Calgary may be perceived as the home of oil executives and cowboys, but locals know that it’s also home to a thriving literary scene. Whether you’re an aspiring Oscar Wilde or just looking for some brainy girls to befriend, you’ll need our guide to Calgary’s best regular literary events.
Flywheel Reading Series
Run by one of Calgary’s oldest literary magazines, the Flywheel Reading Series usually offers a mix of poetry and prose, generally presented by a mix of young up-and-comers and some familiar faces, like those of Jocelyn Grosse and derek beaulieu.
For those seeking a competitive element in their literary entertainment, SLAM! offers monthly poetry slam battles that knock 10 competitors down to a two-poet final. These lively, if uneven, spoken word performances are kept pop-song short, so even the most embarrassing rants about capitalism will cap out at three minutes, max.
Passion Pitch Poetry
Organized by Kirk Ramdath, Passion Pitch Poetry is about poetry, not competition. Expect a more relaxed vibe than SLAM! Passion Pitch happens irregularly – only when the folks involved actually pull it together (poets, right?). But it’s got longevity: This is its third year running.
The city’s finest venue for readings is the upstairs of Pages on Kensington. Though the Calgary Public Library, among others, regularly hosts events, this independent bookstore is the real heart of the local lit scene. Also: It’s a fine place to buy some books. This week, catch Yann Martel, presenting his new novel, Beatrice and Virgil.
Image courtesy of m kasahara.