All events are part of Shakespeare Lives, an unprecedented global programme of events and activities celebrating William Shakespeare’s work on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. #ShakespeareLives


Presented in partnership with IFOA and the Toronto Poetry Project, the international poet and facilitator Deanna Rodger was invited to IFOA to work with emerging spoken word poets. Taking Shakespeare’s sonnets as inspiration, this Spoken Word Workshop will explore how sonnets can be utilized by contemporary voices in fresh and unexpected ways to talk about their lives today. The workshop will culminate in a performance by the participants.

The workshop is free and open to all spoken word poets, from beginners to seasoned performers. The Spoken Word Workshop runs on Friday, October 21 from 9am to 4pm, followed by a performance from 6 to 7pm.

To participate, please click here and send your registration form to

Click here to see the Facebook event!

Saturday, october 22 - Lunatics, Lovers & Poets

For our Shakespeare Scholars, we partnered with the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain to present Lunatics, Lovers and Poets, a reading from an anthology of short stories inspired by Shakespeare and Cervantes. Internationally renowned authors Hisham Matar and Marcos Giralt Torrente will read and discuss their work with author C.C. Humphreys on Saturday, October 22 at 5pm.

Purchase tickets to this event by clicking here.

Sunday, October 23 - Graphic Sonnet Exchange

The International Festival of Authors is a celebration of word and ideas. This year, for its 37th edition, IFOA is highlighting the work of graphic novelists and the art of the graphic novel. The graphic novel has grown as a genre over the last three decades and artists' works have become more and more diverse in form and style. As part of our celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, we are pleased to partner with IFOA for the Graphic Sonnet Exchange.

Shakespeare’s sonnets cross and challenge boundaries of love, friendship, gender, literary form and question what it means to be human. Contemporary illustrators and graphic novelists Jonathan McNaught and Toronto-based John Martz were commissioned to create their own responses to Sonnet 12 in the comic form.

Through a creative exchange, they developed new narrative interpretations and found fresh insights into Shakespeare’s mysterious poem. Come see the reveal on October 23!

All audience members will receive a copy of the new graphic novels.

Purchase tickets to the event here or call the box office at 416-973-4000. Check out the Facebook event here!

October 25-27 - slave to mortal rage - VR installation by circa 69

Slave to Mortal Rage makes its Canadian premiere at IFOA! It is the third virtual reality installation by CiRCA69, a company described by Cineuropa Magazine as “one of the most notable names in Europe to be dealing with VR”. You can walk around and explore the world around you, interact with it, feel the wind upon your face and uncover a story in which you are the central character.

You find yourself on the mezzanine of a luxury apartment in a high rise block overlooking the city; you are in the middle of a story or a poem which needs further investigation to be understood. The city is disintegrating, the news reader is weeping and on a desk in front of you a copy of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury is open to the page Time and Love.

Commissioned by Brighton Digital Festival & DRHA 2016 (Digital Research in Humanities and Arts Conference, University of Brighton)

See also