Baby, it's hot out there, but that shouldn't keep anyone from seeking out new words, whether spoken aloud or written in books. Local slam poets are entering the final stretch before heading off to this year's national competitions, literary poets are still staging readings and authors are bringing their juicy summer reads to the local independent bookstores. Here are a few things to celebrate this week.
Two of Denver's prime slam teams -- the Minor Disturbance youth poets and Slam Nuba -- traditionally kick off national competition season by sharing a stage to try out their best material in front of an audience, which is asked to chip in a few bucks to help finance their respective travel costs. See and hear what kind of spoken ammunition Minor Disturbance will taking with them next week to Brave New Voices in Philadelphia, as well what Slam Nuba's got going for the National Poetry slam in Oakland in August.
Tattered Cover Colfax 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 11 Free
Jules Finn, the protagonist in J. Dylan Yates's novel The Belief in Angels, is the child of irresponsible hippies and the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, who must navigate abuse, dysfunction and the unique challenges of dealing with traumas of the past through her own coming of age. Yates handles Jules's rite of passage as she prepares to start college deftly: "What could be depressing becomes, with Yates's skilled narration, a heart-rending but deeply optimistic and appealing story about finding oneself, and the power of love and loss to reshape lives," writes fellow author Laurel Corona.
Continue reading for more literary events.
Think of the annual 40 Oz. Slam regional competition as another chance for Denver's Slam Nuba and Denver Mercury teams to jam and slam one last time with teams from around the Southwest before they all head to the nationals in Oakland. This year's 40 Oz. adds an indie competition in addition to the classic team ventures in two days of rounds at three venues; finals in both categories go down on Saturday night at the Merc.
Poetry Reading: Sarah Boyer, Julie Carr, Zachary Schomburg and Mathias Svalina Counterpath 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 11 Free
Counterpath presents a summer quartet of poets reading from recent works. Denverite Sarah Boyer will read from her soon-to-be-published new book; Julie Carr, who helps run Counterpath (a local small press, bookstore and performance space) will read from Rag; Zachary Schomburg will introduce The Book of Joshua from Black Ocean and Mathias Slavina, co-editor for Portland's Octopus books, will read from various works.
What's the what in Denver's literary world? Visit Westword's Literary Event listings for this week.
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