Literary Events


The Dalhousie Libraries hosts a number of annual literary events.

Blind Date with a Book

Blind date with a bookWe want to set you up with the book of your dreams! Featuring books with sharp and witty profiles better than anything you’ll find on Tinder.  

Happening anually during the same week as Valentine's Day, Blind Date with a Book is your chance to peruse a display of discreetly wrapped books and their descriptive tags. You’re sure to find one that quickens your pulse.

Dal Reads - Dalhousie's Unity Reading Program

Dal Reads title annoucementDal Reads is designed to encourage people in the Dalhousie community to share their love of books. Launched in 2009, the program brings the Dalhousie community together to read the same book and take part in programming related to the book.

Programming may include author readings, book club-type discussions, film viewings, and other events and opportunities to celebrate a shared love of reading. In addition, faculty members may choose to include the Dal Reads book in their course curriculum.

Dal Reads aims to provide a common intellectual experience, and encourage discussion as the development of new and innovative programming.

A Dal Reads book:

  • must be able to generate discussion and exchange of ideas;
  • must be appealing to a broad range of readers of varying ages, literacy levels, and life experience;
  • must be in print and available for purchase in paperback, ebook, and audiobook; and
  • must be strongly written with elements that will generate excitement among readers.

Dal Reads Title Selections

2009–2011 The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
2012-2013 Twenty-Six, Leo McKay Jr. (partnership with One Book Nova Scotia)
2013-2014 Fauna, Alissa York (partnership with One Book Nova Scotia)
2014-2015 Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
2015-2016 A Year of Living Generously, Lawrence Scanlan
2016-2017 The Hermit of Africville, Jon Tattrie
2017-2018 We Were Not the Savages, Daniel Paul
2018-2019 Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson
2019-2020 Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaw Poet, Rita Joe 
2020-2021 The Marrow Thieves, Cherie Dimaline
2021-2022 Butter Honey Pig Bread, Francesca Ekwuyasi
2022-2023 The Skin We're In, Desmond Cole
2023-2024 The Boat People, Sharon Bala

Ghost Stories

In partnership with the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, Dalhousie Libraries host an annual ghost storytelling event with professional storytellers in the Victorian Lounge in Shirreff Hall.  

Reading with the winner of the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

In partnership with the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, the Dal Libraries hosts an annual reading with the winner of the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. 

The Raddall Award was first presented in 1991. Established with an endowment by Thomas Head Raddall himself, and with ongoing support from the Raddall family, this award honours the work of fiction writers in the Atlantic region and, as the original benefactor envisioned, provides “the gift of time and peace of mind” so essential to the creation of new work.

More information about the award and past winners is available through the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia.

Be sure to check our events calendar for upcoming events related to our annual programming.

Past Events

Canadian Literary Projects Collection Reading Series

About the Reading Series

In 1992, the Canadian Literary Collections Project launched a Public Reading Series to provide a venue for the work of both established and emerging writers, with special emphasis on those of the Maritime region. The reading series was also intended to raise the profile of creative writing on the Dalhousie campus as well as in the Halifax community.

Since 1992, the series has featured many excellent authors such as Karen Connelly, Don Domanski, Richard Cumyn, Harry Thurston, and Carole Glasser Langille. We sometimes push the envelope of "creative writing" to include such folks as local artists (Tom Forrestall), songwriters (Dan MacKinnon), filmmakers (Glenn Walton), and translators (Dalhousie professor Betty Bednarski).

Readings are usually held on the 5th floor of the Killam Library in the charming University Archives & Special Collections Reading Room, and are always lively and inspiring.  

Past Readings

Cassette tapes of author readings are available by request at the Information Desk in the 5th floor reading room of the Killam Library. Author names are hyperlinked for those readings with video links.

Year Date Author
2017 March 7 R.W. Gray
2016 March 1 Binnie Brennan
  October 4 Andy Wainwright
2015 January 14 William Kowalski
  March 10 James Raffan 
  November 10 Darren Greer
2014 March 4 Douglas Gibson
2013 March 26 Rachel Lebowitz & Zachariah Wells
  November 26 Russell Wangersky
2012 March 8

Rebecca Kraatz

  November 29 David Adams Richards
2011 March 24 Anne Simpson
  November 17 Kathleen Winter
2010 February 18 Matt Robinson
  September 30 Nicole Dixon &
Danny Jacobs
  October 25 Shandi Mitchell
2009 March 12 Carol Bruneau
  October 14 Douglas Arthur Brown
  November 17 Sue Goyette,
Carol Langille,
Carolyn Smart
  November 24 Randall Maggs
2008 March 13 Don Domanski
  October 28 Don Hannah
2007 February 1 Jackie Torrens
  October 19 Linda Little
  January 19 Glenn Walton
  March 9 Jonathan Campbell
  October 20 Donna Morrissey
2005 March 9 Jason Holt
  October 27 Edward Riche
2004 January 7 Michael Unger
2004 March 10 Heidi Priesnitz,
Heather Pyrcz
2001 January 25 Jeanette Lynes
  October 18 Richard Cumyn
2000 January 20 Sue Goyette
  March 9 Peter Sanger
  October 19 Susan Haley,
Alison Smith,
J.J. Steinfeld
1999 January 21 Kathy Mac
  March 4 Alf Silver
  November 18 Penny Ferguson &
Andrew Steeves
1998 January 15 Tom Forrestall
  March 12 Betty Bednarski
  October 15 Dan MacKinnon
  November 19 Kent Thompson
1997 November 6 Carol Langille
1996 January 15 Carol Bruneau, Pam Donoghue, Ken Ward
  January 18 Jim Bennet
  March 7 Donna Smyth
1995 January 19 Harry Thurston
  January 21 Rita Joe
  February 16 Brian Bartlett, John Castlebury, Lynn Davies, Deirdre Dwyer, Carol Langille
  April 6 Allan Cooper
  September 21 Walter Borden
  November 23 Deborah Joy Corey
1994 February 17 Margaret Hammer, Darcy Rhyno, Kay Tudor
  March 10 Nicole Brossard, Daphne Marlatt
  April 14 Lesley-Anne Bourne, Richard Lemm
1994 October 20 Joe Blades, Richard Cumyn, Deirdre Dwyer
  November 24 Christopher Heide
1993 January 21 Andy Wainwright
  February 18 David Woods
  April 1 Sue Kerslake
  June 17 Brian Bartlet
  September 30 Norman Levine
  October 14 Claudia Gahlinger, Sue MacLeod, Eleanor Schonmaier
  December 9 Karen Connelly
1992 October 8 Maxine Tynes
  November 19 Astrid Brunner