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Coronavirus: Okanagan authors offer reprieve during isolation through virtual reading series

Coronavirus: Okanagan authors offer reprieve during isolation with virtual reading
WATCH: Okanagan authors are returning to the oral tradition of telling stories aloud in a virtual reading series while we are all curled up in our homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Okanagan authors are returning to the oral tradition of telling stories aloud, albeit in a virtual reading series while we are all curled up in our homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The need to have stories told to us, I think it can give us hope and feed our souls a little bit,” said Natalie Appleton with Read Head Studios.

The four-part series features 11 authors doing virtual readings followed by question-and-answer segments with those who want to tune in and listen to a story or poem.

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“I think all of us feel a sense of calm and peace a little bit when we can connect with art,” said Appleton.

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Reading on the themes of survival, travel and deception, the authors and poets help raise funds for arts non-profits across the Okanagan such as the Kelowna Friends of the Library and the Caetani Centre.

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Well-known Canadian poet and novelist John Lent read a few of his poems written about the joy of being alive.

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“There were all these worrying and clacking poetic minds at work, both the readers and the people who were there listening. It was fun,” said Lent.

The reading series is bringing together people at a time when it’s easy to feel isolated and alone.

“We have been thinking a lot about connections right now and it’s ironic because we are also talking about disconnection, separation and isolation,” said Lent.

“So one of the beautiful things about art and poetry, in particular, it’s one of the deeper connections that people share.”

The next virtual reading series is April 7, to join in on the next event visit the Read Local Okanagan Facebook page.

Extended interview with an Okanagan paramedic
Extended interview with an Okanagan paramedic