This year's lineup for the APRIL (Authors, Publishers, and Readers of Independent Literature) Festival is enticing, and larded with local talent. But before we go any further, do yourself a favor: Find $30 and hide it from yourself. DO NOT TOUCH THIS MONEY.
Wednesday, March 25
Since Poetry Northwest is providing the evening's lineup, you can expect high-caliber poetry with a slightly scientific bent. Plan to lose your lonely in the wordplay of Thomas Walton and Kristen Steenbeeke. If that isn't your thing, Jeanine Walker will probably get up there and cuss a lot.
Get to the Sorrento early to help summon the spirit of Alice B. Toklas, the life partner and amanuensis of Gertrude Stein. The ceremony will be conducted by literary power mediums Rebecca Brown, Joshua Beckman, and Jen Wallace.
Thursday, March 26
Buck up with some minimalist fiction presented by the local journal Spartan. May the spare language of Ann Teplick and Erik Evenson put you in a decisive mood.
APRIL + Vignettes Offsite: Secret Location, 7 pm
Installations inspired by Wendy Xu's book of poems, You Are Not Dead, curated by Vignettes. (Don't miss Francesca Lohmann's iron potatoes.) The location is undisclosed, but you can RSVP for it here.
Friday, March 27
The crown jewel of the festival. Four very funny writers—Robert Lashley, Elizabeth Heffron, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and Princess Charming (guess which one is which!)—battle it out for prizes and the honor of winning one of the toughest storytelling competitions in town. The theme for this year's battle is "locusts and other plagues."
Saturday, March 28
Elissa Washuta and Michelle Peñaloza will melt your hearts while you nibble your fritters, then Mike Young and Hajara Quinn's joyful poems will build them back up again.
A whole evening of Twin Peaks excitement. Youryoungbody will perform music from the show, and Shya Scanlon will read another excerpt from his Agent Cooper novel. On top of all that, you'll get to hear fiction from Matthew Simmons (funny) and Mary Miller (totally heartbreaking).
Sunday, March 29
Remember that $30 you stashed away? Grab it. Now you can afford a couple of books from the offerings of more than 40 independent publishers. Stop by the Future Tense table for a gander at Chelsea Hodson's Pity the Animal. Thumb through some comics at the Short Run table. Steal Graywolf's entire catalog. And if you get hungry for frybread, not to worry: Off the Rez will be parked outside Hugo House all afternoon.