Pulitzer Presence -- Sometimes we like to note the six degrees of separation between the Pulitzer Prize and us. For instance, alternative newsweeklies broke into Pulitzer-worthy ranks this week when the prize for investigative reporting was "awarded to Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week, Portland, Ore., for his investigation exposing a former governor's long concealed sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl." Congratulations to both Jaquiss and WW (former employer of our own Joel Smith).
Sandpoint native Marilynne Robinson's Gilead (which we reviewed on Feb. 10) has now won both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award for best fiction. It's the story of a dying Iowa preacher writing about faith and forgiveness to his 7-year-old son.
The Pulitzer drama jury -- which selected John Patrick Shanley's
Doubt (in which a nun suspects a priest of sexual abuse) as its winner -- was chaired by Michael Phillips, chief drama critic for the Chicago Tribune. (Our theater critic Michael Bowen studied with Phillips last July at Connecticut's Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.)
And finally, the music committee (winner: Steven Stucky's Second Concerto for Orchestra) was headed by a local music celebrity of international renown, Gunther Schuller.
Art Cinema Returns -- After a brief hiatus earlier this year, the Met Cinema is back with Born Into Brothels (playing April 11-14 at the Met; see our review, page 34). The Met's manager, Michael Smith, tells us that Spokane will finally be getting some of the films that have eluded us for so long - after the Oscars, film distributors tend to take a chance on mid-sized markets like Spokane. Visit www.mettheater.com.
Let's "Do It!" -- Not that, sillies we hardly know you. But perhaps you can channel your energies into a more constructive outlet this Saturday, from 9 am to noon, as the Spokane Preservation Advocates take on the Fox Theater. This official "Doing It" cleanup project involves window washing, painting and other general tidying activities. To volunteer, call 747-7239.
Love in the Sticks -- With Get Lit! approaching and about a zillion authors coming to town, we didn't want to miss this opportunity to tell you about EWU's Jonathan Johnson, whose Hannah and the Mountain has just been released by the University of Nebraska Press. Everybody fantasizes about living in their own little cabin in the woods; Johnson, along with his wife Amy, did just that. Hannah and the Mountain is the story of their arduous adventure together. Johnson, who has been chosen to direct EWU's Creative Writing program next year, will read this Monday night at Auntie's. Congratulations, Jonathan!