The latest version of Spokane’s Get Lit! literary festival wrapped up Wednesday night at the newly renovated Fox Theater. Other venues hosting events throughout the week included Auntie’s Bookstore, the Davenport Hotel and several college campuses.
Most of the events were free and all were worthy of attendance. I was lucky enough to sit in on panels and readings that included Jess Walter, Sallie Tisdale, David Laskin and Anna Lappe. The subjects discussed were as diverse as the writers, ranging from LBJ’s favorite soda to the evils of pop-tarts. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry were all represented.
As much as I was able to see, there was even more that I couldn’t. Authors I missed included Janet Fitch, Richard Russo and Dr. Reza Aslan. Contests, panels and poetry slams filled eight days of literary mayhem.
The festival ended under a cloud of uncertainty. The EWU Press, founder and major underwriter of Get Lit!, will be closing this spring due to budget constraints. No one knows exactly how this will impact the 2011 event. Hopefully the damage will be mitigated by other schools and businesses. Perhaps next year, one of the lively panel discussions will be on the salient topic of funding literary festivals.