Monday, August 27, 2018

2018 Summer Library Series: The Missing Library by Rajia Hassib

Please welcome novelist Rajia Hassib to the 2018 Summer Library Series. In this week's reflection on childhood and the library, Rajia takes us to Egypt and the library she missed by several hundred centuries.


The Missing Library

Rajia Hassib

Rajia Hassib as a child
I grew up with an aching absence: two blocks away from where the great Library of Alexandria once stood. On the car ride to school every day, I would pass by the empty lot of land overlooking the sea and glance at the brick wall surrounding it. Occasionally, the land was used to temporarily house a traveling exhibit or circus, and the poles of large red tents would jut above the wall’s edge. Always, the land seemed to be waiting, patiently tolerating its current occupants while mourning its original use.

Like all avid readers, I, too, mourned the great library that I grew up believing Caesar had burned to ashes in 48 B.C., though I would later learn that the library suffered several devastating fires and that its destruction happened over several centuries: a slow, painful death rather than extinction in one glorious flame. Still, the end result was the same: my home city of Alexandria, Egypt, once housed the greatest library in the world, and now that library was gone.

Even more painful than this knowledge was the absence of any other lending libraries that served a child reader. Alexandria in the 1980s, back when I was discovering the joy of reading, did not boast a single free-standing lending library that I knew of; and its many smaller libraries, located in various cultural centers, including the one where my mother worked, catered mainly to adults. I saw them as musty, foreboding places where ten-year-old me was not allowed. I distinctly remember one day when I accompanied my mother to work and, in the middle of her work day, walked the long corridor of the cultural center and all the way to the double doors opening up to the library. I remember standing at its doors, taking in its rows of shelves laden with books, then turning around and walking away. This was not a place I felt I was welcome.

Rajia as a teenager (age 16)
My school’s library, on the other hand, welcomed me, as did the various book sellers and book stores that I routinely visited during my childhood years. The main bookseller of the bookstore that boasted the largest collection of English novels knew me by name by the time I was a teenager, and even the visiting book fair, setting camp in two locations in Alexandria every February, became such a regular visiting spot that the returning worker smiled and nodded in my direction whenever they saw me come back day after day, year after year.

My love of reading flourished thanks to my parents, who, despite falling solidly in Egypt’s middle class and rarely having money to spare, never once denied me the purchase of a book, and thanks to family friends who learned, early on, that the best gift they could give me was a trip to the bookstore. I had to buy almost every book I read as a child and teenager, and I was—and still am—keenly aware of how privileged I was, how lucky to be able to afford so many books.

Still, I never ceased to wonder what would have happened if that library never burned. The notion of a large, free-standing structure full of books fascinated me, and I longed for such a place with such force that, when Disney’s Beauty and the Beast first came out in 1991 and I watched the Beast open up the library doors and usher Belle in, I cried—a rare reaction coming from the surprisingly rational teenager that I was. Not until I moved to the U.S. in 1998 did I get to experience the pleasure of visiting a public library. The first ever card bearing my name in the U.S. was, in fact, my membership card to the Brooklyn Public Library.

Brooklyn Public Library
Almost two decades after I acquired that card, I took my kids back to Egypt for a visit. In my home city of Alexandria, I showed them the street where I grew up, and, two blocks away, I walked with them into the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new Library of Alexandria that opened in 2002 and that now stands in that exact location I passed every day going to school, the site of its famed ancestor.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The new library occupies a fascinating, disc-shaped structure that symbolizes the rising sun of knowledge and that now houses a vast collection of books in addition to, among other things, museum areas, an internet archive, a library for the visually impaired, and a reading room built on eleven levels that add up to over 200,000 square feet, all illuminated by the circular glass ceiling facing the Mediterranean Sea. The library holds books in Arabic, English, and French, and, fifteen years after its grand opening, is still in the process of expanding its collection, which now boasts over a million books but which is still far below the eight million mark the library was built to hold. But just as the ancient library was destroyed over years, not in a single blazing fire, this new library’s collection is steadily increasing, slowly but surely rising up to the example set by it predecessor.

Inside the Bibliotheca Alexandria, photo by Rajia Hassib
used with permission
Standing with my children in the middle of the vast reading room, I watched the smiles on their faces and, for the first time since my childhood, felt the wound left in my heart by the burning of the ancient library start to heal. I know that the manuscripts lost forever in that fire two thousand years ago will never be replaced, but I do find solace in knowing that my home city of Alexandria, which once was a beacon of knowledge radiating throughout the entire ancient world, now has a grand library again. The lot of land is no longer vacant; it now holds the same kind of structure it held two thousand years ago, the only structure it was meant to hold: a library.


Rajia Hassib,
photograph used with permission
Today's library writer:

Rajia Hassib was born and raised in Egypt and moved to the United States when she was twenty-three. She holds an MA in creative writing from Marshall University, and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker online, The New York Times Book ReviewUpstreetSteam Ticket, and Border Crossing magazines. Her debut novel, In the Language of Miracles, was published by Viking (Penguin) in 2015, and her second novel, Hearts as Light as Feathers, is forthcoming from Viking (August 2019). She lives in West Virginia.

Continue enjoying reflections from the Summer Library Series:

Monday, August 20, 2018

2018 Summer Library Series: The Bartholomew County Library by Melissa Stephenson

Welcome back to the 2018 Summer Library Series. All summer writers share childhood memories of the library. This week, writer Melissa Stephenson takes us into the Indiana library she and her brother grew up in, and found herself in again, in memory. Please enjoy this week's library reflection.


The Bartholomew County Library

Melissa Stephenson

Melissa, Mother, and Brother
When I think of my childhood library in Columbus, Indiana, I think about the building more than the books. Our county library was built in the late 60s, in a town known for its mid-century architecture, not long before my brother and I were born in the 70s.

Our young mother took my brother and me to the library at least once a week. I had a habit of knocking on the hollow metal sculpture in front of the library when we arrived. I’d listen to the sound reverberate through what I thought was a cast of a giant dinosaur bone. As an adult, I learned the twenty-foot piece was made of copper, created by Henry Moore (a well-known English artist), and installed in ’71—the year my brother was born.

The Bartholomew County Library
I can’t imagine how many bricks they used making that library, but I did wonder. It was solid brick, from the walls to the driveway and sidewalks and stairs, which gave it a feeling of security and strength. In his teen years, my brother skateboarded up and down its many brick ramps, curbs, and ledges. Nothing bad would happen at the library. A tornado could not rustle the pages of a single book. 

The inside had concrete ceilings, which, as I write this, sounds impossible. The concrete was poured in a grid, like a gray checkerboard suspended two stories high, with lights in the recessed spaces. I loved the feeling of weight and light above me. It’s a feeling that has marked my life—how we are all delicately suspended, flying, until we’re not. 

The children’s section had a play area, and skylights over the short book stacks. Though I didn’t realize it then, when I returned as a mother with my own children, the toilets and sinks were child-sized as well—the same ones I’d used as a kid. 

The Stephenson Family in the 1970s
I could tell you about all the picture books I took home, brought back, and checked out again, my name filling up the card in the front. I could tell you how I worked my way through every Judy Blume, or how Watership Down so frightened me that I avoided the shelf where it lived once I’d returned it.

But what I want to tell you about is the Red Room. That’s where story time happened, an event we went to together—my mother, brother, and me—from the time I was an infant. The Red Room had solid brick walls, no windows, a low-hung version of that concrete ceiling, and deep red carpet rolling over the stairs where we sat as a librarian read to us. I crawled on those stairs. I sat on those stairs. That room calmed me. I did not look forward or backward but hung on the librarian’s words and rested in the still spots in between. 

Years later, when I was twenty-five and my brother twenty-nine, I visited a funeral parlor near Athens, Georgia to say goodbye to his body, which sat, unprepared, on a stretcher at the far end of a large, windowless room. Unable to look up at first, I stared at the ground, trying to remember how to breathe. What caught my attention was the carpet: the same scarlet hue as the floor of the Red Room. It’s a detail that held the potential to be salt in a wound but to me, in that moment, felt like reprieve. Grace. Like the Universe reminding me of the sanctuary inside me where I could hunker down with a stack of books and wait out the storm.


Melissa Stephenson
Today's library writer:

Melissa Stephenson is currently on tour for her new book, Driven, a memoir of cars, childhood, and loss. Her writing has appeared in publications such as BlackbirdThe Rumpus, The Washington Post, ZYZZYVA, and Fourth Genre. Stephenson grew up in Indiana and lives in Missoula, Montana with her two kids. Learn more at her website

Continue enjoying reflections from the Summer Library Series: 

Monday, August 13, 2018

2018 Summer Library Series: Library Time by Rachel King

Welcome back to the 2018 Summer Library Series in which writers remember their childhood libraries. This week's writer hails from Portland and shares the kind of magic that only you, dear reader, would know of. Please enjoy this week's reflection.


Hillsdale Branch Library,
an earlier version of itself

Library Time

Rachel King

I grew up near the Hillsdale branch of the Multnomah County Library system in Portland, Oregon. Based on the fact that my parents were readers, and that Multnomah County Library items are checked out at four times the rate of the national average, it’s not surprising that I received a library card as soon as I could write my name.

I remember the tire swing in the park across the street from the library where my siblings and I pushed each other until we felt like vomiting; the kind and reserved children’s librarian who for some reason let us show our rabbits as an extension of the summer reading program; the day at age eight that I walked toward the children’s section on the back wall of the library, saw a book on the second-to-bottom shelf, and my life changed. The book was Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.

I don’t remember where I read it: maybe in a clearing between bushes at the back of the library park, maybe in the magnolia tree in my parents’ side yard, maybe on my bed on the top bunk, probably in the blue recliner in the living room where I tuned out family noise to focus on the written word.

Rachel King reading as a younger version of herself
I do remember I cried while reading the final paragraphs. As Cassie says, “I cried for things which had happened in the night and would not pass. I cried for T.J. For T.J. and the land.” It was the first book over which I cried, and I don’t cry over much. If a book could get me to see these characters and this place so clearly, then books were magic. And I’ve never stopped thinking that.

After childhood came the Knight Library at the University of Oregon, where I practiced conjugating Russian verbs on a study room blackboard; the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where I checked out dozens of books at a time, which I read in between working various jobs and trying, for the first time, to write seriously; the Wise Library at West Virginia University, where I found amazing poets while shelving books in an empty, elegant Robinson Reading Room at midnight or one a.m.; the Louisville Public Library, where I used the free internet once a week to talk to my friend on Skype; my current local library, the Midland branch, where I go to check out New York Review of Books Classics and browse Russian books and DVDs; the Oregon City Public Library—my mom’s childhood library—where now, as an on-call library assistant, I help patrons.

When I moved back to Portland, I went to the Hillsdale library. The old library building had been demolished, and replaced with a larger one on the same site. But inside was the same children’s librarian from my childhood, and to me, she looked no differently. And most importantly, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry was still on the shelf, for another generation to discover.

Hillsdale Branch Library as its newer self


Rachel King,
photo used with permission
Today's library writer:

Rachel King is a writer and editor who lives in her hometown, Portland, Oregon. Her stories have most recently appeared in One Story and Flyway; her poetry chapbook Between Work and Light is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. Learn more about her work at


Continue enjoying reflections from the Summer Library Series:

Monday, August 6, 2018

2018 Summer Library Series: Two Libraries by Lane Falcon

How fast the summer flies once its wings catch wind! Flowers bloomed, grass died, sprinklers worked or broke, and hopefully, you have read books in your window, by the lake, or from various lawn chairs. Amidst all of this, the 2018 Summer Library Series got lost in July--but, thankfully, August has rediscovered it, and the series will resume and run through September.  

Every week, writers will share library memories from their childhoods. This week, poet Lane Falcon remembers two times, twenty years apart, in which she found herself in the library. I hope you'll find yourself in your own library very soon.


Two Libraries 


Lane Falcon

Lane Falcon, high-school era
I admit, the library didn’t figure largely into my life until I was pregnant with my daughter Cecilia, and alone, in New York City. As a child, my fondest memory of the library happened in high school, in Palos Park, Illinois, when I earned a detention for performing a back walkover behind the shelves, egged on by a daring friend, whom I later lost touch with.

The principal couldn’t help but crack a smile when he listed the offense. I’d been reported by my English teacher, Ms. Such and Such, who I didn’t realize had a view of my acrobatics behind the shelves from the table where she sat.

This teacher never did like me, or so it seemed— complimenting my poinsettia tights and writing me up for wearing too-short shorts once in the same class—but in retrospect she was probably not too far off from where I am today: Thirty-Something and Frustrated.

The principal said he had never given a detention for doing back flips in the library, but he gave it to me anyways. I was no longer afraid of being yelled at by that point, but felt relieved that he hadn’t scorned me for being a show-off or a jackass--the edge of delinquency excusable in a young girl in too short a skirt with big orange flowers splashed across her legs.

Lane Falcon
Some twenty years later, I was living in New York City, and the library appeared with pregnancy. Though I was making nearly six figures at the time, didn’t own a car and had minimal bills, I was still convinced that I'd go broke with a child, would no longer enjoy the luxury of regular manicures and pedicures, and would resort to dyeing my own hair (which, I swear, stress was sucking the color from). I had been living in a state of three-new-books-a-month-delivered-from-Amazon-to-my-office cush that, along with cabs to work and daily excursions for mocha chip soy Frappuccinos with an extra shot of espresso, I could no longer take for granted. So I turned to my local library for answers.

The library is located across from the Dykeman subway stop, and up until the week I was due, I’d visit at least once a week after work, pee in the soiled-smelling bathroom, pick out a few books, pee again and then rush the five blocks home so I could pee again. I remember a few of the books I checked out during that time. The Stand by Stephen King, some book about rich yuppie parents having sleazy hook-ups in Prospect Heights, good ole’ Harlan Cobens, Kristin Hannahs probably…most embarrassingly of all, I even remember reading The Lucky One by Nicolas Sparks. In my third trimester, I hit some kind of stride, accepting the platforms— the public library, the subway— where pregnancy grounded me. That was one of the happiest times of my life.


Lane Falcon and her daughter Ceci,
photo used with permission
Today's library writer:

Lane Falcon lives in Alexandria, VA with her two young children. She has an MFA in Poetry from Smith. Her poems have been published in The American Poetry JournalThe Cortland Review, OmniversePankSixfold, and more. She is at work finishing a collection. She works in communications and fundraising.


Enjoy more library reflections from writers who have contributed to this summer and summers past:

Friday, July 13, 2018

Personally Speaking with Neal and Erin, KRYS Radio 88.1 FM/92.3 FM Spokane

Your hosts, Neal and Erin, of KYRS's Personally Speaking
Good news! You can tune in EVERY Saturday at 5 PM (PDT) to enjoy Personally Speaking, an awesome show on KYRS Thin Air Community Radio. My friend Neal and I interview people in Spokane area who are doing interesting things. Formerly known as"So There I Was", the show is nearing its fourth year of life.

Stream live on, no matter where you live.

Personally, I love the show.

Upcoming Guests in 2018

  • Itchy Kitty
  • Pivot Spokane
  • Atari Ferrari
  • Rick, fixer of bikes
  • Mark Anderson, Spokane's poet laureate
  • Stage Left directors

Guests in 2018
  • Children's Theatre production of Les Miserables (directors)
  • Dr. Stacy Hill, professor of education at Whitworth University
  • Breanna White, artist and educator, owner of TypeBee LetterPress Printshop (Post Falls, ID)
  • JJ Wandler, owner of Total Trash Records and Vintage
  • Sharon Randle, Acting President of NAACP 
  • Cast of Stage Left's production of And Then There Were None
  • Kathy Callum, archaelogist, geologist, master gardener, master composter
  • Reina Del Cid (folk band)
  • Ben Kardos, folk singer/songwriter from Newport, WA
  • Phillis Kardos, Newport, WA community member against the proposed smelter

Follow us on Facebook for upcoming guests, good jokes, and more!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018 Summer Library Series: Neighborhood Libraries by Cetywa Powell

Welcome back to the 2018 edition of the Summer Library Series. Every Thursday this summer, a guest writer will be sharing childhood memories of reading, books, and the library. Should you panic while waiting for the next Thursday, please enjoy past contributions here:

Today's piece is an excellent reminder of both the importance of books and neighbors who read, and how a library can become a neighborhood, not just serve one. Please enjoy today's reflection by Cetywa Powell.


Neighborhood Libraries
Cetywa Powell

Cetywa's membership card, used with permission
Libraries didn’t play a large role in my life until much later. My father’s work took him to Sweden, where he got his Ph.D., and later Africa, where he researched a disease called “Sleeping Sickness.” 

In Sweden, where I did half of my kindergarten, I didn’t speak the language and spent much of my class time in silence. The next half of kindergarten was spent in Hawaii, where my mother is from. I don’t recall ever frequenting the library there.

My father’s research then took him to Nairobi, Kenya. I read voraciously, but the books were from neighbors and friends, never from the library. In fact, in those days, Nairobi’s library had books that were so old and outdated, I felt they had been there from the colonial days (Nairobi was an English colony and got its independence in 1963). I visited that library once and had no desire to go back.

My reading came from the neighbors’ libraries. Our American neighbors introduced me to the Noddy series as a kid and later the Anne of Green Gables books. From down the street, I borrowed the Chronicles of Narnia series. And from someone else, I read George Orwell’s novels: Animal Farm and 1984.
Cetywa Powell, photo used with permission

When we returned to the U.S., we settled first in Denver and finally in New York, where my father was from. Denver was a difficult year so I spent a large part of my time reading. Although I don’t recall where my books came from, I do remember every book I read.

My love for libraries started in New York. There are two libraries that come to mind: the small New York library that I walked to from our apartment to borrow books and my college library at Columbia University. Although Columbia’s main library, Butler library, is one of the largest libraries in the United States, I was impressed only with its interior architecture, not its manuscripts. I spent many hours studying there, looking up between breaks to stare at the room(s) in awe. I’m ashamed to say I never actually thought to borrow any of their books.

Now, I’m a member of the Los Angeles public library, and my fondness for libraries extends beyond just books. I appreciate their free classes, their up-to-date movie collection, their free computers, and their monthly book sales where books cost just 25 cents. They’ve saved me when my computer crashed, when my printer ran out of ink, and I when couldn’t find a movie online. We even got free solar eclipse glasses from them for the solar eclipse in 2017.

Butler Library, Columbia University: more here
Los Angeles Public Library, photo from DryWired

Today's Library Writer: Cetywa Powell is an editor, photographer, and filmmaker. She runs the small press, Underground Voices, which features new, hard-hitting work by award-winning writers in its magazine, e-book series, and book line. As a photographer, Powell's work has exhibited in galleries in France, New York, Los Angeles, Maryland, Virginia, Hungary, Florida, the Trieste airport in Italy, Vermont, and Texas. She is based in Los Angeles. Learn more about Powell and her visual work here:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New Story: Valentine's Day in Willow Springs #82

I have a new story, a long story--in fact, we should probably call it a novelette--in the new issue of Willow Springs. The name of the story is Valentine's Day, and it follows the story of three brothers on a winter night, six years after their father's death.

Willow Springs is a publication of the MFA program at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. It's rare for a journal to take on a work of this length, not only because very short fiction is the rage, but also because of the printing space involved. Valentine's Day is fifty pages long. That's a genuine risk the staff took in accepting the story.

Please support their decision and read the story by purchasing your copy of the journal for only $10 from their website

It will be several years before this story/novelette is collected into a book, and this is likely true of the work by other writers in the journal. Don't wait. Pick up a copy now:

And follow the magazine on Facebook while you're at it:

P.S. Literary journals make unique and awesome gifts. It's true. They're cheaper than brunch or a movie, last longer, and are better for you and everyone you love.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

2018 Summer Library Series: How Many Libraries by Azaria Podplesky

Summer Library Series 2018 

Child sketching, child reading (c. 1795, France)/photograph by Sharon Mollerus
used under CC license

The Summer Library Series has officially returned this year. Every Thursday, all summer, writers will share reflections of their childhood libraries. Should you panic while waiting for the next reflection, please enjoy past summers here: 2015, 2014, 2012.

I began The Summer Library Series after a deep longing to take part in a Summer Reading Program like those I participated in as a child every summer. I loved the suspense created by the librarians covering the new books with sheets. I loved even more the day of the great unveiling when the sheets were pulled back in front of a crowd of us kids, and there was always a crowd because every school teacher had dutifully marched her students from school to the downtown library so that the librarians could remind us to visit the library all summer. I loved the stickers on the inside, all blank on that first day, and slowly filled with the names of whoever read each book first. What an honor to write my own name in a book!

In addition to the reading, I remember the events. I remember hurrying from the front of the library to the back, where the daily or weekly events were happening. I remember sitting in the back of the library on the floor, watching The Red Balloon off a projector, and another time The Snowman, whose music haunted me into my adulthood and I finally found again and now watch every winter. I remember librarians sitting above us, reading stories.

When I was back home visiting my childhood library, I found several books still holding the names of children I'd grown up with. One name belonged to a girl in my grade who died a few years ago, but her careful cursive in the front of that book brought back her face from when we darted among the shelves searching for glossy new books to check out, read, and inscribe--always flipping open covers to discover whether someone beat us to the first read.

I may be an adult and I may have technically aged out of the bracket of readers who take part in Summer Reading Programs, but I have found that the Summer Library Series brings with it my love for libraries and the thrill of finding new writers and stories.

Without further ado, please enjoy this week's reflection by Azaria Podplesky.


How Many Libraries Can One Childhood Hold?

Azaria Podplesky

Azaria Podplesky and sisters
(Azaria is in the front)
During my consistently inconsistent childhood, libraries were one of the few constants. As an Army Brat, growing up involved moving across the country every two to three years. In my 27 years, I’ve lived in four states and attended 10 schools. (But who’s counting?)

Being in a military family also meant having to navigate a new school and city and make new friends on a fairly regular basis, which was a challenge at times for my introverted younger self. Knowing there was a library at my new school or near our new home, however, always made moving easier.

There was the library at Greenwood Elementary School on Fort Lewis, now Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where I attended school for second, third and much of fourth grades. Helping the librarian, Mrs. Santuff, reshelve books during recess filled me with so much pride, though I admit the weekly reward of gummy bears also had something to do with my willingness to help.

And then there was the library at C.C. Pinckney Elementary School on Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, where I remember checking out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to see what all the fuss was about, four years after it was released.

Better late than never, right?

I also remember using Accelerated Reader points, which were earned by taking a test after finishing a book, to buy trinkets from the school store. My proudest purchase came at the end of sixth grade, when, after saving up my A.R. points for months, I bought a disposable camera, which I used to take pictures of my friends and teachers on the last day of school.

My family still talks about the beautiful main branch of the Richland Library, also in Columbia, with its wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that let in an abundance of natural light. Also of note to a younger Azaria: the library’s huge children’s room, which research has told me is 20,000 square feet, that features a 40-foot mural of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Richland County Main Library
Inside of Richland County Library
Then there was the Lacey Timberland Library in Lacey, Washington, and, during our second stint on Fort Lewis, the Grandstaff Memorial Library, which was within walking distance of our house. I felt like Matilda, sans little red wagon, every time I walked home with an armful of new books to read.

I, clearly, could go on.

But no matter what state I lived in, the libraries I visited were comfortingly familiar.

Timberland Library

The Bailey School Kids books, by Marcia T. Jones and Debbie Dadey, were always going to be near Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series, which were never too far from My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, or The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, three of my favorite books growing up.

Every time we moved, getting a library card was high on our list of priorities, and, if we moved during the summer, we always signed up for the summer reading program. It gave us kids something to do, for one, but the presence of books all over our new space always helped make the house feel more like home.

Now, as an adult, I still find myself letting out a contented sigh when I walk into the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library, almost as if to say “Ahh, I’m home.”

Looking at the library card I keep safe in my wallet, I think my younger self would be happy to see that I’ve continued to keep libraries close to my heart. I can assure her that no matter where the future takes me, a visit to my local library will always be at the top of my to-do list, most likely before I’ve even finished unpacking.

From a site with every WA library card: here


Azaria Podplesky,
photo used with permission
Today's Library Writer: Azaria Podplesky works as the entertainment writer at the Spokesman-Review. In the past, she has freelanced for the Inlander, Seattle Weekly and the Oregonian. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with degrees in journalism and communication studies in 2012 and currently calls Spokane home. Thanks to her Army brat upbringing, she finds the idea of growing up in just one city, or visiting just one library, nearly impossible to comprehend. Follow her on Twitter (@AzariaP) for writing updates and everything entertaining in Spokane.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

In the Land of Mad Winters: New Story in Lake Effect Literary Journal

Lake Effect, Volume 22
I have a new story out in Lake Effect (Volume 22). It’s one of my favorite journals, and this story is one of my new favorites from my next collection (once I finish it).

"In the Land of Mad Winters" is the third story I've published with Lake Effect, and hopefully not the last. Lake Effect is housed at Pennsylvania State University and run by the students at the Behrend College in Erie.

Thanks to all those who worked on creating this beautiful volume. Add the journal to your summer reading, support students in the humanities, and discover a host of new writers by purchasing your copy here:

Beginning excerpt of Erin Pringle's story "In the Land of Mad Winters"
in Lake Effect, Volume 22 (Winter/Spring 2018)
My Lake Effect collection grows

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fuse Book Club: June Meeting in Spokane, 2018

In June, the Fuse Book Club will meet to discuss books that we've read in club so far, so choose a book or two (or many) to read or re-read, and plan on a lively discussion of patterns, connections, and questions.

May: Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli
April: Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
March: So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Feb.: Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Jan.: Any full-length work by MLK

Dec. Reader’s choice, any book by a minoritized author that was published in the past 5 years.
Nov. Between the World and Me Ta-nehisi Coates
Oct. Barefoot Dogs by Alberto Ruiz-Camacho
Sept. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me – Sherman Alexie
Jul-Aug. Waking Up White – Debby Irving

P.S. You get a discount at Auntie's Bookstore for taking part in our club, so go get the pages to read today! :) :)

We meet June 13th, 6 PM at the Downtown Public Library
Facebook event page: