Best Bets for the Week of Nov. 14-20

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Thursday

Do You Read Me?: Some of the world's top authors will take part in the annual Writers Harvest, a nationwide poetry and prose slam that raises money to fight hunger. The St. Louis version, at Washington University's West Campus Center, features a roster of writers including Antonio Skarmeta, the Chilean novelist who penned "Burning Patience," the inspiration for the film "Il Postino" ("The Postman"), plus poet Allison Funk, novelist Ursula Hegi, travel writer Eddy Harris and others. Admission is $10. The action starts at 8 p.m. More info: 935-5576.

Friday Arrive Fashionably Early: Blues Traveler and The Wallflowers form one of those great double bills where the artistic style of the opener and the main attraction complement each other and the customers actually get their money's worth. We've seen Blues Traveler plenty in St. Louis, which makes the The Wallflowers, fresh off their hit "6th Avenue Heartache," the band to watch. It doesn't diminish the curiosity factor a bit that the band is headed by Jakob Dylan, whose father, Bob, is something of a well-known musician himself. The bands play Friday and Saturday at the American Theatre. Tickets are $18.50. More info: 968-1800. Yeah, But What Is It?: One of the 20th century's greatest contributions to the history of art is abstractionism. From the early experiments with it by artists such as Braque and Picasso to work being done today, abstractionism has been a vital, varied and pervasive influence. Morton Ball, who is himself a talented abstract painter, believes that there was a break in the current of abstractionism during the 1970s. Because of the break, Ball says that the new abstractionism cannot be seen as a continuation of the past. He hopes to persuade us with his exhibition of the work of nine contemporary abstractionists a grouped as "Reconditioned Abstraction" a that opens on Friday at the Forum for Contemporary Art. The kickoff reception is from 7-9 p.m. Ball will present a gallery talk on Saturday morning at 11. All events are free and the show continues through Jan. 4. The Forum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-5. More info: 535-4660. Saturday Sax Facts: If saxophone is your passion, head west to Columbia for the only Missouri appearance by the World Saxophone Quartet. …

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