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The Aspen Writers’ Foundation is offering a season subscription to its Winter Words series through Jan. 8. The subscription – $70 for Writers’ Foundation members, and $80 for nonmembers – is good for admission to the six talks and readings in the Winter Words series.The series opens Jan. 8 at the Sky Hotel with Yusef Komunyakaa. The Louisiana-born poet, a professor at New York University, earned the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for his collection “Neon Vernacular.”Wyoming writer Gretel Ehrlich, whose books include “Heart Mountain” and “The Solace of Open Spaces,” is set to appear Feb. 1 at the Given Institute. Ehrlich postponed her scheduled appearance at the Writers’ Foundation’s Aspen Summer Words earlier this year.Ana Castillo, a Chicago-born, Latina-American whose works include the American Book Award-winning novel, “The Mixquiahuala Letters,” will read works of fiction and poetry Feb. 13 at the Given Institute. Lisa See, author of the best-seller “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” appears at the Given Institute Feb. 20.Colum McCann, who appeared at the Irish-themed 2005 Aspen Summer Words, returns March 8 at the Given Institute. McCann is the author of the award-winning novel “Dancer” and the forthcoming “Zoli.”Winter Words 2006 closes March 14 at the Given Institute with Alexandra Fuller, whose 2001 debut, the memoir “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight,” was named the No. 1 nonfiction book of the year.Individual events are $15 apiece. Also available are tickets and series subscriptions for Author Salons, which include a party following each event. For further information on the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, go to, or call 925-3122.

Dennis Basso Freestyle, a benefit event for the Aspen Art Museum, is set for Thursday, Dec. 28, at the St. Regis Aspen hotel. The après-ski event begins at 4:30 p.m.Freestyle 2006 features Möet Hennessy champagne and cocktails, caviar and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a silent auction. A live auction, conducted by Andrea Fiuzcynski, president of Christie’s Beverly Hills, will include a $10,000 shopping spree at Bulgari in Aspen, a photo shoot with photographer Patrick Demarchelier, a weekend in Palm Springs, and a Dennis Basso sable coat. The evening concludes with a Dennis Basso fashion show.For reservations or further information, call 925-8050.

Mark Richards, a retailer of outerwear and accessories, will have an opening reception for its newly designed space at 427 E. Cooper Ave., Wednesday, Dec. 27. A percentage of all sales during the event will be donated to Jazz Aspen Snowmass. Jazz Aspen will also be the beneficiary of the auction of a king-sized sheared mink blanket.Champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the public reception, set under a tent on the Cooper Avenue mall. For further information on the opening, call 544-6780.Also, Jazz Aspen is offering its Blind Faith Passes for sale. The pass allows general admission to all four days of the June Festival, all four days of the Labor Day Festival, or all eight days of the two festivals. A limited number of passes will be made available, and will only be sold through Sunday, Dec. 31.The Blind Faith Pass for either the June Festival or the Labor Day Festival is $99; the pass for both is $149. The 2007 June Festival is set for June 21-24 in Aspen’s Rio Grande Park. The 2007 Labor Day Festival is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Snowmass Town Park in Snowmass Village.No artists have been announced yet for either festival.Blind Faith Passes are available at the Wheeler Opera House box office, in person or by calling 920-5770, or online at

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