Apr 22 - 28, 2004 
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Culture Shock

By Steven Robert Allen
Mitch Rayes (left) and Bob Swearingen appear Friday, April 23, at 8 p.m. at the Albuquerque Press Club to promote their new CD,   Street Milk  .
Mitch Rayes (left) and Bob Swearingen appear Friday, April 23, at 8 p.m. at the Albuquerque Press Club to promote their new CD, Street Milk .

This is one of those special years when Shakespeare and Cervantes' joint birthday on April 23 just happens to fall on a weekend. You know what that means: We party 'til dawn, brothers and sisters!

To kick off a long, grueling weekend of Bacchanalian inebriation, you'll want to stop by the Albuquerque Press Club—that cute little cabin on the grassy knoll near I-25 and Central Avenue—for the CD-release of Street Milk on Friday, April 23, at 8 p.m. You might remember poet Bob Swearingen's absolutely fantastic poetry volume of the same name, which was released recently by John Oelfke's Central Avenue Press. Well, local poet and musician Mitch Rayes has set music to Swearingen's poetry recitations, and by all accounts the resulting CD rocks the casbah.

There'll be free food, a cash bar and live performances from Street Milk. There will also be books and CDs for sale. For directions, call the Press Club at 243-8476.

The next day, on Saturday, April 24, at 2 p.m., pop some aspirin, drink some water and wander over to the UNM Bookstore to hear readings by poets included in UNM Press' massive new In Company: An Anthology of New Mexico Poets after 1960. Although I haven't had a chance to review this beautiful volume, I have to say it looks to be an impressive book chock full of local poets we all know and love. Call 277-9752 for details.

If for some reason you happen to be stranded on the Westside (poor darling), all is not lost. Swing by the Westside Barnes and Noble to take part in an open mic poetry reading sponsored by BorderSenses starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24. For more information, call 792-4234.

April, as I'm sure you know, is National Poetry Month, and there are all kinds of spectacularly poetic events occurring in Albuquerque and around the country. Get out there and start celebrating. Do Bill and Miguel proud.

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