Poetry is one of mankind’s most important and diverse mediums. Poetry can be found in many of the most influential religious and historic works of civilizations the world over, and it has a power to entertain and enlighten.
Poetry has been such a vital art form since time immemorial that Colorado became one of the first states to have an official poet laureate since Gov. Oliver Shoup appointed Alice Polk Hill in 1919. Since Hill, there have been seven state poet laureates, including the current one, Joseph Hutchison. And soon there will be an eighth.
Nominations for the position are open for submissions through Feb. 1. One poet will be selected by Gov. Jared Polis to serve a four-year term beginning in July 2019.
“We seek a poet who can inspire others to create and share their work while sharing his or her own work with Colorado communities,” said Josephine Jones, director of Programs and Center for the Book with Colorado Humanities. “The poet laureate promotes an appreciation of poetry in Colorado and to honor outstanding Colorado poets. The poet laureate serves as an active advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature by participating in readings and other events.”
According to information provided by the Colorado Humanities, which works with Colorado Creative Industries and literary leaders to provide suitable applicants to the governor, the selection of poet laureate is based on “artistic excellence, which includes publications by reputable poetry journals and presses, and a demonstrated history of community service in the advancement of poetry, as well as the ability to present poetry effectively” through public events.
While poetry might seem like just another feature of the arts scene, Hutchison sees it as bigger than that.
“Poetry is the language of freedom: free thinking, free feeling, free imagination. It reaches beyond `the arts scene’ and (ideally) enters the individual lives of readers,” he said. “It clarifies and complicates the language we all use to understand our lives, so we can resist the simplifications of people who would push us to think and feel in ways that benefit them instead of us.”
For more information on submission requirements, visit https://coloradohumanities.submittable.com/submit/116371/colorado-poet-laureate-nominations-2019.
Start new year celebrating life
Lakewood’s Benchmark Theatre is kicking off 2019 with the regional premiere of a show all about celebrating life, which seems to me just the right kind of energy to bring into the new year.
Will Eno’s “Wakey Wakey” runs at the theater, 1560 Teller St. in Lakewood, from Jan. 18 through Feb. 16. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The show, which stars Augustus Truhn and Arlene Rapal, follows a man that resolves to spend the remainder of his days celebrating his many life experiences.
Visit www.benchmarktheatre.com to purchase tickets to this funny, moving and intimate story.
Could this ‘Friends’ spoof be any more musical?
Despite the fact that NBC’s “Friends” is more than 20 years old, and television has made great leaps in terms of innovation and storytelling, the long-running sitcom was Netflix’s second-most streamed show of 2018. No one told me life in the future was gonna be this way.
Members of that dedicated fan base won’t want to miss “FRIENDS! The Musical Parody,” which spoofs the classic television show, at 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 6 and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 and 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 at Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village.
The parody features some of the best moments and characters from “Friends” and sends them up in a hilariously ribald way. The show is fast-paced, funny and sure to send you home riding high on waves of nostalgia.
Get your tickets at www.comedyworks.com/comedians/friends-musical-parody.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — NAO at the Gothic
One of the thrills about going to concerts early on in a performer’s career is seeing them come into their own on the stage. English R&B songstress NAO is at that point, following the release of her stellar sophomore album, “Saturn” in the final months of 2018.
In support of the album, she’ll be performing at The Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway in Englewood, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
As a performer, NAO specializes in what she calls “wonky funk,” which is a blend of ‘90s R&B sounds with electronic sounds and funk influences. In other words, music that has the capacity to make you cry on the dancefloor.
Don’t miss the chance to see one of the most exciting voices in the genre by getting tickets at www.gothictheatre.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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