The Frye Festival

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The Frye Festival, formerly known as the Northrop Frye International Literary Festival, is a bilingual (French and English) literary festival held in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada in April of each year. The Festival began in 2000 and is the only festival in the world to honour noted literary critic Herman Northrop Frye (1912–1991) who spent his formative years in Moncton, graduating from Aberdeen High School.

Invited participants of the Frye Festival include not only noted Frye scholars, such as Robert D. Denham, Alvin Lee, Michael Dolzani, Jean O'Grady, and Caterina Nella Cotrupi, but also top literary talent from around the world, as well as regional talent. Russell Banks, Marie-Claire Blais, Neil Bissoondath, Robert Bly, Patrick Chamoiseau, Catherine Cusset, John Dufresne, Richard Ford, Nikki Gemmell, Douglas Glover, Ursula Hegi, Nancy Huston, Witi Ihimaera, Dennis Lee, Alberto Manguel, Yann Martel, Nino Ricci, David Adams Richards, and Bernhard Schlink are among the authors to have appeared during the Festival.

The Frye Symposium Lecture and The Antonine Maillet - Northrop Frye Lecture[edit]

Two separate series of lectures take place during the Frye Festival. The Antonine Maillet - Northrop Frye Lecture began in 2006 with Neil Bissoondath, and has since been followed by David Adams Richards in 2007 and Alberto Manguel in 2008, Monique LaRue in 2009 and Noah Richler in 2010 and Margaret Atwood in 2011.

The Frye Symposium Lecture began during the first Festival and continues today. In 2000 David Staines delivered the lecture, followed by Branko Gorjup in 2001, Caterina Nella Cotrupi in 2002. In 2003 there were two Frye Symposium Lectures, one in English by Robert Denham and one in French by Naim Kattan. In 2004 there were also two lectures, both in English, one by John Ayre and one by Michael Dolzani. In 2005 there were two lectures, one by Alvin Lee and one by B. W. Powe. In 2006, the first year of the Maillet-Frye series, there was no Frye Symposium Lecture, but the lecture returned in 2007 when there were again two Frye Symposium Lectures, one by Jean O'Grady and one by Robert Denham. In 2008 there was one lecture, by Glenna Sloan.

The two lecture series are quite separate, with one featuring a well-known writer/thinker, and the other featuring a noted Frye scholar.

A brief history of the Frye Festival[edit]

Northrop Frye's presence has always been felt in Moncton. Whether it was as a young boy, riding along the streets of Moncton on his bicycle, or upon his last visit to Moncton when many people came to hear him speak, he has left an indelible mark on the city.

In November 1990, at the invitation of Professor Serge Morin, Northrop Frye returned to Moncton to deliver the Pascal Poirier Lecture at the Université de Moncton. During his stay he had the chance to meet and talk with many Monctonians, and he was able to visit his old home and the grave of his mother in Elmwood Cemetery. 'They were two of the best days of my life,' he reported to fellow Monctonian, Reuben Cohen. The following year, after Frye's death in January 1991, The Northrop Frye Society hosted a gathering of Frye-ites, and John Ayre, Frye's biographer, delivered the Pascal Poirier Lecture.

In 1997 the City of Moncton, under the chairmanship of Paulette Theriault, developed an Arts Policy. As part of this policy it was recommended that the city have a festival to honour Northrop Frye. But it wasn't until December 1998, during the production of a Vision TV documentary in Moncton, that the real seeds of today's Frye Festival were sown.

During this television production entitled "Voices of Vision", John Ralston Saul and Antonine Maillet engaged in a one-hour dialogue about creativity, in both official languages. For festival visionary and founder, Paulette Thériault, more than any other event, this event filmed at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre sparked her imagination and made her believe that a bilingual literary festival, celebrating a great man, a vibrant cultural community and highlighting Atlantic and Acadian authors, was a possibility.

In its first year more than 3,000 people attended the Festival. In 2011 more than 15,000 people attended. The Frye Festival has become one of the major literary events in Canada, and continues to grow every year. More than 350 award-winning authors, from every continent and recipients of almost every major international literary prize, have now attended the Festival. The Festival is the proud recipient of the 2005 Lieutenant-Governor’s Dialogue Award, the 2007 Éloize for Event of the Year and the 2009 TD Canada Trust Arts Organization of the Year by the New Brunswick Foundation for the Arts.

The Frye Festival is Canada's only bilingual, international literary festival, the largest literary happening in Atlantic Canada and is the only festival in the world to honour Northrop Frye.

Participating authors[edit]

The complete list of participating authors as of 2016:

José Acquelin
Emmanuel Adely
Frank Adriano
Christine Adjahi
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
André Alexis
Barry Jean Ancelet
Marguerite Andersen
Samuel Archibald
Tammy Armstrong
Marc Arseneau
Mathieu Arsenault
Guy Arsenault
Margaret Atwood
Donna Augustine
John Ayre
Joséphine Bacon
Ian Balfour
Russell Banks
Francois Barcelo
Jean Barbe
Olivier Barrot
Brian Bartlett
Jean-Claude Bauer
Nancy Bauer
Marie-Noëlle Bayle
Gwen Bear
Shirley Bear
Alain Beaulieu
Jimmy Beaulieu
Jean-François Beauchemin
Deni Y. Béchard
Andrea Beck
Carolyn Beck
Helaine Becker
Peter Behrens
Gerard Beirne
Chedly Belkhodja
Alain M. Bergeron
Jacob Berkowitz
Sophie Bérubé
Guillaume Berwald
Dave Bidini
Sophie Bienvenu
Lise Bissonnette
Neil Bissoondath
Joe Blades
Marie-Claire Blais
Louise Blouin
Giles Blunt
Robert Bly
Christian Bok
Paul Bossé
Gérard Bouchard
Denis Boucher
Sophie Boucher
Simon Boulerice
Claudine Bourbonnais
Édith Bourget
Huguette Bourgeois
Denise Brassard
Catherine Briat
Fanny Britt
Yvon Brochu
Ian Brown
Heather Browne Prince
Christian Brun
Régis Brun
Carol Bruneau
Catherine Bush
Sharon Butala
Kristin Butcher
Michelle Butler Hallett
Laura Byrne Paquet
Marie Cadieux
Jonathan Campbell
Katia Canciani
Reynald Cantin
Roch Carrier
Arnaud Cathrine
Laura Calder
France Cayouette
Patrick Chamoiseau
Éric Charlebois
Ann Charney
Herménégilde Chiasson
Lesley Choyce
Michael Christie
Joan Clark
Austin Clarke
George Elliott Clarke
Deborah J. Clifton
Lynn Coady
Fred Cogswell
Nancy Cohen
Fredric Gary Comeau
Germaine Comeau
Marie-France Comeau
Anne Compton
Christy Ann Conlin
Karen Connelly
Geoffrey Cook
Greg Cook
Allan Cooper
Kelly Cooper
Ann Copeland
Mary Costello
Éric Cormier
Caterina Nella Cotrupi
Sonia Cotten
Gil Courtemanche
Arlette Cousture
Gracia Couturier
Beppi Crosariol
Michael Crummey
Phillip Crymble
Alan Cumyn
Herb Curtis
Wayne Curtis
Catherine Cusset
Myriam Cyr
Antonio D’Alfonso
France Daigle
Nicole Daigle
Mary Dalton
Jean-Paul Daoust
Carole David
Karen Davidson[disambiguation needed]
Lynn Davies
Kwame Dawes
Marq de Villiers
Monique Deland
Jean-Christophe Delmeule
Charles Demers
Dominique Demers
Robert Denham
Denise Desautels
Patrice Desbiens
Louise Desjardins
Thierry Desjardins
Rose Després
Sylvie Desrosiers
Hélène Destrempes
Nuala ní Dhomhnaill
Nicolas Dickner
Robert Dickson
Philippe Di Folco
Sarah-Jane Doiron
Richard Doiron
Michael Dolzani
Emma Donoghue
Jeffery Donaldson
Stewart Donovan
Hélène Dorion
Ann Dowsett Johnston
John Doyle
Sylvie Drapeau
Véronique Drouin
Jean-Pierre Dubé
Alain Dubos
Christiane Duchesne
John Dufresne
Rhéa Dufresne
Daniel Dugas
Marianne Dumas
Marilyn Dumont
Éric Dupont
Chris Eaton
Christine Eddie
Wallace Edwards
Bernice Eisenstein
Jo-Anne Elder
Elin Elgaard
Françoise Enguehard
Terry Fallis
Cary Fagan
Alain Farah
Endre Farkas
George Fetherling
Nadine Fidji
Louise Fiset
Sheree Fitch
Évelyne Foëx
Charles Foran
Michèle Forbes
Richard Ford
Léonard Forest
Jean Fugère
Caroline Fullerton
Madeleine Gagnon
Arianne Gagnon-Roy
Mathieu Gallant
Melvin Gallant
Steven Galloway
Philippe Garon
Maurizio Gatti
Marie-Louise Gay
Guy Gavriel Kay
Nikki Gemmell
Jian Ghomeshi
Douglas Gibson
Sharon Gibson Palermo
Mylène Gilbert-Dumas
Glen Robert Gill
David Gilmour
Rachna (Mara) Gilmore
Charlotte Gingras
Brigitte Giraud
Douglas Glover
Carlos Gomes
Lian Goodall
Branko Gorjup
Gilles Gougeon
Sue Goyette
Wayne Grady
Shauntay Grant
François Gravel
Annie Groovie
Emma Haché
Joyce Hackett
Rawi Hage
Louise Bernice Halfe
Judith Hamel
Louis Hamelin
Ian Hamilton
Don Hannah
Hélène Harbec
Doug Harris
Brigitte Harrison
Donald Harron
Michael Happy
Elizabeth Hay
Ursula Hegi
Laïla Héloua
David Helwig
Rainer Hempel
Matthew Henderson
Miranda Hill
David Homel
Nancy Huston
Laurence Hutchman
Joel Thomas Hynes
Maureen Hynes
Witi Ihimaera
Monique Ilboudo
Elisapie Isaac
Patrick Isabelle
Abria Iwasutiak
D.D. Jackson
Martine L. Jacquot
Kirby Jambon
Alexandre Jardin
Heidi Jardine Stoddart
Mark Anthony Jarman
Alain Jaubert
K.V. Johansen
Wayne Johnston
Susan Juby
MC June
Monique Juteau
Jonathan Kaplansky
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine
Naïm Kattan
Jamie Kennedy
Yasmina Khadra
Ross King
Wendy Kitts
Debra Komar
Lynne Kositsky
Marie Laberge
Dany Laferrière
Michèle Laframboise
Robert Lalonde
Ulysse Landry
Krista Lane
M. Travis Lane
Patrick Lane
Carole Langille
Dominic Langlois
Sophie Langlois
Monique LaRue
Martine Latulippe
Charles Leblanc
Daniel Omer LeBlanc
Georgette LeBlanc
Gérald Leblanc
Raymond Guy LeBlanc
Emerise LeBlanc-Nowlan
Perrine LeBlanc
Claude LeBouthillier
Ross Leckie
Rachel Leclerc
Sandra LeCouteur
Alvin Lee
Dennis Lee
Daniel Léger
Diane Carmel Léger
Dyane Léger
Ronald Léger
André Lemelen
Richard Lemm
Marilyn Lerch
Catherine Leroux
Gilles Leroy
J. Roger Léveillé
Mireille Levert
Susanna Licheri
Christopher Lirette
Troy Little
Lesley Livingston
Douglas Lochhead
David Lonergan
Larry Lynch
Annabel Lyon
Alain Mabanckou
Kathy Mac
Anne Louise MacDonald
Anne-Marie MacDonald
David Macfarlane
Linden MacIntyre
John MacKenzie
Brent MacLaine
Alexander MacLeod
Alistair MacLeod
Sue MacLeod
Matthew Magee
Antonine Maillet
Marguerite Maillet
Kevin Major
Sonya Malaborza
Jocelyne Mallet-Parent
Eduardo Manet
Alberto Manguel
Roberto Mann
Guy Marchamps
Véronique Marcotte
Michèle Marineau
Paul Marion
Lindsay Marshall
Catherine Anne Martin
Raymond Martin
Sandra Martin
Monia Mazigh
Sharon McCartney
Elaine McCluskey
Jennifer McGrath Kent
Ami McKay
Don McKay
Darrah McKeon
Phyllis McKinley
Catherine McKinnon
Wesley McNair
Janet McNaughton
Zakes Mda
John Meagher
Johanne Mercier
Rita Mestokosho
Sean Michaels
Annie Michaud
Mildred Milliea
Allison Mitcham
Shandi Mitchell
Fereshteh Molavi
Hélène Monette
Lisa Moore
Robert Moore
Cindy Morais
Donna Morrissey
Wendy Morton
André Muise
Jenny Munday
Cathy Brown Murphy
George Murray
Glenn Murray
Riel Nason
Derlemari Nébardoum
Gitpu Nevin
Glen Nichols
Hope Nicholson
Lorette Nobécourt
Michel Noël
Jean O'Grady
Ruth Ohi
Alix Ohlin
Sara O'Leary
Heather O’Neill
Kenneth Oppel
Albert Ostermaier
Michèle Ouimet
Ann-Maureen Owens
Lucy Papineau
Denise Paquette
Daniel Paul
Kathleen Peacock
Stanley Péan
Randy Pealstein
Harvey Pekar
Charles Pelletier
Maryse Pelletier
Pierre Raphaël Pelletier
Bryan Perro
Emily Pohl-Weary
Marc Joseph Edgar Poirier
Simone Poirier-Bures
Daniel Poliquin
Sharon Pollock
Andrée Poulin
B. W. Powe
Beth Powning
Bernard Pozier
Marc Prescott
Monique Proulx
Stefan Psenak
Theresia Quigley
Michel Rabagliati
Jean-Philippe Raîche
Alain Raimbault
Jacques Rancourt
Robert Rayner
Kathy Reichs
Alice Anna Reese
Nino Ricci
Nancy Wilcox Richards
Zachary Richard
David Adams Richards
CS Richardson
Noah Richler
Sylvie Roberge
Gabriel Robichaud
Eden Robinson
Matt Robinson
Rino Morin Rossignol
Paul Roux
Maryse Rouy
Albert Roy
André Roy
Camilien Roy
Christian Roy
Phillip Roy
Jean-Christophe Rufin
Rodney Saint-Éloi
Peter Sanger
Jocelyne Saucier
John Ralston Saul
Michel Savard
Jacques Savoie
Paul Savoie
Roméo Savoie
Robert J. Sawyer
Bernhard Schlink
Anakana Schofield
Jessica Scott Kerrin
Olive Senior
Gilbert Sewell
Anne-Marie Sicotte
Danielle Simard
Merilyn Simonds
Anne Simpson
Yves Sioui-Durand
Jeffrey Simpson
Anne-Marie Sirois
Johanna Skibsrud
Arthur Slade
Glenna Sloan
Alison Smith
Michael Smith
Neil Smith
Russell Smith
Thomas R. Smith
Serena Sock
Karen Solie
Linda Spalding
Norbert Spitz
Eva Stachniak
David Staines
Anthony A.C. Staples
Andrew Steeves
Mike Steeves
Fred Stenson
Craig Stephenson
Geronimo Stilton
Kay Stone
Christiane St-Pierre
Allan Stratton
Alan Syliboy
Jessica Tang
Jeremy Tankard
Ghislain Taschereau
Michel Tétu
Catherine Texier
Mario Thériault
Serge Patrice Thibodeau
Michael Thorpe
Harry Thurston
Kim Thúy
Miriam Toews
Patrick Toner
Susan Tooke
Carole Tremblay
Larry Tremblay
Lise Tremblay
Mara Tremblay
Tony Tremblay
Elise Turcotte
Maxine Tynes
Sylvia Tyson
Jane Urquhart
Hélène Vachon
Francesca Valente
Joe Velaidum
Marie-Hélène Vézina
Joe Vansickle
Guillaume Vigneault
Yolande Villemaire
Eleanor Wachtel
J.A. Wainwright
Germaine Warkentin
Lucy Waverman
Ian Weir
Alison Wearing
Darryl Whetter
Nancy Wilcox Richards
Budge Wilson
Jean Wilson
Yvonne Wilson
Martin Winckler
Frieda Wishinsky
Kathleen Winter
Meg Wolitzer
Natale Wynberg
Peter Yan
Jane Yealland
Cybèle Young
Nora Young

Northrop Frye and Moncton[edit]

Frye was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec. His father had owned a business in Sherbrooke but in 1919 the business failed and the family was without income or savings. In the fall of 1919 his father relocated his family to Moncton, where he began work as a commercial traveller. His mother was often depressed because of the family financial difficulties and because her oldest child, Howard, had been killed in the war. To her, Moncton was like an "exile."

Northrop Frye was seven years old when the family arrived in Moncton. He attended Victoria School and was quickly approved for Grade 4 because of his advanced reading ability. He attended junior high school in Sussex, New Brunswick and, at not quite 16 years of age he graduated from Moncton's Aberdeen High School near the top of his class. He loved bicycling the countryside around Moncton but his two main interests while in Moncton were his studies and piano. He studied piano with a very fine teacher, George Ross, and at one time thought of a career in music. He was a champion typist. His first romantic adventure was with a Moncton girl, Evelyn Rogers. But eventually his love of literature prevailed and in 1929 he left Moncton to study at the University of Toronto. His mother and father remained in Moncton. His mother died in 1941 and is buried in Moncton’s Elmwood Cemetery.

He famously described his early formal education as "a form of penal servitude" presided over by "a rabble of screaming and strapping spinsters."[1] But he admitted late in life that his high school education was a good one. In 1990, after a brief and triumphant return to Moncton where he lectured at the University of Moncton and was the toast of the town, he said, "They were two of the best days of my life."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Quoted in John Ayre, Northrop Frye: A Biography, Random House, 1989, p. 34
  2. ^ Quoted in Reuben Cohen, A Time To Tell: The Public Life of a Public Man, Key Porter, 1998, p. 52

External links[edit]