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. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

November News!

New and familiar faces gathered at the BAC in September to share their writing. Featured reader, Price Strobridge, Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak Region, captivated the crowd. He’s quite the raconteur! Thanks to all who came out!

There are a few local literary events happening in November.  The Writers Reading at the Gallery, featuring PPCC students, will be held at the Downtown Studio Art Gallery, 100 W. Pikes Peak Avenue, November 2nd from 7 – 9 p.m. 

And...drum roll please...on November 9th, the CSWRS will feature Tom Bonfiglio, a fiction writer from sunny Arizona. The CSWRS will meet at the BAC, 513 Manitou Avenue, 7:30 p.m. I'm thinking about making pumpkin' cookies! 

See you then!  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Upcoming Events

Looking for something to do the last weekend of September?

Author Fest of the Rockies, the statewide literary conference, meets on Friday and Saturday, September 28th and 29th, from 9 a.m. -- 4 p.m. at the Business of Arts Center in Manitou Springs. Here's a link to their website:

100, 000 Poets and Musicians for Change is taking place Sept. 29th at The Movement of Arts Community Studio, 525 E. Fountain Blvd,., Suite 150, just east and south of downtown, from 3 --8. 
Check it out:

Hope you're able to take advantage of one these community events! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vandalism at the BAC

The BAC was vandalized on Wednesday evening.  The space was not only affected, but the art as well.  When I spoke with Jana Rush, the event coordinator of the BAC, she estimated that the cost of repairs is close to $100,000.00 and the art, of course, is irreplaceable. The folks at the BAC truly love their community and this is just unfortunate and disgusting. 

So, if you can, please donate a monetary gift to the BAC to help them get back on their feet.  They've been extremely gracious to us in the past, and this is one way in which we can show our sympathy and support. 

Please make checks out to: The Business of Art Center 
Please mail donations to: The Business of Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave., 80829  

Also, this Saturday from 3 -- 5 p.m., come down to Venue 513 for a beverage to commiserate and show your support.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

September's Reading

Hi all!

The Reading Series will resume on September 14th, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. at the B.A.C.  Price Strobridge, the Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak Region, will be the featured reader. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone!  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Poetry Invasion at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center -- Call for Submissions & for Reading Participation!

Interested in participating in a poetry reading on August 17 at the Sange de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo? The 3rd Place is an exhibition space that changes each month and is largely curated by the public.  The Arts Center is looking for submissions of postcard-sized art and poetry to display, and are also setting up a few readings.  The first will be an open mic on August 3, and a more organized reading on the 17th.

Here are a few links about the 3rd Place and the Poetry Invasion Exhibit, if you'd like more information:

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 2012

Abby Murray rocked the BAC last month!  She read some classics as well as new work from her upcoming chapbook Quickdraw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife (available at  Binghamton is pretty lucky!  Abby and her baked goods will be missed greatly. 

Tom and Ilene Preble will host a reading on their ranch July 28th from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  Please bring a piece to read and a dish to pass.  RSVP via email by July 14:  Directions will be sent via email.

The reading series will take a brief nap this summer but will start back up again in September 2012.  Stay tuned for information regarding September’s reading.

Hope you all are safe.


What a fun, talented bunch!

Monday, June 4, 2012

May/June 2012

Hi there!  A lot took place last month at the Colorado Springs Writers Reading Series. 
As most of you know, Abby Murray will be leaving in August to begin working toward her doctoral degree in English at Binghamton University in New York.  Over coffee one afternoon, she asked me if I would be interested in continuing the reading series.  After a couple emails and a few pep talks, Abby handed the Reading Series over to me -- all packed in a box and a seat belt tote bag.  I look forward to being an active part of this community of writers and continuing this fellowship, this conversation about writing.     

The featured writer in May was Jenn Gutierrez.  She read from her current book of poems Silence Imbibed, published by Anaphora Literary Press.  Gutierrez's work is haunting and evocative.  She also teaches English Composition at PPCC and is currently working toward her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Denver.

Here are some pictures of Gutierrez charming the crowd.

A warm and captivating reader! 

This Friday, June 8th, the one and only Abby Murray will read from her upcoming book of poems Quick Draw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the BAC (513 Manitou Avenue).

Also, on Friday from 5 -- 6:30 p.m. Bill Hyer's co-author will be signing copies of his book The Long Way Home.

See you then!

Mandy Solomon

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hi all,

For those of you who haven't heard or read about it, The Poet Spiel will be at the BAC tomorrow evening to perform. I tried to upload the poster, but the darn thing is a PDF and this blog is having none of it.

So, tomorrow night, the BAC, 8pm. Go to for even more info. The art that accompanies the exhibit looks vibrant and clever. However, I've been asked to mention that this is a performance with content for adults only, and those younger than eighteen will not be admitted.

Have fun!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Our last featured author was Danen Jobe, English faculty at Pikes Peak Community College. I had a bunch of great photographers there too, and we had plenty of shots to flip through. Thanks to those of you who were able to make it!

I know you may be getting tired of me saying I have another big announcement for the CSWRS literary community, but I do. Again. You'll have to show up this Friday to hear it!

We'll be hosting poet Jennifer Gutierrez, DU grad student and author of Silence Imbibed, which was recently released by Anaphora Literary Press. She's a gifted poet and warm reader, so I'm looking forward to introducing her to everyone in a couple days.

This month, we will be meeting in Venue 515 (due to an exhibit opening), which is next door to the main gallery at the BAC. There will be a cash bar available and I'm hoping that Orchard Ovens Bakery will be open for us as well - they're situated in the lobby of 515.

I'll see everybody at 7:30pm this Friday, May 11th. I'll leave you with a couple photos from the talented and super sweet Christopher Gilbert. (Thanks, Chris!) I will surely miss this community of writers and artists when I leave Colorado!

Danen Jobe - Featured Author, reading from Niagara Blues

 Althea Smith - Open Mic

 Tom Preble - Open Mic

 Loring Wirbel - Open Mic

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Here are some photos from our last event in March, when Kitty Jospe had us wrapped around her finger (and her poems, I suppose)!

Kitty read selections from her book Cadences as well as new work.

I think my favorite part may have been when she read one poem in three stages of being workshopped-- three individual poems on their own, all shaped and shifted by varying critiques.

Love this one of Karen Linamen reading during the Open Mic segment.
Her piece was light and fun-- just what we needed after a long week.

It's safe to say that everyone truly enjoyed Kitty's warm presence and energetic presentation. Her poems still resonate. If you missed her, I will have copies of Cadences available for sale this Friday at our next event.

Speaking of-- Danen Jobe, novelist and faculty at Pikes Peak Community College, will be our featured reader this Friday the 13th (wooooooo!) at 7:30PM. We're in the BAC (513 Manitou Avenue) as usual, with wine and beer for sale at the bar before the reading and during intermission, plus the baked goodies from Orchard Ovens, the bakery that's just opened in the foyer of Venue 515 next door. Support these local businesses by arriving hungry and thirsty!

Thank you, everyone, for your support at these readings. It speaks volumes about the value of community in Colorado Springs.

See you Friday!

Abby E Murray
CSWRS Coordinator

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Thought I'd give everyone a heads-up about a poetry event to kick off National Poetry Month here in Colorado Springs:

To launch April as National Poetry Month, Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Jim Ciletti will host an All City All Voices poetry event at 6:30, Monday evening April 2, in the Carnegie Room of the Penrose Library downtown. "We will release the new version of Poetry While You Wait and have readings from many of the PWYW poets. We will also hold our first ever multi-cultural bi-lingual poetry event. We have many nationalities and ethnic communities in the Pikes Peak region . This All Voices poetry event is an opportunity for everyone to share and celebrate their particular ethnicity and cultural roots. For example, I will share poems in both Italian and English. So, whether you speak an Asian Pacific language, Native American, have African American roots, German, Nordic, Hispanic, Russian, Middle Eastern, etc etc, this is your invitation to share poems in both your ethnic language and English. Everyone is welcome," Ciletti said. Reservations to perform are not necessary but Jim would like your RSVP to read at or 634-2367.

To support and celebrate our multi-cultural community the latest version of Poetry While You Wait also has poems in several language.
The Poetry While You Wait booklet originated with Emeritus Poet Laureate, Aaron Anstett and is filled with poems by residents of the Pikes Peak region. PWYW will be placed as a free reading copy in public places where we "wait," like doctors' and dentist's offices, the car repair store, tire store, DMV, etc. Free copies of PWYW will be available at the All City reading.

Monday, March 5, 2012



This Friday, March 9th, at 7:30pm, the Colorado Springs Writers Reading Series will host poet Kitty Jospe, in town from Rochester, New York. Besides having her work collected in a recent book (Cadences) from Foothills Publishers, Kitty is also an accomplished pianist, community member, and French linguist. Everyone who attends this reading is bound to be warmed by Kitty's heartfelt presentation and accessibility.

Last month, CSWRS hosted L. Annette Binder, who graciously offered free copies of her forthcoming book, Rise, to the first five people to sign up. The list filled quickly, and I'm happy to tell those of you who weren't able to get your name on there: Annette has sent three small copies of One Story: Nephilim to sell at this month's reading. Note that there are only three of them, and they're first come first served. It's a tidy publication that's yours for $10.

The energy from Annette's reading still hasn't quite worn off of me yet. She had us hooked, wound up in her title character Freda's vivid childhood shaped by gigantism: its realities and its deep pathways into the imagination.

I thought I'd post some of the photos from the reading, taken by photography student Mary Rose. There are a couple good shots from various points in the evening, including Annette's reading as well as the Open Mic portion and the minutes in between. Thank you, Mary Rose!

M.R. Hyde, previous featured author and February Open Mic participant

Julie Shavin, Poetry West, Open Mic participant

Dan Gardner, Open Mic participant and author of The ESL Dating Diaries

Myself, with Annette

The one and only L. Annette Binder, reading from Nephilim

See you all this Friday at 7:30PM. Have a great week!

Abby E. Murray
CSWRS Coordinator

Monday, February 6, 2012


Guten Tag, meine Freunde!

Well, I wasn't able to host the January event for the Writers Reading Series, but our guest hostess, Janele Johnson, and the lovely Patti Mirehouse have told me it was a fun evening -- I hope everyone enjoyed Sandra Knauf as well as her contributors and their different approach to the featured reading. Sandra's got issues of Greenwoman Magazine if you're interested in purchasing copies still, and for those of you with writing students, I would encourage them to submit their garden- and/or nature-related work. It's a magazine with spunk, flavor, and distinctive voice.

I will be at the reading this Friday, the 10th, at 7:30PM at the BAC -- and I'm so excited. First of all, February is my birthday month and I love Valentines Day. I love the richness that the downhill slide of winter brings -- it's still cold enough to bundle up, and our thoughts are set on warmth. Second, the featured author for February is L. Annette Binder, winner of a Pushcart Prize and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, Annette creates the. coolest. short stories. (Find her bio here.) We will, of course, start the evening with a short Open Mic session, and Annette will take over after intermission.

Looking forward to seeing all of you there. Remember, if you have questions about upcoming readings, you can contact me by leaving comments here or emailing

See you Friday!

Abby E. Murray
CSWRS Coordinator

Monday, January 2, 2012


I forgot to mention something in my blog post yesterday. I currently have available seats in my English 227 (Poetry Writing) class at PPCC this spring. Enrollment is still open, and I'd love for those of you who are interested-- in Colorado only, though, as it's a face-to-face class-- to register, or spread the word to those of your writing friends who might enjoy the class. Honestly, I think the study of poetry is educational for any student or intellectual, so even if you write primarily fiction or nonfiction, try it out.

This class meets at the Centennial campus, Monday nights from 5:30 till 8. We'll be completing one rhetorical analysis, tons of writing exercises and prompts, and several workshop sessions. Hope you can join!

Abby E Murray
CSWRS Coordinator

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Here's an announcement before I get to the photos from last month's reading. At 7:30pm on Friday, January 13th, the CSWRS event will have a guest host, as I will be out of town for that particular weekend. (And I will be purchasing a very large, very obnoxious daily planner so this double-scheduling doesn't happen again.)

Janele Johnson, chair of the literature department at PPCC, will be stepping in for me. You might remember her from March 2011, when she presented her poetry as a featured author. She's basically awesome. Books will still be sold at the book table, we'll still be in the BAC main gallery, and there will still be a suggested donation of $2/person to pay for venue costs. Remember to support the BAC by purchasing a drink at the bar! Feel free to email me with any questions at, or leave a comment here on the blog.

The January event will resume our regular format of ten Open Mic readers (3-5 minutes each), a short intermission, and our featured guest, Greenwoman Zine editor and publisher Sandra Knauf. I first learned about Sandra's writing through this article in The Gazette. I'm sad that I'll miss her reading, but I know each of you will enjoy it. Nonfiction buffs, gardeners, and those who find inspiration in nature should make sure they don't miss this one!

Okay. So December's reading was fantastic. We had a great turnout, and the rich artwork lining the walls of the BAC seemed to envelop everyone in attendance. Books by past featured authors were sold, and peppermint cookies were consumed.

Oh. And did I mention that we had three fabulous writers share their work?

Michael Ferguson, a regular Open Mic contributor
and student of writing at UCCS, shared a fiction piece exposing
the complex relationships between brothers and fathers.

M.R. Hyde (of the blog I frequent, HydeWords) read a holiday story that had
everyone rolling. ReeAnn "does the voices" of her characters - something
I've always admired about hearing her written work!

Tim Christian, another writer who reads his characters so perfectly
well aloud, had copies of his first novel (The Strange and Thrilling
Adventures of James Charles Fogarty) for sale, and more copies
will be available at future readings.

My thanks to those who read during our shortened Open Mic session. It was another successful night for the creative writing that flourishes in Colorado Springs.

Enjoy January's reading!

Abby E Murray
CSWRS Coordinator