Four writers – one a New York Times best-seller, another the Washington poet laureate and two more with short story collections under their belts and novels percolating – will gather to tuck in Spokane for the night.
Bedtime Stories, a gala fundraiser for Humanities Washington, begins today at 6 p.m. at the Spokane Club, 1002 W. Riverside Ave. The event will feature the four writers – all former or current Eastern Washington residents – reading new short works on the theme “Pillow Talk.” The writers include:
Poet laureate Kathleen Flenniken. Flenniken, who was born and raised in Richland, came to poetry late – after a career in civil engineering that included a three-year stint at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Her latest book of poetry, “Plume,” was inspired by Hanford. It won the Washington Book Award for Poetry last week. Flenniken now lives in Seattle.
National Book Award finalist Jess Walter. Walter is a Spokane native and former reporter for The Spokesman-Review. His 2006 novel “The Zero” was a finalist for the National Book Award, and his most recent novel, “Beautiful Ruins,” was a Times best-seller. Earlier this year he released “We Live in Water,” a short story collection. He lives in Spokane with his family.
Spokane author Sharma Shields. Shields’ first short story collection, “Favorite Monster,” won the Autumn House Fiction Contest. Her short works have been published in places such as Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Fugue and Sonora Review, and she won the A.B. Guthrie Award for Outstanding Prose and the Tim McGinnis Award for Humor. She lives in Spokane, her hometown, with her family.
Spokesman-Review columnist Shawn Vestal. Vestal’s first collection of short fiction, “Godforsaken Idaho,” touches on his life as an Idaho native raised in the Mormon faith. His stories have been printed in McSweeney’s, Tin House, the Southern Review and Ecotone. His journalism career has taken him to Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. He lives in Spokane with his family.
The event, now in its second year in Spokane, has sold out.