The wordiest of fests

International literary festival, Wordfest, returns to Calgary running from Oct. 9 to 15 for another year of celebrating the written word.

According to the website, Calgary is where “wordy goodness” has been baked for 22 years. The event offers authors the opportunity to interact with audiences live, and feed everyone’s hunger for literature.

“I couldn’t imagine not having a Wordfest in Calgary,” said reoccurring Wordfest guest, singer-songwriter and actor, Kris Demeanor.

Demeanor said Wordfest is an absolute necessity for the growing city of Calgary, and it’s important to all forms of the written word. He’s a songwriter at heart but advocates for all styles of composition with his performance, incorporating both reading and song, How to Be…Wordy & Wild on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at the Big Secret Theatre at Art Commons.

This event features readings of four published ‘How to’ books written by singers and songwriters, Geoff Berner, Carolyn Mark, Rae Spoon and Kris Demeanor.

How to Be an Accordion Player by Geoff Berner was created 10 years ago, and centres on how to hustle and travel the world. How to Be a Boozy Chanteuse by Carolyn Mark is about playing music and drinking red wine across North America. Demeanor’s latest book, How to be an Asshole of Calgary, is the latest addition to the mix.

“It’s people, it’s mentality and its history.

“Essentially it’s about how to be a success in the ‘heart of the new west’,” said Demeanor.

Throughout the festival, authors will be paired with performers who will further enhance their compositions.

“I’ve always enjoyed how Wordfest isn’t just solely novelists and [being] serious, the last three directors have brought in literary artists and recognize it as an art form.”

Wordfest adds 10 to 15 minutes after events to meet authors, get autographs and to skim and purchase books.

“It’s neat to see the evolution of writers in seeing them be more comfortable reading in front of people and become more animated with their characters,” said Demeanor.

Growing up in a household surrounded by art, Demeanor never questioned the importance of reading. He emphasizes the idea that literature is life’s blood and reading all genres is as important as eating food and getting sleep.

“Books are something you can have an intense, beautiful relationship with,” said Demeanor.

For those who connect to books for more than just pleasure, Demeanor strongly encourages people to go to some events.

Kris Demeanor’s late night event, How to Be…Wordy & Wild is on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at the Big Secret Theatre at Art Commons.

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