This week on the literary scene, you can cheer on youth competitors as they step up to the mike for dramatic poetry readings, learn to look at “different” kids with new eyes, or learn a thing or two about writing fiction from contemporary master Michael Ondaatje. Get out your datebook and pencil these in.
Poetry Out Loud Colorado Finals
Lakewood Cultural Center
1 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 15
While the national youth program Poetry Out Loud is all about performance, it differs from slam poetry in that the contestants revive the art of poetry recitation. Instead of breaking hearts through personal stories, the young scholars participating on the local level all over the country read from the canon, memorizing and fleshing out the words of the great poets. Students from across Colorado will gather on March 15 at the Lakewood Cultural Center to determine who will move on to the nationals in Washington, D.C., in May, thanks to the sponsorship of Colorado Creative Industries and Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
Pat Loewi, Shout: A Loud and Lively Book Showcasing the Talents, Thoughts, Ideas and Voices of Kids Who Are Differently “Able"
Tattered Cover LoDo
6 p.m. Wednesday, March 16
Free ($19.99 for a copy of the book)
As former CEO of Special Olympics Colorado and the Kempe Foundation for Abused and Neglected Children, Pat Loewi knows the territory when it comes to children who are different. But in her case, it’s more personal than that: Her own daughter Samantha suffered from Muscular Dystrophy, and navigated the world from a wheelchair from the age of ten until she died from complications at age 22. Loewi has now turned to advocating for kids like Sammy by promoting school anti-bullying buddy programs in the classroom. Her book Shout humanizes the struggles of differently abled kids through interviews, artwork and poetry, and ends with a practical buddy program curriculum for schools.
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Michael Ondaatje Block Party
March 19 and 20
All-Access Pass: $70 to $85
Inside the Writer's Studio with Michael Ondaatje
6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19
East High School, 1600 City Park Esplanade
$5 to $15
Shop Talk and Signing with Michael Ondaatje
Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race Street
10 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 20
$65 to $75
Author Michael Ondaatje, best known for his novel The English Patient, comes to town for a literary weekend sponsored by Lighthouse Writers Workshop, beginning on Saturday with an interview with novelist by Lighthouse instructor William Haywood Henderson at East High School and wrapping up with a cozier, more craft-centric Q&A workshop on Sunday at Lighthouse. Books will be available for on-site purchase from Tattered Cover.
What's on the next page in Denver's literary world? Visit Westword's Literary Event listings for this week.