Sunday, October 6, 2019 | 3 PM
CSI Annex, 720 Bathurst St
PAY WHAT YOU CAN: $10–$20 | Students/Seniors: FREE


The Koffler’s Books & Ideas Series presents author Wayde Compton and illustrator April dela Noche Milne, in conversation with YA author Melanie J. Fishbane 

With millions of people displaced each year by conflict, violence and persecution, migration is undoubtedly one of the critical issues of our times. In The Blue Road: A Fable of Migration, acclaimed poet and prose writer Wayde Compton and illustrator April dela Noche Milne’s graphic novel debut, a young migrant girl embarks on a treacherous journey only to discover that leaving, arriving and returning are all just different words for the same thing: starting over. Lacuna is a girl without a family, a past, or a proper home. She lives alone in a swamp made of ink, but with the help of Polaris, a will-o’-the-wisp, she embarks for the fabled Northern Kingdom, where she might find people like her. A tender and timely graphic novel for readers of all ages, The Blue Road explores the world from a migrant’s perspective with dreamlike wonder.

Wayde Compton is the author of two books of poetry, 49th Parallel Psalm (Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize finalist) and Performance Bond. He also edited the anthology Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature. His non-fiction book After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award, and his first work of fiction, The Outer Harbour, won the City of Vancouver Book Award. Wayde is the former director of the Writer’s Studio and the Southbank Writer’s Program at Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies. He currently teaches in the faculty of Creative Writing at Douglas College. He lives in Vancouver.

April dela Noche Milne is a Filipino Canadian artist based in Vancouver. She studied fine arts at Langara College and graduated with a BFA in illustration from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her illustrations have been featured in Ricepaper, EVENT, and Briarpatch magazines. The Blue Road is her first graphic novel.

Melanie J. Fishbane holds an M.F.A. from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. from Concordia University. With over seventeen years’ experience in children’s publishing, she also lectures internationally on children’s literature. Her essay, “My Pen Shall Heal, Not Hurt: Writing as Therapy in L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside and The Blythes Are Quoted,” is included in L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942. Her YA novel, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for a Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature. Melanie teaches English at Humber College in Toronto.

Koffler Centre of the Arts’ Books & Ideas series spotlights provocative writers, artists and thinkers, celebrating literary excellence and fostering critical dialogue through compelling book launches, author talks and on-stage interviews.

With a thematic focus on counter-narratives, the fall series features books that employ memoir, poetry, and the graphic novel form as tools of resistance.

Books & Ideas Fall season presented in partnership with:




With generous support from Dorothy Shoichet & Family, the Estate of Joseph Koenig, the Koffler Family Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council and CIBC Wood Gundy. 

Books & Ideas Media Partner: