Uche Ogbuji won a 2014 Colorado Book Award for the poetry he penned in Ndewo, Colorado. Born in Nigeria, Ogbuji traveled the planet before landing in Boulder to work as a computer engineer and raise a family. In his poetry, he blends his love for the environment and the Rocky Mountain region, his scientific know-how and his passion for language, telling concise stories that delight both the left and right sides of the brain.

Slam poetry is often spoken in tones that reflect the meaning of the words being recited, and competition judges take delivery and enunciation into consideration. ASL Slam isn't audible, however, because it's in American Sign Language. Every month, the local chapter of this national group hosts a slam at Hamburger Mary's as a way for literary artists in the deaf community to perform and promote their work. Competitors slam, rap and rhapsodize with their hands, taking the art of slamming to a whole new level.

Author Kent Haruf, author of luminous novels about life on Colorado's eastern plains, died last fall, and this year, the Denver Center presented Benediction, dramatized by Eric Schmiedl, the third of Haruf's novels the company has staged. Set in the fictional town of Holt, it tells the story of Dad Lewis, an old man dying with unresolved wrongs and griefs on his conscience. It didn't hurt that the estimable Mike Hartman returned to town to play the role with his customary guts, talent and integrity. A web of ancillary characters brought the small, fictional town of Holt to life, and the result was a sense of tribute, peace and, yes, benediction.

An original piece created by the company itself, Naughty Bits sets up three stories, all involving the famed Roman statue of Hercules — the one that was lovingly restored in the eighteenth century except for one teeny part: his penis. There's a wealthy mansion owner and his sexy, satiric mistress, an eccentric art historian, and a romance novelist who has some problems with real men but is working on a book in which a Lady Louisa falls in love with the statue. These characters all inhabit different time spheres, but their worlds eventually intersect, to insanely comic effect. No one can be as smart, inventive, entertaining and original as Buntport at its best — and the company is at its best here.