Arts DEVOté

Rhyme Pays Just when sales of his popular Gangsta Rap Coloring Book start dipping, local artist and rapper Aye Jay! Morano gets a call from his publisher. In the past, interest has spiked due to things like police buying up all the copies, as they did a couple years ago at Barnes & Noble stores in South Carolina. This time, the word coming from Last Gasp Books was that Topshop, a fashion chain in the U.K., was pulling the book from its racks due to complaints. The story appeared on the site and was mentioned by the S.F. Chronicle’s Leah Garchik in her March 14 column. Even more incredible (especially considering the fact that the coloring book has been out for years) was the story that appeared March 13 on Philadelphia’s Channel 6 Action News titled “Coloring Book Causes Outrage.” The Philly D.A., a preacher and a Muslim imam all contribute their objections in the “firestorm of controversy” (See the video at:

For his part, Aye Jay! is just happy to get his 84 cents per book sold, responding very succinctly: “It’s just good.”

National Poetry Month Butte County is going big on words for April. No less a figure than the world’s leading translator of Rumi, Coleman Barks, is coming to the Lakeside Pavilion in California Park Sat., April 7, 8 p.m. Barks will of course be reading the works of that 13th-century Persian poet (best-selling poet in the world), and will be joined by Shelley & Barry Phillips on cello and harp.

Oh, and California’s poet laureate, Al Young, will be making a couple of stops in town Sun., April 15—3:30 p.m. at Lyon Books to sign his book Coastal Night and Inland Afternoons , and 7 p.m. for a reading at Chico State (PAC 134).

more WORDS: Local poet, teacher, artist and Poemcrazy author Susan Wooldridge will give a poetry workshop on getting excited about writing and teaching poetry Mon., April 9, noon, at Chico State (BMU 211). And the Chico Poetree Slam keeps rollin’ with two slams at the 1078 Gallery, April 5 and 19.

Weekly DEVOtions ” Avenue 9 Gallery: Jason Tannen will be on hand to discuss his film noir, puzzle-piece video, “The Pressman Negatives” (displayed continually on two monitors) during the Art 1st Saturday, April 7, 4 to 8 p.m.

• Butte College: Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, showing through April 7 at Paradise Performing Arts Center.

• Blue Room: Joe Hilsee’s final role at the theater, as Henry Kissinger in Nixon’s Nixon . Opens April 5.

In memorium: A very belated tip of the keyboard to fellow journalist and Buzz theater critic Holly Vinson, who died March 22. Chico has lost one of its most dedicated arts voices, and the local theater community will not be the same without her. The CN&R family offers its condolences to Vinson’s family and loved ones.