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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In Her Own Words: Stories From Our Journey honors Women's Equality Day with LadySpeech

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LadySpeech Sankofa performing at RedLine Gallery in 2012.
"The theme of my story is about walking the Phoenix fire -- sometimes you have to die to get free," says LadySpeech Sankofa. "I'm really going to be speaking to my struggles as woman and a black woman and a lot of the things that I've survived."

As part of In Her Own Words: Stories from Our Journey, a storytelling event happening this Sunday, August 25 at the Adagio Bed & Breakfast, local poet and performer Sankofa will share personal tales of strife and growth. Put on by the We Are Women Colorado organization, the day is meant to connect women through the power of personal experience.

See also:
- Photos: 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam
- Speak up! Freedom of Speech at Gypsy House tonight
- Anne Waldman on her book, Gossamurmur, and keeping the world safe for poetry


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Denver's Minor Disturbance youth slam poetry team takes the nation again at Brave New Voices

Categories: Poetry

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Photo by Daniel Sawyer Schaefer for Brave New Voices.
Denver's two premier adult slam-poetry teams -- Slam Nuba and the Mercury Cafe, both national winners in years past -- have started their weeklong journey toward possible glory in Boston, where the 2013 National Poetry Slam is under way. But here in town, their youthful counterpart, Minor Disturbance, is already dancing in the street, back from Chicago after taking Brave New Voices -- the nation's top honor for youth slam poets -- on Saturday night, for the second year in a row.

See also:
- Best Slam Poets - 2013: Minor Disturbance
- The Minor Disturbance youth slam poetry team rules the nation at Brave New Voices 2012
- Minor Disturbance: 2012 MasterMind award winners

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The people of First Friday at Denver's Art District on Santa Fe

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All photos by Danielle Lirette for Westword.
First Friday in Denver can be quite a show, especially on Santa Fe Drive -- and Westword photographer Danielle Lirette was there on Friday night to document the scene. Below is a sampling of the scenes she snapped; see the full gallery here: First Friday on Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, August 2, 2013.

See also: More First Friday on Santa Fe photos

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Anne Waldman on her book, Gossamurmur, and keeping the world safe for poetry

Categories: Books, Poetry

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It was the urgency of preserving art that inspired Anne Waldman's newest book. The visionary poet, activist, and co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University was working on transferring the school's collection of fragile tapes of performances by artists like John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, and Diane di Prima to an online archive to preserve them for future generations when she got the idea to write Gossamurmur, which explores ideas of repression of historical memory through sci-fi imagery.

Waldman will read and sign books Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue. We caught up with the iconic poet and activist via email about to talk about Gossamurmur, the power of preserving artistic legacy, and keeping the world safe for poetry.

See also:
- Poet Noah Eli Gordon on his wild new collection, The Year of the Rooster
- Poet Serena Chopra on contemporary loneliness and her first full-length book, This Human
- Erica Walker Adams on fantasy, Tarot and the existence of faeries


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Erica Walker Adams on fantasy, Tarot and the existence of faeries

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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 that celebrates the books that inspire Denver artists.

Erica Walker Adams is a singular talent with a fascinating hybrid of interests and opinions. Her book, The Mutation of Fortune, available from The Green Lantern Press, is a series of related tales that infuse fairy-tale archetypes with new energy and focus on a refreshingly capable young female protagonist. In addition to her ongoing work on a follow-up book, Adams offers Tarot card readings and serves as the co-host of Tarot social central. This week, Westword caught up with Adams to discuss her authorial influences, her first exposure to Tarot and why she believes in faeries.

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Poet Noah Eli Gordon on his wild new collection, The Year of the Rooster

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Noah Eli Gordon's newest book is hard to pin down. And why would you want to? The Year of the Rooster, out now on Ahsahta Press, is best understood through experience rather than painstaking analysis. It's wild and flowing, playing with gender pronouns, musical imagery, and poetic forms to create a thoughtful, vibrant work full of multiple interpretations. At the center is the the rooster of the title, who flits in and out of the work as both a grounding, repetitive image and enigmatic character.

Gordon will read this Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe in Boulder, along with Graham Foust, Eleni Sikelianos and Anne Waldman. We caught up with Gordon, a CU Boulder assistant professor and Letter Machine Editions co-publisher, about Rooster, how failure as a musician led him to poetry, and his decision to dedicate his release to the memory of fellow Colorado poet Jake Adam York.

See also:
- Poet Serena Chopra on contemporary loneliness and her first full-length book
- Jake Adam York, Colorado poet and teacher, dead at forty
- Westword Book Club: J.A. Kazimer on peeing in a bottle and writing what you know


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