Published on June 14, 2024

Summer Literary Events Round-up

By Rachel London-Wallace

As the summer heat rolls through the city of Montreal, it’s the perfect time to grab a good book, a picnic blanket, an iced beverage, and head to a park for some quality reading time. And if you’re looking for something new to read, it’s a busy, exciting time for book launches and public readings. No matter what you’re into, there will be something for any kind of reader.

Book Launches and Readings 

Lovers of poetry, we have some exciting news for you: Mary Dean Lee will be launching her debut poetry collection titled Tidal, on June 19th, at the Montreal West Public Library, from 2-3 pm. It’s a free event, where you can go listen to the poet read, speak about her collection, and even get your copy of Tidal signed! 

If you are unable to make it, have no fear! There are not one, but two other opportunities to hear Lee speak and perform. She will be at Paragraphe Bookstore on June 16th, from 2-3:30 pm, along with Derek Webster, who will be reading from his new collection, National Animal, out now with Véhicule Press. Finally, Lee will appear in another joint poetry reading, this time with Emily Tristan Jones, this latter reading from her debut collection, Buttercup (Verge Books). The event will take place on June 20th, from 7-9pm, at the Librairie De Stiil Bookstore. Go on, and show these poets some love! 

If fiction is more your speed, Argo Bookshop has you covered. Head down there on June 20th, from 7-9 pm, to hear Emily Hamilton reading from her debut novel, The Stars Too Fondly. The book is fresh off the press from its June 11th release, and you won’t want to miss this chance to hear the author in conversation for a Q&A and moderated discussion to follow the reading. The event is free, but with limited space the bookstore is asking for RVSPs, which you can find here. Just as an FYI, Argo Bookshop requires customers and patrons to wear masks, but don’t worry if you’ve forgotten yours. There will be masks provided at the door.

Montreal’s much beloved Drawn & Quarterly will be hosting Véhicule Press’ Spring 2024 Fiction Launch on June 14th. This event will feature The War You Don’t Hate by Blaise Ndala, translated by Dimitri Nasrallah, and Kilworthy Tanner by Jean Marc Ah-sen. Enjoy readings from both books alongside refreshments. 

Finally, lovers of nonfiction, you haven’t been forgotten: keep your eyes on Librairie Paragraphe for Erin Zimmerman’s author talk and signing for Uprooted on August 4th. An evolutionary biologist and a science writer, Zimmerman’s book discusses botany, the sexism deeply rooted in academia, and how we can learn from scientific fields many don’t consider to be “important.” 


Comic book fans, sci-fi and horror enthusiasts, anime and gaming lovers, rise up! Montreal ComicCon is coming up, starting on July 5th and ending on July 7th. Dress in your best cosplay (or your favourite geeky t-shirt) to meet the actors, voice actors, comic book artists and creators of your beloved TV shows, movies, and comic books. It will be held at Palais des congrès. Get your tickets now


For those looking to get more involved in the Montreal literary scene, the Quebec Writers’ Federation will be hosting their online information session, Lunch and Learn. If you’re looking to find out what the QWF does, what benefits and opportunities they have to offer, there’s an upcoming Zoom meeting on July 9th, from 12-1:15pm. The event is open and free to all. All you have to do is RSVP here (just scroll past the event description). The next Lunch and Learn with QWF will be in October, so this will be your last chance before the summer’s end.

Literary Holidays 

That’s not all there is to celebrate! Quebec Book Day / J’achète un livre Québécois will be on August 12th. Independent bookstores band together to highlight and celebrate Quebecois literature. Started by authors Amélie Dubé and Patrice Cazeault in 2014, the day encourages readers to engage with local authors, illustrators, and publishers, found right here in our beautiful province. 

The programming for 2024 has not yet been finalized, but you can read about past iterations of the day here, and stay tuned for more information about this year’s campaign. Also, the Read Quebec catalogue is a great resource for local new releases, so make sure to check it out. 

Finally, if your heart is bursting to the seams with love for all of your favourite bookstores, happy news! You can express that love and gratitude on August 17th, on Bookstore Romance Day, a time to celebrate both Romance fiction and bookstores that sell them. As of right now, there are no Quebec bookstores officially participating, but folks are encouraged to check out the list throughout the summer. Also, even if no bookstores are officially participating, that doesn’t mean you can’t as well! Buy a book, ask for a recommendation from a staff member, and support the bookstores that keep our literary scene thriving. 

Have a great summer, everyone, and remember, read on! 

Rachel London-Wallace is a Montreal resident currently working on her first novel.

Illustration by Colby Mabrey