Four Ways to Get Lit

Spokane’s annual Get Lit! festival is fully underway, and once again it’s a great mix of nationally renowned authors and local favorites. In fact, Spokane’s scene is getting to the point where several of the local authors carry as much prestige as the flown-in guests. That’s a good sign that some of the best fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction anywhere is being composed right here in the spare bedrooms and coffee shops of the Inland Northwest.

As your work week begins to wind down, there are plenty of great events left on the Get Lit schedule. As is our tradition, we’ll help you experience a few uncommonly good readings and discussions, complete with food & drink pairings. 

1) Pie & Whiskey Reading. Thursday 4/14 9:30pm at the Spokane Woman’s Club (1428 W 9th Ave)  Most good parties wind down in the kitchen with unguarded conversation, indulgent food, and hard liquor. A half decade ago, Spokane fiction writer Sam Ligon and friends created a Get Lit event that offers all of the above. It’s always standing room only to listen to the flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and poetry in this quaint neighborhood gathering spot. Because of the event’s popularity, show up early and expect quality of pie and whiskey rather than quantity.

Before & After: Make indulgence the evening’s theme. Before you arrive (early!), enjoy the josper-grilled flat iron steak at Casper Fry, a few minutes away by car. After the event, roll down the hill and hit up Durkin’s Liquor Bar for an expertly crafted night cap that features… more whiskey. They’re open till 1 on Thursdays. 

2) Humor in Fiction. Friday 4/15 , noon at North Idaho College, Seiter 102.  
A few literary laughs and a trip to Coeur d’Alene on a fine spring day? That’s worth skipping work. Join novelists Shawn Vestal and Richard Fifield as they talk about the role of humor in their work and that of their favorite authors.

Before & After: On your way, visit DOMA’s new coffee lab in Post Falls to put some fresh-roasted goodness in your travel mug. After the reading, enjoy lunch at Syringa Japanese Café and Sushi Bar, and then an early cocktail at 315 Martinis and Tapas.

3) Making Your Own Comic or Graphic Novel. Saturday 4/16, 3:30pm at the Spokane Convention Center  
If you want to do something cool, there are always a lot of hurdles to jump. Let Manny Trembley walk you through the process and inspire your heroic contribution to the world of comics and graphic novels.

Before & After:  Downtown Spokane has serious coffee. A pre-event stop is in order at Indaba Downtown, Madeleine’s, Caffe Affogato, or nitro coffee at Beautiful Grounds in the Liberty Building, home of Auntie’s Bookstore (and Get Lit is the perfect time to visit Spokane’s pride-and-joy independent bookstore). Afterward, walk to Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie for an award-winning feast or Nectar for glasses of select Washington wine.

4) Get Lit presents: Garth Stein. Saturday 4/16, 7pm at the Fox. 
The Art of Racing in the Rain, the most celebrated of Stein’s several novels, is “…a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.” Gather your book club to hear Stein read from his work and have him sign everyone’s dog-eared copy of Racing.

Before & After: Burgers and fries at Wisconsinburger in the Perry District will get the evening started off right, and after the reading, it would be wise to stay downtown for a Main Ave IPA or two at Black Label Brewing Co inside Saranac Commons.

The literary luminaries will be on display at these and many other Get Lit events (many of which are quite interactive). Choose wisely, make a night of it with great food and drink, and be inspired to put something on the page yourself.

-Ross Carper