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The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Check out our 2020 schedule!

Oct 8: Richard Van Camp – Moccasin Square Gardens

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Moccasin Square Gardens

The characters of Moccasin Square Gardens inhabit Denendeh, the land of the people north of the sixtieth parallel. These stories are filled with in-laws, outlaws and common-laws. Get ready for illegal wrestling moves (“The Camel Clutch”), pinky promises, a doctored casino, extraterrestrials or “Sky People,” love, lust and prayers for peace.

While this is Van Camp’s most hilarious short story collection, it’s also haunted by the lurking presence of the Wheetago, human-devouring monsters of legend that have returned due to global warming and the greed of humanity. The stories in Moccasin Square Gardens show that medicine power always comes with a price.

To counteract this darkness, Van Camp weaves a funny and loving portrayal of the Tłı̨chǫ Dene and other communities of the North, drawing from oral history techniques to perfectly capture the character and texture of everyday small-town life. “Moccasin Square Gardens” is the nickname of a dance hall in the town of Fort Smith that serves as a meeting place for a small but diverse community. In the same way, the collection functions as a meeting place for an assortment of characters, from shamans and time-travelling goddess warriors to pop-culture-obsessed pencil pushers, to con artists, archivists and men who just need to grow up, all seeking some form of connection.

  • Fiction
  • Indigenous
  • Short Stories

Richard Van Camp

Richard Van Camp is a grateful and proud Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, NWT. He is the best selling author of 24 books these past 24 years. His novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a feature film with First Generation Films. You can visit Richard on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at www.richardvancamp.com.