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Really Free Speech

"I want to speak for things," Jack Kerouac said, when asked why he was a writer. And this weekend, there will be plenty of people speaking on his behalf, as the Denver Public Library's Fresh City Life program continues to put the Central Library at the center of the town's cultural scene. From 2 to 3 p.m. today, the I Speak Out program will bring together David Amram, the composer who was Kerouac's original collaborator; John-Claude Futrell (aka Panama Soweto), a member of Denver's nationally renowned Slam Nuba poetry team; and the Flobots, the town's hot hip-hop band that mixes political commentary with visionary music, to show how spoken word has evolved though the past five decades — and how much there is to say.

But there's more food for thought: From 10:30 a.m. to noon today, chef Shellie Kark of KitchenCue will prepare soup for everyone attending "The Politics of Food: Soup Kitchen." And you'll need fortification, because from 2 to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, at the second meeting of Fresh City Life's new citywide Reading Club, Stories That Could Be True, Amram will join sociologist Audrey Sprenger and Philippe Ernewein of the Denver Academy to talk about On the Road. They're encouraging readers to donate their own "marked-up" copies of the book for a future exhibit — but such sacrifices will not go unrewarded, since they'll give the first twenty donors a new copy of Oscar Wilde's De Profundus, the next club selection.

Finally, at 6:30 p.m. on February 25, author Barry Landau will discuss The President's Table: Two Hundred Years of Dining and Diplomacy, which should be just the thing to whet your appetite for the coming political convention. All events are in the Level B2 Conference Center at 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, and they're all free! Get more information at
Sat., Feb. 23, 2-4:30 p.m., 2008


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