100 Colorado Creatives: Suzi Q. Smith

Suzi Q. Smith in her role as Method Man with Lady Wu-Tang Clan.
#2: Suzi Q. Smith

Suzi Q. Smith's power lies in her words as well as her heart -- and the great gift she has for sharing both so freely, both as a poet on a stage and a bedrock cheerleader behind the scenes. But the 2012 Westword cover girl and nationally known slam poet has, over the years, found still more ways to touch hearts -- as a mentor, activist and just plain wonderful person, whose greatest inspiration is her own daughter.

We love the work she does; here's what she has to say about it.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Poet Ken Arkind


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100 Colorado Creatives: Julie Carr

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#15: Julie Carr

Julie Carr started out a dancer before turning to poetry in a long traversal from the raw artistic life in New York to the more structured worlds of academia, business and family. The award-winning author of four books of poetry, with more on the way, Carr now also teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder. But her literary and creative life extends still further: Together with her husband, Tim Roberts, Carr runs the independent literary press Counterpath, which also hosts free readings, art shows, video screenings and performances by artists who might not otherwise be seen or heard of outside of the academic world -- a pastime that earned the couple a Westword MasterMind award in 2013.

How does Carr balance a brilliant career with the grassroots quest to bring a curated selection of new ideas and works to Denver? Find the answers in her 100CC questionnaire, which follows.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Paul Moschell


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Comedian Andy Sell on Pablo Neruda, UFOs and meeting Ray Bradbury

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Ben Semisch
Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Andy Sell is a Colorado native who moved to Los Angeles, where he performs standup, writes poetry and hosts the inventive podcast People We Know, which features Sell and his guests lionizing their favorite fictional characters. The prodigal Sell has returned for the holiday season, and has a slew of intriguing performances scheduled: from Too Much Fun tonight and Narrators tomorrow night at Deer Pile to Epilogue Comedy on December 28 at Mutiny! Information Cafe and Propaganda! on December 29 at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret. Westword met up with Sell to discuss poetry, UFOs and meeting Ray Bradbury in an interview that was repeatedly interrupted by hug-seeking Denver comics.

See also: Comedian Roger Norquist on Paul Auster, postmodernism, and not having sex with people who don't read


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Local author Robert Rutherford on his debut poetry release

Categories: Books, Poetry

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As a member of Rabbit is a Sphere and Everything Absent or Distorted, Robert Rutherford helped bring some of Denver's finest indie rock and pop to life. Those bands have since ceased to be, but Rutherford is still writing in the same idiom, even if the final form is a little different. Channeling some of the same angst and aggression that drove his work as a songwriter, Rutherford spent two months in near isolation writing the poems that would become Dragging Out the Old Cheer, his first poetry collection. This Saturday, December 14 at Deer Pile, the book gets its official release. Before that happens, we caught up with Rutherford to talk about how the book came to be, the role of public transportation and how he's still just an indie rock kid at heart.

See also: Guns, cars and gambling: Travis Heermann aims to put the fun back in speculative fiction

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Conceptual writer Robert Fitterman on his new book, Holocaust Museum

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Poet and conceptual writer Robert Fitterman tackles a heavy topic in his latest work, Holocaust Museum, a recontextualization of captions for photographs displayed in the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Fitterman sees modern poetry moving toward appropriation as a means to critique and create conversation around a range of texts.

This Friday, November 22, the New York-based author will be in Denver for the release of Holocaust Museum, which is being published by local non-profit Counterpath Press. In advance of tomorrow's reception and reading, Westword spoke with the writer about his latest work and why he chooses appropriation as his method.

See also: Artist Vanessa Place wants you to confess for The Lawyer Is Present

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Author Peg Brantley on Stephen King, blurbing and how adversity helped her become a writer

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Kelly Weaver
Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Peg Brantley is mystery writer and owner of a strange assortment of pets, including foxes, snapping turtles and peacocks. A Colorado native, Brantley discovered her gift for writing after a long corporate career, but has remained admirably prolific since her debut novel, Red Tide, was published in 2012.

See also: Author Shannon Baker on Hopi culture, Barbara Kingsolver and fake yellow snow

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Poems will flow at benefit for flood victims at Lighthouse tomorrow

Categories: Poetry

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Chriss7 Mason
David Mason, appointed Colorado's poet laureate in 2010.
"Whatever a community goes through affects its artists as well. What poets bring to the healing process is a kind of articulateness, a way of expressing what many of us feel and need to find the words for," says David Mason, Colorado's poet laureate, who will be sharing poetic reactions to September's destructive floods along with Lannon Fellow, Pattiann Rogers and David Rothman at a benefit for Boulder flood victims at 5 p.m. Friday, November 1, at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. "By celebrating together and with fine musicians, we hope to raise awareness of the public benefit of this often private art. We'll do our best to raise money to help those most in need, and entertain our fellow citizens in the process."

See also:The Boulder Tattoo Project puts poetry in motion

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Make your mark at the Boulder Tattoo Project's Halloween fundraiser for flood victims

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Darian Simon
Chelsea Pohl and Vinny Bachert of the Boulder Tattoo Project.
On Thursday, October 31, the Laughing Goat at 1709 Pearl Street in Boulder will be the host of a Halloween party to help Boulder flood victims -- and also to introduce some of the 200 people getting tattooed in the Boulder Tattoo Project, which we profile in this week's cover story. And by doing good, you'll also have a good time: You get eight hours of entertainment for the $5 suggested entry donation.

See also: The Boulder Tattoo Project puts poetry in motion

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Comedian Kristin Rand on spirituality, polyamorous hominids and cotton candy

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Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Kristin Rand is a boisterous and unflinchingly honest local comedienne, actress and fashionista. She's Half of the sketch comedy duo Moxie! that she formed with fellow crowd-crusher Mara Wiles, and together they have monthly shows at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse. Rand also recently starred in the Nix brothers's short film Love to Hate, which won the audience award at the 48 Hour Film Project. Westword recently caught up with Rand to discuss spirituality, poetry, the mating habits of prehistoric humans and literary cotton candy.

See also: Westword Book Club: Evan Nix on Joseph Campbell, Bruce Campbell and The Wiz


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Aurora Cultural Arts District wants you for Poetry@Play in September

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Know any poets? Got a thing yourself for putting words together in beautiful collages? There's a place for every poet at the Aurora Cultural Arts District's first-ever Poetry@Play weekend, where verses by featured poets and all comers will ring out both indoors and out in downtown Aurora on September 20 and 21.

See also: Tracy Weil takes the wheel at the Aurora Cultural Arts District

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