Arts and Culture

Ten Things to Enjoy at the Colorado Book Festival

Teague Bohlen

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6. Dom Testa
Testa might be better known as a top-rated Denver morning-drive-time radio personality on Mix 100, where, among other things, he poses "The Mindbender," a question that can stump even the most ginormous brains in the Mile High. At 2 p.m. in Training Room Two, you can put a face to the mind-bending voice when Testa joins moderator Patricia Raybon (My First White Friend) and longtime lit critic for the Rocky Mountain News Patti Thorn to discuss “Every Reader’s Big Fat Secret: I Want to Write a Book, Too!”

7. Library Art Tours
The Denver Public Library isn’t just about books; it also has an impressive amount of visual art. Meet the Western History and Genealogy Department manager on the seventh floor for an insider’s look at the treasure trove of art that can be found at the Central Branch.

Mascot Books
8. Stan Yan
You might know comic artist Stan Yan as the guy who draws zombies at Denver Comic Con — or you might know him from his book There’s a Zombie in the Basement. Either way, you’ll get a (possibly undead) kick out of the panel "Reading and Writing Graphically: Words, Pictures, and the 21st Century Reader." Joining Yan in Training Room One at noon are moderator Dian Curtis Regan (Space Boy and the Space Pirate) and author Todd Mitchell (The Last Panther and The Traitor King) to talk graphic novels and the draw (and drawing) of the comic medium.

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Women's March on Denver, 2017
Kenneth Hamblin III
9. Writing as Activism: Women Talk Truth to Power
Protest is an American institution, but it’s often the written word that effects the greatest and most immediate change in the world. Moderator Cassi Clark (We Rise to Resist: Voices From a New Era in Women’s Political Action) leads a panel in which women writers speak of their writing and the impact it’s had on not just their world, but the world at large. Panelists for the event at 1 p.m. in Training Room Three include Marcia Tremmel Goldstein (Denver Women in Their Places), journalist and filmmaker Tamara Banks, Ausma Zehanat Khan (The Language of Secrets) and Callie Marie Rennison (the textbook Introduction to Criminal Justice). In this #MeToo era of empowerment, this panel promises to be one of the most important of the festival.

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Karoly Czifra at Flickr
10. Books, Books, Books
Before, during and after the panel discussions, keynotes and tours, there’s plenty more. Buy a book or three from the sellers manning the event. Sign up for a writing workshop from one of the local lit-related institutions. Get a book autographed. Or just find a chair and read among your people. It's the library, after all. Grab a book, snag a seat, and dig in.

Colorado Book Festival, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 3, Denver Public Library, 10 West 14th Parkway, Denver Public Library, 720-865-1111.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen