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JLF Colorado is a 501c3 non-profit organization. EIN 47-2730066



Join us for a special storytime for children of all ages and their families. Experience our diverse world through the telling of children's books, dance, movement, and song.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explores her homeland India through social, political, and religious perspectives. In her illustrious literary career, the award-winning and bestselling novelist, poet, activist, and teacher of writing has delved into themes of immigration, history, myth, and the joys and challenges of living in a multicultural world. Two of her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into films. Her most recent work, The Forest of Enchantments, is a retelling of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, through the lens of the female protagonist Sita. In conversation with Philip Lutgendorf, the celebrated Indian-American author discusses her journey with words, her inspirations, and her passion for storytelling.


The Shadow King is a gripping novel set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, which takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II, casting light on the women soldiers who were left out of the historical record.

What follows is a gorgeously crafted and unputdownable exploration of female power, with Hirut as the fierce, original, and brilliant voice at its heart. In incandescent, lyrical prose, Maaza Mengiste breathes life into complicated characters on both sides of the battle line, shaping a heartrending, indelible exploration of what it means to be a woman at war. Mengiste discusses her brilliant novel with Arsen Arsen Kashkashian.

Buddhist love poetry sounds like an oxymoron in a tradition founded on renunciation. Yet rare testimonials of passion and love exist, spanning from medieval India to modern Tibet. Lyrical, packed with emotion, several gems of world literature are just now coming to light authored by the hermit and grammarian Bhartrihari and the tantric couple, Namtrul Rinpoche and Khandro Tare Lhamo. Andrew Schelling and Holly Gayley dialogue about the art of translation and read from their recent books of translations, Some Unquenchable Desire: Sanskrit Poems of the Buddhist Hermit Bhartrihari and Inseparable Across Lifetimes: The Lives and Love Letters of the Tibetan Visionaries, Namtrul Rinpoche and Khandro Tare Lhamo.

Join Pop Culture Classroom in this comic-creation workshop and learn how storytelling through sequential images differs from traditional storytelling. You'll even learn methods of capitalizing on the comic format for maximum reader impact! This is an interactive workshop and each participant will leave with the beginnings of their very own comic in hand.


The songs of Kabira, the 15th century Indian poet, carry the legacy of the “living word.” Born to a family of Muslim weavers, he is revered both as a Sufi mystic and a Hindu devotional saint. An outspoken critic of blind faith and ritual practices, his poems reveal an ideology of love and simplicity. The simple power of his words, spoken and often sung in the colloquial tongue, carry resonance around the world even today. In a session of performance and discussion, scholars Linda Hess and Purushottam Agrawal, and singer and composer Shruthi Vishwanath invoke the medieval mystic.


In his biography of Spotted Tail, David Heska Wanbli Weiden traces the life of the famous Lakota leader who expertly guided his people through a pivotal and tumultuous time in their nation’s history as they fought and then negotiated with the US government. Spotted Tail is remembered for his unique leadership style and deep love for his people. Today, a university is named in his honor.

Against an unflinching backdrop of 90s reservation life in the western Dakotas, Kent Nerburn's Neither Wolf nor Dog tells the story of two men, one white and one Native American, connected by their own understandings of life yet struggling to find a common voice. As they journey together through small Native American towns and down forgotten roads learning to hear the sound of ancestral voices, these two men will travel beyond myth and stereotype, revealing an America few people ever get to see. Nerburn will tell the story of his discoveries in conversation with First Nation writer Weiden.

In this workshop, we will be using beautiful papers, a vast array of images collected from vintage books, magazines, and printed words to compose collage art that tells your own unique story. Every participant will leave the workshop with their magnificent creations. Younger children should be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for ages 6-18

Exploring the inscrutable paths of two goddesses from the Indian pantheon, Sita and Radha, three writers share their learnings from the complex web of myth, belief, and devotion. Sita is one of the defining figures of Indian womanhood, an emblem of duty punished for no crime of her own. Radha is worshipped as the beloved of the god Krishna, even though she was not his wife. In the Sitayana, Amit Majmudar gives imaginative voice to Sita’s fierce resistance, presenting his personal retelling of the Indian epic, the Ramayana. Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee’s recent bestselling novel, The Forest of Enchantments, also retells the Ramayana through the lens of the protagonist Sita. The prolific writer and festival director Namita Gokhale has co-edited anthologies on both Radha and Sita. Together, they examine popular perceptions of these very different figures of feminine divinity and the energies and forces they represent.  


The current buzz about Emotional Intelligence

An experiential workshop that takes you on a journey of self-exploration and awareness, leaving you with simple tools for your own guidance and reflection.


In John Ralston Saul's The Comeback, he argues that the return to the forefront of Indigenous peoples, including their languages and philosophies, is central to how all of our societies could handle today's crises. Yes, if we look at virtually every country which emerged from European empires - and that includes every one of us in the Americas - there are still so many things that are deeply wrong. There is still a huge amount of work to be done on reconciliation and restitution, to say nothing of the absence of justice. But the contributions Indigenous peoples are already making, and can increasingly make, must not be sidelined or forgotten.   


Chiké Frankie Edozien, author of Then and Now and Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man, talks about how his sexuality has affected his life and impacted his writing in conversation with Seema Sirohi.

Award-winning authors who infuse our lives in Colorado with artistic excellence and delight, share their eloquent poems and tales illuminating Cambodian elephants and the Peace Corps; the afterlife of Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey, and Haile Selassie still going strong in Jamaica; remarkable and comic supernatural tales that slyly intimate our very own lives; migration and families of mixed ethnicity; and exquisite poetry set to country western tunes.


In a world torn apart by discord, two writers attempt a leap of faith through their books. Harvard-trained Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish, whose three daughters were killed during the Israeli incursion into Gaza, still advocates for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine in his book I Shall Not Hate. In conversation with Irish-American Michael Patrick MacDonald, whose bestselling memoirs All Souls and Easter Rising speak of the cycle of violence, poverty, and the racism of his childhood in South Boston and how he escaped, they speak of reconciliation and the way forward. 

Boulder Rotary is delighted to partner with ZEE JLF Colorado to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace.  As part of Rotary’s commitment to engage in dialogues and projects that promote positive peace in our community, nation, and across the globe, we have been working on several projects as part of Boulder Rotary’s 100th Anniversary.

At 4:30pm on Saturday 9/21, the We Shall Not Hate session with Palestinian Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish and Michael Patrick McDonald, will be followed by the Rotary Peacebuilders’ announcement of the inaugural Jim Swaeby Peace Award. This will lead into a brief, thought provoking Rotary Peacebuilders’ program focused on building a movement for peaceful conflict resolution and peace building around the world.


Linda combines her love for children’s books and fun yoga poses in a storytime that brings together movement, laughter, introspection, and dancing.

Linda Spalding’s deeply moving and troubling novel A Reckoning is set in the 1850s and is the sequel to her award-winning book The Purchase. This epic family saga is inspired by her ancestral memories and explores themes of slavery, exile, and emancipation. In a fascinating session with Arsen Kashkashian, she speaks of fiction, history, and the shadows of the past.


In the written world, it becomes easy to take the spoken word for granted, losing sight of it as the bedrock for everything we know as literary. The Incandescent Maya Angelou reminds us, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In this session, we look to renowned spoken-word artists Brice Maiurro, M. Tim Nolting, Franklin Cruz, Deb Carpenter-Nolting, Kenya “Mahogany” Pollard, and Jovan Mays to remind us of this truth.

Sven Beckert’s Empire of Cotton: A Global History weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world order came to exist. In conversation with journalist and academic Pardis Mahdavi, Beckert speaks of the constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners, and how these forces ushered in the forces of modern capitalism. A riveting session that also casts a special eye on the impact of the cotton trade on the history of the Indian struggle for freedom.


A dynamic session that celebrates the grandeur of the American West and examines the mosaic of its ecological systems. Acclaimed journalist John F. Ross is the author of The Promise of the Grand Canyon, an account of John Wesley Powell’s expedition down the Colorado river, and his campaign for environmental sustainability in the region. Historian Patty Limerick is the chair of the board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, and author of A Ditch in Time, which reveals the complex relationship between urban and rural areas, and the many factors that control the west’s water. Marcus Moench founded The Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International and works with communities, government, and international organizations in Asia and the western United States. Together, they share concerns and insights about a sustainable future .


While society wrestles with its own self, we have long looked to the poets to sing us our oversights. They are “the Recallers,” the ones who show us the great tragedy, triumph, and threat in our trends. The spoken poet often leans into intuition and instinct to retrieve what we left in our blind spots. In this campfire and conversation, we access the spoken-word through the voices of Wayne A. Gilbert, Kayla Q. Frawley, Susan M. Peiffer, Jose “Jozer” Guerrero, and Jovan Mays.

Our family histories become legacies, holding the stories, and often the secrets, that form our own life story and the ground of memory from which our sense of self arises and dwells within. Keele Burgin writes a powerful personal memoir and Sarah Elizabeth Schantz and Tiffany Quay Tyson write gripping novels, reckoning with the past that persistently shapes us, and the possibilities of confronting, prevailing over, and resolving, or remaining captive to, the demons and wounds of the past that continually echo in our psyche.


Ryan Stoa is the author of Craft Weed: Family Farming and the Future of the Marijuana Industry. In conversation with radio and podcast broadcaster Maeve Conran, he speaks of how marijuana legalization and a sustainable, local, and artisanal farming model have the potential to revitalize rural communities and the American family farm. He provides a history of marijuana farming and its post-hippie resurgence in the United States. He speaks of the amazing adaptability of the cannabis plant and its genetic gifts, the legalization movement, regulatory efforts, the tradeoffs of indoor versus outdoor farms, and the environmental impacts of marijuana agriculture.

Sohaila Abdulali was gangraped as a teenager in Mumbai. More than thirty years later, she shares her story, as well as the stories of many others throughout the world, and gives her take on the global conversation about rape. Written from the point of view of a writer, counselor, and activist, What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape is a personal and professional testament that reaches out to victims and survivors, feminists and mansplainers, and is truly a document of our times. In conversation with feminist campaigner, writer, and founder of Indian anti-sex trafficking organization, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, Ruchira Gupta, Abdulali speaks of the issues and silences around the subject. A moving session on what we talk about when we talk about rape.



According to Bön Buddhist tradition of Tibet, the heart of creativity is being of service. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha International and author of several books including Spontaneous Creativity: Meditations for Manifesting Your Positive Qualities. In this illuminating session, in conversation with outdoorsman, Buddhist, eco-activist, and author Andrew Schelling, he draws on the ancient wisdom of the Buddhist traditions to show us how to explore our own creativity.


Changes in attitudes about how our food is sourced and prepared have inspired restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, and grocers to evolve. Organic means working with nature. It means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilizers, and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment. The living soil yields living food which nurtures the body and the mind. Eric Skokan is the owner of the Black Cat Farm Table Bistro and Bramble & Hare, both of which serve food that’s sourced almost entirely from his Black Cat Farm. Lentine Alexis is a chef and former pro athlete, chef ambassador for Whole Foods Market, and passionate advocate of healthy living. In conversation with Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish, the Energy & Climate Justice Manager at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Environmental Center, they discuss the essence of healthy eating and the future of natural food.


Have you ever wondered why they call your consciousness a stream? Or why they say our minds can run, drift, or even channel? Studies say that we have between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day, or about 35 to 48 thoughts per minute, per person. As writers, our thoughts are experienced escape artists. When we fail to grasp them, we often reference the word “block.” Well, is it possible that we are blocking ourselves? In this workshop, we will examine how we can move with our cerebral currents, get out of our own way, access understanding of our personal rivers, how they work, and how we can be more dynamic river guides to our audiences and ourselves. Come prepared to work those metatarsals and phalanges in this highly generative experience aimed to lead participants of all ages to their deltas.

In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to set up in his richest provinces a new administration run by English merchants who collected taxes through means of a ruthless private army, what we would now call an act of involuntary privatization.

The East India Company’s founding charter authorized it to “wage war,” and it had always used violence to gain its ends. But the creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional international trading corporation dealing in silks and spices, and became something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power in the guise of a multinational business. In less than 500 years, it had trained up a security force of around 200,000 men and had subdued an entire subcontinent, conquering first Bengal and finally, in 1803, the Mughal capital of Delhi itself. The Company’s reach stretched until almost all of India and was effectively ruled from a boardroom in London. 

The Anarchy charts how one of the world’s most magnificent empires disintegrated and how it came to be replaced by a dangerously unregulated private company. In his most ambitious and riveting book to date, William Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before.



A vibrant panel of Latinx writers, performers, and academics speak of their roots, inspirations and influences.  An engaging session of readings, performances and conversation about their work and the cultural and political landscapes that it inhabits. Assistant Professor of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder and an active performance artist Kristie Soares’s work explores gender in Latinx culture, with a specialization in queer Caribbean literature and media. Natalie Avalos, Chicana of Apache descent, is an ethnographer of religion whose research and teaching focus on Native American and Indigenous religions. In conversation with author and academic Arturo Aldama, they reflect upon racism, oppression, and the multivalent literature, histories, and identities of  Latinx experience in the US.