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Poetry, Pardner

Descending from the Spanish verb rodear, to “round up,” the noun “rodeo” encircles a lot of territory — and while the 22nd annual Poetry Rodeo probably won’t include any bull-riding or bucking broncos, it’s sure to rope in a diverse representation of Colorado’s poetry scene.

“It’s a roundup of extraordinary poetic talent,” agrees local poet SETH, who organized the free event. “I’ve been around the poetry scene for a very long time, and I’ve gone out of my way to find people who I think are really, really outstanding, but I also tried for a huge variety. It’s poets from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins, all along the Front Range.”

The rodeo, which takes place today and tomorrow at the Mercury Cafe, is also bigger than it has been in previous years, harking back to the festival’s golden years as a weekend-long event — when SETH was a participant in the very first go-around. The action starts tonight at 6 p.m. with a “salute to Denver poets past,” including Woody Hildebrant, Jack Kerouac and Don Becker, who was involved in the festival’s early incarnation. From there, the festivities will open up to narrative, performance poetry, slam poetry and jazz-accompanied readings, along with a couple of open mikes.

The Mercury is at 2199 California Street, For a full run-down of events, go to or call 303-294-9281
May 6-7, 2011


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