This week at bookstores along the Front Range, you can discover an epic fairytale for adults or a poetic tribute to Hollywood’s most tragic women stars; on other fronts, you can celebrate ladies who write at an International Women’s Day fundraiser or revisit an Academy Award-winning film as an introduction to the author who wrote the book. Mark Tompkins, The Last Days of Magic Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue
7 p.m. Monday, March 7
Part-time Aspen resident Mark Tompkins — a poet and photographer, as well as founder of the Aspen Writers’ Network and a boardmember of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation — turns to magical fiction for The Last Days of Magic, a heroic chronicle destined to become a modern fantasy classic. “Tompkins's amazing debut novel conjures an epic battle for the soul of Ireland. Filled with papal machination and royal intrigue, magic and mayhem, faeries, Vikings, legates, kings and queens, angels and goddesses, this is one wild and breathless ride,” writes author Karen Joy Fowler in praise of the book. Let Tompkins tease your taste for otherworldly beings and mythical storytelling when he reads a few passages at the Tattered on Colfax.
Amber Tamblyn, Dark Sparkler Boulder Book Store
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9
$5 voucher required for entry
As an actor and child star herself, Amber Tamblyn has seen firsthand how the Hollywood machine grinds up starlets and divas alike. As a poet, she digs into the stories of more than thirty women who crashed and burned under the extreme heat of the limelight, from Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy, for Dark Sparkler, a volume built with pathos from tragic stories and enhanced by illustrations from the likes of David Lynch and Marilyn Manson. Tamblyn will read excerpts at the Boulder Book Store; a $5 voucher good toward Dark Sparkler (or any other purchase that day) is required for entry.
Women Write the Rockies and Beyond: A Celebration of International Women’s Day Arapahoe Community College
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10 Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door ($8 students)
Arapahoe Community College brings together five women authors — Elisabeth Hyde, Sheryl Luna, Rita Brady Kiefer, Marilyn Krysl and Teow Lim Goh — in a tribute to International Women’s Day that doubles as a benefit for the ACC Writers Studio, which awards $500 scholarships to worthy student writers. The evening includes a reception and silent auction, followed by live readings and culminating in a book sale and author signing. Advance tickets sales run through March 7.
The English Patient, Screening and Talk-Back Sie FilmCenter
4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 13 Tickets: $7 to $11
In preparation for two days of live events with author Michael Ondaatje later this month, Lighthouse Writers is teaming up with Metropolitan State University of Denver’s D-phi educational programs to present a screening of The English Patient, the Oscar-nabbing film based on Ondaatje’s bestselling novel of the same name. A panel of experts will discuss the film from cinematic, literary and historical viewpoints; arrive at 3 p.m. for a pre-screening happy hour at the bar. Visit Lighthouse Writers online for more information about the Ondaatje’s appearances at the local writing collective and school on March 19 and 20.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.