Blue Met literary festival hosts Huston, Diaz, Banks

William St-Hilaire
by Gisèle Rucker

The 17th edition of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, April 20-26, offers book lovers, readers, and writers alike, a substantial buffet: 260 events featuring celebrated authors from 12 countries, including 104 free activities for kids within its Children’s Festival.

Novelist Nancy Huston of Calgary (Bad Girl), winner of this year’s $10,000 International Literary Grand Prix, Dominican writer Junot Diaz (This is How You Lose Her), and American writer Russell Banks (Cloudsplitter) headline a roster of authors, illustrators, artists, journalists, publishers, and storytellers of international calibre.

Along with readings, lectures, and interviews in English and French, events take place in six other languages, unmediated by translation into either official language. Blue Met will also present films, dance, and a variety of cultural events, such as the Mile End Series featuring a Mordecai Richler Walking Tour.

At the press launch, William St-Hilaire, President, General Manager and Artistic Director, presented the Fest’s social and educational programs. A new micro-Festival, called Books and Well-Being, explores the link between art and mental illness, during the weekends of April 18-19 and 25-26.

Other new series at Blue Met are Performigrations, an international media-art lab program on mobility; a Literary Film Series featuring films from Latin America; Caribbean Dreams; and Indigenous Writing. Generosity and Literature will examine the relationship between empathy and reading novels, with talks by several prominent Montrealers from the world of philanthropy.

Most events take place at Hôtel 10, corner Sherbrooke St. W. and St. Laurent Blvd. For programming details, venues, and prices ($0 to $25), visit

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