George Saunders on Dream Images and Steering Toward the Rapids

George Saunders is one of America's most celebrated short-story writers, winner of both the Folio and Pulitzer prizes as well as a MacArthur fellowship. Since 1996, he's been a professor at Syracuse, itself an incubator for some of the best authors of his generation. Saunders returns to town this week (he went to the Colorado School of Mines) for the Writer's Studio at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, both to participate in a reading and signing event for fans and to conduct a more focused writers' studio.

Westword caught up with Saunders in advance of his trip to Denver, to talk about finding out which literature is bullshit, writing stories based on dream images, and how, creatively, it's always best to steer toward the rapids.

See also: Comedian Andrew Orvedahl on JG Ballard, George Saunders and airport books

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Three Book and Poetry Events for the Week of September 8-14

Colorado Poet Laureate Dave Mason will sign off when his replacement is announced September 9.
Colorado authors and poets will be in the spotlight this week at ceremonies, readings and head-to-head competitions, proving that diversity is alive and well in our state's literary community. Take a look at what Colorado has to offer at these three very different events.

See also: Bogged Down: Peter May at the Tattered Cover

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Three Poetry and Book Events for the Week of August 25-31

Peter Van Buren signs The Ghosts of Tom Joad Friday at the Tattered Cover LoDo.
This week's featured readings feature exciting new voices in fiction and an author whose riff on the new economy unfolds in novel form. And in the slam poetry realm, competition among local poets vying to represent Denver at the Individual World Poetry Slam in October is heating up with help from a star wordsmith. Top off your summer with a stunning read -- or an evening of performance poetry at its best.

See also: Daniel Levitin: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

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Tonight: Diann Kissell, Daughter of Executed Killer, on Trauma and Healing

Categories: Books, Readings

Diann Kissell.
Growing up in northwest Denver, Diann Kissell carried a terrible secret inside for more than half of her first thirteen years. Her father, an insurance salesman and the patriarch of a proud Latino family, had singled her out among his ten children for furtive and persistent sexual abuse. His demands became increasingly incessant and unbearable, until one day in 1963, when one of Diann's sisters intervened and threatened to call the police.

That night Kissell's father tried to cover his crime by obliterating his entire family. He beat his pregnant wife to death with a poker. He stabbed his eleven-month-old baby daughter, strangled a four-year-old son, bludgeoned a six-year-old son. Then, apparently consumed with remorse, he stopped and called the police.

See also: The Lifers Book Club: Of Mice and Men, Hopes and Regrets at the Limon Prison

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Three Poetry and Book Events (Bonus: One Is About Pie!) for the Week of August 18-24

Pie baker Teeny Lamothe talks crust and filling Friday at the Tattered Cover Colfax.
Books can unfold great adventures or embrace an experience that's as easy as pie. This week's picks explore both roads; take a last summer vacation with these diversions. Read on...

See also: Five Amazing Zines From the Denver Zine Library

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Three Book and Poetry Events for the Week of August 11-17

Spencer Quinn reads from Paw and Order: A Chet and Bernie Mystery Tuesday in Highlands Ranch.
It's not too late to travel this summer. The best thing about books is that they can take you anywhere -- and you never have to leave your house. They challenge your mind or simply tickle it, and like the best travels, memories stay with you long after the trip is over. Without leaving metro Denver this week, you can venture into prose and poetry of the American West, explore a mystery on four legs and dig into a trove of Colorado authors.

See also: Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Selah Saterstrom

Michael Ensminger, for square product theater.
#63: Selah Saterstrom

Much-published author Selah Saterstrom grew up in the Deep South, which she writes about in such works of indie fiction as The Meat and Spirit Plan and The Pink Institution (both published by Coffee House Press). When she's not writing, she's busy teaching at and running the University of Denver's Ph.D. program in creative writing. The bones of Saterstrom's soon-to-be-published Katrina-inspired novel, SLAB, are creaking to life this month in a multimedia stage version presented by square product theatre. A born wordsmith, Saterstrom even manages to tell stories in her answers to the 100CC questionnaire. Read on.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Joseph Coniff

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Three Book Events in Denver for the Week of August 4-10

Heartthrob Rick Springfield signs Magnificent Vibration at the Tattered Cover.
This week's literary picks bounce between a promising novelist's debut, a pop star's foray into fiction and a bookish wine tasting; read on for all the details.

See also: The ten best comedy events in Denver this August

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A failure to communicate: Debra Fine on why small talk is tough for teens

Debra Fine
Debra Fine had already written two books that teach adults how to make conversation.
If you publish a book for teens, will they get off their phones long enough to read it? That's the question Colorado author and small-talk expert Debra Fine had to ask when she wrote her newest book, Beyond Texting: The Fine Art of Face-to-Face Communication for Teenagers. Ironically, the book is about getting teenagers to tear themselves away from the screens in order to have successful face-to-face interactions with other people.

See also: All Talk, Maybe Some Action

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Three literary events for the week of July 28-August 3

Sara Benincasa reads from Great at the Tattered Cover.
This week in the local lit world, you can learn everything you ever needed to know about sleep, laugh it up at a book-signing by a comedian who's taken to writing young-adult novels, or watch authors' stories come alive onstage -- and still have time to go home and get some of your own precious reading done. Here are our picks:

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Andrea Moore

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