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Guest of Honour Canada: Singular Plurality - the name says it all.

Singular Plurality – Singulier Pluriel
Canada is unique not only because of its literary and cultural diversity. Never before has a Guest of Honour appearance spanned two years - that's unique!

Margaret Atwood

In 2020, Canada was represented at FBM Special Edition with a wide-ranging digital program. In 2021, we look forward to live events with Canadian authors, illustrators and artists and to unique encounters at the Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Bienvenue & welcome, Canada!

Canada is the Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020/2021. The literature and culture of this huge country is characterised by the coexistence of different cultures and languages: in addition to English and French, there are also a variety of indigenous languages. We’re looking forward to a particularly diverse and surprising Guest of Honour programme.

Canadian authors – including many long-time bestsellers – are naturally expected, but there will also be new voices, who will give us completely new insights into Canadian literature and culture. We are very excited! Join us on a journey of discovery.

Discover the contributions of our Guest of Honour Canada at Bookfest digital 2020

Missed the Special Edition? Take a look at the highlights of the Guest of Honour presentation and be inspired by the diversity, creativity and uniqueness of the Canadian literary and cultural scene.

BOOKFEST: Margaret Atwood Interview

Live EN
Speaker: Margaret Atwood

BOOKFEST: CANADA (Mini-Documentaries)

Live EN

The Guest of Honour in 82 seconds

Guest of Honour Canada 2020

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Translation funding

A support programme for Canadian literature was launched for Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020: a cooperation between the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

A support programme for Canadian literature was launched for Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020: a cooperation between the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The Canadian Heritage and its portfolio organizations play an important role in Canada's cultural, civic and economic life. The Canada Council for the Arts is a promoter of public arts.

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Handover of the GuestScroll

At the close of Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019, Margit Walsø, Director of NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad), handed over the GuestScroll, an artistic token designed especially for Frankfurter Buchmesse, to Caroline Fortin, President of Canada’s Guest of Honour organizing committee. The traditional presentation of the GuestScroll in the Guest Country Pavilion is intended to connect the guest countries symbolically and literarily. Every year, the GuestScroll is extended by a literary contribution from the next guest country: Canada wrote itself into the scroll with a poem by Georgette LeBlanc. Canada’s parliamentary poet laureate 2018-2019, and including lines from a number of works representing Canadian literary talent.

Frankfurter Buchmesse Guest of Honour – Guest Scroll Guest of Honour Canada 2020

J'sons
De parenté à parenté à parenté
All my relations

C'est ici le lieu du poème
Et nos yeux sont remplis de paysages vivants
We should know, we are the dreamers.
X, we are responsible
For Beauty.

Je prends la glace par les hanches
Je sais ce que je fais malgré ma jeunesse
His mother talks in pictures
Language, too, is a natural phenomenon.

Ej parle le pissenlit, le corbeau, et une miette de goemon
Creative activity of all kinds becomes possible
Energy is no longer suppressed
Il y a toujours une vie à faire
ou à refaire
De parenté à parenté à parenté

Poem by Georgette Leblanc, with excerpts from various authors
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I am, are*
From relation to relation to relation
All my relations

Here is the place of the poem
And our eyes are awash with the living
We should know, we are the dreamers.
X, we are responsible
For Beauty.

I take ice by the thighs
I know what I am doing, regardless of my youth
His mother talks in pictures
Language, too, is a natural phenomenon.

I speak dandelion, crow, some seaweed
Creative activity of all kinds becomes possible
Energy is no longer suppressed
There is always a life to create
or recreate
From relation to relation to relation

*loosely translated from the Acadian "j'sons", the collective "I". The singular pronoun is, exists and creates in its individuality and plurality synchronistically.

English translation by Georgette Leblanc  

Reprinted exclusively by the Frankfurter Buchmesse with permission from Canada FBM2021. Please contact Meghan Macdonald at mmacdonald@canadafbm2021.com for all queries pertaining to rights and permissions.

References to the quoted poems may be found here.  

Bücherstand auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse

Books on Canada

The international book exhibition for the Guest of Honour exhibition.
What is read globally about Canada?

The international book exhibition for the Guest of Honour exhibition.
What is read globally about Canada?

For the Guest of Honour exhibition, Frankfurter Buchmesse will be inviting publishing companies from all over the world to present their current titles relating to the Guest of Honour at the exhibition 'Books on Canada' in the Frankfurter Buchmesse Pavilion. The exhibition is very popular among all readers, trade and private visitors alike.

Canada FBM2021

The Canadian government signed a contract for Canada's Guest of Honour appearance at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 on 6 October 2016. As a result, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) jointly founded the company Canada FBM2021, which is responsible for organising and supporting the Canadian publishing industry's participation at the Guest of Honour exhibition in both national languages. Canada FBM2021 is financially supported by the Ministry of Canadian Cultural Heritage and managed by a board of directors consisting of staff from the Ministry of Canadian Cultural Heritage (PCH), Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Foreign Ministry and the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, Téléfilm Canada and Canada FBM2021.

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All about the Guest Countries of the Frankfurter Buchmesse

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Find out more about the Guests of Honour of Frankfurter Buchmesse

Rücksachau Ehrengast Norwegen

Tusen Takk, Norge!

Guest of honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019 was Norway – a country of great literature: from classics like Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun to current bestselling authors like Karl Ove Knausgård, Maja Lunde and Jo Nesbø. It was simply wonderful to experience the stories of the people from the far north with literature, art and culture. Thank you, Norway!

Vorschau Ehrengast

Look forward to these guest countries

In the coming years, Frankfurter Buchmesse will continue to open up exciting literary and cultural worlds for you. Experience exciting stories and unforgettable moments with our future Guests of Honour Spain (2022), Slovenia (2023) and Italy (2024).

In a nutshell

Get an overview of everything connected to Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Guest of Honour here.