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Death Rattle 2016: Quenton Baker's Keynote Reading Garners Standing Ovation


When Death Rattle Writers Festival attendees gave Quenton Baker a standing ovation at Lloyd Square on Saturday, Oct. 8, he leaned forward in his seat and lowered his head. The applause might have embarrassed him, but the Seattle poet's keynote reading deserved it.

Baker, a poet and education and 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, read a set of articulate, pungent poems that examined the struggles of African-Americans. His work drew inspiration from historical figures such as Sarah Baartman (aka Hottentot Venus) and the men who led the Creole slave ship revolt in 1841.

The third annual literary festival wraps up today with programs including a book fair and readings from local playwrights at various locations, followed by a 21+ poetry and short story event featuring explicit content at the "Cave"—a prohibition-era speakeasy located in the historic Pete's Tavern in Nampa.