Northwest Arts Review

Dean Davis

Christopher Howell is the author of twelve collections of poetry including Love’s Last Number, Gaze, and most recently, The Grief of a Happy Life, just released by University of Washington Press. Howell has received numerous awards including the Washington State Governor’s Award, the Washington State Book Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and three Pushcart Prizes. Locally, he is known as a faculty member in Eastern Washington University’s Master of Fine Arts program as well as director of Willow Springs Books and Lynx House Press.

Gordon S. Jackson, is the author of the new novel, Never Say Moist at Wyndover College. Jackson taught journalism at Whitworth University for more than 30 years. He grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era, encountering the sensorship that subsequently promted him to promote free expression in the classroom and in his writing. Never Say Moist at Wyndover College is Jackson’s fourteenth book, and his second novel.

Stephen Jenkinson is an activist, teacher, author, social worker, farmer, and founder of the Orphan Wisdom School. He is also the host of A Night of Grief & Mystery, a musical, poetic, ceremonial evening which he describes as “devoted to the ragged mysteries of being human.” The tour will be in Spokane on Wednesday, November 13th, 7 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater. Jenkinson joined Chris Maccini via phone to talk about his work and upcoming performance.

TEDx Spokane will take place on Saturday, October 26th, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane. This year's event will feature educators, authors, poets, morticians, community advocates, non-profit administrators, and more. 

Event founder Jaime Tender talked with SPR's Chris Maccini about the origins of the event, and two of this year's performers, Spokane Poet Laureate Mark Anderson, and musician Karli Ingersoll gave a preview of their TED Talks.

Tickets and details about the event can be found at

Nicholas Decaro is an artist, student at Whitworth University, and founder of Apostrophe Spokane Art Collective which exhibits LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and women artists from six local universities. Apostrophe Spokane is the recipient of a Spokane Arts Grant Award for their upcoming second annual exhibit of curated student artwork. 

The exhibition will run from April 3 to 12, 2020 with work by student artists from Whitworth University, Spokane Falls Community College, Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, North Idaho College, and Washington State University. More information about Apostrophe Spokane can be found on their Facebook page

SPR | Chris Maccini


Now in its twelfth year, Terrain has become a signature arts event for the Inland Northwest. This year’s annual showcase will feature close to 300 artists, musicians, and performers on display at the Jensen Byrd Building in Spokane’s University District.


Fall is a busy season for art in the Inland Northwest. This weekend, a unique arts festival will invite the public into working artists’ studios.

The Little Spokane River Valley is home to popular parks, golf courses, small farms, and suburban developments. Driving through, you might not notice the many artist studios, but this Saturday, September 28, five studios in this neighborhood will open their doors to the public, showcasing forty artists from around the Northwest.

Jeff Alessandrelli and Hajara Quinn are two Portland-based poets who came through Spokane on their way to the Montana Book Festival earlier this month. They stopped in to the SPR studio to talk with Chris Maccini about their new books and their Montana Book Festival panel titled "Is This Surreal or For Real?"

Harper Quinn is the author of Coolth (Big Lucks Books, 2018). She received her MFA from Cornell University in 2014, and her work has been supported by Literary Arts and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Poems can be found in Gramma Daily, Gulf Coast, The Volta and Sixth Finch. She lives in Portland, OR where she works as the Program Director at the Independent Publishing Resource Center.

Now in it's sixth year, Porchfest West Central is a free local music festival and community event in the West Central Neighborhood of Spokane. Homeowners will host local musicians and performers on their porches from 3 - 7 p.m. on Saturday, September, 21st. Details and more information are at

Marshall Peterson is a Spokane-based photographer and owner of the Marmot Art Space gallery in Kendall Yards. He started Porchfest in 2014, based on the original Porchfest event in Ithaca, NY. More information about Marshall is at

Charlie Pepiton is the Producing Artistic Director of Square Top Theatre and Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at Gonzaga University. Square Top Theatre is the recipient of a Spokane Arts Grant Award (SAGA) for their upcoming production, Scent of a Thousand Rains. 

Shann Ray is a poet, short story writer, and novelist who grew up in Montana and Alaska and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. He is the author of seven books including most recently a short story collection, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke and a poetry collection, Sweetclover, both of which were published this year.

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction including the New York Times best-sellers, Candyfreak and Against Football. He was also the host of the popular podcast Dear Sugars with fellow author Cheryl Strayed.

Almond's latest book, William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life is part of the "Bookmarked" series from Ig Publishers, in which authors talk about their favorite novels and how they've impacted their life and work. The subject of Almond's book is the 1965 novel Stoner by John Williams. 

Spokane Public Radio

McCarrthy moved to idaho in 1977 to work trail crew in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness for the U.S. Forest Service. He later ran a range crew and worked on ranches in Hells Canyon and the Salmon River country. He started writing about winderness as a reporter for he Lewiston Morning Tribune, where he also covered cops, courts, arts, and agriculture for 10 years. He swited to environmental organizing and advocacy for two decades, as the conservation director for the Idaho Conservation league and Idaho Forest campaign durector for the Wilderness Society.

John Keeble is the author of eight books, including the new novel The Appointment: The Tale of Adaline Carson, a fictionalized account of the daughter of the famous frontiersman Kit Carson. His previous novels include Yellowfish, Broken Ground and The Shadows of Owls. His short fiction collection, Nocturnal America, won the Prairie Schooner Prize for short fiction and was published by the University of Nebraska press. He is also the author of Out of the Channel, the definitive study of the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Gregory Spatz is the author of a new collection of "bookmatched" stories and novellas, What Could Be Saved, and of the novels Inukshuk, Fiddler's Dream and No One But Us, and the short story collections Half As Happy and Wonderful Tricks. His stories have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Glimmer Train Stories, Shenandoah, Epoch, Kenyon Review and New England Review.

The Spokane Print and Publishing Center is a new organization located in the West Central neighborhood of Spokane. According to their Facebook page, "The main function of the SPPC is to teach you how to do all the printing and publishing things, but that’s not all! Writing, bookbinding, screenprinting, writing, editing, design, RPG and table-top game design, zines, letterpress, printmaking..."

Simeon Mills is a writer, cartoonist, and teacher. His novel The Obsoletes is just out from Skybound Books.

Washington Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna has launched an interactive map which highlights poems about places in the state, connected by a network of highways. You can see the map, and submit your own poem at

Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times best-selling novel, There There, and one of the headlining authors the 2019 Get Lit! Festival. There There has won numerous awards including the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award's John Leonard Prize for first book by a new voice, and the 2019 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for debut novel.

Spokane continues to grow its reputation as a regional hotbed of poetry and literary events. On any given week, the choice is often not whether there is a reading, but  which of several competing events to attend. One of the newest reading series is the Spokane Poetry Showcase, coordinated by poet Denis Held.

Suzanne Matson’s fourth novel, Ultraviolet, was published by Catapult in September 2018.  Her previous novels are The Tree-Sitter (W. W. Norton, 2006), short-listed for the PEN New England/L. L. Winship Award;  A Trick of Nature (W. W.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, giovanni singleton is the founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. She is the author of two collections of poetry, 2017’s AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper and Ascension, which won the 2011 California Book Award for Poetry. Her writing has earned numerous awards and fellowships and has been widely anthologized. singleton has taught at Saint Mary’s College, Naropa University, and New Mexico State University.

Ron Osgood is a Vietnam Veteran, Documentary Filmmaker & Professor Emeritus from the Media School at Indiana University. His new film, Just Like Me: Vietnam War Stories from All Sides is a journey from present to past and back again that follows Vietnam veteran Ron Osgood in his quest to recover fragmented and buried stories from all sides of the Vietnam War/American War, revealing multiple perspectives that are thematically interconnected.

Thom Caraway is the author of the poetry collections, A Visitor's Guide to North Dakota, published by Finishing Line Press in 2007 and What the Sky Lacks, from Korrektiv Press (2018). From 2013-2015, he served as Spokane’s first Poet Laureate, and since 2008, he has taught Creative Writing, Editing, and Book Design at Whitworth University where he also serves as editor of the literary journal Rock & Sling.

Chris Maccini / Spokane Public Radio

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture has three all-new exhibits on display beginning this month including Luminous, an exhibit of glass artwork featuring works over thirty different artists including the renowned northwest artist, Dale Chihuly.

Connie Voisine is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, Cathedral of the North, which won the 1999 AWP Prize in Poetry, Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and 2015’s Calle Florista. Her most recent chapbook, And God Created Women was published in 2018, and later this year, she will release a book-length poem set in Belfast, Northern Ireland titled The Bower.

Photo by Rajah Bose

Sharma Shields's new novel The Cassandra is set at the Hanford Site in eastern Washington during WWII, and follows a young woman, Mildred Groves, who has visions of the destruction that will be caused by the atomic bombs she is unwittingly helping create. The book will be released Tuesday, February 12th and Shields will be reading from that day at the Downtown Branch of the Spokane Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Books will be available for sale by Auntie's Books.

Keelin Elizabeth Photography

Thursday night January 31st, the Downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library played host to a regional competition for high school students, but this was no football or basketball game. English Teacher Kelly Grayum from Liberty Bell High School in Winthrop Washington explained the event:


G. Willow Wilson Currently, is author of the Hugo Award-winning comic book series Ms Marvel for Marvel comics, which stars Kamala Khan as a nerdy, comic-book-loving muslim Pakistani-American teenage superhero from Jersey City, New Jersey. Wilson's debut novel, Alif the Unseen, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. In 2010, she wrote a memoir called The Butterfly Mosque about love, Islam and life in Egypt during the waning years of the Mubarak regime.