From the 50th anniversary of Woodstock to the International Year of Indigenous Languages as marked by UNESCO, to the issue of social inequality. These are some of the many topics to be covered by the 21st edition of Montreal’s literary festival Blue Metropolis / Metropolis Bleu, which will run from May 2 to5, mostly at the Hotel 10 (10 Sherbrooke St. West) but also at various venues in the city.
As usual, Blue Met will award a number of prizes, the most important, the International Literary Grand Prix, worth $10,000 which will go to American novelist Annie Proulx author of eight books, including the novel “The Shipping News” and her story collection “Close Range.” Her story “Brokeback Mountain” originally published in “The New Yorker” was made into a successful movie directed by Ang Lee. The award ceremony will take place on May 4 at 4 p.m. at the Grande Bibliothèque, on that occasion Ms. Proulx will be interviewed by CBC Radio’s Eleanor Wachtel.
The $5,000 Metropolis Azul prize sponsored by Ginny Stikeman, will be awarded this year to Argentine writer Claudia Piñeiro, author of crime and mystery novels, short stories, film scripts and plays, as well as children’s books. The ceremony will take place on May 3, at 7:30 p.m. at Hotel 10, Salle Jardin. Journalist Ingrid Bejerman will interview her.
The Words to Change Prize will be awarded to U.K. author Reni Eddo-Lodge. She is the author of the “Sunday Times” bestselling essay “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.” The $5,000 prize will be awarded on May 4 at 2:30 at Hotel 10, Salle Jardin.
The First Peoples Literary Prize will go to Terese Marie Mailhot, an indigenous author currently at the Creative Writing Faculty of the Institute of American Indian Arts. Ms. Mailhot will receive her award on May 4 at 1 p.m. at Hotel 10, Salle St-Laurent.
Dionne Brand will receive the Blue Metropolis Violet Literary Prize on May 4, at 8 p.m. at Hotel 10, Salle Jardin. On this occasion, she will be interviewed by CBC Radio’s Nantali Indongo.
The Blue Metropolis / Montreal Arts Council Diversity Prize will be given to Yara El-Ghadaban, she is a Palestinian-Canadian novelist and anthropologist living in Montreal. The ceremony for this award will be on May 4 at 3 p.m. at Hotel 10, Espace Godin.
A new prize has been added this year, the Anthony Atkinson Equality Prize, which will be given to the American economist and Columbia University professor Joseph E. Stiglitz. He was a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and in 2011 “Time” magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Stiglitz will be awarded this Equality prize by Blue Metropolis for his books “The Price of Inequality” and “The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them” two highly influential non-fiction books. The ceremony for this award will be held on April 29 at 12:30 p.m. at the Cormier Amphitheatre (Roger Gaudry Pavilion) of the University of Montreal.
For detailed information, full schedule, ticket prices and biographical information on the participants, visit www.bluemetropolis.org
Feature image: Marie-Andrée Lamontagne, French Programming Director and Shelley Pomerance, English Programming Director during the Blue Metropolis press conference this Wednesday