This weekend, the Fifth Annual Death Rattle Writers Festival will bring scribes and makers of all stripes together in downtown Nampa, where they can seek inspiration, hone their craft, and share stories of word wars. Writers can often be a solitary bunch, so Death Rattle is a chance to get together, celebrate, and worship wordship. On event pages, potential attendees are dubbed seedpod, sunspot, and subterranean gelatinous cube, so all are surely welcome.

The festival isn’t just about the written word, either – words are sung, rapped, drawn, spat, and more over a wide variety of events. On Friday, Oct. 5, the festival kicks off its first day with a poetry showcase starting at 5:30pm, featuring poets from both around the block and the nation. Following that, fest goers can soak in the sounds of the headline event in Lloyd Square, where Emma Lee Toyoda will be performing their first show in Idaho, “empathetic ‘madgrrlrock’ for you to wipe your tears with and hug your friends to,” followed by the bridled chaos of local rapper Leafraker.

On day two, festivities start at noon in Wall Street Alley, including a book fair party with music and spoken word performances, and featuring multitalented comic, video, and game artist Thu Tran. Slake your thirst for new and exciting books and art, and also your actual thirst with a $1 mimosa at Prefunk Nampa.

The evening is dedicated to poetry at Flying M Coffee Garage, with an LGBTQIA showcase at 4pm, and keynote poetry reading at 6pm, showcasing award winning poet Crystal Boson, who, like her namesake Higgs-particle, promises portentous discoveries: “dark matter, heavy and frightening things that will tear you open.”

For day three, be sure to check out the return of Thu Tran, hosting a comic drawing and writing workshop, as well as ballet (yes, Ballet Folklorico Mexico Idaho), flash fiction, and a poetry showcase spotlighting author Feng Sun Chen.

Festival organizer Sarah Pincock says, “To anyone on the fence about coming, this is a great year for newcomers. All ages. All of the venues downtown are perfect hangs to discover. It’s a great outlet for people to come together in an easygoing setting and interact with and share their art.”

All images courtesy of Death Rattle.