Denver’s literary community is something to be grateful for. We have streets like Tennyson and Emerson, Poet’s Row, the lineage of Beat poets left behind by books like On The Road, and we have some truly incredible literary outlets and venues to host them. I spoke with poet Charly Fasano once and he shared with me how at one point he would ask his friends in bands if he could read poems between sets in hopes of finding a space to share his work. As bad ass as that is, those days are gone, as Denver seems to have no shortage of literary events, and moving into the warmer months, all of Denver’s literary players are coming out to play.
WRITE CLUB Denver: Flipping the Narrative (Syntax Physic Opera)
I’ve frequented this event many times, where performers are pitted against each other with their words, all for the good cause of charity, and I am consistently impressed. It’s amazing to see a space where comedians, public speakers, writers and more can share a stage. Very fast-paced, very entertaining. Donate if you can to support the performer’s charity of choice. Thursday May 2, 7p
Queen City Companion (Mutiny Information Cafe)
Queen City Companion is everything I love about Mutiny Information Cafe: voices of Denver, a sense of humor, a sense of intimacy and it is always warm and welcoming. First Thursday of every month, this showcase/podcast event always delivers extraordinary stories.
Thursday May 2, 8p
2019 Colorado Book Awards Finalists Readings in Denver (Bookbar)
Each year, some of the best Colorado writers spanning all genres are recognized with Colorado Book Awards. Friday May 3 at Bookbar will feature General Fiction, Literary Fiction and Poetry readings.
Friday, May 3, 7pm
We Survived National Poetry Month (Scott Carpenter Park)
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sarah Rodriguez for a long time, and over the last year I’ve had the pleasure of watching her take Punch Drunk Press into her own hands. What I think is amazing about Sarah is the community-oriented thoughtfulness of an event like this. In a landscape of readings and open mics, Sarah has set up a Boulder day at the park for poets (and anyone) to go and enjoy surviving TS Eliot’s “cruelest month.”
Saturday May 4, 5pm
Booktropolis with Angie Cavallari & Julie Rasmussen (The Goods)
I met Daron Mueller when I visited him about distribution at Tattered Cover for Punch Drunk Press books, and I have to say – I am so excited for him to be stepping into the realm of event-hosting. The Goods, neighbors to Tattered Cover East Colfax, has opened their doors for this new reading series featuring the work of Angie Cavallari and Julie Rasmussen. Come to hear work by these great authors and stick around for the 80s dance party. I’ll be there.
Tuesday, May 7, 7pm
David Sedaris (Paramount Theater)
I’ll forever be mad that David Sedaris beat me to the punch in using the Van Gogh painting of a skull smoking a cigarette as a book cover. That being said, it fits his aesthetic well. This sardonic storyteller will be coming through the heart of downtown Denver for a night at the historic Paramount Theater. The Paramount Theater is a great venue. On one of the best nights of my life, I saw Ken Arkind, Dominique Christina and Andrea Gibson share a stage at the National Poetry Slam finals. Yes that’s a brag.
Thursday May 9, 7:30pm
Poetry Night (Roostercat)
This post, like most things I do online, is just turning into me talking about people I love, but I have to say, I am so excited that Connor Marvin is hosting a weekly poetry night at Roostercat. Connor’s an incredible poet, a former member of the Denver Mercury Cafe slam team, he also makes the tea for Roostercat. Come hear his amazing poems and be a part of the community he’s building here. See if you can decipher what exactly a roostercat is.
Every Tuesday, 6pm
Disquiet Release, A Stain’d Arts Poetry Collection (Grandma’s House)
Stain’d is incredibly thoughtful in just about everything they do. I was blown away by the recently Blood issue, where writers were asked to write on the subject of blood. This collection, Disquiet, is a poetry anthology a long time in the making. Featuring readings by Taylor Heussner, Liam Kelley, Sam Albala and many more. Come by Grandma’s House, which yes, is as cozy as it sounds.
Saturday May 11, 6pm
Playoffs: A Playwriting Slam (Denver Dangerous Theater)
Denver needs more playwrights in my opinion, so I’m so thankful this recurring event exists. Playwrights hand over scenes from their plays to be performed by actors and ranked by the audience. Winners have a chance to have their own staged reading at Denver Dangerous Theater.
Sunday May 12, 6pm
BAFS Second Sundays May Workshop: Ecopoetic Activism
The phrase “Ecopoetic Activism” is really enough to get me interested in this event. Beyond Academia is hosting an excellent afternoon of conversations on how we can utilize poetics to fight for this planet we live on. This event looks to focus on the how and not get bogged down in personal politics. As always Beyond Academia will be hosting this event for free.
Sunday May 12th, 2p
Prisoner Letterwriting and Mail Processing (Hooked on Colfax)
I recently saw part of a special edition Jazzetry up in Boulder and I was very inspired. Poets Wayne Gilbert, ellie swensson and Jovan Mays spoke on the criminal justice system and what can be done in a very powerful night. That’s what drew my attention to this event, that seems to be keeping that conversation going, with new folks hosting it – Black and Pink Denver, and the Denver Anarchist Black Cross. Come on by with or without a laptop!
Wednesday May 22, 7pm
A very burger weekend (Bookbar, Hooked on Colfax)
Cheeseburger Nebula Galactic Press is hosting a weekend of readings by writers from all over: Baton Rouge, NYC, Eugene, Albany, Cleveland, LA, Aiken and that’s just the first night. If you can’t make it night one, they’re also hosting a second night at Hooked on Colfax on May 25th at 8pm.
Friday May 24th, 7pm
Clash Books Reading (Syntax Physic Opera)
I discovered Clash Books through one of my favorite poets, Sam Pink, which led me to one of my new favorite poets, Big Bruiser Dope Boy. Clash Books is cool as hell, beautiful covers, very active in the literary community and publishing books from all over the writing spectrum. At the end of this month, they’re coming through Denver. They’ll be at Sytnax Physic Opera on May 31st for a reading event featuring an incredible lineup: Hillary Leftwich, Erika Wurth, Big Bruiser Dope Boy, Marston Hefner, Brandi Homan, Christopher David Rosales, Leza Cantoral, Bethany Moore and G.G. Roland.
Friday May 31st, 6pm.