Culture & Conversation

Posts from the ‘BLOGGING THE BLUE’ category

Almost Lost

Incredible as it may seem today, Yiddish was once the third most widely spoken language in Montreal, after French and English. For several decades in the first half of the twentieth century, tens of thousands of Central and Eastern European Jews formed the city’s largest immigrant group. As immigration patterns changed in the post-war years, Italian became the city’s third language, succeeded more recently by Spanish and Arabic.

A Day in the Life

Artistic genres may soon be a thing of the past, so quickly are the walls crumbling. Fusion, connection, hybridity are the order of the day. So it is with one’s own cultural programme. Hence I’ve elected to report one day’s events as a personal journal: Saturday, April 28, 2013. Yesterday once more.

Irish Eyes

The Blue Metropolis Literary Festival has grown tremendously in popularity since its inception in 1999. Not only have pre-festival ticket sales soared, but so has the festival’s ability to draw internationally acclaimed writers. On Thursday night, the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix was presented to Colm Tóibín before a sold-out crowd at the Bibliothèque Nationale.

Fluorescent Blue

The 15th edition of Blue Met, Montreal’s multilingual literary festival, got off to a promising start this week with a packed opening reception at Hotel 10,…


Make art, not war

Meet Etgar Keret, Israel’s rock-star writer and prize-winning filmmaker with the undeniable Holocaust pedigree, who smacks our mortal cards on the table with his wild-haired stories and emo-essays that are perfect for the wee-attention span of the Internet age.



The Blue Metropolis has experimented with venues through the years, with none ever quite sticking. Which is a blessing. Sadly, the converging highways at the Delta Hotel were more comatose inducing than inspiring. And the only thing going for the Holiday Inn in Chinatown was, well, Chinatown.


As book launches go, Linda Leith’s trifecta at Blue Met last night was nice. The atmosphere was friendly (free wine), the room was jam-packed, which is rare, and her new literary press feels like something a little different with its two debut titles The Darling of Kandahar a novel by Felicia Mihali, and Rick Salutin’s essay Keeping the Public in Public Education. There’s also Leith’s new online literary magazine Salon .ll. which, although clunky in design, has some great, mostly local, content.