27 Apr 2023

We Can(ada) Read: gritLIT Festival in Hamilton, Ontario!

We Can(ada) Read is by Canadians for EVERYONE to learn more about some amazing Canadian authors!

About the Event

gritLIT is Hamilton’s annual literary festival, a four-day celebration of Canadian authors. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has built a reputation with readers in the Golden Horseshoe as a place to get “up close and personal” with their favourite authors and to discover new voices.

gritLIT brings together diverse voices – the biggest Canadian authors, up and coming talent, and local Hamilton writers – in a series of readings and themed events. The festival’s mandate is one of accessibility for both authors and audiences. gritLIT puts a focus on local authors, giving them the exposure to readers that they richly deserve.

The festival includes readings at local schools including French language presentations. And gritLIT ticket prices are among the lowest of any Southwestern Ontario literary festival.

2023 gritLIT Event Recap

Day Zero - Virtual Events

I attended all the virtual events that took place throughout the week and really enjoyed them! I think my favourite was the pop culture discussion with Jen Sookfong Lee (SUPERFAN: HOW POP CULTURE BROKE MY HEART). It was really interesting to see the comedy aspects of pop culture mixed in with identity, belonging, and female rage.

Day One - Saturday, April 22, 2023

Day one was really exciting! I started my day with the Book Club for Catherine Hernandez's THE STORY OF US. The conversation centred on non-spoiler aspects of the book and how much work, love, and care Hernandez put into the novel to really capture not just the personal support worker reality but the immigrant personal support worker reality in combination with the queer experience. I highly enjoyed this conversation and it made me pick up the book!

I then listened to the Romance panel put on by the Youth Committee which featured Jenny Holiday (DUKE, ACTUALLY) and Farah Heron (KAMILA KNOWS BEST). I really enjoyed the discussion around how romance fiction is written through the female gaze, which means that sex and relationships are rooted in what women want rather than what men think women want.

Both of the Earth Day discussions around climate justice and Indigeneity were really interesting. I loved seeing the collaboration between authors and how we need to work together to move forward in social justice. I appreciated the frankness in conversation around moving forward and centering equity-deserving and racialized communities in the fight to move forward.

I did have to leave after these, but I was excited for day two! Except that I woke up with a migraine on Sunday so I wasn't able to get to Hamilton.

About gritLIT

gritLIT was established in November, 2004, by Hamilton writer Krista Foss. It started as a small, intimate festival, with readings taking place in the Staircase Theatre. Over the past seven years, gritLIT has evolved into a larger-scale and wider-reaching endeavour. 

Since its inception, gritLIT has been associated with LIT LIVE, Hamilton’s monthly reading series. In recent years, we have also joined forces with the Hamilton Poetry Centre and Steel City Stories.

What's the last book event you went to?

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