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2013 Festival Authors

Drumroll, please: Eastern Washington University’s Get Lit! Programs is delighted to announce the lineup for the 2013 Get Lit! Festival!

Chances are you've read something, if not many things, by Joyce Carol Oates. Maybe you spent a winter afternoon bundled up with We Were The Mulvaneys, an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Or you might have spent the summer lost in her genre-bending re-imagining of Marilyn Monroe's life and death, Blonde. Her widely anthologized short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" likely sparked discussion during your high school or college English courses, or you might have read her 2011 memoir, A Widow’s Story. As the author of more than 100 books, including novels, novellas, memoirs, poetry collections, plays and children's books, and countless essays and short stories, Joyce Carol Oates is among America's most prolific and beloved writers.

Joining her will be Jaimy Gordon, whose National Book Award-winning novel, Lord of Misrule (2010), launches readers into the corrupt and cutthroat world of cheap horse racing. At a rundown racetrack in West Virginia, horseman Tommy Hansel and his girlfriend, Maggie, plan to get rich and get out fast. But soon everyone has taken an interest in the pair, and by the time Hansel's fourth horse, Lord of Misrule, takes to the track, the stakes are far more than money. (Friday, April 12, Bing Crosby Theater, 7 p.m.)

As a poet, a professor of creative writing, and the Poetry Editor for the Harvard Review, Major Jackson's career is defined by dedication to the arts community and the drive for poetic evolution. He can portray the complexity of human relations in anything from a long narrative examination of urban life to a brief ten-line poem about forgotten possessions. Of his most recent collection, the Hudson Review writes, "the poetry Major Jackson offers us in Holding Company—unashamedly lyrical, in flight from narrative, layered with allusion and homage—sounds different from any other being written today." Jackson is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006), and Leaving Saturn (2002), a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Jackson will be joined by notable poet Robert Wrigley, who will read from his latest work, The Church of Omnivorous Light: Selected Poems (2013). Wrigley is the widely anthologized author of eight previous collections of poetry, including Beautiful Country (2010), and a winner of the Poets' Prize, the Kingsley Tufts award, and six Pushcart Prizes. (Saturday, April 13, Bing Crosby Theater, 7 p.m.)

Get Lit! will also welcome Kim Barnes, award-winning author of In the Kingdom of Men, “a mesmerizing, richly imagined tale of Americans out of their depths in Saudi Arabia, a marriage in peril, and one woman’s quest for the truth, no matter what it might cost her.” Barnes’ previous work includes the highly acclaimed novel A Country Called Home (2009) and the memoir In the Wilderness (1997), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Jonathan Evison is the author of All About Lulu and the century-spanning bestseller West of Here. With his new novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Evison is covering miles rather than years. In this “hilarious, harrowing road trip,” Ben Benjamin—forty, newly single, and unhinged—meets Trey, a nineteen-year-old with a vivid imagination and muscular dystrophy. Together, they set out across the country to learn what it means to care, and to heal. (Thursday, April 11, Bing Crosby Theater, 7 p.m.)

Kids/Youth Headliner (TBA) (Bing Crosby Theater, Sunday, April 14, 11:30 a.m.)
A nationally-known author of books for young people will read, answer questions, and sign books. More information coming soon! Note: Students of all ages gain free admission to this event: all kids, youth, teens, and college students. Only adults who are not currently students will need to purchase a ticket.

Festival Passes and individual tickets for the headlining events go on sale Friday, January 25, via TicketsWest (1-800-325-SEAT). The festival pass will be $45, which will gain admission to all headlining events. By purchasing a pass, you can save $15-$20 off individual ticket costs and service fees.  Individual tickets for each event are only $15. All headlining events are free to all students with a valid high school or college ID.

Special Offer! In celebration of our 15th annual festival, we're offering 15% off festival passes through February 15! Simply follow this link to TicketsWest and enter the promo code "getlit" to receive the discounted price. Help us celebrate our 15th festival with 15% off through February 15! Please note: 15% discount offer valid for purchase of festival passes only.

Additional Featured Authors

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 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.
(Wednesday, April 10, Spokane Community College, free and open to the public. Bloomsday Training Run, 6 p.m. Talk and book-signing, 7 p.m.)

Other featured authors for the 2013 festival include David Shields, author of thirteen works of fiction and nonfiction, including Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, a controversial work that pushes at the boundaries of nonfiction, asserting that “all art is theft” and that “reality cannot be copyrighted.” His latest book is How Literature Saved My Life (February 2013). Novelist Jim Lynch has written three novels set in Washington State, including Truth Like The Sun, which takes place in Seattle during the 1962 World’s Fair. Lynch was the winner of the 2009 Washington State Book award for Border Songs. For a complete list of participating festival authors, visit our website.

Hometown favorite and award-winning author Jess Walter will also appear at the Get Lit! Festival, reading from his new collection of short stories, We Live in Water (February 2013). He’ll be joined by Shawn Vestal, Spokesman-Review columnist and author of the story collection Godforsaken Idaho. The pair will read from their brand-new collections, discuss writing, and answer questions. Moderated by writer, editor, and EWU professor Samuel Ligon.

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 March 2013, and return for an encore performance on Tuesday, April 9, as part of the Get Lit! Festival.


Other Events To Look Forward To:

  • The 2nd Annual Pie & Whiskey reading
  • Poetry slams for kids, youth, teens, and college students
  • Exhibit at the Chase Gallery featuring work created by pairs of local artists & writers
  • The Come One, Come All community reading
  • Writing workshops, panel discussions, and more!

Are You A Lit! Lover?

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Are you a Lit! Lover? Get Lit! Programs is proud to bring quality literary programs like Poetry Out Loud, Authors Tour, Writers-in-Residence, and of course, the Get Lit! Festival to the Inland Northwest. In order to continue this valuable tradition, we need your support. Become a Lit! Lover and join Eastern Washington University as we engage the Inland Northwest community in a celebration of the written word. To become a Lit! Lover, we invite you to pledge between $50 and $100, plus make a commitment to tell two friends who might match your donation to Get Lit! Programs. EWU’s College of Arts, Letters, and Education hopes for many more years of community arts engagement through programs like Get Lit! Thank you so much for considering a pledge. Any amount, large or small, is a great help. To do so, simply click here.

Author Spotlight: Joyce Carol Oates

TThe Get Lit! Festival features regional and national authors, panel discussions, contests, and workshops for all ages and genres. Each month, we'll be spotlighting one of the authors participating in the 2013 Get Lit! Festival.

Joyce Carol Oates's short fiction has appeared eighteen times in Best American Short Stories, eleven times in Best American Mystery Stories, and in numerous other anthologies. Her latest collection, Black Dahlia & White Rose (2012), is Oates's fiction at its dark and menacing best. In the title story, young Norma Jean Baker and Elizabeth Short lead parallel lives as roommates and Hollywood hopefuls until one attains celebrity as the iconic Marilyn Monroe, and the other as the victim of a brutal unsolved murder. Publishers Weekly says, "Unsettling, potent, and suspenseful, these well-crafted and haunting stories attest to Oates' superior imagination and mastery of the craft, and provide a welcome addition to her oeuvre." Keep checking our website for more author announcements and festival updates, and save the dates for the 15th Annual Get Lit! Festival, April 8-14, 2013!

Sneak Peek For February:

  • Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals: Thursday, February 7, Bing Crosby Theater, 7 p.m., Free
  • Information about Get Lit! Festival workshops, youth events, and more!

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