Playground Ensemble


September 22 at Leon Gallery . 7pm
1112 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO
$15 Suggested Donation
RSVP to our Facebook Event

September 24 at Metro State University . 2pm
King Center, Auraria Campus, Denver, CO

November 4 at Naropa Performing Arts Center . 7:30pm
2130 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO

Lee Hyla’s Howl is based on beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s masterpiece Because of its explicitly sexual passages, it was the subject of an obscenity trial in 1957, but was eventually deemed “of redeeming social importance,” and therefore not obscene. Lee Hyla’s angular and violent string quartet amplifies the intensity of the poem.

Lee Hyla’s string quartet was written in coordination with Ginsberg before his death. Originally performed with music played over a recording of Ginsberg reading the text, Playground performs narration live. The impact of the poem’s live narration is amplified by a harsh, haunting, and compelling accompaniment by string quartet.

The Leon Gallery show will also feature readings by Jeffery Pethybridge and Serena Chopra. Jeffery is the author of Striven, A Bright Treatise (Noemi Press 2013). His work appears widely in journals such as Chicago Review, Volt, Poor Claudia, The Iowa Review, LIT, New American Writing and others. He teaches in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University where he is the Managing Director of the Summer Writing Program. He is also the North American Editor for Likestarlings, a web archive of collaborative poetry and poetics.

Serena Chopra has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver and MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the author of two full-length poems, This Human (Coconut 2018) and Ic (Horse Less Press 2017), and two chapbooks. She was recently a featured artist in Harper’s Bazaar, India, as well as in Denver Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives. She was a 2011-2013 resident artist at RedLine Denver, a Kundiman Fellow and a 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar. She is a multidisciplinary artist, working as a professional dancer, theater/performance artist and visual artist. Serena currently teaches in the MFA program at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

The Naropa University performance will feature an opening performance from a jazz trio consisting of Art Lande (piano), Bill McCrossen (bass), and Mark Miller (saxophone and flute). Art Lande and Mark Miller have been improvising together for over forty years, and have both been nominated for Grammy awards. This evening’s performance is inspired by poets associated with Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Season 13 is a season of words, exploring how music and words combine to enhance meaning. In addition to these two performances of Howl, stay tuned for more performances to be announced soon.