by Ross Carper
Yep, it’s going off right now. The annual Get Lit! Festival. Here’s where we’re at with this thing: last year’s headliner just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (Anthony Doerr, All The Light We Cannot See). That’s how good this week-long event is. It’s also your cue to get out there and enjoy at least some of it, whether you’re a visitor or a local Auntie's denizen. We’ll make it easy for you: three top-notch events paired with some local food/drink to complete your literary night out.
A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment with Jess Walter and Sherman Alexie
Pairing: Burgers beforehand, Wisconsinburger (916 S. Hatch St)
As a fiction writer myself, these fellas are superheroes to me. Rock stars. It doesn’t help the ol’ pride that my mom is always reminding me how she was Jess Walter’s 9th grade English teacher. That she made him read Great Expectations, a book he referenced heavily in Citizen Vince. Cool, mom. Take credit for his critically acclaimed bestsellers. Be prouder of him than you are of me. I don’t care. I’m just thanking my lucky stars we have both Walter and Sherman Alexie as heavy hitters in the Spokane fiction scene. What? They’ve started a wildly popular and funny/awesome podcast? And they’re recording it live onstage? At a free Get Lit event? Duh I’m going. But I’m not bringing my mom.
The Annual Pie & Whiskey Reading with Kate Lebo and Sam Ligon
I ran into Sam the other day at Saranac Commons. He’s a former professor of mine. I love seeing him out in the city because he’s never having a bad or boring time. He’s also the sharpest editor I’ve been around, with no patience for stuff that isn’t great. With this brainchild of his, now in its fourth year, he has combined many things that are unquestionably great: pie, whiskey, poetry, prose, and a night out carousing with friends. This year Kate Lebo is the co-host, and she’s all about both writing and pie. It will be the place to be on Thursday night (read: packed). I live a few blocks away, so I’ll just stroll over early and see who appears.
The Round: Get Lit Edition
Pairing: A beer beforehand at Jones Radiator, a couple blocks east on Sprague.
Don’t you hate it when there are talented singer-songwriters and poets performing in front of you as visual artists create stuff all around the room? No, you don’t hate it. Because unless you’ve been to The Round before, it probably hasn’t happened to you. And you wouldn’t hate it because it’s really great. The Get Lit! edition features many, including Cami Bradley, in an intimate space. Get tickets beforehand so you’re all set.