Two regional writers who boast contrasting careers, not to mention styles, will read from their most recent works in separate Spokane appearances on Saturday.
Spokane novelist/family therapist Chris Crutcher, whose most recent young-adult offering is “Ironman,” will read at 10 a.m. at the Children’s Corner Bookshop, on the skywalk level of River Park Square.
David Long, a short-story writer living in Kalispell, Mont., will read from his latest collection, “Blue Spruce,” at 7:30 p.m. at Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington.
Crutcher, the author of such popular young-adult novels as “Running Loose” and “The Crazy Horse Electric Game,” continues his look at the angst of adolescence in “Ironman” (Greenwillow, 181 pages, $15), which carries a street date of April 14.
Reading at first like a “best-of Crutcher,” with familiar themes and even characters, “Ironman” becomes in the second half Crutcher’s best-yet statement about the youthful struggle for emotional health.
“Blue Spruce” (Scribner, 254 pages, $20) is Long’s fourth collection of short stories. Named after his first story published in The New Yorker, the book offers a varied look at life in Montana (although the stories could take place anywhere).
It, too, is a keeper. From two aging sisters-in-law struggling for emotional dominance to a young woman deciding to come clean about a brutal murder, “Blue Spruce” takes you inside the lives of characters who, though pure fiction, are as alive as anyone you walk, talk and sleep with every day.
Both readings are free and open to the public.
Five writers with ties to Eastern Washington University will be the focus of a class this spring titled “Northwest Writers.”
Taught by Beth Oakes, managing editor of the Eastern Washington University Press, the class/discussion group will key on the works of John Keeble, Ursula Hegi, Nance Van Winckel, Jim McAuley and Anna Monardo.
Other writers mentioned will include Salt Lake City resident Terry Tempest Williams; Finn Rock, Ore., naturalist-writer Barry Lopez, and Spokane-turned-Seattle poet and storyteller Sherman Alexie.
The class, which can be taken for non-credit, runs from April 3 to June 12 and will be held from 7-9 p.m. Mondays at Auntie’s Bookstore. For registration information, call Judy Samples at 359-2434.
A look at lit
If you’re a fan of spirited discussion, whether that discussion is over poetry, movies or politics - or even all three at once - then you might want to check out a newsletter titled “George and Mertie’s Place: Rooms With a View.”
Poetry? Spokane musician Rick Lillemon contributed a poem titled “Accidents Can Happen” in the February issue. Movies? Mertie reviewed “Little Women” in February, and an otherwise unidentified reviewer named Gee gushed over Alejandro Jodorowsky’s bizarre film “Santa Sangre” in the March issue (yeah, Gee, I really liked that cross-dressing wrestler).
Politics? Well, read for yourself. Editor George Thomas is a published poet and was co-founder and past-poetry editor of Willow Springs. Coeditor Mertie Duncan manages the Global Folk Art Bazaar.
Individual issues are priced at $1.25 and yearly subscriptions cost $10. For ordering information, write to Dick Diver Productions, P.O. Box 10335, Spokane, WA 99209.
Spokane poet Randall Brock has self-published another chapbook of poems. This one is titled “A Message From the Other Side.” For price and ordering information, write to coeditors Bud & Nikki Cashon, P.O. Box 1673, Spokane, WA 99210.
The reader board
Claire Swedberg, author of “Work Commando 311/I: American Paratroopers Become Forced Laborers for the Nazis” (Stackpole Books, $22.95), and Dan Jones, a main character in the book, will appear at noon today at Hastings Books, 1704 W. Wellesley.
Terry Trueman, Alexis Nelson and Tony Flynn will read the poetry, respectively, of Raymond Carver, Tess Gallagher and Anton Chekhov at 7:30 tonight at the Anaconda Espresso and Poetry, 510 S. Freya.
Linda Anne Seville, publisher of Timeless Books in Spokane, will give a lecture-demonstration titled “Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Auntie’s Bookstore.
Poet Lawrence E. Keith will read from his latest collection, “Dream Fragment 19,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Auntie’s Bookstore.
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