Eastern Washington University’s Get Lit! Programs announces the headliners for the 15th Annual Get Lit! Festival – a weeklong celebration of reading, writing and storytelling for all ages that will run April 8-14. Tickets are now on sale through TicketsWest.
Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than 50 novels and dozens of other works, including memoirs, novellas, short story and poetry collections, and plays. Her status as one of the most prolific and versatile writers of our time has earned her numerous awards, including the 2012 PEN Center Award for Lifetime Achievement, the 2012 Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement, a National Book Award, and a 2010 National Humanities Medal.
Her most recent publications include the forthcoming gothic novel “The Accursed” (2013), the short story collection “Black Dahlia & White Rose” (2012), and “Mudwoman” (2012), a novel Booklist calls “extraordinarily intense, racking, and resonant.”
Oates will be joined by authors Jaimy Gordon and David Shields. Gordon will read from her National Book Award-winning novel, “Lord of Misrule” (2010), a story of risk taking and horse racing that the New York Times calls “an incontrovertible winner, a bona fide bolt from the blue.”
David Shields is the author of 14 works of fiction and nonfiction, including the controversial literary manifesto, “Reality Hunger” (2010). He will read from his latest work of nonfiction, “How Literature Saved My Life” (2013). (The Bing Crosby Theater, Friday, April 12, 7 p.m.)
Major Jackson is the award-winning author of three collections of poetry, including “Leaving Saturn” (2002), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and “Hoops” (2006), a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. His most recent collection, “Holding Company” (2010) distills all the complexity of his perspective into concise 10-line poems bursting with lyricism, regret, and redemption.
Joining him will be acclaimed poet Robert Wrigley who will read from his ninth collection, “The Church of Omnivorous Light” (2013), of which Philip Levine writes, “[Wrigley] has wandered into a ferocious cave of the natural world and suddenly sees his life, and ours as well, in bold and undreamed of colours.” (The Bing Crosby Theater, Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m.)
Jonathan Evison is the author of the bestselling novels “All About Lulu” (2008) and “West of Here” (2011). His new novel, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving” (2012), follows the unlikely friendship of Ben Benjamin—40, newly single, and coming unhinged—and his 19-year-old patient, Trey. Together, they set out on a “hilarious, harrowing road trip” where they learn what it means to care, and to heal. Kim Barnes is the author of the five works of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-finalist “In the Wilderness” (1997). Her most recent novel, “In the Kingdom of Men” (2013), tells the story of Gin, a young Oklahoma native who follows her oil worker husband to Saudi Arabia where she faces new temptations and oppression, and finds her husband accused of murder. (The Bing Crosby Theater, Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m.)
All of the above headlining events are $15. A festival pass will get you into all of these readings and the Kids/Youth Headliner on Sunday, April 14 (TBA) for only $45. The pass offers a discount of approximately $20-$25 versus buying tickets for each event individually. Purchase festival tickets and passes by phoning 1-800-325-SEAT, or visiting www.ticketswest.com. Note: Students will be able to get a free ticket with their ID to any of these events. Student tickets will be available at their college bookstores or at the door of the event.
Additional festival events include:
Christopher McDougall’s career as an AP journalist and a writer for Outside, New York Times Magazine, and Men’s Health has sent him into the midst of wars in the Congo and Rwanda, into the coconut trees of Brazil to investigate an unusual form of exercise, and on a hunt for a fugitive Mexican superstar. In “Born to Run” (2009), he sets out to test his limitations as a long-distance runner. His journey takes him from Harvard’s laboratories to Mexico’s Copper Canyon where he meets a unique tribe of runners who often cover over 100 miles, barefoot, without injury or rest. In addition to a talk and book signing, McDougall will lead a Bloomsday Training Run on Wednesday, April 10. (Spokane Community College, free and open to the public. Bloomsday Training Run, 6 pm; Talk and book signing, 7 p.m.)
In addition to the incredible lineup of authors, Eastern Washington University’s Theatre program will offer a special engagement of “Ode,” an original play based on the whirlwind romance between the great English poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, a romance cut short by tragic events. The play, written by poet and EWU professor Jonathan Johnson, will run during the month of March, and return for an encore performance Tuesday, April 9, as part of the Get Lit! Festival.
The festival will feature more than 40 events, including author presentations and readings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry slams and more. Most of the events are free to the public. Information about festival authors and events is posted on the Get Lit! Programs website at www.ewu.edu/getlit. You may also check out the latest news on our blog, http://getlitprograms.blogspot.com.