Giller Power Panel: Banned Books – Censorship and the Erasure of History and Experience

April 18, 2023

Giller Power Panel - Banned Books - Censorship and the Erasure of History and Experience

The Giller Power Panel: Banned Books – Censorship and the Erasure of History and Experience will discuss the experience of having books banned or challenged and how to combat this threat to our freedoms.

The panel will take place over Zoom on Tuesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. ET. Please register to attend.

The Giller Power Panels pull together creatives with a moderator each month to discuss the intersection of literature and a wide range of topics including the most pressing issues of our time.

About the panelists:

Matt Abbott headshot

Matt Abbott is Manager of Collection Development at Toronto Public Library where he works with a team that directs the selection of both physical and digital collections. He has extensive experience improving access to digital collections and upholding the principles of intellectual freedom in a public library setting. Matt holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University and a certificate in Public Library Leadership from the University of Toronto.

Peter Midgley headshot

Peter Midgley is a writer, translator, and editor from Edmonton. Peter grew up in a bilingual, bi-cultural home in Namibia and South Africa during the apartheid era. His work reaches across cultural and linguistic boundaries, and addresses the need for literary activism and littérature engagée in a contemporary world. His latest book, let us not think of them as barbarians, is an elegy for Namibia, the country of his birth, and a meditation on the multiple legacies of colonialism. It was shortlisted for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry in 2019.

Arlene Perly Rae headshot

Arlene Perly Rae has an Honorary BA in English and Philosophy, and a Masters Degree in Drama from the University of Toronto.

A long time Board Member and Member of the Executive Committee of the United Way of Greater Toronto, she founded its Success by Six program.

Arlene is currently a Director of the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown and on the Board of the National Reading Campaign.  She co-chairs the Winchester Project in Toronto, creating 30 housing units for women facing the dual challenges of poverty and mental health issues.

Arlene served for many years on the Boards of Sistema, McClelland and Stewart, the Stratford Festival, World Literacy of Canada among others, and was a steering committee member of the National Campaign Against Child Poverty.

As co-chair of the YWCA’s Elm Centre Capital Campaign, Arlene helped raise $15 million to create 300 permanent housing units for women and women-led families in Toronto, including 50 Indigenous families.

For many years, she was the Children’s Book Reviewer for the Toronto Star.  She wrote the award-winning book Everybody’s Favourites: (Canadians Talk About Books That Changed Their Lives), as well as travel writing and commentary.

Arlene adapted two operas—Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Stravinsky’s Petruschka—for the Royal Conservatory of Music, to help introduce children to the orchestra.

Arlene has been an advocate for children’s literacy, mental health support and human rights. She was Chief Judge and organizer of the Mr Christie Book Awards for over a decade, a Judge for The Commonwealth Book Prize, and other Awards.

Arlene currently lives much of the year in New York, with her husband, Bob, the Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations. She is actively involved on the Board of the Women’s International Forum with other groups.

She enjoys theatre, swimming, tennis, golf and grand-mothering.

Raziel Reid headshot

Raziel Reid’s debut young adult novel, When Everything Feels Like the Movies, won the 2014 Governor General’s Award for English-language children’s literature, making him, at 24 years old, the youngest ever person to win the prestigious award. When Everything Feels Like the Movies is inspired in part by the 2008 murder of gay teenager Lawrence Fobes King. Published in the UK by Atom Publishing, The Telegraph listed it as one of the best YA novels of 2016. It was selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Canada Reads, where it came in second place. It was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult Literature, and for Publishing Triangle’s Ferro-Grumley Award. Raziel’s second novel Kens was listed by Publisher’s Weekly as a favorite YA book of 2021, and his third novel Followers was nominated for a 2021 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award presented by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Raziel lives in Vancouver.

David Robertson headshot

David A. Robertson is the author of When We Were Alone (2017 Governor General’s Literary Award), The Barren Grounds (2020 Governor General’s Literary Award finalist), and Back Water, winner of the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.

Please continue to visit our website for information on upcoming Giller Power Panels.