José Olivarez: Citizen Illegal
Nov. 7, 7-9 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., free, tinyurl.com/PPLD-JOlivarez
The Pikes Peak Library District has put quite a bit of effort into coaxing talented, popular writers into visiting Colorado Springs. This week’s presentation and poetry reading by award-winning poet José Olivarez is no exception. His latest book of poetry, Citizen Illegal
, was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and won the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It also happens to be a 2019 All Pikes Peak Reads selection, which is why lucky readers will now get their chance to hear Olivarez share his work in person.
The topic of immigration is constantly a part of the public conversation but the discussion — in the media, in politics and in policy — often marginalizes the real people involved. They become data points instead of human beings. Olivarez’s poetry shares his personal experience as the son of Mexican immigrants, tackling topics like identity and the feeling of being “other” in an autobiography in verse.
Olivarez’s poetry buckles you into the passenger seat and takes you along on a guided tour of his life. Some poems, like “My Parents Fold Like Luggage,” tell of the plight of those seeking a new life in the United States, making readers take in their palpable sense of fear. Others, like “My Therapist Says to Make Friends with Your Monsters,” share thoughts that many people never say out loud. His work offers a frank intimacy regarding body image, his desire to blend in, and his family. The moments in his work that are the hardest to read are often those that connect readers to their own painful or mortifying experiences.
Olivarez will provide a presentation and a reading from Citizen Illegal
, and books will be available for purchase at the event.
Mother Courage and Her Children
Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., runs through Nov. 24, $18-$25, themat.org
Mother Courage and Her Children will break your heart, crush your soul and leave you wrung out — and it’s totally worth it. Set in the 17th century during Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, the play tells the story of Mother Courage as she struggles to survive but slowly loses everything that matters. This stunning play was written by Bertolt Brecht in 1939 as a response to the rise of fascism and Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Bring tissues.
Bear Creek Bear Run
Nov. 9, 10 a.m., Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road, $30-$60, communityservices.elpasoco.com
What kind of race comes with a giant bear suit? Only the best kind, of course. The Bear Creek Bear Run is a totally fun, fuzzy and festive way to support community outdoor education programs. Deck out your already awesome bear suit with fun accessories and enter the costume contest within a costume contest to win cool prizes. If you’re a hibernating sort of bear (or a mom hauling cubs), you can sign up for the 3K fun walk. Still feeling frisky? There’s a 5K run, too. Show up before 9 a.m. and you can enjoy some pre-race bear yoga.
RetCon 2019 Gaming Convention
Nov. 9, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Nov. 10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Embassy Suites, 7290 Commerce Center Drive, $15-$25, springsretcon.com
Whether you’re a former 1980s kid or a recent 1980s convert, RetCon is here to rock your high top Reeboks with a deluge of nostalgia all weekend long. Join in on tabletop gaming, shop cool threads, vintage toys, old video games and rad memorabilia, and check out VHS ’80s flicks. You’ll also get the chance to play your favorite arcade games and pinball machines — for free. That’s right, no need for pockets full of quarters, your childhood dream of infinite play has become a reality. Dig out your old acid-washed denim and spiked leather jackets, or slap on some shoulder pads and tease your bangs as high as the Rockies because this party is going to be, like, totally rad.
Misfits Craft + Art Fair
Nov. 10, 2-8 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, tinyurl.com/Ivy-Misfits
Do you have a quirky, funky someone you want to surprise with the perfectly odd gift? The Misfits Craft + Art Fair promises a plethora of bizarre offerings created by local artisans. Explore a variety of unique art, jewelry, vintage apparel and mysterious oddities. Tarot readings will be available, as will delightful eats and face painting. Best of all, it’s in close proximity to spirits of a drinkable nature — no reports yet on the availability of ethereal ones. Despite its more macabre theme, the organizers say it’s family-friendly, so feel free to bring your small humans, especially the weird ones.