Joyce Carol Oates to Headline 15th Annual Get Lit! Festival

EWU’s Get Lit! Festival, which takes place April 8-14, has set its lineup of authors. The program, now in its 15th year, scored one of the country’s premiere authors with Joyce Carol Oates.

“Her body of work is unparallelled,” said Melissa Huggins, director of Get Lit! Programs. “She’s someone who appeals to such a wide range of readers. Someone who is in a book club might love We Were the Mulvaneys; someone interested in historical fiction could read Blonde, her novel about Marilyn Monroe; students of creative writing study her short stories, like “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”; a reader interested in nonfiction could read her memoir A Widow’s Story or her essays, and so on. She writes literary fiction, young adult fiction, gothic romance, horror…she does it all. Nearly every reader can find a book that appeals to them written by Joyce Carol Oates, and that’s part of what’s so wonderful about her being a part of Get Lit! We’d love to have the whole community reading Joyce Carol Oates between now and April.”

Oates will read at the Bing Crosby Theater on Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m. Joining her will be National Book Award-winner Jaimy Gordon, who will read from her novel Lord of Misrule, a beautifully rendered story of risk taking and horse racing. Also featured at the event will be author David Shields, who will read from his most recent work of nonfiction How Literature Saved My Life.

Other headlining authors include Kim Barnes and Jonathan Evison, who will read from their most recent work at the Bing Crosby Theater on Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m. Barnes is the 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.” Bestselling author Jonathan Evison will read from his new novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving.

This year’s poetry headliner, Major Jackson, will be joined by the highly acclaimed poet Robert Wrigley for a reading at the Bing Crosby Theater on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. Jackson is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Holding Company, Hoops and Leaving Saturn, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review. Wrigley will share work from his latest collection, The Church of Omnivorous Light: Selected Poems.

Born to Run author Chris McDougall’s love of running has sent him everywhere from Harvard’s laboratories to Mexico’s Copper Canyon, home of the world’s most incredible long-distance barefoot runners. On Wednesday, April 10, he’ll be bringing his passion to Spokane with a Bloomsday Training Run at 6 p.m. followed by reading at 7 p.m. at SCC.

Other events to look forward to at this year’s festival include a special engagement of Ode, an original play based on the whirlwind romance between the great English poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, on Tuesday, April 9; the 2nd Annual Pie and Whiskey Reading on Thursday, April 11; and a reading and discussion featuring authors Jess Walter and Shawn Vestal, and moderated by writer, editor and EWU professor Sam Ligon on Saturday, April 13.