Benjamin Whitmer appears at BookBar on April 15, cigar or no cigar.EXPAND
Benjamin Whitmer appears at BookBar on April 15, cigar or no cigar.
Benjamin Whitmer

Book It: The Five Best Literary Events This Week

If April showers bring May flowers, then April literary events bring a bumper crop of smarter, more engaged Denverites. This week, you can celebrate literacy for Colorado youth, see a banjo master ply his trade, engage in a Poetry Rodeo, contemplate the patterns all around (and inside) you, or delve into the seamy side of Denver's noir-fiction scene.

So how do you want to engage with the literary world? Here are five seriously compelling options.

Penguins love colors. Also baths. And if memory serves, fish.
Penguins love colors. Also baths. And if memory serves, fish.
Sara Aspinall

A Very Special Story Time, One Book 4 Colorado
11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 10
Anythink Commerce City
7185 Monaco Street
Free

Just who’ll be reading at this special event is still unknown, as the selection for this year’s One Book 4 Colorado won’t be announced until late Monday, April 9. One Book 4 Colorado is an inspiring and important state program that seeks to promote literacy in young Coloradans by providing all four-year-olds access to an exceptional and recently published book. Finalists this year are Sara Aspinall’s Penguins Love Colors, Tedd Arnold’s A Pet for a Fly, and Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld’s Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown. All attendees will be given a copy of the winning book; the free event will also be livestreaming on the Anythink website.

Book It: The Five Best Literary Events This Week
Chicago Review Press

John McEuen, The Life I’ve Picked
7 p.m., Tuesday, April 10
Barnes & Noble Bookstore
960 South Colorado Boulevard, Glendale
Free

As one of the founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John McEuen stands as a seminal figure in the fusion of folk, rock and country. At this event, he'll perform a few songs, answer a few questions and sign a whole bunch of copies of his memoir The Life I’ve Picked: A Banjo Player’s Nitty Gritty Journey. It’s a book full of memories of the road, of relationships with everyone from Steve Martin to Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash to the Allman Brothers, of the ups and downs of a life lived in service to music. This is a rare opportunity to hear a master picker up close and personal—and get an autographed book by which to remember it.

Colorado Poetry Rodeo
11:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, April 14
Mercury Cafe
2199 California Street
Free

Looking for some poetry, pardner? The annual Colorado Poetry Rodeo rides into the Mercury Cafe on Saturday, April 14, with a whole posse of local paragons of poetic prowess. Performers include organizer and performance poet SETH, Colorado Poet Laureate Joseph Hutchison, Lighthouse’s Michael Henry and many more. (A full list is available at the event’s Facebook page.) The event culminates with an open-mic session at 10 p.m. to close out this thirtieth edition of a beloved Denver tradition from its Western-bohemian underground.

Book It: The Five Best Literary Events This Week
Fibonacci LLC

Don Ruggles, Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture
1 p.m., Saturday, April 14
Barnes & Noble Bookstore
960 South Colorado Boulevard, Glendale
Free

Noted Denver architect and author Don Ruggles comes to Barnes & Noble to read from and sign Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture: Timeless Patterns and Their Impact on Our Well-Being. The fascinating book focuses on innovations in neuroscience, fractal geometry theory, microbiology and psychology to draw parallels and connections between those sciences and the history of art and architecture, showing how the patterns found within them have a profound effect on us and how we live our lives.

Book It: The Five Best Literary Events This WeekEXPAND
Gallery Books

At the Inkwell: Noir Night!
7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 15
BookBar
4280 Tennyson Street
Free

Join BookBar (just named Best Bookstore in the Best of Denver 2018 ) for an At the Inkwell event featuring three of Colorado's most notable noir writers: Benjamin Whitmer (Cry Father), John Bassoff (Corrosion) and Metro State professor and crime-story writer David Heska Wanbli Weiden. The literary term "noir" is defined as a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity — just like many of the writers who work in the genre. So it's bound to be an interesting evening.

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