Teri Hein grew up on some of the most idyllic farmland to be found anywhere in the Palouse, yet many of her neighbors and her own father struggled with recurrent bouts of cancer. Hein details both her own happy childhood and what she learned about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and Downwinder's Syndrome in her engaging memoir Atomic Farmgirl. Joining her at Borders Monday night is Montana's Pete Fromm, author of Indian Creek Chronicles, How All This Started and recent winner of a 2004 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for As Cool As I Am and Claire Davis, who has a new novel and a new collection of short stories coming out in 2005-2006, teaches writing at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho and is the widely respected author of Winter Range.
Tuesday, April 13
Milk Crate Readings at noon
It's guerilla literacy at its finest! Be downtown at noon where you'll find various lovers of literature at selected street corners holding forth on their favorite poet or writer!
Youth and Teen Poetry Slam 4-8 pm
West Valley High School
The evening starts out with the 11-and-younger set delivering the semantic smackdown to their poetic peers (4-6 pm), followed by the teen slam for ages 12-19 from 6-8 pm
Wednesday, April 14
Borders Presents a Children's Reading with Kit Seatons at 1 pm
North Division Borders
In December we wrote a piece on up-and-coming illustrator Kit Seatons, whose first book Nine Dragons is a gorgeously rendered folk tale from Asia. Seatons is also an accomplished costume designer who has studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
An Evening with Harvey Pekar and American Splendor at 6 pm
The Met Theater,
901 W. Sprague
Don't miss this rare opportunity to see the innovative, Sundance Grand Jury Award-winning film American Splendor, as hosted by its muse, Harvey Pekar. Pekar's autobiographical comic book series American Splendor inspired the film, which captures the comic's unflinching respect for reality, in all its grungy ambivalence. Pekar will be on hand afterwards to discuss the film and answer questions.
Tickets: $20 (Groups of 10 or more, $15) Call: 325-SEAT
EWU MFA Reading at 7 pm
Reid House, 2315 W. First Ave.
Any serious writer looking for a good Master of Fine Arts credential would do well to consider Eastern's Creative Writing Program. Tonight, students in Eastern's nationally-recognized MFA in Creative Writing Program read from their works.
"Legend" is a mighty big word to live up to, but each of these writers is, in their own way, a big name in regional literary circles. William Kittredge, author of Owning it All and Hole in the Sky, has become one of those authors whose name is synonymous with the geography and inner climate of the contemporary West. In similar fashion, John Keeble set several of his books in the new West before writing the definitive book on the Exxon Valdez disaster, Out of the Channel. Co-editor of the great big anthology of Montana writing The Last Best Place, Annick Smith is also the author of Big Bluestem, Homestead, and In This We Are Native. Missoula writer Phil Condon has had numerous short stories published in such literary journals as Shenandoah and Prairie Schooner, in addition to having published the novel ClayCenter and the short story collection River Street. Like This, Like That is Olympic peninsula poet Libby Wagner's first collection of work; she is also a graduate of Eastern's MFA Program. And finally, Linda Lawrence Hunt should be familiar to Inland Northwest audiences as the author of Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America. Hunt details the remarkable journey of two Spokane county women on foot, unescorted and across 3,500 miles of American terrain in 1896.
free; Suggested Donation: $5
Friday, April 16
Kafka Coffee Presents EWU Alumni Reading at 2 pm
Kafka Coffee, 410 2nd St., Cheney
Readers at this event include Tom I. Davis (poet and author of The Little Spokane) Libby Wagner, Terry Bain (who has a great book of essays coming out this fall), John Whalen (author of the poetry collection Caliban), poet Jennifer Reid, bookstore owner and writer Greg Delzer and Dan Morris, whose work has appeared in literary journals all over the West.
An Evening with Sarah Vowell at 7 pm
Showalter Hall Auditorium
Perhaps best known as a frequent contributor and voice on public radio's This American Life, Sarah Vowell is also an award-winning critic and journalist, as well as the author of The Partly Cloudy Patriot, Radio On: A Listener's Diary and Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World. Vowell will be joined by EWU/MFA faculty Gregory Spatz, Jonathan Johnson, Jennifer Davis and Natalie Kusz (by proxy).
Saturday, April 17
Writing Day from 9 am-4 pm
EWU Spokane Center
705 W. First Ave.
If you attended last year's Get Lit!, you probably remember one of the biggest highlights was Lynda Barry, whose infectious energy, frank conversation and most of all, her "funky chicken" endeared her to even audience members who'd never even heard of her before. Barry, longtime friend of The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, is the author of Cruddy, The Good Times Are Killing Me and One Hundred Demons, as well as the illustrator of this year's official Get Lit! poster and tote bag. Spokane audiences will have a rare chance to take a day-long "Writing the Unthinkable" fiction workshop with Barry, who teaches a similar course at the Omega Institute in upstate New York that attendees have called "life-changing." Barry says that her workshop is for anyone who "is interested in a way of writing that isn't a drag. As in how often writing feels like towing a barge upstream with 900 heavy critics on board. It's much, much better once you figure out how to water ski behind the writing instead of having to tote that barge!" And also, that workshop participants need to bring a pen, a three ring binder with at least 100 pages of loose-leaf paper inside.
Other workshops taking place that day include poetry, non-fiction, publishing, children's literature, and panel discussions (for descriptions visit www.ewu.edu/getlit). All workshops include a free lunch.
All-Day Fiction Workshop with Lynda Barry: $80; $75 for students
Other workshops: $65 each or $100 for two; $55 each or $90 for two for Students.
Get Lit! and KPBX present "The Adventures of Riley" at 1 pm
The Met, 901 W. Sprague
"The Adventures of Riley" is a highly popular new series of books for kids ages 4-8, dealing with wildlife conservation, habitat preservation and cultural identity in zany, fun-filled new ways. It's also the inspiration for KPBX's next Kids Concert, taking place at the Met and featuring Amanda Lumry, Carlos Alden and Patrick Klausen. Free
Kurt Vonnegut, with special guests Lynda Barry, Dorianne Laux and Joe Millar at 7 pm
The Met, 901 W. Sprague
The legendary author of such 20th century contemporary classics as Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut (see story, p. 29) is 81 years old and as outspoken and provocative as ever. Vonnegut will be joined by cartoonist/novelist Lynda Barry (see story to left), poet Dorianne Laux (author of Smoke, What We Carry and Awake) and Joseph Millar, short story writer and author of Overtime.
An Intimate Reception With
Kurt Vonnegut at 9:30 pm
Catacombs Pub, 110 S. Monroe
In lieu of a book-signing, Vonnegut will be the honored guest at a small catered affair at Catacombs, which includes hors d'oeuvres and two drink coupons. Space is limited to 100 people.
Tickets: $100 (all proceeds go to benefit Get Lit!)
Sunday, April 18
Dave Barry, with special guests Paul Zimmer, Christopher Howell and Chris Crutcher at 2 pm
Spokane Opera House
334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
There are many words to describe Miami Herald columnist and enormously popular humorist Dave Barry (see story, p. 31). Some of those words include "zany," "whacky," "off-the-wall" and "manic." Barry (no relation to Lynda Barry, by the way) will be joined for his Spokane appearance by poets Paul Zimmer and Christopher Howell, as well as by young adult novelist Chris Crutcher, whose writing for teens is as finely crafted, hilarious and poignant as anything you'll find for adults. Book-signing to follow.
Garrison Keillor, with special guests Nance Van Winckel, Scott Poole, John Reischmann & amp; the Jaybirds at 7 pm
Spokane Opera House
334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
This appearance by renowned NPR "Prairie Home Companion" host and author Garrison Keillor has all the folksy charm, wry wit and bluegrass music audiences have come to expect from "Prairie Home Companion." Keillor (see story, p. 36), author of Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys and Me: By Jimmy "Big Boy" Valente As Told to Garrison Keillor, is joined tonight by the evocative, poignancy of Nance Van Winckel (author of Curtain Creek Farm, Beside Ourselves and Limited Lifetime Warranty) and the monotone hilarity of Scott Poole, author of Hiding from Salesman and The Cheap Seats. John Reischmann & amp; the Jaybirds, the delightful bluegrass outfit with members up and down the West Coast, provides musical augmentation. Book signing to follow