Telluride Region's Art Goodtimes Named Western Slope Poet Laureate

But is it Art?
But is it Art?

We love it when a member of the Telluride Inside… and Out family is tributed, especially this member.

Art Goodtimes and I go way back to the beginning days of the Daily Planet, when the man gallantly stepped aside to allow this then wet-behind-the ears journalist to take her place in hot seat as the town's theatre critic, a job he had performed ever so well. Which is the way Art does everything from governing to organizing festivals to weaving baskets to weaving words together to form a poem.   

In late March, Thunder River Theatre Company and its board of directors announced the appointment of Art Goodtimes as the first ever Western Slope Poet Laureate. He serves as Western Slope Poet Laureate through March 2012, when a new poet laureate will be named at the second annual Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival.

As we suggested above, Art is abundantly and unique talented: he is an artist, author, poet-performer, bioregionalist paleohippie, Green Party San Miguel County commissioner, father, fungophile, and basket weaver. He is the creator of Talking Gourds, a traveling tribal poetry feast, has published hundreds of poems: in Earth First, in his weekly newspaper columns, in "Talking Gourd Bundles," and now as poetry editor for Mountain Gazette. For many years he ran the Telluride Writers Guild. He still runs
the Telluride Mushroom Festival as poet-in-residence and writes a now-and-then column for Telluride Inside… and Out, "Razz-A-Ma-Tazz."

Criteria for the Western Slope Poet Laureate award were created with the spirit of Karen Chamberlain in mind. Karen had a passion for celebrating other writers and their works and literary lives. The Western Slope Poet Laureate must have lived in Western Colorado for at least five years, been an inspiration to the poetry community, demonstrated literary excellence in publications and/or performance, and been a poetry ambassador promoting literary arts.

Festival organizer, and TRTC Associate Artistic Director Valerie Haugen commented:

"Art Goodtimes is the perfect choice for our first Western Slope Poet Laureate. He is actively a practicing poet in his community. His poetry is powerful, and generous. He is a gifted poet, and we hope to bring attention to his work during this next year."

"It's wonderful to see poet laureates springing up around Colorado, as poets begin to honor each other," said Art,  "and folks start to hear the deeper, bardic truths of tanka and rant, hiphop and riprap, cowboy and slam. It was San Francisco's George Oppen who wrote, 'Ultimately the air is bare sunlight, where must be found the lyric valuables.'"

Below are examples of Art's work, fine examples of Art for Art's sake. And for our sakes.

Who’s Fit
even among the Fittest?

-for G.

Nothing’s "sustainable"
Who can keep the world "the same"?
But a place can be resilient
to the terrorisms of change

I get National Geo
I've seen the seven billion maps
Our kind’s explosive growth
will be Earth’s next Fukushimi

Whatever they say, mass extinction’s
on the way – mist in the mountains,
one engine out, circling Lawson Hill…

Will we make the cut? Or miss it?

AND

Prayer for Pedagogy

-for Iris, Rio, Wylder, Sara & Gorio

Let’s hope not all moms
train tiger
cubs

though gatherers need
predator
warrior hunters

Let's hope some men at least
learn
to make the leap

from pa-papoose
to
peers

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