You'd better believe it!
The Inside Books Project's First Prisoner Art and Poetry Exhibition opens on Saturday, March 15 at MonkeyWrench Books, 110 E. North Loop, and will showcase the work of inmates across the country who have benefited from the literature and educational texts that the all-volunteer Austin nonprofit has provided since 1998. People who've been convicted of and sentenced for crimes have been said to favor dictionaries and other reference-type materials when it comes to Inside Books donations, but what you'll be seeing until March 22 -- when the exhibition will culminate with a reception, a raffle, readings, an awards ceremony, an art sale, and a bill featuring Cinders, the Imbroglio String Quartet, and e.c.f.a. -- is of the sublime, the undefined, and struck through with an expressionist bravery. The Prisoner Art and Poetry Sale benefits Inside Books and the Anarchist Black Cross. For more information, call Inside Books at 647-4803 or MonkeyWrench at 407-6925... If you happen to be reading this on Thursday, March 13, and happen to not be rocking your ass off elsewhere, you should go see Michael Mewshaw at BookPeople at 7pm. Mewshaw, a former UT writing teacher, will discuss his literary memoir Do I Owe You Something? (LSU) and his new novel, Shelter From the Storm (Putnam). Mewshaw, I hear, is a damn fine storyteller who happens to know every single last damn person in the book business... Earlier on Thursday, from 2 to 6pm at the Escapist Bookstore on South First, So New Media's Ben Brown and Neal Pollack, along with Adam Voith of TNI Books and Jim Munroe of No Media Kings, will gather and read to themselves and others while Hella and Six Parts Seven play a rock show. Then, on Saturday night, 8pm, at Tequila Rock, the Neal Pollack Invasion will play their part in an actual SXSW showcase. I'm telling you that because Pollack was sad and somewhat surprised that people decided to go see X at Emo's instead of his group back in November... Poets Nikki Finney and Ana Sisnett will be at Book Woman, Friday, March 14, at 6pm to celebrate Finney's latest collection, The World Is Round (InnerLight), and Sisnett's inclusion in Affirming Flame: Progressive Texas Poets in the Aftermath of September 11 (Evelyn Street)... She Flies, a play based on the short stories of David Rice (Crazy Loco), will stage at Blackshear Elementary on Thursday, March 20, at 7pm. Rice is a young-adult author of unassailable talent with an uncanny ability to relate to teens in print and in person. The play is sponsored by Cine Las Americas and produced by the NUSHANK Theatre Collective... Since (occasional Chronicle contributor) David Garza and Russell Reed have already fabricated a quote attributed to me in promotion of their upcoming Sex With Strangers poetry performance -- "Russell Reed and David Garza have stained red the nonproverbial lips of our virginal language itself. Not just for now, but forever" -- I might as well go ahead and urge on your attendance: Thursday, March 20, 8pm, at the Hideout. I really couldn't have said it better myself, anyway. Except to add that this event is highly recommended, as I think highly of Garza and Reed's work. Which I've never read.