Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE) Project

With support from Community Cultural Action Fund, Canadian Heritage, from November 2015 until March 2016 we are hosting activities to celebrate Quebec’s English-language writers, past and present, following the gala launch of the permanent exhibition at the Library in the Spring of 2015. The Library’s long-term goal is to establish a Montreal Writers Museum. Click here to find out more.

We welcome ideas for activities, speakers, and exhibits. To offer suggestions, to get more information, or to join our email list, contact Elise Moser at info@atwaterlibrary.ca

AWE Project Activities

Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 7:00 pm 

Rapid-Fire Readings, Ricochet Writing: 25 Authors Write Before Your Very Eyes!
at the Blue Metropolis Festival

Writers from Quebec and abroad offer rapid-fire readings, then create a brand-new collective text. A border- and genre-crossing event. Presented by the Atwater Writers Exhibition, the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival and the Quebec Writers’ Federation. If you missed the first “Rapid-Fire Readings” event at the Atwater Library last summer, you’ll definitely want to take this in!
Event No. 76 — Price : $5.00
Espace Godin, Hôtel 10
10 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H2X 2X3

Participating writers:

Colleen Curran
Anita Anand
David Homel
Talya Rubin
Daniel Allen Cox
Bonnie Farmer
David McGimpsey
Katia Grubisic
Robert Schwartzwald
Cat Kidd
Nisha Coleman
Jean-Marc Beausoleil
Ian Ferrier
Danielle McLaughlin
Guillaume Morissette
Carolyne Van Der Meer
Kaie Kellough
Taqralik Partridge
Peter Dubé
Lori Weber
Pierre Simenon
Tess Fragoulis
Ian McGillis
Sara Baume
Tanya Evanson

Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm 

Watch the video of this inspiring event:


Write, Share, Speak: A workshop to inspire your inner storyteller.
Seniors and teens, come join us for a weekend of creative exploration. Learn writing, storytelling and spoken word techniques to engage your imagination and your voice. Collaborate with other seniors (62 and up) and youth (12-18 years old) as five professional artists guide you through a day of workshops that invite the stories within you to emerge! A public performance will take place the next day where, if you like, you can showcase your creations alongside performances by the five professional artist-facilitators: Moe Clark, Chris Masson, Tanya Evanson, Jason “Blackbird” Selman, and Cat Kidd.

This free workshop will be given in English, although participants are welcome to incorporate other languages in their work.

To take part, complete the online registration form and we’ll let you know if you got a spot.  For more information, call 514-933-0878 or email admin@qwf.org.   Registrations are on a first come, first served basis.

Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (lunch provided) – Workshop

Sunday, March 20, 2016 from 3:00 to 5:30 pm – Performance

A co-production of the Atwater Writers Exhibition and the Quebec Writers’ Federation.

Sunday, March 20, 2016, at 3:30 pm

Write, Share, Speak: Spoken Word Performance

Five of Montreal’s best spoken-word artists on one stage! Moe Clark, Chris Masson, Jason “Blackbird” Selman, Tanya Evanson and Cat Kidd bring their high-energy performance magic to the stage of the Atwater Library auditorium. Also onstage, dynamic new performers, seniors and teens who have created their own story-performances under the guidance of the five professionals. Rhythms, rhymes, poetry and motion. Hear what these artists have written. Listen to what they have to share. Hear these voices speak.

FREE   upstairs @The Atwater Library

Information: (514) 933-0878

A co-production of the Atwater Writers Exhibition and the Quebec Writers’ Federation. With support from the Community Cultural Action Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Saturday, February 27, 2016, from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am

Two exciting new-media showcase events, the products of two of our community-based projects – one led by seniors and the other by youth.

Moving Pictures:
Moving Histories Out of the Attic and Into the Public

Immerse yourself in a sound and video installation that begins with images projected through the front windows of our heritage building. Inside, our reading room was transformed by a multi-media exhibition created by seniors who digitized and re-edited home movies from the 40s to the 70s, and made their own music and sound using digital tools. An extension of our Digital Literacy Project with support from New Horizons for Seniors and Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT).

Seeing Red:
Young People’s Stories for the Eyes, From the Heart

The work of 21 young Montrealers was dazzling! They created stories and transformed them into digital art that we projected onto the big screen in the auditorium. Part of the Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE) with support from the Community Cultural Action Fund (CCAF) of Canadian Heritage.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Watch the video bilingue:

In Others’ Words / Dans les mots des autres

What is the process of creation for the translator, and in what way does it differ from that of the writer? Since we know that the author puts so much of himself into the writing, how does he feel when faced with the translation of his text, knowing that the translator has also put herself into it?

These are some of the questions we will consider in In Others’ Words / Dans les mots des autres. Author and translator David Homel and his translator Marianne Champagne will also take the opportunity to discuss the role of translation in the creation of a literary culture, in general and specifically in the Quebec context.

Following the discussion there will be a fun little translation challenge. Moderators will guide members of the audience as they try their hands at translation. Choose a brief passage from Homel’s novel The Fledglings in the original English, to compare with Champagne’s French translation, or a passage from Martine Delvaux’s Rose amer, to compare with Homel’s version in English. A group discussion will follow.

Writer, editor and translator Katia Grubisic will moderate the evening.

Quel est le processus de la mise à l’écriture pour un traducteur, et en quoi il diffère de celui de l’écrivain?  On pourrait se demander, dès lors, comment peut se sentir un auteur, qui a tant investi dans son écriture, face à la traduction de son texte, sachant que le traducteur y a, lui aussi, mis du sien?

Voici une des quelques questions qui seront soulevées lors de la rencontre In Others’ Words /Dans les mots des autres. L’auteur David Homel et sa traductrice, Marianne Champagne, en profiteront aussi pour discuter du rôle de la traduction dans la création d’une culture littéraire autant dans une perspective générale que dans une plus spécifiquement québécoise.

La soirée se terminera par une amusante petite épreuve de traduction. Des extraits de livres que nos deux invités ont traduits seront proposés à l’assistance afin de permettre à tous de tenter l’aventure de la traduction. Une discussion suivra l’exercice.

Écrivaine et traductrice Katia Grubisic animera la soirée.

Entrée libre / Free admission

A co-production of the Atwater Writers Exhibition and the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada – Association des traducteurs et traductrices littéraires du Canada.


Click here for past AWE Project activities.


Past Exhibitions

“For my dear Atwater Library — Leonard Cohen”

For the AWE project public consultation on October 1, 2014, curator Edward McCann mounted an exhibition of special works by Quebec writers in English taken from the Atwater Library vault. The earliest book was an 1864 anthology of poetry published in Montreal that includes a poem by Thomas D’Arcy McGee. D’Arcy McGee, the author and politician, was an early lecturer at the Library, then known as the Mechanics’ Institute of Montreal. Another highlight of the display was one of Leonard Cohen’s first volumes of poetry, inscribed “For my dear Atwater Library – Leonard Cohen – Montréal 1964.”

Exhibition on Tourism in Montreal

From late May until the end of September 2014, the Atwater Library reading room featured a fascinating exhibition on Tourism in Montreal. Curated by Edward McCann, retired museum curator, it included pictures, artifacts and rare books portraying different aspects of Montreal tourism from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. There were wood cuts of our organization’s former building at 360 St. James Street, now 360 St-Jacques West in Old Montreal, that was a tourist attraction for several years after it opened in 1854.