Kids are a big focus in the literary landscape of Denver this week. Three of the five best events are all about the very different facets of young lives, from an acclaimed author of bestsellers and Black Panther to a look at kids’ queer culture to an exploration of the narrative genre that’s grown up to serve their particular tastes. Add to that a great new novel from one of Westword’s own, and another entertaining entry in the Stories on Stage list of performances. Here are five fantastic literary events gleaming through the dim light of an early Denver February.
Juliet Wittman, Stocker’s Kitchen
Wednesday, February 6, 7:30 p.m.
Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl Street, Boulder
Acclaimed Colorado writer and Westword theater critic Juliet Wittman launches her new novel, Stocker’s Kitchen, with a reading and signing at the Boulder Book Store. The story focuses on Stocker, a restaurateur, a “passionate sensualist” and, frankly, a bully…that is until he meets a woman who’s as hard-headed and willful as he. The story that spins out from there is as delicious as the foods for which Stocker is known. Tickets for the event are $5, which can then be applied to the purchase of this or any book the day of the reading.
An Evening With Nnedi Okorafor
Thursday, February 7, 7 p.m.
Embassy Suites Denver Tech Center
10250 East Costilla Avenue, Centennial
Join the Arapahoe Library District in welcoming New York Times best-selling author Nnedi Okorafor, visiting Denver to talk about her acclaimed novel Who Fears Death. Okorafor’s past works include the Binti trilogy, Akata Witch and several Black Panther titles for Marvel Comics (Wakanda forever!). Refreshments will be served, and books will be available for purchase on site courtesy of BookBar. The event is free, but registration is required.
Mary Robertson, Growing Up Queer
Friday, February 8, 7 p.m.
Tattered Cover LoDo
1628 16th Street
Author Mary Robertson comes to the Tattered Cover LoDo to discuss and sign Growing Up Queer: Kids and the Remaking of LGBTQ Identity, in which LGBTQ kids reveal what it’s like to be young and queer in the 21st century. Robertson focuses on the voices of the youth themselves in order to show how the young people of today understand their own sexual identities and how that understanding is changing the larger world around them.
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Jessie Hilb, Intro to YA Contemporary Fiction Workshop
Saturday, February 9, 10 a.m.
Boulder Writing Studio
777 Pearl Street, Boulder
$55 for members/$65 for all others
Gigantic fan of John Green? Jealous of Jandy Nelson? Ravenous for the writings of Rainbow Rowell? Ever wonder if you could be the next YA sensation? Join author Jessie Hilb (The Calculus of Change) to take the first step in this workshop that focuses on the history, current trends and essential elements of the young-adult contemporary genre. The workshop is part of the Boulder Writing Studio’s Children’s Literature series; for more information, visit its website.
Stories on Stage: Intro to Ethics 101
Sunday, February 10, 1:30 & 6:30 p.m.,
Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
721 Santa Fe Drive
$28 (Discounts available for students and groups of six or more.)
Join Denver’s own Stories on Stage as it presents tales about right and wrong; after all, “real character means doing the right thing even when nobody’s looking.” Rhianna DeVries, Lindsey Pierce and Evan Weissman will perform stories by Aaron Stern, Antonya Nelson, Fiona Maazel and John Cotter in this show of big fun and big heart. It might just be an ethical lapse to miss it.
Do you have an event you want included on this list? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.