Words: Inspiration in the River City 

And to Richmond's credit, the local cup of talent runneth over. Art6 Gallery hosts Shann Palmer's one-woman show March 12, plus other monthly literary events. Chop Suey Books slips something into our cups once a month with the von Gribley reading series. This season's highlight is Clay McLeod Chapman and Rydell Bixby Feb.17. Virginia Commonwealth University's M.F.A. students give you something to nibble on with A Moveable Feast at the 1708 Gallery one Friday a month.

If you're ready to stay up all night, Chop Suey celebrates its birthday with the 24 Hour Bookman starting April 16, a full day of writers, filmmakers, artists, musicians and even a pet or two. Or head over to Carytown Books and support the First Amendment with the second annual 72-Hour Banned Book Reading May 18-21.

The adventurous among us can brave the Just! Poetry Slam at the Firehouse Theatre the last Monday of every month. If the haikus can't wait, Tropical Soul hosts Verses, performances of prose and poetry, every Tuesday. For those quadruple threats, Lyric Ave's variety show of poetry, hip-hop, music and comedy can be found at Mr. Bojangles every other Sunday.

The challenge will not be in having nothing to do, but in how to do it all. Dip your toe, dip your pen and dive right in. — Brandon Reynolds

Style's 2003 Fiction Contest third-place winner, Brandon Reynolds, now works on staff as calendar editor. He also writes a gardening column for Home Style, our monthly publication devoted to home living, and is in training to be a master gardener. He will be reading from his own work, with Style book editor Valley Haggard, at Black Swan Books Feb. 11 and at Art6 on May 14.

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