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Luminato Announces Impressive Literature and Illuminations Line-up for 2011

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Luminato Announces Impressive Literature and Illuminations Line-up for 2011

Every year, we are so impressed with the events, excitement and presence of the still-young Luminato, Toronto's Festival of Arts and Creativity and we have been eagerly anticipating the 2011 literary line-up. Today, at Brassai on King Street West, Chris Lorway, Luminato's Artistic Director, and Devyani Saltzman, Luminato's Curator of Literary Programming and Illuminations, announced an incredible literary event list for the 2011 Festival, including talented Canadians John Asfour, Evie Christie (pictured), Dean Gilmour, Elizabeth Hay, Deepa Mehta, Steve Paikin, Anna Porter, Judith Thompson, Miriam Toews and Dan Yashinsky, and a fantastic roster of writers, poets, directors and playwrights from around the world.

Big news: Saltzman has partnered with the UK's Hay Festival to present Beirut39 at Luminato, a literary event featuring five leading Arab writers under the age of 39: Egyptian author Randa Jarrar; Moroccan poet, author and journalist Yassin Adnan; Beirut-based poet and novelist Hyam Yared; Saudi novelist, poet and journalist Mohammad Hassan Alwan; and Joumana Haddad, a Lebanese author, editor and administrator of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Beirut39 at Luminato will be hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. This is the Hay Festival’s first partnership with a Canadian cultural institution.

Lebanese-Canadian poet John Asfour, Libyan poet and novelist Hisham Matar and award-winning poet and translator Khaled Mattawa will gather for a panel discussion: Arabic Poetry.

Building on Luminato's 2011 tribute to one of the greatest folk-story cycles of all time, One Thousand and One Nights, the Festival's literary program will highlight powerful female storytellers from around the world in a series called Modern Day Shahrazads. You will be able to enjoy solo readings and appearances by literary greats Joyce Carol Oates, Jeanette Winterson, Ann Patchett, Hanan al-Shaykh and Geraldine Brooks, and a panel discussion in homage to the female voice in fiction featuring Leila Aboulela, Elizabeth Hay, Maxine Hong Kingston and Miriam Toews.

Luminato's 2011 Illuminations program (all free events) showcases a roster of timely discussions. This year, join conversations about Art as Safe Ground with Judith Thompson, Anna Porter and Deepa Mehta; The Healing Power of Story with Laura Simms and Dan Yashinsky; Modern Takes on Old Stories with Evie Christie, Tim Supple, Dean Gilmour and Muhsin al-Musawi; and Confluence: A Common Search for the Creative Spark with choreographer Akram Khan and composer-musician Nitin Sawhney.

“It’s a pleasure to showcase such a diverse group of writers in Toronto, especially strong, young voices from the Arab world,” said Saltzman, "I’m so excited for Luminato to be part of a larger conversation about the Middle East, especially from a cultural perspective. That, paired with a strong focus on women authors, makes our fifth anniversary program particularly exciting.”

Congrats, Luminato, on such an exciting literary line-up. As Lorway noted, "Luminato’s literary program features some of the most exciting and relevant storytellers in the world." You can find full event details, presenter biographies and ticket information here.

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