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Best New Poem About Denver Denver 2014 - "Art Poem"

Slam poetry is a growth industry in this city, with local spoken-word performers regularly winning national honors, even making their case before Denver City Council, as University of Denver student Jose Guerrero did to mark the release of Imagine 2020. The report came complete with a new poem by Guerrero, which included a classic line about another arts icon in this town: the Big Blue Bear.

As an educator

I often find myself arguing for the

Importance of art in our classrooms

I go on and on about its potential to empower

Our youth and its

Ability to turn traumatic life experiences

Into beautiful pieces of art

For those who remain skeptical

I challenge you to take it up with the

Big Blue Bear and as

You stand there staring right into the

Big Blue Bear's Butt

You will smile, and realize

That small moment of joy

Could be the most important lesson we could

Teach our youth...

Best Book Club

Words Beyond Bars Project

This book club has everything: great titles, a dynamic facilitator, interesting company all deeply engaged in relating works of literature to their life experiences. The only hitch is you have to be in prison to join. Ex-librarian Karen Lausa's largely volunteer effort to bring serious books into the Colorado Department of Corrections, which began with a group of lifers at Limon in 2012, has expanded to several other facilities, demonstrating that incarcerated men and women, adults and juveniles are all hungry for a good story — and a chance to reflect on what it can teach them about their own wrong turns and possible paths to redemption.

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