LitFest events set May 21-23

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerMay 17, 2013 

The next Mid-Columbia Literary Festival, called Three Days in May, has a new format this year.

"Rather than having our series spread out over a number of months, we have decided to group the readings together as a single event," said Bill McKay, a spokesman for the festival.

"Having this event at the Richland Public Library also allows for the new component of music to be a part of the series because they have a beautiful grand piano in their space," he said.

Featured speakers for LitFest include author Maureen McQuerry on May 21, poet Gwendolyn Cash James on May 22 and author Jim Lynch on May 23. Each will read and field questions and hold booksignings. All three events start at 7 p.m.

McQuerry of Benton City is a novelist, poet and teacher. Her recently published novel, The Peculiars, was named best young adult novel of the year by YASLA/ALA, Bank Street and Westchester Awards.

James, from Spokane, is a fifth-generation resident of Eastern Washington. Her work has appeared in magazines and journals including Born, Ascent, Cutthroat and Rattle. She also is a past recipient of a grant for artistic projects from the Washington Artists Trust.

Lynch, from Olympia, is the author of novels set in the Northwest. The Highest Tide won the 2006 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and was an international bestseller. Border Songs won the 2009 Washington State Book Award for fiction.

Before each of the lectures, McKay and his family, which includes wife Cindy and son Geoff, will perform a short concert.

"For the evening that Gwen is reading (May 22), she will be writing a new poem, a literary response, based on a piece that Geoff and I will be performing for piano and flugelhorn," McKay added.

All LitFest events are free and open to the public. The Richland library is at 955 Northgate Drive.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal

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