Fall Arts | Words

Highlights from the literary community

Sept. 21


One great thing about the Inland Northwest's wealth of regional universities is the abundance of opportunities for students and the general public alike to hear from the many visiting scholars and guests who come through each year to present and share their work, including a number of renowned professional writers. For the University of Idaho's annual Distinguished Visiting Writer Series, award-winning writer Claire Vaye Watkins stops in to talk about her craft. Watkins' must-read first novel, Gold Fame Citrus, is a searing sort of modern post-apocalyptic tale that imagines how an unrelenting drought would transform the landscape of Southern California into an embattled world of haves and have-nots. 1912 Center, Moscow, Free, 7:30 pm (CHEY SCOTT)

Oct. 26


The third season of the inspiring and enlightening National Geographic Live! series is back in Spokane this fall, bringing another outstanding lineup of photographers, writers and researchers who have contributed to the beloved periodical. Kicking off the 2016-17 season is a talk with award-winning photographer Ami Vitale. Having traveled to 90 countries around the world, Vitale's assignments have brought her to war-torn regions and close to some of the planet's most storied members of the animal kingdom: elephants, man-eating lions and the seriously endangered white rhinos of Kenya. Hear her tell some amazing stories about these experiences, and the invaluable lessons she's learned about nature and humanity along the way. INB Performing Arts Center, $28.50-$38.50, 7 pm (CS)

Oct. 5


Through poetry, Spokanites connected their personal memories to places around the city. I Am a Town invited anyone who considers Spokane home — both published poets and those new to the whole poetry thing — to participate in workshops and pen poems about places around Spokane and strong memories created there. Laura Read (pictured), Spokane's Poet Laureate, created the citywide collaborative project, which began in May. On Oct. 5, you can hear those pieces at the I Am a Town poetry reading and release of the second edition of the book. and hear what your fellow city-dwellers felt and experienced on the skywalks, inside Our Lady of Lourdes cathedral, at the Campbell House or on top of Cliff Park. Spark Central, 7 pm (JO MILLER)

Oct. 27


Following up on the past several years of amazing selections for the community reading initiative, this year's Spokane is Reading book is The Tsar of Love and Techno, a collection of historically based short stories by best-selling author Anthony Marra. Weaving tales set in both the past — 1930s Soviet Russia — and present, Marra introduces readers to a cast of characters interconnected over the decades. Each of these individuals are introduced through separate portraits within their own short stories, which build onto one another through the course of the book. One of these characters is a Soviet painter tasked with hand-editing photographs for the state — erasing some people from history and adding others. Make sure to read Marra's stunning prose collection before he comes to town for Spokane is Reading's culminating event: a reading, signing and Q&A session. Bing Crosby Theater, Free, 7 pm; also at Spokane Valley Event Center, 10514 E. Sprague, 1 pm (CS)

Oct. 28


As the Inland Northwest's literary scene continues to boom, a number of events have become musts for our region's book lovers. One of those is Bedtime Stories, which brings a selection of prominent writers to the stage to share short pieces composed specifically for the event. This year, Bedtime Stories, produced by the state's cultural nonprofit Humanities Washington, features the writing prompt "Wildest Dreams," which will be interpreted by a strong lineup this time around. There's best-selling author Jess Walter at the top of the ticket, as well as Shawn Vestal, fresh off the glowing worldwide reception of his debut novel Daredevils. Also taking the dais is emerging young adult writer Stephanie Oakes, who found acclaim last year with her debut The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, and Laura Read, Spokane's Poet Laureate. Spokane Club, ticket sales end Sept. 27, $100, 6 pm. (MIKE BOOKEY)

Now through Dec. 3


This exhibit in the Northwest Room of Spokane's downtown library branch offers a unique peek at an oft-overlooked fixture of literary history. Featuring an eclectic collection of dime novels (as they were called in the States), and penny dreadfuls (as they were known in England), "Pulp Fiction: Chapbooks, Dime Novels, and Penny Dreadfuls" allows visitors to delve into the cheap adventure stories which satiated the public's early desire for books after literacy rates spiked in the 1860s. The exhibit also contains traces of even older literature with the presence of chapbooks, peddler-distributed literary pieces that were relevant much earlier. Downtown Library Northwest Room, Free, open Tue from 1-8 pm, Thu from 10 am-6 pm, Wed, Fri and Sat from 1-6 pm (ISAAC HANDELMAN) ♦

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