On Saturday, Westword celebrated its ninth class of MasterMinds -- artistic adventurers who are changing the landscape of Denver. Here's our second winner:
Long ago, poet Julie Carr and her partner, Tim Roberts, decided what they wanted to do, and it all fell together in Denver after that. "Way back when we first met and we were dreaming up our future lives, we decided we wanted to start a small press, which we did, and we also thought we'd like to start a bookstore," Carr recalls. "But there's a practical story behind it. Tim has a book-production company, and he needed some office space, so he sneakily, without telling me, found an office space that was also a storefront." Located near the Mercury Cafe, at 613 22nd Street, that storefront is now home to both their imprint, Counterpath Press, and Counterpath Books, with its few shelves of select titles from fellow independent literary presses. And a whole lot more.
See also: - Meet the 2013 Westword MasterMinds - Poet Hoa Nguyen on Counterpath Press, tarot readings, and the poet as an oracle - Counterpath's Tim Roberts on the importance of small press publishing
Carr and Roberts expected that they'd host readings at their place, but "almost immediately, that wasn't enough," she says. "We just wanted to do more than have readings, and we expanded our repertoire from the get-go." To that end, they began hosting film and digital-media screenings, performances and, more recently, scholarly talks. Since Roberts's business already pays for the space, they're able to offer those presentations free of charge. Their employees, Mike Flatt and Ariela Ruth Goldberg, help keep things running smoothly, though it remains a challenge to find the right audience for each type of event, Carr notes. But she's sure that they're out there, because Denver is culturally very rich for its size. "It's small enough that anything you do matters," she says. "There's a real sense of closeness here between people doing things that are similar."
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And Carr and Roberts are already dreaming again, this time of a bigger space. "We'd love to do dance performances...or even theater," says Carr, a former dancer herself, looking to the future. Again.