“Literary Wonders” Rocks Aspen with Paul Muldoon, Wesley Stace, Eugene Mirman, Colson Whitehead, Evan Dando + More

January 5, 2011  • Alexa Wahl

Contact: Lisa Consiglio
Executive Director, Aspen Writers’ Foundation
970-925-3122, ext. 1# | [email protected]

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation Presents Trio of Words and Music Events Jan 27-31

Aspen, CO, January 5, 2011 — As part of its 14th annual Winter Words season, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF) presents the “Literary Wonders” weekend, featuring three words and music events from January 27 through 31. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon kicks off the weekend with a poetry reading and talk on Thursday, January 27 at 5:30pm at The Little Nell. Muldoon will then star in Sunday night’s Cabinet of Wonders variety show, as part of the rotating cast of literary and musical luminaries hosted by show co-creators Wesley Stace (a.k.a. singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding) and Eugene Mirman. Cabinet of Wonders will be held at 8:00pm at the Wheeler Opera House. The weekend wraps with the US book launch of Stace’s third novel, Charles Jessold: Considered As A Murderer, at 5:30pm at Explore Booksellers.

General admission tickets to Muldoon’s Winter Words poetry reading, which will include an audience Q&A and booksigning, start at $15, while the Cabinet of Wonders seats sell for $30; both are available at 970-920-5770 and through www.aspenshowtix.com. Further details on how to purchase tickets for the Winter Words 2011 series and discount information are below. Doors to the ticketed events open 30 minutes prior to showtime. The book party is free and open to the public.

“This is a not-to-be-missed weekend for audiences who love exploring words, music, and the crossroads where the two meet,” said Lisa Consiglio, executive director, Aspen Writers’ Foundation.

Artist Profiles
Paul Muldoon, a native of Northern Ireland now residing in the U.S., is celebrated worldwide as one of the most significant poets of our time.  He has published over thirty volumes of poetry, six dramatic works, four children’s books, and various essays and translated works.  He is the recipient of a plethora of prestigious prizes including the T. S. Eliot Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, and the Shakespeare Prize. In 2007 he was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. A rock lyricist and guitarist in his spare time, Muldoon collaborated with Warren Zevon on “My Ride’s Here,” the title song on Zevon’s “Enjoy Every Sandwich” album, which Rolling Stone called one of the Best of the Year (2002). He is currently the Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University, Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts. Muldoon currently lives in Griggstown, New Jersey.

John Wesley Harding is as famous for his talents as a folk and pop singer-songwriter as he is for his celebrated work as an author.  His debut novel, Misfortune, published under his given name, Wesley Stace, was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was chosen as one of Amazon’s Ten Best Novels of 2005.  As a recording artist, he has released many albums to critical acclaim. Harding has combined both his passions in Cabinet of Wonders, the “whip-smart variety show” (Portland Tribune) he co-created with Eugene Mirman, featuring a grab bag of nationally renowned musicians, writers, poets, and comedians. He continues to pursue both music and literature with his third book, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer. Born in East Sussex, England, Harding currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For the January 30th Cabinet of Wonders gig at the Wheeler, Stace and Mirman will be joined on stage by Paul Muldoon, novelist Colson Whitehead, musicians Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando, and performance illustrator Michael Arthur. More information on these artists is available at www.aspenwriters.org. The New York-based, traveling show, which made its Aspen debut last summer during the AWF’s Aspen Summer Words literary festival, has been called “a brilliant evening of laid-back fun” (Village Voice) and the “reading, writing and folk-rocking descendant of vaudeville” (Wall Street Journal).

The AWF’s Winter Season
The Literary Wonders weekend events are part of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s winter season, which includes Winter Words literary performance series and The Great Read community reading program, the latter featuring dozens of events celebrating F. Scott Fitzgerald’s modern American classic, The Great Gatsby. Upcoming events include:

  • Story Swap exhibit opening / Feb 4
  • Andrew Sean Greer / Feb 10
  • Ishmael Beah and special guest / Feb 17
  • Emma Donoghue / Feb 23
  • Tobias Wolff / Mar 7
  • Ethan Canin / Mar 16
  • Joyce Maynard / Mar 24

The Details
There are two ticket levels for Paul Muldoon’s Winter Words event. General admission tickets to the poetry reading and talk are $15 each, with discounts available for students and educators (with current school I.D.) and groups. Available to members of the AWF and Society of Fellows are $40 reserved tickets, which include both the Winter Words event and an Author Salon private after-party honoring the artist. Tickets to Winter Words, the Author Salon, and Cabinet of Wonders may be purchased from Aspen Show Tickets at 970-920-5770 and through www.aspenshowtix.com. Winter Words season subscribers receive a 10% discount on tickets to the Cabinet of Wonders. More information is available from the AWF at 970-925-3122 and www.aspenwriters.org.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation, one of the West’s pioneering literary centers and a program of the Aspen Institute, has been bringing readers and writers together since 1976. The organization’s mission is to provide programs that encourage writers in their craft and readers in their appreciation of literature. Through its repertoire of ten year-round programs and projects, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation annually serves 100,000+ literary enthusiasts of all ages.

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