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Leesa Dean — Dean taught English and ESL for several years in different Canadian provinces before accepting a position as a core faculty member in the creative writing program at Selkirk College's School of University Arts. This is important because the individual is the whole. The creation of art argues that people are connected, ideas are connected, the past and future are connected by this moment.

She was the winner of the O. There is no better literary equivalent of this than collaborative writing. Martin is a writer and comic artist from Santa Rosa, California. Martin has published her work with numerous magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed Books, Hobart, Fanzine, and Electric Literature. She is the founder and Creative Director of Universal Error. The reading will be followed by an open mic, allowing writers from the community of Spokane to come up and share their work. The reading will begin at and go until This discussion will be moderated by Thom Caraway.

Founded by fiction writer Sharma Shields, Scablands Books is a fledgling boutique press based in Spokane. Scablands Books aims to publish strange, smart, innovative writing, with an emphasis on writers from the Inland Northwest. The published titles reflect the uncanny and unique landscape of the Channeled Scablands region. Sage Hill has also published Railtown Almanac, a Spokane poetry anthology, a follow-up prose anthology, and All We Can Hold, an anthology of poems on motherhood.

To testify is an act of responsibility as well as an expression of faith. Venue: Spokane Convention Center, Room Undoubtedly, one of the greatest joys of reading is in its ability to take us somewhere as yet unknown to us. Her writing resonates with a dark simplicity reinforced by a sense that what happiness and love can be found must be treasured and hoarded as a precious commodity.

These melancholy stories provide me with reassurance that I am not alone in wanting to examine wounds whether perpetrated by a senseless deity, wreaked by a blind source of justice or self-inflicted in an effort to resolve inner conflict. A mother tires to coax her son into another CAT scan during a brief remission from his cancer. After passing around a serving of guilt a couple abandons Thanksgiving dinner and is drenched by the Seattle rain. A father in Florida waits up late for fish to swarm while trying to accept the fact his prodigal son will not return.

The Oregon Coast is the setting for a story bemoaning lost love and another where a lonely woman is drawn to a drug addict between binges. A young boy, neglected by his father, goes on a walkabout with his dog through the scablands of Eastern Washington. These are stories with a sense of place where people live somewhere long enough so that a portion of that landscape is written into their lives, branding them with a sorrow that cannot be erased.

Hear two talented authors read from their newest books, both published by Willow Springs Books in McGriff's poems achieve a ghostly, dreamlike sense of loss, while reveling in the full beauty and awe of the human experience. Graduate students from four regional MFA programs will join together to share fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Songwriters share the stage, alternating with a slam poet, with visual artists creating live, joined by a mix of backing musicians, while the audience sits quietly a few feet away from a low stage, all together to create a unique evening of high-quality and collaborative arts.

In what promises to be a cunning and hilarious evening full of double entendre, five writers will read original fiction based on Classic Cartoons. Each writer will choose their own source text and imagine what might happen if, say, Rainbow Brite and Darkwing Duck happened to catch each other's eye in a crowded bar. The evening will be emceed by Aileen Keown Vaux. Meghan Daum received the Pen Center Award USA in creative nonfiction, received a Guggenheim fellowship in general nonfiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in creative writing.

In her highly acclaimed memoir, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, Daum demonstrates her mastery of what Salon has called confessional writing, a genre forged by Daum herself, in which she looks inward, and then upward. Her focus is not simply internal; she brings the conversation to the wider world outside herself while using her experience as a touchstone. Her first book, My Misspent Youth, introduced readers to this new and unique voice, and has since its initial publication been celebrated for its contributions to the personal essay form.

My Misspent Youth was reissued in by Picador. In her work, she focuses on issues ranging from grief to the political landscape, authenticity, class in America, and the conflicting ideals of womanhood. As an opinion columnist for The Los Angeles Times, she is a critic of herself, of the media, and of the current political landscape.

Festival has ended. Create Your Own Event. Menu Schedule Authors Attendees Search. Log in Sign up. Simple Expanded Grid By Venue. Monday , April The top four poets from the night will make up the team that will represent Spokane at the National Poetry Slam in Denver, Colorado in August. Poetry Slam.

Tuesday , April Through a two-session writing workshop, we've explored our experiences with creatures often left on the margins of affection and then workshop our pieces. Poems from the workshop will appear in a limited edition Spark Central chapbook released during GetLit! All proceeds from these sales will go to Spark Central. Writers in the Community Poetry Slams Teen: pm College: pm Registration is free and begins 30 minutes before each slam. Wednesday , April Following this private event at 11a.

The feedback sessions will be private, but the panel at is free and open to the public. Riverpoint Blvd. Thank You, Teacher Reading Free What do rock stars, Nobel laureates, bestselling novelists, astronauts, and attorneys have in common? A teacher changed their lives. Bruce and Holly Holbert have combined their creative talents to bring us the stories of teachers who have changed lives all around the country in an anthology of true, personal experiences called Thank You, Teacher.

Holly holds a degree in Education from Eastern Washington University. Her first book, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, is a collection of short stories about immigrants attempting to escape Morocco for a better life. Lalami holds a Ph. Spokane, WA Thursday , April Listen as they discuss what useful workshopping looks like, how to find meaningful feedback and opportunities to grow your skills, how to keep writing when the "feeling" isn't there, and strategies to make time to write while balancing homework and extracurricular activities.

This is incorrect. The panel is Thursday the 20th. Please contact us with any quesitons. This event is all ages, however there may be adult content and language.

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Founded in , Lost Horse Press has continually published and promoted fine contemporary literature. Lost Horse Press will sell all of the books mentioned above at the event and will host a signing after the reading. You can purchase tickets here. Sir, it is pie. It will bring to camp any idiot that sits in darkness anywhere. Pies served at the event are baked by Kate Lebo, in partnership with Batch Bakeshop. While sales of the chapbook help support the event, donations are also gladly accepted.

Thursday April 20, pm - pm Washington Cracker Co. Building W. Pacific Spokane, WA Friday , April Queer Women Writers Panel Queer-identifying authors will read from their work and discuss writers who have had the most influence on them as writers and queer women. The panel will be moderated by Molly Priddy, a writer and editor who lives in Northwest Montana.

Friday April 21, am - am Eastern Washington University. Full description forthcoming. The program concludes with dramatic readings from Diana Morita Cole's new collection of stories regarding her family's dispersal from Hood River, Oregon and imprisonment in the Tule Lake and Minidoka concentration camps. Careers in the Literary Arts Panel EWU Career Services is sponsoring a panel of six writers who have used their literary background and skills to catapult them into various careers.

The panel will be moderated by musician, singer-songwriter, and teacher Liz Rognes. Friday April 21, am - pm Eastern Washington University. Poet Shin Yu Pai discusses the history of artist-poet collaborations and creative innovation in American literature. During the talk, she shows her work as a writer, her commissions for both art and cultural museums, and her work with painters, photographers, installation artists, composers, and video artists on collaborative work.

Friday April 21, pm - pm Eastern Washington University. The reading and discussion will be in Showalter Hall, Room This event is free and open to the public. Authors JR John Rybicki. I will go before you and lead the way. Jamaal May and Emily Ruskovich Doors at p. Poetry Salon Come soak up the creativity at this dynamic, informal poetry salon. Originating in eighteenth century Paris, a salon gathers people together around discussions of literature, art, and philosophy. Each of the featured poets will read selections from their work, answer questions, and talk about the writing life.

Saturday , April All the Feels Faster! Deepen Emotions in Early Drafts and Become More Prolific Most writers have a clear picture of who their hero s and heroine s are, but portraying their true emotional depth may take us a few drafts. Handouts and practical exercises will teach you how to increase your productivity by spending a short bit of extra time to get to know your characters before you set them on their adventure.

Whether you are a pantser, plotter, or a plantser, this workshop will give you the tools to get to your final draft quicker. Spokane,WA Of course not. Taken as a whole, this type of literature represents a massive trove of material, constantly being generated, and constantly influencing the world around us. DM: The cumulative effect of many small factors can make large-scale change.

Many little voices culminating in some big shift? I was 17ish at the time. Somewhere between 30—40 employees sat at computers and called home-phone after home-phone, all across the country, in the hopes of getting whoever answered to participate in a survey. These surveys varied day to day and the topics differed greatly. Often they dealt with an upcoming election, or with some kind of impending referendum. The surveys masqueraded as neutral attempts to gather information for what purpose? DM: My apologies!

Now, nobody likes this crap. But not for lack of impact. Someone writes it. MT: That notion of anonymity is interesting. The roving troubadours of data center questionnaires. Is there a flash of familiarity for you as a writer? A moment of sympathy shared over the solitude of writing? Or perhaps it is a kind of revulsion, an aspiration to be anything but forgotten? DM: The hidden writers behind it all are not the most compelling part to me. Likewise, the idea of writing-toward-immortality, or to escape obscurity, is very much not on my radar.

DM: The influence takes a lot of different forms. The first and most obvious one is structural. Rather, I honestly believe that there are important things hidden inside interoffice memos, astrology pamphlets, and unsolicited phone calls. Magic things. I believe that information about ourselves and the world around us, information that might otherwise go unseen, can be revealed and newly considered by inhabiting or invoking ephemeral forms. He takes huge amounts of information and organizes it into gorgeous representations.

One thing that really struck me during the conversation was Mr. Yet Mr. Thorp cannot understand this view. It cannot be. Because it represents an enormous sea of human experience, waiting to be found and expressed. What wants to be said. What wants to be heard. A person is just a shape in the middle of so much spam, an outline held together by so many bus routes and banner ads, a little hollow rendered clear by all the junk surrounding it. Is there a particular story or poem we could examine that grew out of this pool of consumer guides, coupon circulars, old self-help books?

DM: There are many. When people purchased copies of that work online, I threw their money away in the street and marked it on Google Maps. To commemorate the absurdity of this endeavor, I ceremoniously destroyed all of the pieces by smashing a tablet computer with a hammer at WORD Bookstore. I just published a story in the style of monster erotica, a genre that is often dismissed and reviled for good reason , and the story is influenced specifically by items like the Moan for Bigfoot series. It contained a document, a PDF, that explained how to start your own spamming business, including all of the tools and methods you might want to use, broken into categories.

When I took it home to read, I experienced grave disappointment that the book was not an exploration of sex on Jupiter, but instead a poorly argued social critique. I decided to, er, be the change I want to see in the world, and created the story I was hoping to have read. MT: What strikes me while listening to you speak is gratitude. In most hands, this would be a gimmick; said artifacts would be employed facilely, with a smirking intellect behind the execution. Yet, with your work, I sense a deep appreciation for the source material.

Are your stories and poems the conclusion to these disparate pieces, akin to a collage work built out of repurposed parts? Or is your writing a means of regeneration? Of continuation? DM: I am grateful. Some writers flourish on the blank page, absorbing power from white space and unfettered options. Not me. If I go to clean my apartment, for example, and there are numerous paths I might take in order to get things tidy, I freeze up.

I literally come to a stop and zone out, Lysol in hand. Friends find me standing in a doorway, blank-faced and slack-jawed, as if someone suddenly hit the Dolan off-switch. Writing is the same thing for me, only worse. I enter a blank page and cease to exist. The experience for me is akin to time travel. I function best within constraints and stupid limitations. I feel at home and find genuine pleasure in pushing against walls and constrictions. Ads, spam, dismissed genres, how-to guides and brochures all provide such rules. These rules each amount to a kind of game that one can enter into and play.

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For me, the process is distinctly human: we recognize limitations or obstacles in the world and endeavor to circumvent or undo them. Play is an almost spiritual undertaking. When we give ourselves over to a set of rules, or follow them to their conclusion or engineer a way to use them in a manner beyond their initial intention , we access something new or even impossible. And this is where the gratitude and appreciation really comes in: you have to love or adore these useless things to truly participate in them without condescension. You have to really give yourself over to it.

I had a teacher once who said: approach every text as if it is right and you are wrong. I try to do this with everything, but especially ephemera. Of course, people have always done this. We create traditions and iconographies that help us forego reason, and for a moment step outside the bounds of our everyday world. You can take communion with a fax, break bread with a VHS tape, or transcend life with a phone bill. Each object is its own religion awaiting a congregation. Find more at www. This blog will be an attempt to draw all the creatures Lovecraft ever wrote about or mentioned.

In some cases his descriptions are very detailed and precise and in other cases he simply names creatures but all require a level of interpretation and imagination. Bukowski started the drawings back in and four years later he is still going. If you are interested in the history of print, check out this infographic created for Cartridge Discount. The idea of non-mobile conversation seemed ridiculous to young people born only a decade my junior. He writes of the look on our faces, the wear and tear of contemporary society altering even our physical characteristics:. The dystopia Rasmovicz creates not only exists in his present but also in his personal memory, illustrating the ability of some institutions to stand the test of time regardless of technological advancement.

On the train ride north, I see an explosion in the distance. Black smoke rises into the afternoon sky, and I watch it out the window as the train speeds through tiny, blue-collar towns. The tower of smoke is like a building, a distant skyscraper that curves without care. The mountains beneath it seem almost uninhabited, covered in a thick rug of frosted pines.

A forest fire? An industrial accident? A dormant volcano that has suddenly awoken?


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The landscape is unfazed. The whole area will come to a stop once the 60 mph pyroclastic wave rolls down the hillsides and into town, I think. Soon it might become a sort of solemn tourist attraction like that of the World Trade Center or Pearl Harbor. No one will pay attention to its enormity, of course, or at least only pay it lip service, but everyone will string along their families to be voyeurs of the dead, standing their children in front of copulating corpses and taking photographs to be hung on the wall at home.

At any given time, I realize, I probably would rather not have a volcanic plume rush over me and immortalize whatever it was I was doing at the moment.

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There are very few points in my life that I would choose to showcase as a tourist attraction, simply because most of the time I look like an idiot. In an hour, the train will pull into Binghamton, where my sister will meet me at the station. She has said to our mother that we are oil and water, nothing alike and not worth comparing. It might be all we agree on, in fact. Really, everything else is so foreign to me, just as I imagine my life must be to her.

And how she came to living out here in the backwoods of America, in the middle of nowhere? What does she find out here all alone? The train speeds onward, now curving around a lake and giving me a better view of the smoke. The sound of the train rushing along the steel tracks is suddenly audible as a woman whom I had seen earlier boarding the train drags her bags through my car and into the next. I recognize her as someone I may have known or been associated with, if only slightly, maybe an old college classmate or subway rider. I know her, I think. Her eyes and legs seem familiar too, as if they were somewhere inside me once, like a type of blood?

Somewhere in the field, I believe I see the traces of a lake underneath the layer of snow that has accumulated.

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It has fallen quickly, I note, taking out some unfinished work and laying it across the dining car table. This should get me through the next forty-five minutes, just about enough to hold me over until Binghamton. I glance quickly at the smoke that seems now to be marked by red streaks? The book ends badly and I put it back in my bag. Getting up from my seat, I feel achy all over. I stretch, lifting my arms into the air, and yawn. There are very few passengers in the dining car with me: a woman and her child a few booths ahead and an older man with a laptop closer to the back.

Earlier, the child had stood up briefly and gawked out the window at the smoke. I make my way toward the front of the train in search of an attendant or an operator or a conductor. Where had I gotten onto the train, which car? Here, passengers must have to get out from the first four or five cars, as is common at these smaller stops.

I head back to my car, and from there, I move toward the back of the train. And who knows, I think, perhaps I will catch a glimpse of that ghost woman from the platform again. Yet, the only person I can find is the man minding the other food car at the far end of the train. Can he sense something in the way we pulled to a stop? We are headed back toward the smoke, I think, and I envision all the trains across the country suddenly moving toward this central point and then rising upward with the plume.

In fact, however, we only go about thirty feet before we stop again.

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Outside, the snow is fairly heavy, and in here the air is beginning to feel a bit stale, stuffy. I loosen my tie, unbutton my shirt a bit. We are waiting for another engine to bring us the rest of the way, which should be here shortly. My sister never calls my mother, really, or only very rarely.

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It is her special talent to be busy on birthdays, working on Christmas, sick on anniversaries. In the same way that I often feel unnecessarily close to my family, or at least uncommonly, my sister is unprecedentedly absent and apart. Outside the window, I see a group of people walking into the field. One of them is the girl from the platform. Or is she younger? Does she age? Or will she always stay the same, even as I grow older?

Outside, the plume of smoke seems graceful almost to the point of motionlessness. Feeling cramped and stifled, I take him up on the offer. I toss on my coat and gloves and head toward the end of the car. The door is open and a set of metal stairs has been lowered to make it easier to get out. A woman and her child follow after me. Outside, people smoke cigarettes alone.

In the distance the smoke still billows without any sign of stopping. I notice that, in fact, the black cloud is mingling with the grey ones above us. Somewhere nearby someone has a stove going, the familiar smell of burning wood wafting through the field. Through a train window, back in my car, I see the conductor talking with the older man who had been using the laptop. They seem to be arguing over something.

The older man, shaking his head, gathers up his briefcase, puts on an old fedora and walks out into the snow with his jacket over his arm, annoyed or defeated. The kid is filthy, too, I notice. Had it been that filthy before? I remember, when I was younger, my sister wiping dirt from my face with a thumb wetted with her own saliva. She does the same thing now for her own kids when the mood strikes her. Sometimes I see her wiping next to nothing away with her filthy thumbs as if out of nervous habit.

A train attendant appears in the doorway of another car. He makes his way toward a larger group of passengers huddled under another tree. Whatever he is telling them gets a strong reaction. Someone actually stomps their foot. I feel for the attendant, who seems to be simply delivering a message, and think maybe these people, who are now looking almost threatening, should lay off him a bit.

The attendant shakes his head, shrugs his shoulders, puts his hands up defensively, and then points in our direction. He reboards the train, leaving the people under the tree looking stunned. Will it be a longer wait perhaps? Probably very long by the looks of things. Great, I think. It seems to be picking up speed rather quickly, though, I think, and a few people are actually running after the train, trying to jump on while it gains speed.

The conductors and attendants raise the stairs and close the doors quickly though, and the passengers can only run alongside it waving their hands. The train keeps going, some crew members looking blankly out the windows at us, and then it pulls around the bend. No one says anything. Some people from the other tree make their way toward my group. The other engine would be here shortly, and our old train had to move in order to make room for it.

There was only one set of tracks, I realize. We could pick up our luggage in Binghamton. The explanation makes just enough sense to keep us from acting out against the train company. Not that there is much we could do out here besides kick the railway ties a bit. What if it exploded? We were only feet from the tracks and would be blown to bits or torn apart by flying steel. Perhaps something similar had caused the smoke in the distance? Perhaps other people had been left in the snow as well. Now, all told, there are about twenty of us here, and a pretty pitiful lot at that. I spot a man pulling out a cigarette and sidle up to him for a light.

At least, there is a pile of suitcases and bags stacked up pell-mell just over a little hill. Whether or not they are ours is yet to be seen though. Earned it just as much as someone might earn a medal. Top form. And I had a rule: wait for them to make the first move. Dan seems to be finished talking. I mull over his anecdote a bit. The pile actually stretches up around the bend, thinning as it gets farther away.

Lightly dusted in snow, the bags look lonely but somehow not out of place, like a peculiar but natural bed of rock. Dan scoops one up as well, opens it and removes a set of glasses. How did our luggage get so dirty so quickly, I wonder. Everyone goes into an uproar over the luggage, all sorts of shouts and worries and theories being tossed about, but no one mentions the smoke.

A few men volunteer to go grab all the luggage and manage to do it in just two trips, remarkably. After a wave of frantic cell phone checking futilely rises and then breaks, we all wait patiently under the tree, getting colder. I put my palm out and catch a few flakes of snow in my hand. It gets darker, colder. There is no sign of a train coming anytime soon, and at first, people talk to each other, but eventually we become quiet as if to save energy, and we just stand there silently next to our luggage.

Occasionally, someone coughs. A younger man has the smart but depressing idea of making a fire. He gathers a crew of people to find dry kindling, wood. Soon there are a few fires going, everyone standing around one or the other to stay warm. Dan and I are at different fires.

The woman from the platform is around the one closest to the tracks.


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At mine, the man next to me, an older guy, holds something out to everyone that he has caught in his hand. While we wait, we take to examining the larger pieces of material that float down from the sky. They come in groups of similar things, like flocks of birds or schools of fish. We catch pieces of newspapers, mail, high school essays, town hall records, family photographs.

I take a peek at Dan across the field and wonder what his countermoves looked like in his high school days. I avoid conflict. Meanwhile, my sister gravitates toward it as if by magic. She exposed her children to the worst people she could find. A magic gravity. I have only achieved it by trapping myself into it, by leaving myself no choice.

I am reminded suddenly of a car accident I was in years ago. It was snowing then, too, like the ash falling here in the field. I remember realizing I had lost control of the car, and the serenity that followed. There was nothing to do but wait for the eighteen wheeler headed toward me to make the move. I debate in my mind whether or not to go. As those who are leaving gather by the tracks, I see the platform girl pick up her things.