Dear reader @ the Emerging Writers’ Festival

One of the little projects I participated in during the Emerging writer’s festival!

Emily Stewart

dearreaderPhoto credit: John Stewart 2013

For the Emerging Writers’ Festival last weekend, I presented the Dear Reader project, an installation set up on-site at the gorgeous Abbotsford Convent. Over the course of the weekend, I gave away twenty-nine of my most-loved books, along with handwritten letters specific to each. Every recipient sat down with me for about half an hour to talk about books and reading, before choosing a title to take home with them.

Books are both repositories for private experiences and markers of public identity — a lot of conversations were had about how digital devices allow our more trashy reading selves to emerge! I pitched the project as an investigation into the function of books as objects and the ways in which they exist as physical manifestations of cultural memory.

I’ve become increasingly interested in more intimate forms of artistic exchange, and for me the idea of…

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