After a several-year hiatus, a Gallery Vertigo program is back by popular demand.
Vertigo Voices, an initiative that seeks to introduce local writers and their words to the community, saw its unofficial relaunch this summer with the debut of John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial July 21. Now, several months later, the program is back in full swing.
“Having this program return to Gallery Vertigo ensures that local authors, and those aspiring to become authors, have an opportunity to engage with the public,” said Brigitte Red with the Gallery. “It diversifies Gallery Vertigo’s community arts engagement.”
The inaugural hit in the series saw Bill Stenson read from his recently published novel Ordinary Strangers at the Gallery Oct. 25. Joined by his wife and poet Susan, Stenson’s Mother Tongue 4th Great BC Novel Contest-winning novel follows a family and the often cloudy path to forgiveness.
Hot on the heels of Vertigo Voices’ official return is the second offering in the series featuring Alix Hawley and Ashley Little Nov. 8.
Hawley, an English literature and creative writing graduate with Oxford University as well as the University of East Anglia and University of British Columbia smarts, published a short story collection dubbed The Old Familiar. Brought to paper by Thistledown Press, Hawley’s collection was long-listed for the ReLit Award.
Hawley has also seen acclaim for her debut novel All True Not a Lie in It, which was published by Knopf as the New Face of Fiction 2015 and was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Walrus won Amazon.ca’s First Novel Award and the BC Book Prize for fiction. Hawley will talk her recent novel My Name is a Knife for Vertigo Voices.
Little, who has a bachelor’s of fine arts in creative writing and film studies from the University of Victoria and a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, has also received recognition. Her debut novel PRICK: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist (Tightrope Books, 2011) was a finalist for the ReLit Award while The New Normal (Orca, 2013) won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize.
The Okanagan author’s third novel, Anatomy of a Girl Gang (Arsenal Pulp, 2013), won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award and has been optioned for television. Niagara Motel (Arsenal Pulp, 2016) was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was also long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award.
Little’s next piece, Confessions of a Teenage Leper (Penguin Randomhouse), is slated for launch in fall 2018 and will be her topic of discussion at Vertigo Voices.
“We have had several suggestions to relaunch this program and after discussions with Kerry Gilbert at Okanagan College, we are excited to work in collaboration with the College to introduce more local authors to Vernon.”
The second Vertigo Voices in the series, featuring Little and Hawley, is Nov. 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.