Get your poetry this Wednesday, March 9 when the Midwest Poetry Vibe converges at Irie, located at 302 S. 11th St. on the edge of the Old Market. The event, which runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., will include a mix of poetry, R&B and live performances, not to mention food and drink specials. * Saturday, March 12 is the state finals for Nebraska’s Poetry Out Loud competition at the Sheldon Art Gallery (12th and R on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus). The state champion will get a chance to represent Nebraska at the national competition in Washington, D.C., in April. Admission is free. * Comedian and screenwriter Michael Showalter (the man behind the movie Wet, Hot American Summer, among other things) will be at the Bookworm at 87th and Pacific this Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, Mr. Funny Pants. Even if you’re not familiar with Showalter’s work, comedy fans should definitely make it a point to attend the signing. * If you’re in the mood for a road trip, head down to Lawrence, Kan., on Sunday the 13th for the Poet Laureati!: A Convergence of U.S. Poets Laureate. The event, which runs through Monday the 14th, features 18 poet laureates from throughout the United States, including former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser of Nebraska, plus W.E. Butts (N.H.), Marilyn L. Taylor (Wisc.), Peggy Shumaker (Ark.), Walter Bargen (Mo.), Mary Swander (Iowa), Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (Kan.), Sue Brennan Walker (Ala.), Lisa Starr (R.I.), Denise Low (Kan.), Norbert Krapf (Ind.), Marjory Wentworth (S.C.), Mary Crow (Colo.), David Romtvedt (Wyo.), David Evans (S.D.), Jonathan Holden (Kan.), Joyce Brinkman (Ind.) and Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda (Va.). The event also serves as the book launch for An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the State Poets Laureate of America. Other events include a special auction to have dinner with a poet laureate, panels on poetry as it relates to healing, the land and spirituality, publishing, making a living and the process of writing. Registration rates begin at $55 for the all-day conference. For more information, go to

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