Arts & Culture

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Apply to become Spokane's next Poet Laureate!

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 4:42 PM

Spokane's third Poet Laureate has yet to be named, and 
Spokane's soon-to-be outgoing Poet Laureate, Laura Read.
  • Spokane's soon-to-be outgoing Poet Laureate, Laura Read.
Spokane Arts needs your help — before the end of this month — to do so. 

The two-year appointment of the city's official poetry position is much more than a title. Poet Laureates are tasked with promoting and supporting an appreciation of literary arts in the greater Spokane area through events, workshops and other programming. Here are some more specifics on the position's responsibilities, directly from Spokane Arts' Poet Laureate application form:
"As both a local resident and a distinguished poet, the Poet Laureate will represent and celebrate the rich literary history and the diversity of Eastern Washington. As a spokesperson for the area’s literary community, the Poet Laureate will help reinforce the role of literature in civic life and will actively participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities in the community during the  term of service. The Poet Laureate program is administered by Spokane Arts. Interested poets must submit their own application; there is no nomination process."

Do note that last bit: "Interested poets must submit their own application." So, everyone reading this post, if you know a locally based, profound penner of poetry, encourage them to fill out the application, like ASAP! The deadline to apply is Saturday, Sept. 30.

Current Spokane Poet Laureate Laura Read (click the link to see her contributions to the Inlander's 2016 Poetry Issue) passes the torch to her predecessor during the Spokane Arts Awards on Nov. 4, an event that serves as the culmination of Create Spokane Arts Month in October. Read has served as Spokane's Poet Laureate since October 2015; the next person to hold the position will serve until the city's fou rth Poet Laureate is appointed in the fall of 2019.

Spokane's first Poet Laureate, who helped usher in the literary program, was award-winning local writer and Whitworth University professor Thom Caraway.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

YMCA of the Inland Northwest welcomes refugees, immigrants with events this week

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 2:00 PM

This week, YMCA of the Inland Northwest is joining 
other organizations around the country in welcoming immigrants and refugees to the community and thanking them for their contributions.

The week, Sept. 15 through Sept. 24, is happening in collaboration with other YMCAs and Welcoming America, a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to make communities around the country more inclusive and welcoming to immigrants and all residents.

Monday night, Spokane Mayor David Condon is expected to sign a proclamation at the city council meeting to recognize Welcoming Week, and there are two upcoming events which are open to the public:

On Wednesday, people are invited to dance and listen to African Congolese drumming, followed by a social with the chance to taste Congolese food and food made by refugees representing their respective cultures. That event will take place from 6 to 8:30 pm at the South Spokane Y, 2921 E. 57th.

On Friday, there will be a Garden Revitalization Project at 4:30 pm at the North Spokane Y, 10727 N. Newport Hwy. Music, food, tools and supplies will be provided — just arrive ready to get in the dirt, the YMCA says.
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Friday, September 15, 2017

REVIEW: Magic Men Live: where half-naked ancient civilizations and 50 Shades of Grey collide

Posted By on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 2:43 PM

Something about the sound of nearly 700 women (and a few men) screaming shrilly inside the Bing Crosby Theater Thursday night — paired with the carnal desires behind those shrieks — made me wonder how powerful a coven this group could make, if only we weren't all there to watch beefy men get nearly naked.

Gather sisters, gather thee,
Into the Bing, where we shall scream
So shrill shall be the mighty call
As ladies demand to see it all

The sculpted men on stage will dance
Bump, and grind, and throw a glance
at each and every one of us
who've paid too much to just sit and blush.

Those non-believers, they will see
how powerful, we ladies be
I can tell I'm losing you already
No one else thought the witch thing? Just me?


Continue reading »

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Eye Contact: Art by homeless women and teens on display for Volunteers of America's fundraiser

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 2:49 PM

On an average night, Hope House shelters 36 homeless women, giving them a safe place to sleep and connecting them with case managers whose ultimate goal is to get them into permanent housing.

Hope House sheltered 322 women last year. Meaningfully, it transitioned 108 of them into permanent housing, treatment, or transitional housing, says Stephanie Neumann, Development Director for Volunteers of America of Eastern Washington and North Idaho, which operates Hope House and the Crosswalk teen shelter.

But there's always a need for more help: the shelter turns away about a dozen women every night. Those who wind up camping can be moved along by police for staying anywhere longer than 15 minutes, Neumann says.

"Sadly, the women do not have anywhere else to go," she says. "If the police see them, they are asked to keep moving. They are in danger on the streets… it’s a tough thing to witness."

To raise money for Hope House and Crosswalk, Volunteers of America will host "Eye Contact: Humanizing Homelessness," a one-night-only art exhibit featuring art by homeless women and teens in the community.

Volunteers of America is hosting an exhibit of artwork by homeless women and children to raise money for Hope House women's shelter and the Crosswalk teen shelter.
  • Volunteers of America is hosting an exhibit of artwork by homeless women and children to raise money for Hope House women's shelter and the Crosswalk teen shelter.

"There’s this mindset of homeless people as kind of the other people in our community," Neumann says. "They feel more inspired or encouraged when members like me or you say "Hi" to them and see them as a human being. It encourages them. The goal of this event is to humanize homelessness."

In addition to artwork that's been made by people experiencing homelessness in recent years, the show will feature professional artwork up for raffle, an aerial silks performance, live art, and more.

Hors d'oeuvres and dessert will be provided by the Wandering Table and Inland Pacific Kitchen, with wine by Overbluff Cellars, and Anvil Coffee.

Tickets can be found at

Tickets: $40 in advance; $50 at the door. Event: 6 to 9 pm, Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Terrain space in the Washington Cracker Co. Building, 304 W. Pacific Ave.

For a look at what a night at Hope House is like, watch the following video to hear from women who've stayed at the shelter and staff who work there.

"Fortunately, Hope House is housing these women. We are very blessed to have such determined case managers to help these women get off the streets and in permanent housing," Neumann says. "Fundraisers such as Eye Contact help us fund the program."

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Second Friday at Saranac Art Projects: New works from Jenny Hyde and Katie Creyts

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 10:38 AM

Jenny Hyde
and Katie Creyts, cooperative member 
artists and faculty members at Eastern Washington University and Whitworth University respectively, debut their new works tonight from 5 to 9 pm in a two-woman exhibition at Saranac Art Projects (25 W. Main).

Hyde, a multidisciplinary artist who teaches digital art at Eastern, has exhibited at Saranac Art Projects dating back to 2009. Her works have explored cultural geography through study of landscape and the body, and she is the recent recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship. This month, she debuts a series of digital prints featuring individual American-made rifles.

An area gun shop gave Hyde permission to document 
Jenny Hyde: Collector of Interesting Experiences, 2017 - SARANAC ART PROJECTS
  • Saranac Art Projects
  • Jenny Hyde:
    Collector of Interesting Experiences, 2017
these weapons; she captured their images with a photo scanner on-site. Initially, she was interested only in the .22-caliber rifles, with the intention of viewing the guns as household tools, as they are often understood to be in many rural American homes.

But once the process began, all of the rifles became points of interest for Hyde — the old shotguns, as well as more recently manufactured models. These images reflect rural Americans' cultural identity in different ways, in particular exploring the romanticized depiction of isolation, or what is perceived as “independence.”

Katie Creyts: Corner Sky Sun Valley, 2017 - SARANAC ART PROJECTS
  • Saranac Art Projects
  • Katie Creyts: Corner Sky Sun Valley, 2017
Creyts, an associate professor of art at Whitworth for the past decade, specializes in sculpture and working with glass — she has studied at the Pilchuck Glass School, among other schools and studios — and is on Artist Trust's board of directors. She received Whitworth's Innovative Teaching Award in 2011 and was named an Artist to Watch by the Inlander the following year. She also has previously exhibited her works at Saranac Art Projects.

An avid outdoorswoman, Creyts explored the West this summer on a series of hikes in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. For her, these rugged adventures became pilgrimages, as she devoted her time to exploring the theme of hope — both the dashed hopes of the past and the ever-twinkling hopefulness of the future.

Creyts hiked with a mirror ball and iPhone camera, considering spaces that would respond to the mirror ball, both in reflection and fragment, and recording images that inspired and would become part of the sculpture on view, a geodesic dome titled "Tabanakkle." She considers this to be the shrine at the end of her summer-long trek; selected images from her mirror-ball hikes also will be on view.

In addition to tonight's artist reception, the exhibition is open for viewing Thursdays from 2 to 6 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 8 pm. It runs through Saturday, Sept. 30.
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

REVIEW: Love it or hate it, the Twin Peaks reboot was fascinating, uncompromising TV

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 3:13 PM

Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) encounters Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the Red Room.
  • Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) encounters Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the Red Room.

Note: This post contains spoilers for season 3 of Twin Peaks


That single line of dialogue, delivered near the end of Twin Peaks' long-awaited third season, turns out to be perhaps the most cathartic in the entire series. It was uttered when the show's iconic hero, the perpetually chipper FBI agent Dale Cooper, awoke from a stupor that had relegated him to a shuffling, toddler-like mental state, but it also signaled the moment when the show's new characters and plot lines definitively and seamlessly converged with the old ones. The past and the present had crashed into one another, though it didn't take long for that union to come undone.

David Lynch and Mark Frost's beloved cult property returned to television this spring (you might recall our May cover story about it) in a fog of hype, and it became clear from its deliriously strange and formally audacious two-hour premiere — complete with an intimidating glass box, a face-eating poltergeist and a headless corpse — that its authors had no interest in warm, cozy nostalgia. They had blown up their creation, and they were in no hurry to put the pieces back together.

That's what made this new strain of the show so frustrating in its early stages, and ultimately so exhilarating as it wrapped itself up. This season of Twin Peaks required a considerable amount of patience — I've talked to several friends who abandoned it after just a few episodes, and the ratings weren't great — but it ultimately paid off in alluring fashion.


Because make no mistake: This fresh batch of episodes was even more befuddling and unpredictable, more unapologetically Lynchian, than the original iteration of Twin Peaks ever was. Having shaken the constraints of prime-time network TV, Lynch and Frost here doubled down on surrealism and abstraction — the experimental, black-and-white "Part 8," the weirdest of the new episodes, was essentially a direct descendant of Lynch's great debut feature, the 1977 cult classic Eraserhead — and the result was certainly the most defiantly bizarre season of television ever aired.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Three authors with Spokane connections are finalists for Washington State Book Awards

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 3:21 PM

The paperback cover for Vestal's Daredevils.
  • The paperback cover for Vestal's Daredevils.
Finalists for one of the state's most prestigious literary honors, the Washington State Book Awards, were announced today, and that list includes Spokane's own Shawn Vestal, for his 2016 debut novel Daredevils.

Vestal, a well-known and -respected columnist for the Spokesman-Review, is joined on the list of finalists in eight categories by two well-known authors with Spokane roots: Sherman Alexie, for his first children's book, Thunder Boy Jr. (make sure to check out last week's issue of the Inlander for our cover story on Alexie, by 2016 award finalist and fellow author Shann Ray), and Timothy Egan, for his latest nonfiction work, The Immortal Irishman.

Organized by the Seattle Public Library, this is the 51st year of the Washington State Book Awards, which recognizes books published during the previous year. Winners in each of the eight genre categories, which includes poetry, nonfiction, memoir and young reader titles, are set to be announced during an awards celebration on Oct. 14.

"A book award is given based on the strength of the publication's literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality to an author who was born in Washington state or is a current resident and has maintained residence here for at least three years," states the Seattle Public Library.

Spokane's solid literary scene is no stranger to the Washington State Book Awards: last year's winner in the fiction category was Sharma Shields, for her debut novel The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac. In 2015, Mead author Bruce Holbert took that category for his novel The Hour of Lead, and was joined in the poetry category by current Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, also of Spokane.

Egan has won the Washington State Book Award a total of five times, twice in the past decade — in 2013 (Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis) and in 2010 (The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America). Alexie has received the award twice, most recently in 2008 for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Calling local artists: Terrain is now accepting submissions

Posted By on Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 8:13 PM


The local arts organization Terrain announced yesterday that it is now accepting artist submissions. Following a jurying process, selected pieces will then be on display at Terrain's 10th annual one-night-only art event, happening at the Washington Cracker Co. Building (304 W. Pacific) on Oct. 6.

According to the Spokesman-Review, nearly 400 artists submitted work last year and 340 individual pieces were selected for inclusion. You can submit your work here; the cutoff is Sept. 4.
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Spokane-raised author's book chosen for regional reading program Everybody Reads

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 12:26 PM


As the summer days continue to burn bright and very hot, and your backyard or beach reading list continues to grow shorter, consider adding a book by Spokane-raised author Sarah Hulse to your list.

Hulse's debut novel Black River, published in 2015, has been chosen as the 2017 featured title for Everybody Reads, a community reading program that encourages residents across the Palouse and Snake River Valley to come together over a shared love of reading. Everybody Reads is very similar to Spokane's community reading program, Spokane is Reading, which hosts community events with each year's featured author in the fall.

For Everybody Reads, opportunities to meet and hear about Hulse's writing process are scheduled at venues in Pullman, Lewiston, Moscow and Nezperce, Idaho in early November.

A gritty and memorable debut, Black River tells the heart-wrenching story of 60-year-old Montana native Wes Carver as he deals with the fresh grief of his wife's death from cancer, and the long-lingering anger of being held hostage during a riot at the state prison where he worked as a corrections officer. The latter event, two decades prior to the book's present-day setting, left irreversible trauma on Carver's mind and body, and was inspired by true events of a Montana prison riot in 1959.

Hulse — who publishes as S.M. Hulse — is a Spokane native who currently teaches English at the University of Nevada, Reno. Black River was named a PEN/Hemingway Finalist and an American Library Association Notable Book.

Founded in 2001, Everybody Reads is now in its 17th year. Previous featured writers include Jess Walter, Chris Crutcher, Jim Lynch and Anthony Doerr.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nominate local folks working selflessly for their community for our 7th annual philanthropy issue

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 4:47 PM

The cover of last year's Give Guide, in which three Peirone Prize recipients were honored.
  • The cover of last year's Give Guide, in which three Peirone Prize recipients were honored.

Every summer, a team of us here at the Inlander get together and pore over dozens of heartwarming stories about people living in the Inland Northwest who are giving so much of their time and energy toward making this region a better place to live, work and explore.

Narrowing the list down to just three people to be recognized in the pages of our annual philanthropy issue is always a challenge — each year there are so many individuals deserving this spotlight.

Now, for the Inlander's seventh annual Peirone Prize — named after Inlander owners' Ted and Jer McGregor's grandparents, Joe and Alice Peirone — we're seeking your input on who we should honor this year.

Do you know someone who is working tirelessly in the arts, social justice, human welfare, youth, education, wellness/nutrition, the environment, animals or another nonprofit-focused area? Please tell us!

While we know there are many people of all backgrounds and ages working selflessly in these areas, we specifically seek to honor individuals under or around the age of 40.

We'll be accepting nominations, which can be submitted online at via this form, or sent to, through Friday, Aug. 3. After narrowing down the list to three people, we'll profile them in our 2017 Give Guide issue, on stands Aug. 24. Recipients of the Peirone Prize also receive a cash award as our way of thanking them for their efforts in the community.

If you have questions about the guide or nominations, please contact this year's section editor, Chey Scott, at

For some inspiration, check out our profiles on the past two years' winners:

Teri Koski, president of NAMI Spokane, who often references her own struggles with mental health to show others they're not alone.
Dylan Stiegemeier, a local conservation enthusiast whose efforts have spread worldwide.
Ryan Oelrich, who helps local at-risk kids and homeless families.

Stephanie Boyle, who helps people with developmental disabilities live more independent lives.
Rebecca Schroeder, a champion for families dealing with the effects of cystic fibrosis.
Jessie Isadore, a member of the Kalispel Tribe who's helping save her people's language.
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