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Join The Word for the
Denver Big Read

Join the city-wide celebration of Natalie Diaz's stunning work about love, loss, indigeneity, land, inheritance, basketball, family, beauty, and movement: Postcolonial Love Poem.

Pick up your free book, download an e-book, start a book club using our free discussion guides! Attend a performance, reading, film screening or other event between October 2023-April 2024 during the NEA Big Read in Denver!

Find all the details below and check back often as we update our events calendar and share more info. 

Learn more about the NEA Big Read in Denver and get updates as we add more events and programming here.
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Learn more about all the events below!

Your Big Read Hub:

Update: All locations have given away their books. Once you've read a copy, please share it with a friend.

Find a location near you to pick up your copy of Postcolonial Love Poem to join in with #DenverReads! 

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Check out upcoming events. From readings, to performances, film screenings, and more there are so many ways to experience this book. Events will continue to be added to the calendar throughout the NEA Big Read.

Coming soon!

Come together to share your Big Read thoughts, photos, reflections, and expressions. We'll be curating your submissions so you can see how your community is engaging with Postcolonial Love Poem.

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Add your story to the mix, tag your images with #NEABigRead #DenverReads

ABOUT POSTCOLONIAL LOVE POEM

Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages—bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers—be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: “Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden.” In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.

Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: “I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. // I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.” Postcolonial Love Poem unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope—a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.

Pick up your book
Events

February 2024

Reading Circle 

Thursday February 1, 2024, 1:00 PM to 3:00PM

Center for Colorado Women's History

1310 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204

 

Join facilitator and artist Franklin Cruz at the Center for Colorado Women's History for a reading circle and discussion of Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz. Take part in a guided reading and reflection about postcolonial living in a modern era and practices of decolonializing. This program is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program and is made possible in partnership and with support from hosts, The Word: A Storytelling Sanctuary. 

Reading Circle 

Thursday February 8, 2024, 1:00 PM to 3:00PM

Center for Colorado Women's History

1310 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204

 

Join facilitator and artist Franklin Cruz at the Center for Colorado Women's History for a reading circle and discussion of Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz. Take part in a guided reading and reflection about postcolonial living in a modern era and practices of decolonializing. This program is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program and is made possible in partnership and with support from hosts, The Word: A Storytelling Sanctuary. 

Reading Circle 

Thursday February 15, 2024, 1:00 PM to 3:00PM

Center for Colorado Women's History

1310 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204

 

Join facilitator and artist Franklin Cruz at the Center for Colorado Women's History for a reading circle and discussion of Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz. Take part in a guided reading and reflection about postcolonial living in a modern era and practices of decolonializing. This program is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program and is made possible in partnership and with support from hosts, The Word: A Storytelling Sanctuary. 

Lighthouse Writers Workshop & Zoom

Sunday February 25, 2024, 10:00 AM to 1:00PM

Lighthouse (in-person in Denver) or on Zoom 

Bodies of Language and Tenderness: Writing Poems Inspired by Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem, taught by Juan J. Morales on February 25 from 10 AM to 1 PM both at Lighthouse and on Zoom. In this generative workshop and in conjunction with the NEA Big Read in Denver, we’ll read selected poems from Diaz’s collection, discuss, and then create our own inspired poems that work to connect the themes of desire, the body politic, loneliness, and choices made for our futures.  This program is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program and is made possible in partnership and with support from hosts, The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary.

January 2024

Reading Circle 

Thursday January 25, 2024, 1:00 PM to 3:00PM

Center for Colorado Women's History

1310 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204

 

Join facilitator and artist Franklin Cruz at the Center for Colorado Women's History for a reading circle and discussion of Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz. Take part in a guided reading and reflection about postcolonial living in a modern era and practices of decolonializing. This program is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program and is made possible in partnership and with support from hosts, The Word: A Storytelling Sanctuary. 

[margins.] meets  

Friday January 26, 2024, 6:00 PM to 7:00PM

RedLine Contemporary Arts 

2590 Arapahoe Street

In collaboration with RedLine and Slam Nuba, The Word will host a meetup including a guided discussion and writing prompts, where we will gather to discuss Postcolonial Love Poem. Bring your copy of the book (if you’ve got it), something to write on and with, and the facilitator will guide us through the discussion and activities.

Events & Programming Calendar


More coming soon!
Check back regularly for new events and programs throughout the NEA Big Read

2023 Events

November 2023

Bad Press screening + book pick up

part of the Denver Film Festival 

Friday, November 3, 2023, 6:45 PM

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 1:30PM

AMC 9th+CO

826 Albion St, Denver, CO 80220

The film BAD PRESS will be screened and the audiobook version of Postcolonial Love Poem will be available for audience members (until all copies are distributed), along with links to discussion and activity guides.

Tickets available at https://www.denverfilm.org/denverfilmfestival/dff45/ 

Hoop Dreams screening + panel discussion 

part of the Denver Film Festival 

Sunday, November 5, 2023, 12:00 PM

Holiday Theater

2644 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211

HOOP DREAMS will be screened starting at 12:00 p.m. The film's run time is 170 minutes, and will be followed with a brief reading of Natalie Diaz's Postcolonial Love Poem, and a  panel will feature Mark Randall, Denver Nuggets Ambassador, in conversation with Poet, Theo “Lucifury” Wilson (additional panelist information to come), moderated by Viniyanka Prasad, Co-Executive Director of The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary. The panel will discuss the role of basketball and storytelling in our communities, the dreams they fuel and the pathways for connection and release they provide.

Tickets available at https://denverfilmfestival.eventive.org/films/6511e15aa9097900a1a3a096

Storytime with Abuela

Monday, November 6, 2023, 11:00 AM

The Forney Museum

4303 Brighton Blvs, Denver, CO 80216

In partnership with Forney Museum, Professor Lori Marie Huertas with Focus Points will offer Storytime with Abuela, reading bilingual stories in English and Spanish, followed by a book activity for children and their families.

Storytime with Abuela

Tuesday November 14, 2023, 4:30 PM to 5:30PM

Swansea Recreation Center

2650 E 49th Ave Denver, CO 80216

In partnership with MYDenver programming, Professor Lori Marie Huertas with Focus Points will offer Storytime with Abuela, reading bilingual stories in English and Spanish, followed by a book activity for middle and high school students.

Drop-in writing

Tuesday November 28, 2023, 1:00 PM to 3:00PM

Denver Art Museum

100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204

Join writing instructors from Lighthouse Writers Workshop at the Denver Art Museum for an informal writing session that encourages participants to explore their creativity through the written word. This month’s session brings the words of Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem into conversation with works on view. Museums show up in the poetry of Diaz, exploring questions of how and whose stories are told. Participants will spend time in the Museum's galleries of Indigenous Arts of North America while reflecting on Diaz's writings. Drop in Writing is included in general admission and take place in the galleries. Bring your own writing projects or get started on something new. Open to all levels, from the occasional journaler to published authors. Materials provided when onsite.

October 2023

NEA Big Read Kickoff Party

Friday, October 6, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Denver Botanic Gardens

Freyer-Newman Center

Join us for a celebration launching the NEA Big Read! Pick up a free copy of Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz and enjoy live performances and readings, interactive activities, tours of the Sacred Earth garden, and much more for the whole family. It’s free! Light snacks and beverages will be available, and feel free to bring your own food. The Word, in partnership with Denver Arts & Venues and the Denver Public Library, Arts Midwest, History Colorado, and the National Endowment for the Arts invites you to join our city-wide book club, #NEABigRead #DenverReads, this fall!

Restoration & Erasure Panel with Danez Smith & Mathangi Subramanian

in partnership with PEN America & Regis Mile-High MFA

Friday, October 20, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Regis University / Claver Hall, Mountain View Room

As part of PEN America's Banned Book Month and mirroring Postcolonial Love Poem's themes of cultural erasure and restoration, this discussion will center on poetry's vital role in pushing back against cultural erasure and censorship.

Cancelled

About our Denver NEA Big Read

The Word, in partnership with Denver Arts & Venues, Denver Public Library, and History Colorado, invites you to join us for #DenverReads this fall! As part of the NEA Big Read program, we’ll be hosting a citywide discussion based on Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz, a collection of poems about love, family, desire, grief, displacement, fighting cultural erasure, and insisting upon a future.

 

The Word is one of 62 organizations nationwide selected to receive a 2023-2024 NEA Big Read grant. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience. 

“The choice of Postcolonial Love Poem addresses a timely need for the Denver-metro community. Denver is among the fastest growing metro-areas in the country, and this growth has affected its varied populations unevenly, creating fissures around topics of legacy, ownership, and trust.”

- Viniyanka Prasad, Co-Executive Director & Founder of The Word

Prompted by the diverse activities of the NEA Big Read, participants will thoughtfully explore the complex issues around land, love, inheritance, displacement, colonization, culture, family, erasure, and resistance. This will offer an opportunity for uplifting voices from communities impacted by growth and change of the city, while fostering dialog and centering moments of healing for the entire metro population. This work offers the opportunity to unearth and embrace shared histories, and possibility for the inevitable song of change to ring with connection.

Through the NEA Big Read, we aim to engage and connect our community as readers, writers, artists, thinkers, and creators.

 

“We want the people throughout our community to read and discuss the book, create their own responses, and to connect with each other around the themes in the book. Our goal is to invite community partners to join us in creatively engaging with Postcolonial Love Poem in thoughtful, intentional ways that allow the community to connect more deeply, and to let the reverberations of this project have a lasting impact on Denver.” 

- Suzi Q. Smith, [margins.] Director at The Word

“We're proud to partner to bring NEA Big Read to Denver. The NEA Big Read initiative will connect our communities and spark conversations with the written word which is in direct alignment with Denver Public Library's mission and values.” 

- Michelle Jeske, city librarian with Denver Public Library

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If your organization would like to participate in the #NEABigRead in Denver, please email s.smith@thewordfordiversity.org 

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