Spring is busting out - and April is Poetry Month. The earth thrives and the blood revives. My tuner is set to a variety of wavelengths. I'm reading things like Bronx Noir, edited by S.J. Rozan (Akashic Books, 2007) and South by South Bronx, Abraham Rodriguez (Akashic Books, 2008) and Jack Kerouac: An Illustrated Biography, David Sandison (Chicago Review Press, 1999) and Literary Genius, edited by Joseph Epstein (Paul Dry Books, 2007) and Denver's Larimer Street: Main Street, Skid Row and Urban Renaissance, Thomas J. Noel (Historic Denver, Inc. 1981) and Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 1 (Marvel Comics, 2002). I eagerly anticipate The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolaño, (Picador, 2008) and Mario Acevedo's The Undead Kama Sutra (Eos, 2008). I'm writing short stories but I failed to get anything ready for the Liquid Poetry Contest, which put out a "call for lyrics celebrating beer, beer culture, and beer-blessed fellowship and inspiration." The party is April 11 at the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver. Maybe next year. William Burroughs wrote: "The only real thing about a writer is what he has written and not his so-called life." That is so true it hurts.
And now, the news.
ISABEL ALLENDE - APRIL 10
Award-winning novelist Isabel Allende will read from and sign her new book The Sum of Our Days (HarperCollins, 2008), the sequel to her bestselling memoir Paula. In this heartfelt memoir, Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of tragic loss - the death of her daughter, Paula. Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor, and wisdom, The Sum of Our Days is a portrait of a contemporary family, bound together by the love, fierce loyalty, and stubborn determination of a beloved, indomitable matriarch. Free tickets for the book signing will be available at 6:30 pm; one per person in line. Seating for the presentation prior to the book signing is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.
April 10, 7:30 p.m. Tattered Cover, LoDo, 1628 16th Street, Denver, 303-436-1070
NERUDA POETRY FESTIVAL - APRIL 17 - 19
Nationally recognized spoken-word artists join local word slingers for this annual rhythm and rhyme feast. Here's the schedule:
April 17 - Tributes to raúlrsalinas and Lalo Delgado, a reinterpretation of the words of these two writers by Su Teatro actors. 8:05 p.m.; $15 general, $12 seniors and students.
April 18 - Annual Barrio Slam; $500 Grand. 6:00 p.m. open mic, 7:00 p.m. slam; $10
April 19 - Literary Salon, in collaboration with El Lab at Belmar; 4:00 p.m.; $12 general, $9 seniors and students -- Taco Bar and poets!Publish Post
April 19 - Palabras Vivas. Featuring Sandra Maria Esteves, Nuyorican Poets Cafe founder, visual artist, poet, author. 8:05 p.m.; $15 general, $12 seniors and students.
El Centro Su Teatro, 4725 High Street, Denver, 303-296-0219
SWIFT JUSTICE DOCUMENTARY FUND RAISER - APRIL 10
Swift Justice tells the story of the families and community affected by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at the Swift Meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colorado on Dec. 12, 2006. The film’s goal is to present the issue of immigration reform in a balanced and responsible way to educate and inform people about this complex issue so they can contribute toward solving it. Little Voice is an award-winning, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses video, technology and grassroots outreach to raise awareness of social issues and inspire positive social change. For reservations call Strings restaurant at 303-831-7310. Cocktails from 5:30-6:30; dinner from 5:00-10:00. Suggested $50-tax deductible donation. The night of the fundraiser, 10% of all dinner sales will be donated to Little Voice's Swift Justice Documentary. If you cannot come, please consider making a donation to Little Voice.
April 10, 2008 from 5:30pm - 8pm
Strings at 1700 Humboldt St., Denver, Co.
GEORGE YEPES - APRIL 17
Announcement from Ventura College:
The Ventura College Spring 2008 Arts and Lecture Series continues with a lecture with George Yepes, Cultural Artist on April 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Reading Room of the Library and Learning Resource Center on the Ventura College (Ventura, CA) campus.
The event is free, parking is $1 and refreshments will be served. For additional information, call the Public Relations Office, Ventura College, (805) 654-6462.
George Yepes was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. He moved to East Los Angeles at the age of four. He earned a degree from California State University, Los Angeles, in business administration, and joined the Public Art Center, leaving behind his hard street life and gang membership. He also took painting classes at East Los Angeles City College and worked both as an accountant and a muralist.
One of the more prolific painters in the Chicano Mural Movement of the late 70's, Yepes gained his early reputation as a ferocious painter when he painted with notables from Carlos Almaraz and Frank Romero to Gilbert "Magu" Lujan. He then became an instrumental partner in the mural group East Los Streetscapers from 1979 to 1985 until he decided that group painting wasn't suited to his temperament or pace. With grand scale and furious momentum Yepes has painted over 800,000 square feet of eloquent social, historical, and sacred images onto the facades of everything from churches, hospitals and freeway overpasses to album covers. His 28 murals are landmarks in Los Angeles, as are the 21 murals his Academia de Arte Yepes students have painted. Yepes established the Academia de Arte Yepes, the first free mural academy for young students in Los Angeles. Yepes has taught nearly 1500 low-income students over the last decade through the Academia. His mural painting concepts and designs continue to be studied by graduate students and scholars across the United States.