The festival runs Monday through Saturday at the John A. Macdonald Library & Archives, University of Regina, 2902 Victoria Avenue in Regina.
It’s the 15th annual edition of the festival, and the Indigenous Writers of Canada will display works by over 90 writers from 22 different nations.
The featured book: “Me Tomorrow,” by Carey Vargas, Emily Lazaroff, and Rubicon Theatre Company.
Saskatoon author, and W.C. Blackbird Society board member, Lee Maracle said she will be on the panel with Lisa LeBlanc and the creators of “Me Tomorrow.”
“It’s very exciting to be back at the Saskatoon Writers Festival. I started in the Writers Festival as a panelist 17 years ago, at the head of the women’s panel. This year, I’m asked to help lead a New Voice literary panel, and if you’re not a writer, or an author, and you watch, you watch and you watch.”
After living in Australia for 13 years, Maracle said she’s thrilled to be back in Canada.
“I’ve been planning the trip for a couple of years now. When it gets here, I’m the least enthusiastic visitor, until my first week, when the kids say, ‘Hey mom, we’re off to Sintaluta!’ “
New voices include “Me Tomorrow,” an existential novel.
The Vancouver-based author cites Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen: An American Lyric,” Anka Bylicki’s “Chorus” and W.G. Sebald’s “The Rings of Saturn” as three influences on her own writing.
“Because of the time I spend away from my home, I’m trying to use my travel to my advantage,” she said. “There are some very good words out there, and I’m trying to use what I have discovered about them.
“Writing something out loud, is a way to put it into words, without having to argue about it with a coffee pot, a t-shirt, a spoon or a plate.”
I often forget, I’m the only person on set when the editor at work from one end of the room asks me what I’m going to be writing about.
Maracle, whose previous book “Happy Girl” has been made into a short film, said writing is often misunderstood.
“I often forget, I’m the only person on set when the editor at work from one end of the room asks me what I’m going to be writing about,” she said. “I’ll be standing on a couch and they’ll say, ‘Oh it’ll be about a stolen girl.’ I’ll say, ‘Yes it will! It’s about a stolen girl who has five sisters, and she can’t quite fit into this society and that society isn’t helping her.’ It’s a very serious thing.”
The writer said she likes to keep one foot in the past.
“Maybe the work that’s with the Montreal Gazette is after a long silence, after I had a baby,” she said. “It’s not new, but it’s a hopeful work. Most of my work is with the beat poets and with the pipe-smoking poets — the ones with big bellies and belly laughs.
“I enjoy reading things like Malusis Joyce’s ‘The Runaway Ghost’ and another Malusis Joyce story called ‘Shipments.”
Maracle said she is working on the screenplay to make the movie of “Happy Girl.”
“W.C. Blackbird wants me to work with a number of different poets,” she said. “It’s a really good way to keep the language alive and to work with a lot of people.”