Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hello from NY & Goodbye from CSWRS

Hello from New York, CSWRS supporters!

I’ve missed this reading series since I moved to upstate New York to begin my PhD. It's been a crazy, busy, productive year out east, and many times I've found my imagination back in Colorado. I’m sad to know this is a goodbye note from the reading series we all enjoyed so much in the Colorado Springs community. I want to take a moment to thank you all for the contributions you made as writers and citizens.

A shot from the first reading, April 16, 2010.

This series began in 2010. Because my husband’s career in the army meant we relocated every 6-18 months, I arrived in Colorado already familiar with feeling as if I were the one person within city limits who didn’t have that hometown feeling, of knowing where I was and who was there with me. This reading series was my hometown while I lived in Colorado. It couldn’t have been done without the support of many fellow writers and lovers of local art and artists: Jana Rush, the then-event-coordinator at the BAC who did everything she could to keep CSWRS at the BAC affordably and comfortably; her husband and fish-whisperer Ed Engle, who purchased the rent for our first three months at the BAC as a donation; Natalie Johnson, owner of the once Black Cat Books and current BAC director; Mandy Solomon, colleague at PPCC who continued the series when I left Colorado; Patti Mirehouse, once-composition-student turned trusted friend, who hand-modeled books for sale like no one else; my husband, Tom Angstadt, who helped whenever he was stateside and supported me over the phone when he wasn’t; all the open mic contributors, some of whose work became a staple we cherished and some who visited and shared their work only once or twice; every student who participated in any reading; and, to be honest, the staff at Amanda’s Fonda, who fed me after almost every reading, even though I typically got there ten minutes before closing.

From 2010 through 2012, I left every CSWRS event feeling thrilled by the happiness created by a community of people who cared for each other. There were stories I grew to love like relatives and voices I didn’t want to move away from. The writers who traveled to Colorado from as far away as New York and as close as Old Colorado City shocked and comforted me with their enthusiasm and passion.

And it wasn’t just people who made such an impression on me during my time with the CSWRS. Black Cat Books changed shape while we were there, then relocated, and recently closed its doors; the BAC endured vandalism (followed by an incredible outpouring of community support for repairs). The entire town shook in the hot shadow of a terrifying wildfire in the summer of 2012, and has recently stood up to powerful flooding. This community is one of resilience, strong enough to rewrite itself through obstacles.

Plus, and especially, I am grateful for every single guest author, who offered their readings as a donation to the series and the community. Please stay in touch and know how much we all enjoyed your work:

Deidre Schoolcraft
Laura Feldman
Janele Johnson
Iver Arnegard
Michael Ferguson
M.R. Hyde
Contributors to Rearrange

Ye Olde Book Table

Thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart, which is always searching for home. I appreciate you, I am glad for you. By participating in CSWRS, you showed your commitment to local writers, to their voices, to the art of literature and the strength of compassion in a community. Please continue to do this in every city you live in. Support one another, write for each other. Keep in touch, submit your work, keep up the good fight! Spread the word about ways to get your voices heard in Colorado Springs and around the world. (The literary journal I work for now, Harpur Palate, is open for submissions, for example, and we'd love to read your work.)

Take good care,
Abby E. Murray
Former CSWRS Coordinator

Monday, September 9, 2013

September Reading

Last July, the CSWRS was honored to have Karen Rigby read poems from her collection Chinoiserie. She captivated the crowd with her delicate yet powerhouse of a voice. Thanks, Karen, for making us part of your Colorado visit!

Karen Rigby

This Friday, September 13th, at 7:30 p.m. the CSWRS featured readers will be PPCC students who have had their work published in Rearrange, PPCC’s online literary journal. It will be a great opportunity to bridge the classroom and the community! Arrive early to enjoy the music of classical guitarist Michael Galvin. The event will be held at the BAC (513 Manitou Ave.). See you there! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July CSWRS and Poetry in the Garden

Happy July! Once the 4th passes, it seems that summer’s about gone – or in Colorado, it’s only just begun!

May’s CSWRS featured reader was Jessy Randall and it was literally standing room only! It was great to have so many different folks from the community come together for a local writer. Jessy’s poetry is both playful and tender and the crowd adored her. Thanks for a wonderful reading!   

There are a couple literary events in the month of July. The CSWRS featured poet is Karen Rigby, visiting us from AZ. Her collection of poetry Chinoiserie, winner of the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, is described as “…disrupting the boundaries between tribute and theft, reinvention and repetition. It evokes the fanciful as well as a darker potentiality, seeking a language ‘of pearl and roaring.’” She is also the author of chapbooks Savage Machinery and Festival Bone.  The reading will be held at the BAC (515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs), Friday, July 12th from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Then the following week on Wednesday, July 17th, the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project and the Pikes Peak Library District present Poetry in the Garden. Regional poets will read their work beginning at 7 – 8:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Penrose Library (20 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs), in the Carnegie Reading Garden.

See you soon!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

CSWRS Full Moon Fever/May

This Friday, May 10th at 7:30 p.m. at the BAC, local author Jessy Randall is the CSWRS featured writer. Her work has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s, McSweeney’s, and Sentence. Her collection A Day in Boyland was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and her young adult novel The Wandora Unit is about high school poetry nerd romance! Her new collection of poems, Injecting Dreams into Cows (Red Hen Press), is full of tenderness and surprises. 

Looking forward to seeing you! It's a full moon so who knows what kinda trouble we'll get into!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

3rd Friday Artwalk/Poetry Reading

April 19th, 2013 is the Third Friday Artwalk at the BAC (513 Manitou Avenue) from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Come take in exciting exhibits and bring a poem to share! Scope out the awesome art work and take a poetry break at the Colorado Springs Writers Reading Series open mic session in the Hagnauer Gallery from 6:30 – 7:30. 

This event is co-sponsored by the PPCC English Department, the CSWRS, The PPCC Downtown Studio Art Gallery, and the BAC.

For more information, contact Laura BenAmots, PPCC Gallery Director, 719-459-9999; or Mandy Solomon, PPCC English Faculty, 719.502.3507.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Let spring begin (already)!

Let’s bring in spring with some music and storytelling!

Come on out this Friday, March 8th, to the BAC (513 Manitou Avenue) at 6:30 p.m., to hear classic guitarist Michael Galvin perform.  Then, stay for the Colorado Springs Writers Reading Series, starting at 7:30 p.m. The featured reader is local writer Althea Smith.  

January’s featured reader was Amie Sharp, poet and writing instructor at Pikes Peak Community College. Here’s a (fuzzy) picture of us toasting a wonderful evening!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Thank you to all who came out to the BAC in November to hear Tom Bonfiglio read. He thoroughly enjoyed his evening with the CSWRS. It was great to see my friend, too! 

Here's Tom reading "That Far Ahead"
On January 11th, 2013 (It sounds so far away!) Amie Sharp will share her poetry with the CSWRS. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the BAC (513 Manitou Avenue.) 

In the meantime, here’s wishing you all a safe and joyful holiday season! I’ll be spending it in the Land of Lincoln with family and friends.