, HOLD FAST, and Riddle Fence and she is the current editor of Memorial’s creative writing journal, Paragon.

Matthew Hollett

Matthew Hollett

Matthew Hollett is a visual artist and writer in St. John's. His work has most recently been published in Riddle Fence and PRISM International (Fall 2016), and previously in anthologies such as The March Hare Anthology (Breakwater Books, 2007), and Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press, 2005). He was shortlisted for Arc Magazine's 2016 Poem of the Year, and a finalist in The Malahat Review's 2016 Open Season Awards in Poetry.

Philippa Jones

Philippa Jones

Philippa Jones has been a St. John's-based artist since 2009. Prior to moving to Canada, Jones completed a BA in fine arts and an MA in interactive art and design at University College Falmouth. Jones' diverse art practice has included and sometimes combines printmaking, painting, pen and ink, animation, art games and interactive installations. Central to Jones' work is the exploration of constructed reality, active myth making and a celebration of wonder and the inquisitive mind.

Dave Paddon

Dave Paddon

Dave Paddon is a retired airline pilot originally from Northwest River, Labrador. He grew up listening to the songs and stories of the trappers and attending many a late night “session” around many a kitchen table. In 1986 he married a Gander girl and subsequently became immersed in Island culture. As a result he accumulated a store of material which suddenly bubbled to the surface when he and Kim returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2005 after 20 years upalong. He wrote his first recitation in 2007 and has now written 24. Five of these have been published in handmade chapbooks and his work is available on a CD or through electronic download. His recitation Ralph: Flying Hound was recently released as an illustrated children's book. Dave lives in St.John's and is a regular at festivals and fundraisers throughout the province.

Chad Pelley

Chad Pelley

Chad Pelley’s fiction has been recognized by a dozen literary awards. His debut novel, Away from Everywhere, was a Coles bestseller and was adapted into a film. His second novel, Every Little Thing, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award, and his new book is a collection of funny, sad, or funny-sad short stories, Four Letter Words, features a cast of sad sacks longing for things they’ve lost and can’t quite find again.

Edward Riche

Edward Riche

A writer for the page, stage and screen Edward Riche lives in St. John’s. His latest novel, Today I Learned It Was You was published by House of Anansi Press in 2016.

Susie Taylor

Susie Taylor

Susie Taylor’s work has appeared in Riddle Fence and is forthcoming in Pulp Literature magazine. In 2015 she was the recipient of the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for emerging writers for her manuscript Dispelling the Myths. She was shortlisted for the 2016 Budge Wilson Short Story Prize and the 2016 Magpie Award for Poetry. She lives in Harbour Grace.

Russell Wangersky

Russell Wangersky

Russell Wangersky is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction. Based in St. John’s, he is the author of several books and the Atlantic region columnist for newspapers in the Transcontinental chain. Wangersky’s latest collection of stories, The Path of Most Resistance (House of Anansi, 2016) are anchored by the concept of passive agression in our lives.

Previous Authors

ABOUT SPARKS

The SPARKS Literary Festival was founded in 2009 by poet and professor Mary Dalton, who served as the festival's director for the first 6 years. Now organized by Memorial's Department of English with ongoing support from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, SPARKS continues to celebrate the literary creations of Newfoundland and Labrador and showcase writers at various stages of their creative lives. It is what Dalton has called a "word spree." The festival also makes available displays of books and journals published in Newfoundland and Labrador and a mini-bookstore featuring works by the authors reading at the festival.