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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Memoirist, poets speaking at EWU

Culture, like the approaching summer, is in the air.

In the paragraphs that follow, you’ll find references to Irish poet Kevin Kiely and Puerto Rican memoirist Esmeralda Santiago, both of whom will give talks at Eastern Washington University’s Cheney campus during the coming week.

Looking ahead, though, Martin Espada – whom press materials refer to as “the Latino poet of his generation,” and whom author Sandra Cisneros has called “the Pablo Nerdua of North American authors” – will deliver a May 30 afternoon reading and lecture at EWU’s JFK Auditorium, and a reading that evening at Auntie’s Bookstore.

Espada (“The Republic of Poetry”), a Brooklyn-born English professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has won a number of national prizes, from the American Book Award to the Paterson Poetry Prize. His work has been published in such prestigious magazines as The New Yorker and Harper’s.

Megan Harlan wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle that Espada “often seems to work in the tradition of Neruda, displaying a vibrant, far-reaching and distinctively openhearted imagination on matters both political and personal.”

Call (509) 359-6200.

Irish eyes

Irish poet Kevin Kiely will give two lectures on Wednesday at the JFK Auditorium on EWU’s Cheney campus.

At 1 p.m., Kiely – whose appearance is co-sponsored by Eastern’s departments of history and English, creative writing and the school’s Center of Excellence – will speak on “Irish Poetry and Prose,” and at 2:15 he will share his “Reflections on Contemporary Ireland.”

Writers’ corner

•Space is still available for the Northwest Inland Writing Project’s 2008 Writing Retreat, which will be held June 23 through 27 in McCall, Idaho.

Bill Woolum, who teaches English at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., will lead the weeklong retreat. Price for the general public is $350, which covers lodging, meals and workshops.

For further information, go online at www.niwp.org. Or call (509) 336-9664.

•The deadline for the 2008 Rising Star Creative Writing Competition has been extended to June 10.

The competition, which is open to two age groups – 15 to 18 and 19 to 25 – is open to poets and prose writers from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. All work must be original and previously unpublished.

For registration information, go online at www.thenatureofwords.org. Or call (541) 330-4381.

Awards galore

•Liberty Lake author Linda Hagen Miller was named winner of the 2008 Media Award at the recent Governor’s Conference on Recreation and Tourism, which was held May 6 through 8 in Pocatello, Idaho.

Miller was given the award for her work as a freelance writer promoting Idaho’s tourism and recreation industries.

Walla Walla poet/publisher Charles Potts (“A Rite to the Body”) was awarded the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Washington Poets Association.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Book talk

•Dark City Mystery Book Group (“Judge & Jury,” by James Patterson and Andrew Gross), 7 p.m. Monday, Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington. Call (509) 838-0206.

•Inland Northwest Writers Guild, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

The reader board

•Sri Siva (“One-Minute Guide to Prosperity and Enlightenment”), reading, 2 p.m. today, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand (“Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea and One of the World’s Deadliest Jobs”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Nick Heil (“Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest’s Most Controversial Season”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Kevin Kiely (“Breakfast with Sylvia”), lectures, 1 and 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Eastern Washington University’s JFK Auditorium. Call (509) 359-6088.

•Michael Harmon (“The Last Exit to Normal”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Esmeralda Santiago (“When I Was Puerto Rican”), lecture (“Writing a Life”), 7 p.m. Friday, Showalter Auditorium, Eastern Washington University’s Cheney campus. Call (509) 359-6200.

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