This week on the Denver literary scene, you can get up close and personal with a world-class journalist and champion of the West, a writer whose work is infused with Zen philosophy, or a sci-fi author who appeals to video-gaming lifers. Grab your joystick — or your intellect — and check out these events.
Wallace Stegner Award: Center of the American West honors Timothy Egan
Old Main Chapel Theatre, CU Boulder campus
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13
It’s New York Times columnist and prolific author Timothy Egan’s turn at the podium when he accepts the Wallace Stegner Award, granted each year by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center of the American West to a person whose work is centered in the spirit of the West. Egan is no stranger to awards, with a shared Pulitzer for the Times series “How Race Is Lived in America” and a National Book award for his Dust Bowl history, The Worst Hard Time. As Egan joins the elite group of authors, artists, activists, historians, politicians and environmentalists who’ve earned the Stegner laurels, he'll speak about his work.
Celebrating Thirty Years of Writing Down the Bones: An Evening with Natalie Goldberg
Canyon Theater, Boulder Public Library
7 p.m. Thursday, April 14
Tickets: $10 (includes $5 toward purchase of a book at the event)
Considered in some circles the essential book on writing and the writer’s life, Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones blends ideas about her craft and the practice of Zen meditation. Now re-released in a thirtieth-anniversary edition, Writing Down the Bones and Goldberg’s new writer’s memoir, The Great Spring, will be celebrated as part of the Boulder Public Library Speaker Series, in conjunction with the Boulder Book Store and Shambhala Publishing. Hear the author in a conversation with Naropa novelist Bhanu Kapil April 14 at the library; a reception and book signing will follow.
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Ernest Cline, Armada
Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue
7 p.m. Thursday, April 14
Ernest Cline, author of the gaming cult favorite Ready Player One, plugs back into sci-fi and gamer culture in Armada, in which a high-school kid sucked up in a flight simulator video game is called upon to put his skills to work in a real-life interplanetary war. Could it happen to you? Give in to the geeky, and pay a visit to the Tattered Cover to meet the author.
What's on the next page in Denver's literary world? Visit Westword's Literary Event listings for this week.