Jessica Moll, a graduate student at Eastern Washington University, may have felt a bit awkward standing on a milk crate in front of River Park Square in downtown Spokane reading poetry.
But she was doing it for a cause: Get Lit!
She and other street readers took up positions at noon Thursday to call attention to the Spokane area’s annual celebration of literature that starts Saturday with a children’s concert at 1 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.
Events continue on Monday through April 22 with a series of renowned authors making appearances at the ninth annual Northwest Literary Festival. Some events are free, and some have ticket charges.
“We’re getting up on a milk crate trying to expose people to literature,” said Moll, who studies poetry and works for EWU Press, which is one of the event organizers.
“Nobody’s stopping because they are all talking on their cell phones,” she said half-jokingly.
Then, she launched into a recital of Alberto Rios’ poem, “Lunar Eclipse, Arizona 2004.”
“We watched the moon’s eclipse tonight and wondered that in this new century it did not entertain us,” she read.
Actually, nearly 100 people slowed down enough to grab programs for Get Lit!
“We had more people interested than I thought,” said graduate student Erin Dodge, who was handing out the materials.
Saturday’s free concert for children, which is sponsored by KPBX radio, features Carmela D’Amico, who will read from her stories while her husband, Steven D’Amico, an illustrator, gives a drawing demonstration.
On Monday, EWU master’s candidates will give free readings at Empyrean, 154 S. Madison St., at 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, the university’s creative writing faculty will hold a free reading in the Cutter Room of the Spokane Club, 1002 W. Riverside, at 7:30 p.m. It will feature distinguished alumni award winner Tod Marshall, who teaches at Gonzaga University.
On Wednesday, another free event at 7:30 p.m. will be held at the Lair Auditorium at Spokane Community College, featuring Donald Worster, author of the highly acclaimed book, “A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell.” Worster’s talk is titled, “On John Muir’s Trail: Nature in an Age of Liberal Principles.”