Book It: Five Best Literary Events This Week

John Freeman and his small collection of throwing stars.
John Freeman and his small collection of throwing stars. John Freeman
The old saw from the Farmer’s Almanac is that if March comes in like a lion, it’ll go out like a lamb. That’s about weather, of course, and weather is pretty much all farmers talk about (that and yields, loans and Monsanto), but it may hold true in the literary sense as well. March is coming in with a roar of literary events, not the least of which is the Colorado Book Festival on March 3, a program that — to completely abuse the farming metaphor — is growing like a weed.

But the CBF is hardly alone in great bookish pursuits as we bid farewell to February. Here’s a week of to-dos for your lit list.

click to enlarge But please: no bongos. - IAN MUTTOO AT FLICKR
But please: no bongos.
Ian Muttoo at Flickr
Poetry Open Mic Night
Tuesday, February 27, 6:30 p.m
Tattered Cover
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Whether you’re an aspiring poet, an avid lover of the written word, or you just really love public speaking, Tattered Cover has just the thing for you. The last Tuesday of every month is Poetry Open Mic Night; sign-up starts at 6:30 p.m. and readings at 7. It all happens in the orchestra pit at the Colfax store, so wear a beret, dress in black, and get ready to snap instead of applaud. Metaphorically, at least.

click to enlarge Meredith Ann Fuller - COURTESY OF THE WRITER
Meredith Ann Fuller
Courtesy of the writer
Meredith Ann Fuller, Quarry
Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 p.m.
Boulder Bookstore
1107 Pearl Street, Boulder
Kirkus chose Meredith Ann Fuller’s Quarry as one of the best indie fiction books of 2017, and from the first sentence, it’s easy to understand why. This stunning debut novel combines engaging and enthralling prose with photographic art to tell the story of a wounded girl in 1973 dealing with her father’s disappearance, and how the Finnish and Irish sides of her family come together, if only in story and haunting image.

click to enlarge Lisa See - SIMON AND SCHUSTER
Lisa See
Simon and Schuster
Audiobook Silent Disco: Lisa See, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
Thursday, March 1, 6 p.m.
4280 Tennyson Street
Join BookBar for its first (and possibly the first anywhere) silent listening Audiobook Silent Disco party, where participants are invited to show up with a smartphone and a set of headphones and enjoy a book in blessedly silent literary communion with their fellow book-loving hermits-at-heart-who-also-want-to-be-social. In a partnership with, the book (Lisa See’s engaging Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane) is free, and so is the opportunity to tune out, listen up, and do some coloring while you enjoy a story and drink some tea. The only requirement is that you have the (also free!) app downloaded to your phone, tablet or laptop — and that you want to help break new ground in the area of joyous communal isolationism.

click to enlarge John Freeman and his small collection of throwing stars. - JOHN FREEMAN
John Freeman and his small collection of throwing stars.
John Freeman
Visiting Author Reception: John Freeman, Freeman’s
Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop
1515 Race Street
Freeman’s is a notable anthology started by book critic and “global literary citizen” John Freeman, who has both edited for Granta and led the National Book Critics Circle. Join Lighthouse Writers in welcoming him to Denver for a book talk and reception; copies of his past works (How to Read a Novelist and Maps, to name only a couple) will be for sale and ready for autographs. Free for members, $10 for non-members; registration cheerfully required.

Governor and writer John Hickenlooper. - COLORADO LITERARY FESTIVAL
Governor and writer John Hickenlooper.
Colorado Literary Festival
Colorado Book Festival
Saturday, March 3, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Denver Central Library
10 West 14th Avenue Parkway
It’s a daylong (and absolutely free!) jubilee of literary goodness, Denver style. Join more than 100 authors in celebrating the written word, and the writers and readers who bring it to life. The keynote speaker is Peter Heller (The Painter, The Dog Stars), interviewed by journalist Carol McKinley, and that’s only the beginning of a day devoted to literacy and literature. There will be panels, discussions, iook signings, workshops and reading, reading, reading. If one of your favorite sounds in life is the rustle of pages turning, the clicking of a keyboard, or the scritch-scritching of longhand, dog-ear the corner of the March 3 page in your daily calendar: You have a place to be.

Looking for more to do? Visit Westword's calendar online.
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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