Let’s talk about words, art, music … and some zombies

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Word It’s a been a year and a half since the CN&R has hosted Poetry 99, and Arts DEVO is stoked that the contest is returning with next week’s issue (April 2). Devoting pages of newsprint to poems—as well as hosting a reading of those poems (this year at The Bookstore, Thursday, April 2, 6:30 p.m.)—is one of the things that I’m most proud of at this paper.

And on the eve of our celebration and the activities of National Poetry Month (April), Chico is already bubbling with a packed week of literary activity: Tonight, March 26, The Bookstore hosts its monthly poetry reading (at 6:30 p.m.), and across the street, at 7 p.m., NorCal author Christian Kiefer will present his latest novel, The Animals, at Lyon Books. On Friday, March 27, at 7 p.m., Inspire School of Arts & Sciences is having a release party for Incendio, a journal of student poetry at 1078 Gallery. And on Monday, March 30, 7 p.m., The Bookstore hosts the Slow Theatre’s presentation of a reading of selections from David Foster Wallace’s collection of short stories, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.

For the record! Chico’s Guinness World Record attempt for longest multi-artist concert is fast approaching, and the organizers need a witness! Actually, they need a bunch of witnesses; 10 on hand at all times while musicians perform at the Tackle Box Bar & Grill throughout April. And, even though the calendar is getting pretty full of performers for the 24-hour-a-day, 30-day marathon, there are still plenty of spots open. If you’re a Chico musician and you haven’t signed up yet, get off your ass (or off your high horse if you’re being anti and declining for some reactionary, too-cool-for-school reason) and join this monumental and gloriously bat-shit-crazy endeavor. Find Chico Breaks the Record on Facebook and sign up today.

Return of the living dead The zombies are back in Oroville. Join the Zombie Wrecking Crew and help save humanity by blasting their rotting faces with automatic paint-ball rifles, March 27-29 and April 3-4. Info:

Mo’ art, mo’ money On Monday, March 30, join local arts advocates and Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy at Americans for the Arts, as they present the findings of the two-year Economic Contribution of the Arts to the Chico Community survey conducted by the Chico Arts Commission. First, at 4 p.m., Cohen will give a presentation to Mayor Mark Sorensen in the City Council chambers. Then, in Conference Room 1, there will be a follow-up, plus Q&A from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

RIP Richard Gibson Last week, on March 18, local drummer Richard Gibson was found dead in his Live Oak home. He was 60 years old. According to his family, Gibson died in his sleep due to cardiac arrest. The popular local musician played with many prominent jazz and blues acts over the years, including Groove Diggers, Charlie Robinson, Charlie Haynes and most recently with Chico New Orleans-style R&B outfit Swamp Daddy as well as Yuba City’s The 2 Rivers Band. He was “one of the most gifted drummers I have met, in Chico or any other place,” said Swamp Daddy bandmate Dean Mott in an email. Added keyboardist Robert Laughlin: “I won’t be able to convey how hard it was to find a drummer who could handle those tricky New Orleans rhythms. But he picked them up quickly and ended up playing like a native. Playing with him was such a pleasure. We’re going to miss him.”