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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Summer Stories: ‘Pandemic’ by Shann Ray

John watched a blackbird light on the window sill. Feeling numb, he looked away and further berated himself. “He’s so self-enclosed,” he overheard Samantha tell their oldest. “He doesn’t hear me.” The children knew and didn’t know. They moved in his presence like worlds in orbit.

Local poet and professor explores ‘ultimate forgiveness’

Local author and GU professor Shann Ray explores the question of suffering and “the violence of living” through poetry and the art of Trinh Mai in his latest book “Atomic Theory 7: Poems to My Wife and God.” In this work, Ray juxtaposes examples of ultimate violence and ultimate forgiveness in an attempt to explore the capacity of human goodness.

Hoopfest: Smack Talk, Big Sexy and JR Camel

Hoopfest is where the community gathers to celebrate each other. Overwhelmingly, the streets of Spokane end up with competitors from all walks of life grateful for the experience.

‘Wanderings’ writer Meyer opens GU visiting author series

Kimberly Meyer, nonfiction writer and contributor to the radio program “This American Life,” will be in Spokane this week as the first author in the Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series for 2015-16. Meyer’s most recent work, “The Book of Wanderings,” centers on her own real-life travels with her eldest daughter as they followed the route of medieval friar Felix Fabri through Italy, Greece, Israel and Egypt. It’s a book getting much good buzz. As USA Today said in its review back in March: “The arduousness and soul-baring nature of the long journey seems to have stripped her down to her essence, and she is able to confidently experience and tell the story in her own words, excellently, compellingly.”

Haroutunian joins Vestal for reading at Auntie’s

New York writer Nicole Haroutunian, whose story collection “Speed Dreaming” has been widely praised, will be in Spokane this week for a reading at Auntie’s Bookstore. Haroutunian’s work has appeared in Tin House, Barnstorm, The Literarian and other journals. The story collection, her first, has been longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award.

Book Notes: Beacon Hill Reading Series features Welcker

When Ellen Welcker isn’t helping students at Eastern Washington University’s Writers Center, she’s writing poetry and organizing readings of poetry – sometimes in her own living room. Welcker, who has a book of poems and a couple of chapbooks to her credit, is one of three poets who will read Wednesday night as part of the Beacon Hill Reading Series. Joining Welcker will be Spokane poet Kathryn Smith and Shann Ray Ferch, whose book of poetry, “Balefire,” was released earlier this year.

Ferch puts poetic side on display

Most people know Shann Ray Ferch as a writer of short stories. His 2011 collection “American Masculine,” won praise all over the place for its stories that are “less centered on landscapes and overarching narrative, and more closely focused on relatives drawing blood with words, fists, or mere looks,” as a review on the A.V. Club noted. They also know him as a Gonzaga University professor who teaches leadership and forgiveness studies. He’s also, we’re told, the guy you probably don’t want to go up against in a pickup basketball game.

The Heart is the Door

Presumably we had driven 12 hours to see Expo ’74, but as we crossed plains and topped mountains my father’s face seemed to grow heavy and on the final span of road near St. Regis not more than a few hours out from Spokane, it seemed his head was an anvil that rested above his chest. His eyes stared lazily at the road as if to announce a new pattern of sleep. He was a big man, near 6 ½ feet tall.

Book Notes: Lost Horse workshop features Davis, Ray

Lost Horse Press is hosting a writing workshop, reading and signing on Saturday in Sandpoint featuring the writer and novelist Claire Davis and Spokane’s Shann Ray. The deadline for the workshop registration has passed; however, the public is invited to attend the signing and reading if they don’t attend the workshop.

Spotlight: Local musicians hope to help tornado victims

Area musicians will perform a concert to benefit victims of last week’s powerful tornado in Moore, Okla. The lineup features Mark Schirtz, winner of the 2011 Spokane’s Got Talent contest and Dawghouse Entertainment recording artist, Tommy G, a two-time Spokane’s Got Talent finalist, rock and country guitarist Kicho Forrest, and the hippie-groove rock band the Angela Marie Project.

The power of forgiveness

The end of love isn’t the end of a story by Shann Ray Ferch. In the new story he’ll read tonight in Spokane, love comes first. Then comes hatred, then comes violence, then comes forgiveness.

Book Notes: Writers Series draws up last play for Shann Ray

The final edition of this year’s Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series will feature one of Gonzaga’s own. GU professor Shann Ferch, who writes under the name Shann Ray, will read from “American Masculine,” his collection of short stories. This free, public talk will be in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Book Notes: Novelist Egan set to read at GU

Time to mark your calendars for some upcoming author readings. Jennifer Egan, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2011 for “A Visit from the Good Squad,” will give a talk at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room at Gonzaga University.

Book Notes: Sedaris set for Auntie’s appearance

The David Sedaris reading-and-signing zoo comes to Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., on Thursday, 7 p.m. He’ll be reading from his latest book, “Squirrel Meets Chipmunk,” now available in paperback. If past readings are any indication, Sedaris will probably try out some new material as well.

Book Notes: Pendo mightier than Sonnets

We are pleased to announce that the Spokane Dirty Realists (featuring authors Sherman Alexie, Jess Walter and Shann Ray Ferch) soundly defeated the Moscow SuperSonnets, 101-77, at HooPalousa at the University of Idaho on Tuesday. And, more importantly, this literary-themed basketball game attracted a good crowd and drew attention to its cause: an American Indian Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing.