Explore the fascinating world of art across Spokane during the 2022 fall and winter seasons. From captivating live readings to powerful presentations given by inspired speakers, artists, and writers, here are all the best upcoming art events across Spokane this year.
WSU VISITING WRITERS SERIES: ROGER REEVES, SAM ROXAS-CHUA
Oct. 4, Oct. 25
Location: Washington State University Pullman
The English department at Washington State University has two wordsmiths of note on its fall Visiting Writers Series lineup. First up, on Oct. 4, is poet Roger Reeves, whose award-winning work has been widely published in esteemed journals such as Tin House, American Poetry Review and others. Currently teaching at University of Texas at Austin, Reeves’ poetry largely explores the intersection of politics, aesthetics and race. Weeks later, the series hosts Sam Roxas-Chua, a transracial, transcultural and multidisciplinary artist who writes poetry and prose, makes multimedia art, has a podcast (Dear Someone Somewhere) and more. Roxas-Chua is currently artist in residence at Portland’s Chinatown Museum, and for his WSU stop he’s presenting at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Washington State University Pullman (also livestreamed on YouTube),
Location: Bing Crosby Theater
This year marks the 11th year anniversary of TEDxSpokane’s sharing of stories and elevating ideas from local community members to the public. This year, 10 speakers are taking the stage to share their passions and stories of metamorphosis with the audience. This year’s lineup is discussing the importance of things like nature and food in our personal lives and in community growth, the housing crisis, how grief can lead to growth, financial advice, and much more. Not only will you learn a variety of new things from this year’s event, you’ll walk out feeling a new sense of inspiration. 6:30 pm, all ages,
BEDTIME STORIES: JESS WALTER
Location: Riverside Place
Hearing one of your favorite authors read his/her/their own work feels like you’re getting the inside track. That’s one of the benefits of Humanities Washington’s annual Bedtime Stories program featuring Northwest-area authors. This year’s event is in person at Riverside Place and has Spokane’s own Jess Walter reading one of his original stories on the theme of “Light in the Dark.” The other benefit of this program is that it raises funds for Humanities Washington, which means the continuation of such events in the future, all across Washington state.
AN EVENING WITH REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS
Location: Gonzaga University Hemmingson Ballroom
Lucky for most of us, you don’t have to be a local university student to take advantage of the myriad opportunities for artistic and cultural exposure and discourse, like that which is part of Gonzaga University’s annual Visiting Writers Series. Joining the series’ roster of past illustrious guests is Reginald Dwayne Betts, who went from a 16-year-old who was sentenced to nine years in prison to a Yale Law School graduate and award-winning poet with three published collections. Betts is also a Guggenheim Fellow and PEN New England Award winner, and founder of the nonprofit Freedom Reads, which seeks to increase access to literature inside prisons.
SPOKANE IS READING: KATE LEBO
Location: North Spokane and Central Libraries
Bookworms everywhere, rejoice! Local author Kate Lebo’s The Book of Difficult Fruit was chosen as the 2022 Spokane Is Reading community-wide read. This unique book — which also just won the Washington State Book Award in creative nonfiction — contains 26 essays focused on the “difficult fruits” in question. The fruits take readers on unexpected turns and give insight into relationships and self-care. Grab a copy, plus another for a friend, and head to the North Spokane Library (1 pm) or the Central Library (7 pm) to hear Lebo talk about the book and discuss it with like-minded book lovers.
EVERYBODY READS: THE BEADWORKERS BY BETH PIATOTE
Location: Locations and times vary
Get involved with another of the biggest community book clubs in the region and check out this year’s pick for Everybody Reads: The Beadworkers by Beth Piatote. A debut collection centered on Native experiences in the Northwest, Piatote’s mixed-genre storytelling in The Beadworkers explores themes of kinship, longing and the complexity of Native life in modern America. This year’s title also helps kick off the start of Native American Heritage Month for November. Piatote, who’s of Nez Perce heritage and an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, meets with readers across the Palouse during a series of eight public events, with stops in Colfax, Pullman and Moscow.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: THE GENTRIFICATION OF RURAL WASHINGTON
Location: Location and time TBA
Experts have recently identified a concerning trend relating to wealth inequality in rural areas: As more and more wealthy, former urbanites flee fast-paced life and city chaos for the peace and calm of country living, new problems caused by “class blindness” are popping up. Learn more about the pros and cons of America’s urban exodus, and why it matters, during a talk with Jennifer Sherman, professor of sociology at Washington State University. The event is co-hosted by WSU’s Thomas Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, Humanities Washington, and the Spokane County Library District.
TRAVIS BALDREE: LEGENDS & LATTES
Location: Auntie’s Bookstore
You might know Travis Baldree as the audiobook narrator behind Will Wight’s Cradle series. Or perhaps from his TikTok videos. Either way, Baldree’s debut novel is the wholesome D&D-esque fantasy that you didn’t know you needed. The book’s protagonist, a barbarian orc named Viv, is hanging up her sword after years of bloodshed in order to open her own coffee shop. She embarks on a new journey to realize her full potential and learn a bit about herself along the way. Meet with Baldree and celebrate this new novel of high fantasy and low stakes.
POETRY RISING: FRANKIE GHEE, ELLICIA JONES, STEPHEN PITTERS
Location: Shadle Park Library
Join the Spokane Public Library in highlighting the talent of the region’s poets and musicians at the next installment of its Poetry Rising series. The evening features poetry from three artists, each of whom bring their own unique perspective to their art. Expect a range of original and acoustic music from Frankie Ghee, prose from Ellicia Jones, and poetry from Stephen Pitters, the host of “The Spokane Open Poetry Program” on KYRS radio.
AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS
Location: The Bing Crosby Theater
Humor and wit are great cures for the pains that can be brought on by the chaos of everyday life, and that’s what to expect while spending a night listening to best-selling author and comedian David Sedaris. He’s written a wide variety of books, plays, short stories and more — familiar titles include the play Santaland Diaries and the short-story collection Me Talk Pretty One Day — and uses his satirical humor to analyze the human condition and current issues in a way that will brighten any day.
NICOLE EUSTACE: COVERED WITH NIGHT
Many acts of violence and brutality that occurred in early colonial America against Indigenous peoples had a large influence on the definition of justice in early America. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Nicole Eustace’s book Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America goes in depth about one story that started a series of cross-cultural negotiations and investigations that challenged prior forms of justice. Eustace’s talk is just one of many in this new, virtual author talk series hosted by the Spokane County Library District.