Wednesday, February 23, 2011


As we draw closer to the end of February, I consider how the reading series has become a regular reminder of community in Colorado Springs-- among writers, readers, and lovers of literature. This series will hit its one year anniversary in April; since the first reading, I have never left one event without feeling recharged, refreshed, and thrilled to see the energy within local writers.

Juan Morales gave us another welcome jumpstart last Friday when he read from his collection of poetry, Friday and the Year that Followed. His book sold out after the reading (don't worry, I'll have a couple more copies for sale at the March event), and his poems confirmed what has been said of his writing style before: that it dwells simultaneously in myth, magic, the violence of war and the love of family. The audience was captivated.

(Juan Morales + the front rows of Friday's audience)

This wasn't the only great part of Juan's reading; we also had a stellar Open Mic line-up, with new and regular readers, including local student writers. Here are some new blog/website addresses to add to your list of bookmarked sites:

Julianza, Inkling:
Dan Gardner:
(both of these authors will have work for sale on the book table)

Remember that our events are always held on the third Friday of the month, and our next reading will be March 18th, 7:30pm, at Black Cat Books. Bring a friend. Spread the word. Our featured reader will be Juliana Aragon Fatula, author of Crazy Chicana in Catholic City, a collection of poems published by Ghost Road in 2009.

See you then!



CSWRS Coordinator

Monday, February 14, 2011


This Friday, February 18th, poet Juan Morales from CSU-Pueblo will be our featured reader at Black Cat Books in Manitou Springs. Here's an excerpt from Juan's website, just to give you some info about his background:

Juan J. Morales was born in the U.S. to an Ecuadorian mother and a Puerto Rican father. He grew up hearing family stories that inspired much of the poems in Friday and the Year that Followed, his first collection of poetry, which was chosen by Vern Rutsala for the 2005 Rhea and Seymour Gorsline Poetry Competition and published by Bedbug Press. Juan received his MFA from the University of New Mexico in 2005. His poetry has also appeared inAcentos Review, Blue Mesa Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Many Mountains Moving, Palabra (forthcoming), Poet Lore, War, Literature, & the Arts, and other journals. He is the Director of Creative Writing as an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he curates the Southern Colorado Reading Series and the student literary magazine Tempered Steel, formerly The Hungry Eye. Currently, Juan is working on his second collection of poems.

I hope to see, as usual, a vibrant crowd of writers and readers. Remember, the Open Mic session gets started first thing, and there's only room for ten readers! Get there a little early if you have a prepared poem or excerpt to read, and I'll see you then!

Abby E. Murray
CSWRS Coordinator