Three great nights of Denver art, history and performance begin in ten days.
On Thursday, June 4th, the Emmauel Gallery on the Auraria Campus
in downtown Denver hosts the Steve Wilson Exhibition.
Steve has been our friend and fellow artist for thirty years.
In fact, Steve did the artwork for our Marriage Ceremony program back in 1979.
We own a number of Steve’s paintings and collages, some of which are part of this exhibition. At the opening which runs from 4 to 7 PM, Ed will be performing his creative non fiction monologue, Billy Burroughs’ Prediction, the opening scene of which takes place in Steve Wilson and Larry Lake’s Bowery Books on old South Pearl Street in 1980. A piece I wrote, How I Meet Steve Wilson, is part of the Steve Wilson catalogue that the Emmanuel Gallery is publishing.On Friday, June 5th, an exhibition entitled, Mile High and Underground, opens at The Byers-Evans House Gallery, on the northeast corner of 13th Avenue and Bannock Street. Steve Wilson is the curator of this display of art and published materials from the years 1967 through 1987 that highlight the connection between the worlds of publishing, poetry, and art of the era. At this Colorado Historical Society opening, our son Passion will be fronting on baritone saxophone a trio that will entertain in the courtyard of the Mansion. As part of the brochure that catalogues this exhibition Ed has written an examination of many of the artifacts to be displayed, something akin to an oral history of the era as reflected in the materials published by many of the small presses of the time.On Saturday, June 6th, we (Passion Press/the Image Maker) are hosting an evening entitled A Bohemian Extravaganza in the Jungle Room of The Mercury Café, a major player/site in Denver’s Mile High Underground the last thirty years. This is literally an evening of music, film, friends, poetry and theater. Kicking things off at six, Julie Monley will sing and Frederic DesMoulins will work the ivories for the 6 PM dinner hour. Julie is a most intimate and dynamic singer with whom we have worked many times over the years. The Mercury Café serves local and organic food, and my favorite chef, Gypsy, has returned after a long hiatus in the mountains. We recommend all to make dinner part of your evening. Reservations are suggested as there is limited seating in the Jungle Room. Call 303 322 9324 for reservations.At 7 PM we will be turning on the projectors to showcase the work of Michael Klein and Gwylym Cano. Michael was the man with a motion picture camera in the Sixties and he documented much of what was happening and he created scores of wonderful short films.Gwylym Cano is a filmmaker who has stood on the shoulders of the principals of the past, and continues the tradition of Bohemian filmmaking that began with Stan Brakhage.Among other poetic shorts, Gwylym will be showing To Write, a short piece showcasing the late comedian Don Becker.At 8 PM, our Theater Hour will kick off with Richard Collier’s one-man play, Wild. Richard literally gave birth to underground theater in the early Sixties with his Trident Theater on South Gaylord Street. His new work, Wild, is extremely poetic and sheds light on the what drove artists in the Sixties and Seventies to establish themselves a mile high and underground. Following Richard there will be a musical interlude as Bob Peek will invoke Alfred Dietrich Kleyhauer III. Bob and Alfred were the musical duo, The Whatnots. Alfred died years ago – he was the first victim of Denver’s Light Rail – but his musical compositions are as timeless as they are contemporary. And the third part of our Theater Hour presents the world premiere of Passion Press’ docu-drama, James Ryan Morris Reads for the Last Time Mano Mano with Larry Lake at Denver Poets Day 1978. The play features the acting of Richard Collier, James Frisbee and ourselves. The Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver features, among others, the image of James Ryan Morris, as one of one hundred men considered to have been major players in shaping Colorado culture. Over the last thirty years in Denver, we have attended hundreds of poetry readings, and Jimmy and Larry reading that day ranks as one of the two best (the other was Tony Scibella reading The Kid in America in 1979 at Café Nepenthes).And beginning sometime after 9 PM, five of our favorite poets will take the stage. Kate Makkai, whose first book, Pink, Passion Press published, will kick off the reading. She will be followed by LA poets, SA Griffin and Larry Lake’s son, Yama Lake. Lucy Mc Grath whose been writing poetry and living a mile high and underground since the Sixties will follow the West Coasters. And closing out the evening will be John Macker, a Denver native who now lives in Las Vegas New Mexico. We could not name any better living poets.There is a ten dollar cover for all or any part of the evening and, again, reservations are highly recommended. 303 322 9324Thanks for everyone’s support of Passion Press and Passion Productions over the last thirty years and I hope you can attend.Ed and Marcia Ward, Passion Press/the Image Maker
***For those of my friends who haven't known me long it will probably be a shock to find that at one time I was a noted Poet on the literary scene in Denver. I have several published pieces, and its a hidden dream of mine to publish a book of my works some day. Ed and Marcia Ward were some of my good friends and it makes me proud that they are still carrying on with what they love, long after I lost my own muse. "Long Live the Church of Poets"