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Lyrics and Dirges 

When: Wed., Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. 2011

Ten years ago at Berkeley's King Middle school, Terry Taplin wrote sprawling, preternaturally sophisticated poetry and serial fiction for the Xeroxed leaflet that passed as the school newspaper. Since then, he's become something of a rising star on the local and national slam poetry scenes, now having been a member of three National Poetry Slam teams. His work typically (and brilliantly) addresses the intersections between race, gender, and sexual orientation, but he also has a killer poem about having man-boobs that'll make you laugh and cry at the same time. Taplin reads at Pegasus Downtown (2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on Wednesday, Sept. 21, as part of the bookstore's monthly Lyrics and Dirges series, which aims to "highlight prominent and emerging" local literary talent. 7:30 p.m., free. 510-649-1320 or PegasusBookstore.com

— Ellen Cushing

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