Wordfest Presents Carol Off + Festival Preview

Wordfest Presents Carol Off +  Festival Preview

Wordfest Presents Carol Off + Festival Preview

Hosted by Shelley Youngblut

Sep 16 @ 6 PM - 8:15 PM MT $25
Memorial Park Library, 2nd Floor
1221 2 St SW
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Let’s talk about big, timely ideas – and the big, penetrating brain behind them. Wordfest is thrilled to bring acclaimed Canadian journalist Carol Off to Calgary to discuss A Loss for Words: Conversation in an Age of Rage. This 7PM MT conversation, hosted by Shelley Youngblut, will be preceded at 6PM MT with an exclusive preview of Wordfest’s 2024 Imaginairium. Owl’s Nest Books will have copies of Off’s new book and backlist (pre-order here), as well as a tasty selection of titles by festival authors. *Both Carol Off and the Festival Preview are included in the Festival Pass, which you can purchase here.

We are grateful to Penguin Random House Canada for making it possible to connect you with Carol Off.

About At A Loss For Words: Conversation in an Age of Rage  

Carol Off returns with a provocative new book that digs deep into six words whose meanings have been distorted and weaponized in recent years –including democracy, freedom and truth—and asks whether we can reclaim their value.

As co-host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens, Carol Off spent a decade and a half talking to people in the news five nights a week. Those interviews have given her a unique vantage point on the crucial subject at the heart of her new book – how, in these polarizing years, words that used to define civil society and social justice are being put to work for a completely different political agenda. Or they are being bleached of their meaning as the values they represent are mocked and distorted. As Off writes, “If our language doesn’t have a means to express an idea, then the idea itself is gone—even the range of thought is diminished.” And, as she argues, that’s a dangerous loss.

In six wide-ranging chapters, Off explores the mutating meanings and the changing political impact of her six chosen words – freedom, democracy, truth, woke, choice and taxes – unpacking the forces, from right and left, that have altered them beyond recognition. She also shows what happens when we lose our shared political vocabulary: we stop being able to hear each other, let alone speak with each other in meaningful ways. This means we stop being able to reckon with the complexity of the crises we face, leaving us prey to conspiracy theories, autocrats and the machinations of greed. At a Loss for Words is both an elegy and a call to arms.

About Carol Off 

Carol Off spent almost 16 years co-hosting the multi-award-winning CBC radio program, As It Happens. Before that, she covered news and current affairs in Canada and around the world. As a radio correspondent, she reported on politics in Ottawa and Quebec. As a television journalist, she covered the break-up of Yugoslavia; the 9/11 attack on the United States; the election of Vladimir Putin; and politics, conflicts, and culture throughout Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and Africa. Her first bestseller, The Lion, The Fox and the Eagle: A Story of Generals and Justice in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, was published in 2000. Since then, she’s written three more award-winning works of narrative non-fiction, including, most recently, All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others, winner of the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

About Host Shelley Youngblut

Shelley Youngblut is the CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest. She was the recipient of the 2020 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts and the 2018 Rozsa Award for Arts Leadership. She also won the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Magazine Awards. Youngblut was the founding editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine and has created magazines for ESPN, Seventeen, CosmopolitanNickelodeonWestern Living, and The Globe and Mail. She was also a former pop-culture correspondent for ABC World News Now and Canada AM. Follow her on Facebook @ShelleyYoungblut and Instagram/Threads @youngblutshelley.

 

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