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"The Listener," by Cameron Guse.

War of the Words

I just want to say this is a fucked-up life
In this crazy world it's so hard to do right
I wonder why it's not hard to do wrong
In this crazy world I wish I was gone...
-- from "Crazy World," by Eddie Chavez

Eddie Chavez, who enjoys "sports, reading and spending time with his girlfriend," won't be the answer to any of the literary trivia questions at Lit Wit Trois, a "bookish evening" to benefit Speak Up Press. In fact, so far, the only place in which Chavez's literary efforts have appeared is Speak Up, whose 2002 edition included his poem "Crazy World" along with the works of dozens of other teenagers.

For five years now, Speak Up Press, a local nonprofit and true labor of love, has given voice to young writers and artists. Submissions from around the world arrive at Speak Up's Denver office, where an online teen advisory board helps choose the best ones. The selected pieces are published in an annual anthology that speaks volumes about life today.


Lit Wit Trois

7 p.m. Thursday, April 24
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street
$5 donation, 303-715-0837, ww

To help amplify Speak Up's message, bookworms and other rabid readers have banded together in Lit Wit Trois. For a $5 donation, each audience member gets to pose five questions, focusing on author, title or character, to a literate panel loaded with representatives of Capitol Hill Books (both customers and employees), the Denver Women's Press Club and Speak Up. Stump the panel, and not only do its eight members have to toss money into the kitty for Speak Up, but you could win any number of prizes donated by local merchants, including tarot readings, massages and, of course, books.

But the real reward comes from helping young artists be heard.

Make the world listen
To your silent voice,
Blaring only in your ears;
Cruising past others before,
But now it is time they pay attention.
-- from "Listen," by Amy Lynn Sipple

Book 'em.


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