by M. Bui
What happens when you put 12 publications, an array of zines and merch, and a bunch of lovers of literature all together in a cozy space with a bar and a stage? You get a room full of like-minded creatives and a festive feast of literature, complete with readings, drinks, and wonderful company with those who share in your love for language art and books. At least, that’s what I felt as I immersed myself in the scene at Meet the Mags Volume 2 in the heart of Denver a few weekends ago (yes, the specific evening happening to align with 4/20).
Never before had I felt so inclined to indulge myself in a literary world with many other like-minded people. The Meet the Mags event rounded up and featured 12 of Denver’s hottest independent lit mags at Syntax Physic Opera, offering an inviting space to chat, share, read, and listen to readings from the various publication there. Our very own Inverted Syntax was here featuring our latest print issue and later with a reading by none other than Kathy Fish (published in our print issue). This was the event to be at especially if you’ve been looking for a sampling of the literary scene here in Denver or simply to learn more about this hidden but rumbling culture of independently published literature.
The quaint and charming space of Syntax Physic Opera, found right along 554th and Broadway is the perfect spot for such an event. The warm lighting, artistic architecture, classy decor, and friendly bar with a vast selection cocktails and dishes helped make the music venue an enchanting literary haven. But it was those who filled the space that brought it to life: readers, writers, artists, lit lovers, fashion designers, coffee enthusiasts, and so much more, all with our loaded arsenal of zines, mags, merch, and more. From our numerous, varied backgrounds, everyone here came together to share in our common love of the literary culture.
I spent most of my time perusing each publication and thoroughly enjoying meeting with the people behind the scenes, learning about each publication and about the editors themselves. We chatted about everything from our magazines’ visions to the peculiar printing presses we use to the day jobs we find ourselves in when we’re not creating art. Typically, when we read published work, we sometimes forget about the hard work involved in the process of putting out a print issue; we may forget that there are minds and hearts behind those words and art, so it was a refreshing opportunity for me to be able to interact with other people behind the scenes of independent publications.
Attending this event was a wonderful way to wrap up my semester long internship at Inverted Syntax. The community, creativity, and passion that filled the venue that 4/20 evening was truly a treasure for any resident of the literary world--I’m already looking forward to Volume 3 of Meet the Mags. I left the venue with an armful of zines, cards, and merch, and a brain full of artistic inspiration.
All previous photos by M. Bui
Jesica Carson Davis & Nawal Nader-French
When the editors met at The Dikeou Pop-up gallery on Colfax we didn’t know what to anticipate. We've heard great things from writers like Steven Dunn, who recommended it as his favorite Denver art and literary space in our interview with him. Still, we wondered if it would be the right spot for the journal launch. Upon visiting, the Dikeou Pop-up gallery felt like the perfect spot to celebrate launching the first print issue of Inverted Syntax because like us, it’s scrappy but extensible.
“Located in the former Jerry’s Record Exchange storefront, Dikeou Pop-Up: Colfax is an extension of the Dikeou Collection and offers an alternative art experience in the heart of Denver. Work by artists Lizzi Bougatsos, Sarah Staton Supastore Supastars, Rainer Ganahl, Anicka Yi, and Devon Dikeou is on view at this location. The Dikeou Collection’s vinyl, laserdisc, and CEDs are archived here. Please see the Events section of the site to find information on upcoming programs at Dikeou Pop-Up: Colfax.”
It takes a few minutes to get settled into the space but once you do, it quickly becomes that perfectly sized event hall you wish you had had access to in the 90s. The space feels very liminal: a hybrid place for showcasing art, but also a celebration of words and full of music: party attendees are encouraged to pull one of the thousands of records that remain from the gallery’s former life as a record store and play them during the party!
When we say we’ve got an exciting line-up of readers, we’re not kidding: poets, novelists, essayists, and uncategorizable writers (see the list below). These extraordinary humans are gathering to read to us, to wash us with words, to cleanse us, wake and restore us to the art form we are meant to be. You’ll be entertained, engaged, and you will leave feeling inspired.
Arrive at 6 for appetizers, drinks, and lively conversation; the readings begin at 6:45 with another break in between — we want everyone to meet and mingle, to build community. The event is free and open to all.
Come party with us!
Featuring readings by :
ANDREA REXILIUS | ERIC BAUS | KATHY FISH |
JEANINE PFEIFFER | JESICA CARSON DAVIS
And the one and only Levi Andrew Noe will emcee!
Come soak up Music, Drinks, Appetizers, and All the Words
Dikeou Pop-Up: Colfax
It’s FREE, FREE, FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC.
About the Readers: