Saturday, November 6: 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Body of Correspondence: Finding Connections Through Letters

with Ivan Coyote, Brian Francis, and Vinh Nguyen


Writing, at its core, is a tool for communication. Can the communication itself create story?

Join Vinh Nguyen as he talks to Ivan Coyote, author of Care Of, about how they connected with their fans by answering letters, Facebook messages and emails they collected over the years. Ivan is joined by Brian Francis, who wrote about responding to thirteen replies to a personal ad placed almost thirty years ago in his book Missed Connections. Join us for an exploration in finding connection through correspondence and discover how these writers changed by reaching out to strangers.

  • Ivan Coyote is a writer and storyteller. Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, they are the author of thirteen books, the creator of four films, six stage shows, and three albums that combine storytelling with music. Coyote’s books have won the ReLit Award, been named a Stonewall Honour Book, been longlisted for Canada Reads, shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize for non-fiction, and awarded BC and Yukon Book Prize’s inaugural Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes. In 2017 Ivan was given an honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University for their writing and activism.

  • Brian Francis is the author of three novels: Fruit, a 2009 Canada Reads finalist; Natural Order, which was selected by the Toronto Star, Kobo, and Georgia Straight as a Best Book of 2011; and the YA novel Break in Case of Emergency, a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His latest book is Missed Connections: A Memoir in Letters Never Sent, which was inspired by his play, Box 4901. He lives in Toronto.  

  • Vinh Nguyen is an educator and writer. His writing can be found in Brick, LitHub, The New Quarterly, and The Malahat Review.