“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for,” (Dead Poet’s Society)
Like so many Telluride locals, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer is a wife and mom, also a jock, who especially enjoys river-rafting, hiking, skiing.
But she is also a killer poet, a Word Woman.
(And, lucky us, a regular contributor to Telluride Inside… and Out.)
“She never fails to bring sensual joy and rich music,” said David Lee, Utah’s past Poet Laureate.
Lee is talking about Rosemerry’s newest poetry collection,“The Less I Hold,” released this month by Turkey Buzzard Press. And on Wednesday, December 12 – that’s 12/12/12 – 5:12 p.m, Between the Covers Bookstore hosts a book signing and reading featuring the writer.
(Rosemerry is also the featured artist throughout December for the Telluride Historical Museum‘s “Sights and Sounds” exhibit, featuring books, haiku, rocks, and a looping DVD of poetry videos.)
For over seven years, no itch, no hitch, Rosemerry has written a poem a day. Other than that, her days may look a lot like yours and mine: shoveling snow, feeding her family, weeding the garden, driving to work.
The questions she keeps asking herself may be questions you ask yourself: What are we doing here? How do we make peace with others’ deaths and our own? What if things fall completely apart? And then what? Why is this happening? What is love?
“The Less I Hold” straddles both worlds, the world of to-do lists and the less mundane world that involves wrestling with the divine. While doing dishes, putting the kids to bed, skiing or peeling pears, Rosemerry finds the poetry in the act and shares it with the reader in what she calls “the big conversation,” the place where poetry meets the real world.
“Although very contemporary, her dazzling syntax, her ability to express complex emotions in such profound simplicity put her in the company of poets like Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins, as well as the ancient poets of China and Japan,” writes poet Jim Tipton of this collection. “I love her poetry.”
“The Less I Hold” is book #13 for Rosemerry. It follows fast on the heels of “The Miracle Already Happening,” all about encounters the Sufi mystic poet Rumi in everyday settings — kitchen, kindergarten, even a Walmart parking lot. “Miracle” is also in some ways a response to Rosemerry’s previous Turkey Buzzard Press collection, “Holding Three Things at Once.”
“Three years ago, when that book came out, I thought I could juggle things. I thought I could use poetry to help contain the world, make it more orderly,” Rosemerry explained.
“The Less I Hold” is just the opposite:
“I became increasingly interested in poetry that does not tie things up neatly—poetry that is truer to the messiness in our lives. Poetry that is curious. Poems that help me unlearn. Poems that know more than I do.”
Rosemerry Trommer served two terms as San Miguel County’s first Poet Laureate. She still leads monthly poetry readings, teaches in schools, leads writing workshops and leaves poems written on river rocks all around the town. Her work has appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion” and in O Magazine, on tie-dyed scarves, alleyway fences and in her children’s lunch boxes.
Give a gift of poetry this holiday season.
For a preview of Rosemerry’s reading at Between the Covers click the “play” button.