May 22, 2011 in Features

Book Notes: Black set to star in film version of Walter’s ‘Poets’

By The Spokesman-Review

Spokane novelist Jess Walter’s latest book, “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” has been picked up as a movie vehicle for Jack Black, retitled “Bailout.”

This news came out of the Cannes Film Festival and was reported last week by the Hollywood Reporter.

The screenplay was also written by Walter, and the director will be Michael Winterbottom (“Wonderland,” “24 Hour Party People”). Filming is scheduled to begin in August.

One obvious question: Will it be filmed here?

The novel does not specify a setting, but it is clearly a Spokane-like city. It’s about a laid-off newspaper reporter who makes a series of spectacularly bad financial decisions in order to pay his bills. He also makes some spectacularly (and hilariously) bad life decisions.

We talked to Walter this week and he said there is no word yet on filming locations. Decisions on budget and casting (besides Black) are also pending.

This was reported on our Spotlight blog last week on

Adult Summer Reading

The Spokane County Library District is kicking off its Adult Summer Reading series with a green-thumb event at the Moran Prairie Library, 6004 S. Regal St., on Monday at 2 p.m.

Jeremy Smith, author of “Growing a Garden City” (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95), will make a presentation extolling the virtues of community gardening.

The book’s lengthy subtitle should give you a good idea about the content: “How Farmers, First Graders, Counselors, Troubled Teens, Foodies, A Homeless Shelter Chef, Single Mothers, and More are Transforming Themselves and Their Neighborhoods Through the Intersection of Local Agriculture and Community – and How You Can Too.”

This will be the lead event in one part of the Adult Summer Reading Program, which is called the “Backyard Bounty Series.”

The Adult Summer Reading Program includes two other series: the “Literary Series” and the “Music Series.”

Go to to see details about all of these library presentations, which will stretch on through the summer. There will be numerous author talks and concerts.

Baxter Black alert

Baxter Black, perhaps the country’s best-known cowboy poet, will appear at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., on June 1, 7 p.m.

Black will discuss his latest book, “Lessons From a Desperado Poet.”

A film-poetry event

The Magic Lantern Theatre, 25 W. Main Ave., will host a film/poetry event on Friday at 8:45 p.m., featuring a screening of “I Am Secretly an Important Man,” a documentary about the late Seattle poet Jesse Bernstein, famous for his Sub Pop recordings.

Following the screening, there will be an Underground Writing Scene Showcase, with four to six local writers reading their works.

Tickets are $10 for both the film and the showcase.

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