Literary Dive

Students explore literature in annual Get Lit! Festival

by Lindsie Trego

Thousands of literature and writing enthusiasts have gathered this week to hear from nationally-recognized writers as a part of the Get Lit! Festival, put on by Eastern Washington University. During the festival, which started Tuesday and goes through Sunday, Spokanites will have the opportunity to attend readings and panels, participate in poetry slams and take part in writing workshops.

One of the main highlights from the festival is “An Evening with Joyce Carol Oates” on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater. Oates, an award-winning author, has received such honors as the National Book Award.

“These are people who are in love with language, who are there to share their love of language,” professor of English Vic Bobb said. “You don’t get much better than Joyce Carol Oates.”

The festival features major Northwest writers with Pulitzer Prize finalists, New York Times bestsellers and National Books Critics award-winners among them. Some of the writers involved include Kim Barnes, David Shields and Major Jackson.

An Inland Northwest faculty reading will also be part of the festival and will include a reading by Whitworth assistant professor of English Nicole Sheets.

“I’m really looking forward to it — especially Kim Jones, who teaches at University of Idaho,” Sheets said. “She writes non-fiction and memoir, which is my jam.”

The festival is a great opportunity for students to get off-campus and head downtown, Sheets said.

“I think [students who have attended in the past] are delightfully surprised for the big names the festival attracts,” Sheets said. She compared attending readings of big-name writers to attending concerts of popular musicians.

In addition to attending the readings that will occur as a part of the festival, students can attend writing workshops, in which local authors teach small groups about different facets of writing. Some workshop topics include revising, building story setting and writing graphic novels. Students can purchase workshop tickets for $20 on the Get Lit! website and will need to bring a valid ID.

Another way students can get involved in the festival is through the college poetry slam, which will take place on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Kress Gallery at River Park Square. In the slam, college students from across the area will have the chance to compete with their originally-crafted poems. Students can register for the slam at 5:30 p.m. that night.

Both Sheets and Bobb said the festival serves as a reminder for students of the ample opportunities the Spokane community provides for them to get extra-curricular learning.

“This is a place of rich opportunities,” Bobb said. “The fact that they’re free sweetens the deal.”

Tickets are available in the Whitworth bookstore for Whitworth students to obtain in order to attend the readings and poetry slams free of charge.

LIT EVENTS

College Poetry Slam
Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m.
Kress Gallery (Third floor of River Park Square Mall)
Registration to perform is at 5:30 p.m.

Kim Barnes and Jonathan Evison Reading
Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m.
Bing Crosby Theater

Joyce Carol Oates, Jaimy Gordon and David Shields Reading
Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m.
Bing Crosby Theater

Writing Workshops
Saturday, April 13
Red Lion Hotel
The first session of workshops run from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and the second session goes from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The cost is $20 for students with current ID.

In Conversation with Major Jackson and Robert Wrigley
Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m.
Bing Crosby Theater

Full Get Lit! schedule and more information can be found here.

Contact Lindsie Trego at lwagner14@my.whitworth.edu

Posted on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.