- Hanne Sharkey
- JR Walsh reading at Death Rattle Writer's Festival
Young hails from Portland, Ore., and he had come to Nampa to present at the second annual Death Rattle Writer’s Festival held Friday-Sunday, Oct. 8-10, at venues across Nampa. The festival was free and open to the public, and featured a range of literary talents, from budding poets who’d never presented before an audience to well-known authors like Christian Winn and Alan Heathcock.
“We try to make the festival as accessible as possible,” said festival co-founder Dig Reeder. “People who are both aspiring writers and people who are established authors can all learn from each other.”
The festival kicked off Oct. 8 at the Nampa Public Library with a series of poetry and short story readings. The night featured a number of up-and-coming writers from the Treasure Valley, including Conor Harris, a creative writing major at Boise State University, who delivered two slam poetry-style pieces that set an energetic tone for the rest of the evening.
This year, organizers extended the festival by one day to allow for more writers to get a chance to present alongside returning authors. It also extended the range of event topics and themes. Oct. 8, The Flying M Coffeegarage in Nampa hosted “The Spill: Don’t Cry Over Spilt Stories,” a live, open-mic storytelling event. The following evening featured a screening of “Smoke,” a short film directed by Cody Gittings inspired by a short story written by Alan Heathcock. The festival culminated at the Prohibition-era bar known as Pete’s Tavern in historic downtown Nampa Oct. 10.
“We’ve had a great time this year,” said Reeder. “Things have picked up a lot. We were a lot more ambitious with our plans this year and we got a lot more writers involved. We look forward to next year. ”