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‘Real treat’: Author, poet Steven Heighton to speak in Fernie

The event is part of the long-running Booked! series at the Fernie Heritage Library
Steven Heighton and Angie Abdou hiking at Island Lake Lodge when Heighton last visited Fernie in 2010. (Courtesy of Angie Abdou)

People interested in humanitarianism will have a chance to attend a talk on the subject and more at the Fernie Heritage Library on Dec. 2.

Author, poet, and now-musician Steven Heighton will be in town to speak about some of his more recent work, particularly his book, Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos.

The event is part of the Booked! speaker series which has been around for nine years, said Angie Abdou, who will be on-stage alongside Heighton facilitating and posing questions.

“It’s a unique event, to get to hear an hour long conversation with a nationally, internationally acclaimed writer,” she said.

Reaching Mithymna was a finalist in the 2020 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, a New York Times New & Noteworthy Book, a CBC Best Nonfiction Book of 2020, and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book for 2020, according to the book description on The work has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on the website.

READ MORE: Raziel Reid next author to be featured in the Booked! series

“We’re going to talk mostly about a memoir he wrote about going to Greece and working on the shores to accept Syrian refugees — to help Syrian refugees to shore and to safety during the crisis,” Abdou said.

She thinks there will “be an appetite in Fernie” for his story, which she said is compelling. People will be interested to hear his take as he experienced it first-hand, she said.

“And I know Fernie has a lot of humanitarians — people who want to help out. So I think they’ll be interested in the lengths he went out to help out in that crisis.”

He will also be reading some of his poetry, which was recently published in a book titled Selected Poems 1983-2020.

Abdou said Heighton is her favourite poet in Canada, so it will be a “real treat” to listen to his words.

“We will talk a bit about his other works, too. I know he has lots of fans in Fernie.”

The event is free, and will be limited due to COVID-19. It will also be streamed via Zoom. Those interested can register on at the event page titled “Booked! Fernie Writers’ Series Presents: Steven Heighton.”

It is the first Booked! event of the year being held at the Fernie Heritage Library. An earlier event was held with author and adventurer Jon Turk, but took place at the Senior Citizens Drop in Center.


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