Spoken Word Crash Course at Hyde Park Theater

On Thursday, Feb 29 at 8 pm, Hyde Park Theater offers a tempting opportunity to catch up with Austin's performance poetry scene, with six of the more talented local writers together on one stage, reading in a high-energy, round-robin format. David Jewell, who wrote the love poem featured in Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, is often funny, always listenable, both laid-back and intense at once -- like when my late husband used to order a cup of coffee with his beer. Marlys West, voted 1995's Best Poet by Chron readers, thinks interesting thoughts on surprising topics and presents them in a disarmingly modest, sharp, and straightforward way. Glosso Babel features John Cutaia backed by a truly hot, mostly percussion band; John is brave, sincere and all-boy, tackling his feelings on subjects like poker, football, and topless bars (he will be accompanied on this last by dancer Susan Kjar). Helping out John as well as presenting his own work will be Thom the World Poet, himself the Captain Kangaroo of the Austin's spoken word scene, and probably the closest thing to a real wandering troubador you will meet in this century. Also performing will be Albert Huffstickler, the undisputed Grand Old Man of Austin poetry -- his work is so damn fine -- and Tammy Gomez, whom I haven't had the chance to hear but has been getting raves from those who have. It should, by all accounts, be quite a night. -- Marion Winik

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