The Nelson crew that put together the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival.

Nelson debuts new literary festival

A unique new festival is coming to Nelson and it doesn’t involve camping in a tent for three days.

A unique new festival is coming to Nelson and it doesn’t involve camping in a tent for three days.

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival debuts tomorrow night with a focus on local.

“The theme is writing and reading ‘the local,” said Lynn Krauss with the festival. “How can real lives in real environments find expression? And how can that articulation of ‘the local’ find an audience? What does the local really mean? You can get really metaphysical with that. Does it mean where you were born or what you carry with you? Why do people come to Nelson and feel that it is now their home? Do writers consciously use that in their work? You could talk forever about that.”

Through the weekend — which includes a gala event pairing BC wines with local authors like Anne DeGrace, Susan Andrews Grace, Ernest Hekkanen and Rita Moir — the questions around local will be discussed and debated.

“We are really excited about the festival,” said Krauss. “There is a lot of interest from the community. One of the opportunities we are offering through the festival is called Pitch a Literary Agent. There was such interest that the eight spots have filled up and people are asking for more.”

Even though the festival hasn’t yet begun, Krauss feels it’s already a success.

“We’ve sold 10 gold passes,” she said. “I think it’s been successful just in support from funders and from the community. For me it’s already been successful. Hopefully that translates into those coming out to the events.”

In addition to Pitch a Literary Agent and the gala event, there are many other things for local literary lovers like a spoken word cabaret featuring local talent like Elena Banfield and Bessie Wapp, as well as award-winning poet Sheri-D Wilson.

Wilson is the founder and director of both the Calgary Spoken Word Festival and the Banff Centre’s Spoken Word Program. She’s giving a workshop on Saturday morning.

The festival begins Thursday with workshops and events throughout the weekend.

For more information visit


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