Three Poetry and Book Events for the Week of August 25-31

This week's featured readings feature exciting new voices in fiction and an author whose riff on the new economy unfolds in novel form. And in the slam poetry realm, competition among local poets vying to represent Denver at the Individual World Poetry Slam in October is heating up with help from a star wordsmith. Top off your summer with a stunning read -- or an evening of performance poetry at its best.

See also: Daniel Levitin: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Josh Weil, The Great Glass Sea Mike Harvkey, In the Course of Human Events Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 26

A pair of young authors with ties to Columbia University are in the spotlight on Tuesday night at Tattered. Josh Weil, a National Book Award 5 Under 35 author, will read from and sign The Great Glass, a novel where twin bothers take different paths in modern Russia, with a plot that twists and turns to skewer the corporate world in fantastical ways, while indie novelist Mike Harvkey will introduce In the Course of Human Events, a hard-edged tale planted in the American Midwest.

Peter Van Buren, Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent Tattered Cover LoDo 7 p.m. Friday, August 29

Peter Van Buren, a former state department Foreign Service officer, switches gears from commentary to fiction in Ghosts of Tom Joad, a novel that posits the fall of industrial America as the root of a nation's economic downfall. Protagonist Earl is a modern-day version of Steinbeck's Okie migrant Tom Joad, wandering through a promised land where he has no place, in a story that's creative journalism in disguise.

Denver Mercury IWPS Last Chance Slam, with Jamaal St. John Mercury Cafe 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sunday, August 31 $5 donation

Local slam poets find themselves in the final qualifying contests for a chance to represent Denver at the Individual World Poetry Slam in October in Phoenix, and this is the precursor to next Sunday's final slam-off, as a second round of poets bring their best while earning qualifying points. And to top it all off, featured guest Jamaal St. John, a well-known star of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, will share some hip-hop-inspired spoken word with the audience.

What's on the next page in Denver's literary world? Visit Westword's Literary Event listings for this week.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd