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    Spokane, Wash. - Eastern Washington University's Get Lit! Programs announces the headliners for the 14th Annual Get Lit! Festival - a weeklong celebration of reading, writing and storytelling for all ages that will run April 11-15, 2012.

    Susan Orlean is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Orchid Thief, which was the inspiration for Oscar-nominated film Adaptation. Orlean will be reading from her newest book, Rin Tin Tin: Life and Legend, which chronicles the tale of a puppy found on a WWI battlefield and how he inspired the Hollywood legacy. Kirkus Reviews described the book as "a terrific dog's tale that will make readers sit up and beg for more." Orlean is also a regular writer for The New Yorker. Steve Almond will read from God Bless America, a recently released humorous collection of short stories investigating what it means to be American in current times. Junot Diaz writes, "His stories are without equal in their beautiful terrible honesty." One of the short stories included in the collection was featured in Best American Short Stories 2010. Almond is also known for his popular non-fiction, including Candyfreak and Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life. (Bing Crosby Theater, Thursday, April 12)

    Jess Walter's latest book, The Beautiful Ruins, is due out in June 2012. Walter is known for The Financial Lives of the Poets, which TIME Magazine called "the funniest way-we-live-now book of the year," and The Zero, a 2006 National Book Award finalist. Walter, a graduate of EWU, will be joined by Colson Whitehead, author of The Intuitionist and Sag Harbor. Whitehead will read from the recently released Zone One, a post-apocalyptic novel. Kirkus Reviews said Whitehead "sinks his teeth into a popular format and emerges with a literary feast." (Bing Crosby Theater, Friday, April 13)

    Lois Lowry, author of the Newbery Award winning young adult novels The Giver and Number the Stars, will read from the latest addition to The Giver series. Lowry's work is on many middle school reading lists and has won many awards over the past 20 years. Her other well-known novels include The Anastasia Series, The Sam Series and The Willoughby's. The night will feature The American Palace Theatre's Literature to Life® Stage Presentation of The Giver. (Bing Crosby Theater, Saturday, April 14)

    Rick Bass will read with the accompaniment of Stellarondo. Bass is the author of more than 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, including his recent novel, Nashville Chrome. Stellarondo is an all-strings band out of Montana, named for a character in Eudora Welty's short story, Why I Live at the P.O. Together, they'll be performing live music scored to Bass' short stories, similar to how a composer scores music for cinema. Bass calls it "the perfect marriage of literature and music." (The Masonic Temple, Saturday, April 14)

    Ted Kooser will be reading from his poetry collections and sitting for an interview with an EWU professor. He was Poet Laureate from 2004-2006, and has won many awards for his work, including the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection, Delights and Shadows. He has written more than 10 books of poetry, as well as The Poetry Home Repair Manual, a guidebook to making and editing poems. When Kooser became Poet Laureate he started the American Life in Poetry column, which he continues to run in an effort to bring poetry to average Americans. (The Lincoln Center, Sunday, April 15)

    All reading events are $15. A festival pass will get you into all of these headlining events for only $45. The pass offers a discount of approximately $20-$25 versus buying tickets for each event individually. The festival pass can be purchased at TicketsWest outlets, by phoning 1.800.325.SEAT, or visiting Note: Students will be able to get a free ticket with their ID to any of these events. Student tickets will be available at their college bookstores or at the door of the event.

    The festival will feature more than 50 events, including author presentations and readings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry slams and more. Most of the events are free to the public. Information about festival authors and events will be posted, as available, on the Get Lit! Programs website at You may also check out the latest news on our blog.

    Get Lit! Programs coordinator Melissa Huggins can be reached for media inquiries at 509.359.6977 or


    Contact Information

    Dave Meany - EWU Media Relations
    300 Showalter Hall
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.6335
    fax: 509.359.4701

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