26@26: Hala Alyan & Marcello Di Cintio

@ - MT
Series Pass $89
Single Ticket $15
@ - MT
Single Ticket: Sept 14 Marcello Di Cintio with Hala Alyan
$14.29 + GST
26@26 Series Pass
$84.76 + GST

Calgary’s Marcello Di Cintio asked to be paired on the virtual stage with Palestinian-American poet, clinical psychologist, and novelist Hala Alyan in what is sure to be an unforgettable exploration of empathy. The landscapes they navigate in their work challenge us, enlighten us, and enable us to grapple with both global and personal complexities through art.

The one-hour livestream event on Wordfest.com starts at 7:00 PM MT. (The pre-show begins at 6:50 PM.) The day after the show, we'll email you our unique Digital Doggie Bag, featuring links and extras sparked by the conversation. 

Can't watch live? Want to rewatch? Purchasing the 26@26 series pass or a single ticket gives you exclusive access to this show on demand until midnight on April 30, 2022. 

We’re grateful to Biblioasis and Raincoast Books for making it possible for us to connect you with these authors.

About Hala Alyan

Hala Alyan is the author of the novel Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize, as well as the novel The Arsonists' City and four award-winning collections of poetry, most recently The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has been published by The New Yorker, The Academy of American Poets, Literary Hub, The New York Times Book Review, and Guernica. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she works as a clinical psychologist.

Visit her at halaalyan.com or follow her on Twitter @HalaNalyan and Instagram @Hala.n.alyan.

About The Arsonists' City

The Arsonists’ City delivers all the pleasures of a good old-fashioned saga, but in Alyan’s hands, one family’s tale becomes the story of a nation – Lebanon and Syria, yes, but also the United States. It’s the kind of book we are lucky to have.” Rumaan Alam

A rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home.

The Nasr family is spread across the globe – Beirut, Brooklyn, Austin, the California desert. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three American children: all have lived a life of migration. Still, they’ve always had their ancestral home in Beirut – a constant touchstone – and the complicated, messy family love that binds them. But following his father's recent death, Idris, the family's new patriarch, has decided to sell.

The decision brings the family to Beirut, where everyone unites against Idris in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets – lost loves, bitter jealousies, abandoned passions, deep-set shame – that distance has helped smother. But in a city smouldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperilling the fragile ties that hold this family together.

In a novel teeming with wisdom, warmth, and characters born of remarkable human insight, award-winning author Hala Alyan shows us again that “fiction is often the best filter for the real world around us” (NPR).

About Marcello Di Cintio

Marcello Di Cintio is the author of four books, including Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, which won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the W. O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize; and Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense – also a W. O. Mitchell Prize winner. Di Cintio’s magazine writing has appeared in publications including The International New York Times, The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, and Afar. He lives in Calgary.

Visit him at marcellodicintio.com or follow him on Twitter @DiCintio and Instagram @marcello.di.cintio.

About Driven: The Secret Lives of Taxi Drivers

An astonishing book about folks from all over, many of whom have been through total hell but have somehow made their way out... You never know who's driving you. Each person contains multitudes. Margaret Atwood

In conversations with drivers ranging from veterans of foreign wars to Indigenous women protecting one another, Di Cintio explores the borderland of the North American taxi.

“A taxi,” writes Di Cintio, “is a border.” Inside every cab is a space both private and public: accessible to all, and yet, once the doors close, strangely intimate, as two strangers who might otherwise never have met share a five or fifty minute trip. In a series of interviews with Canadian taxi drivers, their backgrounds ranging from the Iraqi National Guard, to the Westboro Baptist Church, to an arranged marriage that left one woman stranded in a foreign country, Di Cintio seeks out those missed conversations, revealing the untold lives of the people who take us where we want to go.

About Host Esmahan Razavi

Esmahan Razavi is passionate about gender equity. She is a co-founder of Ask Her and served as its first President. She is also a former steering committee member of Equal Voice Calgary, and former national board director for Equal Voice. She has held senior campaign roles for women candidates in federal and provincial politics, and co-led the Calgary Women’s March in 2018 and 2019.

For her work in supporting women in politics, Razavi was selected as one of Canada’s top 33 women in 2017 by Chatelaine magazine. She was also named one of the top 50 Arab women in North America by the Arab Women of Excellence Awards in 2019. Razavi is an Associate Principal at Champion Communications & PR.


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