Spokane’s Get Lit! 2015

Spokane’s Get Lit! 2015 – The Jess and Sherman Show.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This year’s edition of Get Lit once again featured a roll call of literary talent, from Shawn Vestal and Sharma Shields to Kris Dinnison and Walter Kirn. Our personal festival experience seemed to revolve around Jess Walter and Sherman Alexie.

On Wednesday night, we attended the live podcast “A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment”, hosted by award-winning authors Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter. It was a raucous show that included audience participation, host readings and a bluesy, soulful performance from musical guest, Boss of Me. All told, a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Thursday morning, the fun continued with a visit to the Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities, which hosted a Q&A with author Alexie. The session was followed by a sign and greet.

Thursday night ,we attended the now famous Pie and Whiskey readings. This event’s unique blend of Dry Fly whiskey, homemade pie, slamming poetry and flash fiction continues to make it a festival favorite. Jess Walter was among the thirteen enthusiastic writers to take the Spokane Woman’s Center podium throughout the evening.

Lost Horse Press produced a chapbook from the P&W readings.

During the week, we visited a young writers group and caught up with some older author friends as well.

I would like to extend a personal thank you to Sam Ligon, Jess Walter, Sherman Alexie, Christine Holbert and Bruce Holbert, along with everyone else that helped make this year’s event a great success.

We look forward to seeing what surprises are in store for Get Lit! 2016.

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Get Lit! 2012

Last week’s installment of Spokane’s annual literary festival offered many famous authors.

The annual April gathering of words and wordsmiths was once again a success. The Bing was filled for the American Place Theatre’s presentation of “The Giver”. The panels at the Hagan Foundation were well attended as were the community workshops for youth and aspiring writers.

My favorite new venue was the Founders Theater at Saint George’s School. That was where Sherry Jones read from her upcoming novel, “Four Sisters, All Queens”. You know her from her other works, “The Jewel of Medina” and “The Sword of Medina”. As we left the auditorium, we could hear wild turkeys on the hill above. Stochastic.

We also attended a unique presentation of “The Giver” at the Bing Crosby Theater.  It started with a reading from Lois Lowry, the author. She read from her fourth book in the series, “Son”. Following intermission, the story was presented as a play, a one person, abridged version brought to life by a virtuoso performance from Mara Stephens.

My favorite presenter was Susan Orlean from The New Yorker. She spoke about her newest book, “Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend” and various other aspects of her writing career. Her humor and ethical passion were inspiring. She gave me hope that journalism will survive this current era of infotainment.

I regret missing HooPalousa. Imagine a group of famous and not so famous local literary faculty, such as award-winning author and WSU professor Sherman Alexie, going at it on the court – sporting fogged safety glasses while talking literary smack and missing shots from three feet out. (My money was on the Spokane Dirty Realists) And all the proceeds go to a graduate fellowship in creative writing. Priceless.

Oh well, maybe next year. And speaking of next year, it’s never too early to plan.