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Rattle On

Death Rattle Writers Festival returns to downtown Nampa


Boise poet Tyler Brewington reading his work at Death Rattle Writers Festival. - RYAN ALLEN CHEATHAM PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Ryan Allen Cheatham Photography
  • Boise poet Tyler Brewington reading his work at Death Rattle Writers Festival.

The Death Rattle Writers Festival has never been a staid affair. It has always catered to young people, the LGBTQ crowd and others who have been historically excluded or under-represented within the literary community, but this year, its sixth, it will bring erotica to downtown Nampa.

"Most people are taking the theme in a pretty avant-garde way as well, writing unique stuff," said festival Co-founder Diana Forgione about submissions (pun acknowledged) to its erotic fiction contest, for which there will be a reading event at PreFunk Beer Bar on Friday, Oct. 4. "We might have one [story] about Spider-Man, just so you know."

That isn't to be salacious; rather, it illustrates Death Rattle's fearlessness and punk rock ethic. This year, the festival will run Friday-Sunday, Oct. 4-6, at venues across the city, and as always it will be a full-throated celebration of the diversity of literature.

Other elements of the festival will include the opening reading, which will feature The Spill, the festival's live storytelling component with the theme of "Something in the Woods"; and a special tale from Matthew Cameron Clark on Friday; the book fair, a crowd favorite with 35 vendors this year, on Saturday; keynote artists and workshops on Sunday, including those by Ballet Folklorico Mexico Lindo Idaho and award-winning cartoonist Carta Monir. Forgione added that this year's LGBTQ readings will be especially strong.

It adds up to one of the most hotly anticipated literary events of the year, and according to Forgione, organizers are already looking for ways to expand in the future, floating the possibility of opening an official Death Rattle brick-and-mortar.

It's also a springboard for Death Rattle products like its literary journal Oroboro, which like everything Death Rattle does, forwards its mission of giving authors their first publications and expanding the reach of Idaho literature generally.

"If someone were to ask me why we're doing it, it's giving ... authors to meet and be inspired from one another," Forgione said.