Book Launch and reading by Ivan Coyote, and opening performance by Becky Johnson
The Dawson Daily News Print & Publishing Festival offered a series of literary events during YRAF 2021 weekend, including fantastic performances by Ivan Coyote and Becky Johnson in the legendary Palace Grand Theatre in Dawson City. This gorgeous Parks Canada venue was the setting for the book launch of Ivan Coyote’s latest work, “Care of”. Comedian Becky Johnson warmed up the audiences and set the tone for a hilarious and dynamic, yet intimate evening.
Writer and performer Ivan Coyote has spent decades on the road, telling stories around the world. For years, Ivan has kept a file of the most special communications received from readers and audience members—letters, Facebook messages, emails, soggy handwritten notes tucked under the windshield wiper of their truck after a gig. Then came spring, 2020, and, like artists everywhere, Coyote was grounded by the pandemic, all their planned events cancelled. The energy of a live audience, a performer’s lifeblood, was suddenly gone. But with this loss came an opportunity for a different kind of connection. Those letters that had long piled up could finally begin to be answered.
Care Of combines the most powerful of these letters with Ivan’s responses, creating a body of correspondence of startling intimacy, breathtaking beauty, and heartbreaking honesty and openness. Taken together, they become an affirming and joyous reflection on many of the themes central to Coyote’s celebrated work—compassion and empathy, family fragility, non-binary and trans identity, and the unending beauty of simply being alive, a giant love letter to the idea of human connection, and the power of truly listening to each other.
About the Artist
Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of thirteen books, the creator of four short films, and they have released three albums that combine storytelling with music. Ivan is a seasoned stage performer, and over the last twenty-six years has become an audience favourite at storytelling, writer’s, film, poetry, and folk music festivals from Anchorage to Australia.
Ivan often grapples with the complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity in their work, as well as topics such as family, class, social justice and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, a quick wit, and the nuanced and finely-honed timing of a gifted storyteller. Ivan’s stories remind us of our own fallible and imperfect humanity while at the same time inspiring us to change the world.