In Boulder, Colorado there always seem to be a lot of people who love poetry.
Perhaps there’s some kind of mystical spell cast on the land where the plains meet the mountains. And maybe, somehow, the backdrop of the Flatirons, which rise up so flat and stony and jaggedy behind the town, compels those who witness it to express themselves poetically.
But it has a lot to do with being a college town, with the University of Colorado bringing in a steady stream of fresh energy from young students. It is also home to Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, which was started by Beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman in the 70s.
There are well established institutions like Beat Book Shop owner Tom Peters’ “So You’re a Poet” open reading series, which has been going on every Monday night (now at the Wesley Chapel) for nearly 35 years.
For over a decade poets have been gathering to read at midnight in the alley behind the Pearl Street Mall on every full moon.
For nearly as long The Beyond Academia Free Skool has been offering free poetry and performance workshops at the Love Shovel Ranch in nearby Nederland, and for the last several years at the Boulder Public Library.
Since 2017 Writer’s Block have been meeting every Wednesday at the Mi Chantli dance studio to write poetry together.
Boulder is also the home of Jazzetry, a monthly event that features poets backed by the music of Von Disco.
And this is really just scratching the surface. In addition to a robust selection of dynamic literary happenings in Denver, Fort Collins, and other nearby communities, there are always poets starting new readings, events, workshops, writer’s groups, and publications in this town.
Boulder Poetry Scene, inspired by the old punk zine scene reports, aims to celebrate and document all the poetic activity in this vibrant community. We believe there is something truly unique about this scene, which stands for doing things locally, collaboratively, and lovingly. Here you are encouraged to, as the Ginsberg quote goes: “Follow your inner moonlight. Don’t hide the madness.”
For the latest crowd-sourced information on literary events, etc… in the area, check out the Boulder Poetry Scene group on Facebook.
If you’re new to Boulder, just thinking of visiting, or have been part of the scene for years, welcome! Please contact us if you have any questions. I hope you find this site enjoyable, informative, and inspirational!
— Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Bluebird Montgomery
Thanks, Jonathan, for all your great attention to (and activity in) the current poetry scene in Boulder, and the beautiful design of this handsome, informative, stimulating blog. It is doing it and you are doing it and we are doing it and I don’t think it has ever been done better, or will be soon undone.
Also want to thank you for the interview before the 10th anniversary Laughing Goat reading with Jack Collom– I knew it and I wouldn’t come through unscathed by your sharp and humorous eye, and love the scathing you gave it–
Keep up all this fine work–
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