Berton House Writer-in-Residence Drew Hayden Taylor kicked off the 6th Dawson Daily News Print & Publishing Festival‘s series of author talks Wednesday night with a casual “Ask Drew Anything” session. A prolific First Nations writer with over 30 works to his credit, Taylor is well known for bringing humour to his writing. (In fact, he has to regrettably miss the rest of the Festival because he’s off to Orillia, Ontario for the presentation of the The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, presented for the best book of humour written in English by a Canadian writer, for which he is a 2017 Finalist).
The Native voice and how it is forging its way into contemporary Canadian literature was one of the many topics Drew covered in his eloquent and entertaining talk. Responding to audience questions, he also addressed the issue of cultural appropriation, which is a hot topic in the media — and literary discussions — these days. Drew pointed out that the root of the dictionary definition of “appropriation,” as well as the indigenous community’s anger, is that it is done without the victim’s consent.
Drew also talked about the (near) universality of humour, as well as the numerous projects he has tackled during his Berton House residency.