Monday, April 2, 2012

Denver Revisited, Part II: Famous Writers

Once we joked about the sunshine in Denver.  The supposition was that since it is sunny nearly every day of the year there is, never was, and never will be true literature from Denver.  The sunshine, maybe.  What's in the water too?  But I ask myself, is there, were there, and will there be good literature from Denver?  As many of you know, I found myself in the throes of the Beats last year.  For whatever reason this group of drug-addled hooligans suddenly appealed to me, I may never know.  That said, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg having been born elsewhere, all spent time in Denver. They all wrote heavily about Denver too.  The Beats saw the beauty of Denver mixed with the bars and sex of Larmier Street and wrote it all down.
Years ago when my friend Heather moved from Las Vegas to Denver, she was enamored with the place because she noted all the streets were named after authors: Emerson, Kipling, Wadsworth, to name a few.  I didn't quite have the heart to tell her that those streets were named after famous people, yes, but not the writers.  The streets were named, as streets in most American towns, after founding members, early patrons and politicians.  So it was.
So in my research here's what I've found.  Of these writers, I've have never heard of them before today:
1. Lenora Mattingly Weber (1895 - 1971) 
2. John Fante (April 8, 1909 – May 8, 1983)
3. James D. Parriott (born November 14, 1950 (age 61)
4. John Carrol Dolan (born 1955)

The list goes on, I'm sure.  There must be more, Denver is not a small place, and people have been living here for well over 150 years.   I can surmount that Denver has never been a nexus of literature like, say, Concord, Mass. or San Francisco, Ca. or New York.  Next to these cities, all larger, all coastal, all without the vast amount of sunny days, Denver remains a bright place just east of the Rockies at the high lonely shelf of the continent.  Will there ever be a literature scene in Denver?  I don't know, Perhaps. 

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