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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Poetry719 gives us 17 ways to celebrate poetry in five days, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY POETRY 719
  • Courtesy Poetry 719

Poetry719 Festival

Festival: Oct 16-20; kickoff party: Oct. 16, 7 p.m., The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave., $10; see full schedule of events at

Poetry 719, a local black-run poetry organization, will kick off its second annual poetry festival with an opening night featuring rappers, singers, dancers and, of course, poets. The party is just one of 17 events packed into five days and hosted at venues throughout Colorado Springs.
While the festival is fairly new, Poetry 719 has been around for a decade. The organization began in 2009 as a Facebook group created by Phillip J. Curtis. In 2017, festival organizers and Poetry 719 members Christopher Beasley and Ashley Cornelius shifted the focus of the group to hosting events.

“We saw there was a need to have intentionally inclusive and diverse space for poetry and connection,” says Cornelius.

Poetry 719 has since hosted a wide variety of poetry events, including open mics that provide a platform to individuals who often feel marginalized or ignored by the communities in which they live.

“We do a lot of themed events that center around identity, such as Colorado Black Voices Matter Open Mic, Queer People of Color Open Mic, and Disability Awareness Open Mic to name a few,” says Cornelius.

The offerings for this year’s festival will be no less diverse. Highlights include Poetry & Hiking, Disability & Awareness Open Mic, Erotic Open Mic, Trap & Yoga and the closing event, Listen to People of Color. Both Cornelius and Beasley are looking forward to Poetry & Movement, which was a fan favorite at the inaugural festival held in 2018. 
click to enlarge COURTESY POETRY 719
  • Courtesy Poetry 719

“We’ve partnered with local dancers and have matched them up with Poetry 719 poets,” says Cornelius. “The dancers will then choreograph a piece based on the poet’s work.”

There will be an open mic component to many of the events and Cornelius says attendees who wish to participate can simply show up at the event or sign up ahead of time. As with all Poetry 719 events, participants can expect to find an open, inclusive environment where their voices are heard. For Cornelius, that is one of the most important aspects of poetry, vital in a world that has become more technological and less communicative.

“As a young black woman, I know all too well about being silenced, not being believed or taken seriously,” says Cornelius. “I’ve found poetry makes people listen, it gives voice to those who get looked over and provides a stage for your passions and grief, trauma and love, and that is incredibly important.”

Business & Arts Luncheon

Oct. 10, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Antlers hotel, Heritage Ballroom, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $60,

This colorful celebration of the intersection between arts and business will feature six live performances, including dance, poetry readings and music. Attendees will be treated to an art show featuring local art for sale and enjoy a delicious meal. During the event, awards will be given for exceptional leadership. Learn how the business and art worlds are supporting and enriching each other in the community and beyond.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical

Oct. 11, 7 p.m., times vary through Nov. 3, The Butte Theater, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, $21,

The Mountain Repertory Theatre has declared 2019 the year for misfits, troublemakers and rulebreakers. As the year rapidly comes to a close, its October performance of The Great American Trailer Park Musical certainly fits the (play)bill. Featuring colorful characters — a stripper on the run and a stressed-out agoraphobe, to name two — this country-rock musical refuses to play by the rules of stuffier theater fare. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it will be performed by the hilarious, fan-loving Mountain Rep crew. This is one of their last shows in the Butte Theater space.

Boos & Brews Haunted House

Oct. 12, 3-7 p.m., Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd., $35-$55,

Another beer festival? Yes, please! September and October have offered back-to-back beer celebrations and absolutely no one is complaining. Boos & Brews adds some extra fun to your afternoon of sipping suds with costumes, access to the Haunted Mines and other spooky shenanigans. Distilleries are also participating in the festival, so you’ll get a chance to sample spirits that aren’t relegated to the astral plane. Spring for the VIP pass to get in earlier than the rest of the crowd.

  • Vacantnstill from Out There

Princess: Out There

Oct. 16, 7-9 p.m. Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., $8-$10,

Performance art-pop psychedelic duo Princess brings their nationally lauded tour to Colorado Springs. Through their live performance piece and their concept video album — billed as a sci-fi feminist rock opera — performers Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill explore toxic masculinity, misogyny and the role of men in rectifying the culture of misogyny that exists in our society today.

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