"Poetry can be dangerous," said Jalâl ad-Dîn Rûmî, "especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it." But poetry can also be provocative, entertaining and amazing, as three literary events this week will show.
Anne Waldman, Eleni Sikelianos and Roger Green
Syntax Physic Opera
Tuesday, August 18, 6 p.m.
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Anne Waldman is the elder stateswoman of Colorado poets; co-founder (with Allen Ginsberg) of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University and author of more than forty books of poetry, Waldman continues her affiliation with the Beats and remains active in the Outrider experimental poetry community. Eleni Sikelianos's career is nearly as illustrious — she sits on the creative writing faculty at the University of Denver, and has published many works and won many awards. Roger Green is no slouch, either; the former guitarist of the Czars, he's a composer who's worked with Nick Cave, and a frequent musical collaborator with the former two. What more could you possibly want?
People Are Poems: A Night with Steve Roggenbuck
Syntax Physic Opera
Thursday, August 20, 8 p.m.
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Steve Roggenbuck makes poems for the Internet that exist in the real world when you watch them and then move to your mind. Roggenbuck's strange videos at first appear obnoxious and then turn out to be poetry; he's what the New York Times has called "the first 21st-century poet" and the New Yorker calls "an Internet poet." For real, though, few poets out there right now are as innovative or as interesting as Roggenbuck, who's joined at Syntax by Sommer Browning and Katie Foster. You'd be a fool to miss it.
Eirean MF Bradley
Sunday, August 23, 7:30 p.m.
Eirean Bradley is the Merc's 2015 Grand Slam Champion and a perennial fixture on the Denver spoken-word scene (although he's also been known to slum around Portland) with a stand-up-style, loudmouth delivery and subject matter to match. Yes, he's funny, but he can also be touching.