AFTERWORDS LITERARY FESTIVAL
The AfterWords Literary Festival was co-founded by Ryan Turner and Stephanie Domet, and in the fall of 2019, AfterWords held its inaugural edition. Mona Awad, Caroline Adderson, Lynn Coady, Andre Fenton, Nolan Natasha, and Kamal Al-Solaylee are just some of the sixteen authors the festival brought together from Nova Scotia, across Canada, and beyond. In 2020, due to Covid-19, the festival will host live events online between September 30th and October 4th.
AfterWords is primarily interested in presenting (and being in the audience for) conversations among writers about the ideas that push them forward, the experiences that formed them into writers, and what writing can tell us about how to be human. Our mission is to give those writers who choose to join us the very best experience that Halifax has to offer.
Our experience with the inaugural festival showed us that programming writers from across the spectrum of background and identity was compelling to diverse audiences in Halifax. Additionally, we program our events in venues that are physically accessible. We also work to find spaces that are broadly welcoming. We were able to have ASL interpreters at three of our events in Year One, and we will offer live captioning upon request to all of our online events in Year Two. We also worked with Halifax Humanities to distribute tickets to low income Haligonians who are interested in attending literary programming, and we will continue that partnership and develop others in 2020.
We celebrate our festival on the unceded and traditional homeland of the Mi’kmaq People. We do land acknowledgements as a part of the reconciliation process. In order for this festival to exist, for Canadians to enjoy the lives that they have, Indigenous people were removed, displaced, and killed. This truth is an uncomfortable one, but one that is necessary to face if we, as fellow Canadians, are to understand our whole history. We honour the Mi’kmaq, whose stories have been shaped by Mi’kma’ki.