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Tuesday, May 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Book Notes: Oakes wins Washington Book Award; Get Lit lands Roxane Gay

Congratulations are in order for two Spokane writers, Stephanie Oakes and Tod Marshall, who were both honored at the 2018 Washington State Book Awards, which were held Oct. 13 at the Seattle Central Library.

In the Books for Youth category, Oakes’ “The Arsonist” was named the best book for young adult readers, ages 13-18.

Gonzaga University professor and former Washington state poet laureate Marshall, and the poets featured in his “WA 129,” were given a special award during the ceremony. “WA 129” is a collection of 129 poems by Washington poets, including current Washington state poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna, whose “Killing Marias: A Poem for Multiple Voices” was nominated in the poetry category.

The Washington State Book Awards are a program of the Washington Center for the Book, a partnership of the Seattle Public Library and Washington State Library. Two panels of judges read 230 books for awards consideration. Authors must have been born in Washington state or be a current resident and have maintained residence in Washington for at least three years.

Get Lit’s big get

The region’s annual literary festival is still months away, but it’s not too early to reveal a big get for Get Lit: Roxane Gay.

Gay, the New York Times best-selling author of “Bad Feminist” and “Hunger,” will headline the weeklong festival in Spokane, scheduled for April 22-28.

She’s also written the story collections “Ayiti” and “Difficult Women,” and the novel “Untamed State.” She edited “Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture” and “Best American Short Stories 2018.” She contributes to the New York Times and the Guardian, and has contributed to a host of literary journals, including Prairie Schooner and Willow Springs.

More details coming soon. In the meantime, check out

More from Nisbet

Spokane’s acclaimed history writer Jack Nisbet is launching his latest book, “The Dreamer and the Doctor,” with a celebration at Auntie’s Bookstore on Nov. 1.

The book, from Sasquatch Books, tells the story of Dr. Carrie Leiberg and her husband, John Leiberg. She was a pioneering doctor who fought for public health. He was an early agent of the U.S. Forest Commission. For nearly two decades they lived and worked from a ranch at the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille.

Nisbet’s previous books include “David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work,” “The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest,” and “Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America.” He’ll read from “The Dreamer and the Doctor” at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at Auntie’s, 402 W. Main Ave. For information, visit

Latah Books celebrates

It’s been a good year for the new Spokane-based publishing company Latah Books.

This past week, the press – owned by writer Jon Gosch – celebrated the release of its first four titles.

The first was Gosch’s own novel, “Deep Fire Rise,” set against the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. It was released on May 18, the 38th anniversary of the eruption. Up next was “Patrolling the Heart of the West,” a memoir by former state trooper Steve Raabe of Yuma, Arizona.

In September, two well-known Spokane writers released works through Latah. Michael Gurian, a New York Times best-selling author of 32 books, released a story collection, “The Blind Woman,” on Sept. 1. And Terry Trueman, author of the acclaimed young adult book “Stuck in Neutral,” released “The Kid Who Killed Cole Hardt,” on Sept. 15.

For more information on Latah Books and these titles, visit

Staff writer Azaria Podplesky contributed to this report.

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Asking the right questions of your CBD company

Bluegrass Hemp Oil in Spokane Valley offers a variety of products that can be very effective for helping with some health conditions. (Courtesy BHO)

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