Talking Gourds, February: Wild Rose & McRedeye Featured, 2/21

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville and Art Goodtimes of Norwood are the featured performers for the Telluride Institute’s Traveling Gourds Tour, Tuesday, February 21-Friday, February 24, visiting Telluride, Colona, and Fruita. (A regularly scheduled Thursday night stop at Cimarron Coffeeroasters in Ridgway has been cancelled for the rest of the season.) In Telluride, the performance takes place at the Telluride Arts Gallery and Offices, 135 West Pacific, across the street from the Telluride Library, on Tuesday, February 21, 6 p.m


wild rose poster


“We’d love to have a reading Thursday nights late in the month in Montrose or Delta County,” explained Goodtimes, who co-directs the Institute’s Talking Gourds programs with Trommer. “If anyone in the towns of Montrose, Delta, Hotchkiss, Paonia, or Olathe is willing to sponsor a poet or two for the night, we will make the arrangements to provide performers. Get a hold of us.”

Writers often write in the voice of different personae. Rosemerry likes to reserve her more daring pieces for a persona she calls Wild Rose. And Art likes to write in his poems with a voice different from his own, or his narrator, which he calls McRedeye.

Thanks to juggling schedules, Art will read in Telluride, Colona, and Fruita, and Rosemerry will join him for the Telluride and Fruita readings, but not Colona.

In Telluride, the performance takes place at the Telluride Arts Gallery and Offices, 135 West Pacific, across the street from the library, on Tuesday, February 21 at 6 p.m. The Ouray County reading takes place at La Zona Colona just off U.S. Highway 550 on Wednesday, February 22, at 5 p.m. And in Mesa County the event is held at the Lithic Bookstore & Gallery, located at 138 South Park Square #202 in Fruita (Upstairs — enter through lobby door by the east side of the building on Mesa Street).

Rosemerry Trommer is the Western Slope Poet Laureate, a past San Miguel County Poet Laureate, and a truly amazing performer. If you’ve never seen her in action, then you are in for a treat. If you have, come see at her most daring, channeling Wild Rose.

Art Goodtimes is a past Western Slope Poet Laureate, a veteran performer who cut his lyric teeth on the beat streets of San Francisco, and a recently retired Green Party politician, who writes weekly columns for the Montrose Mirror and the Watch out of Telluride.

To fill out the rest of the winter/spring Gourds schedule, March 21-24 will feature Frank H. Coons of Grand Junction and April 25-28 – National Poetry Month – will be Danny Rosen of Fruita and a celebration of Jack Mueller’s work.

In Telluride, following Club announcements and the featured performances, there will be a short intermission, after which the gourd will be passed around the room to give Club members and attendees a chance to read a poem or two. “Circles” is the theme for those bringing poems to share at the Gourds Circle or open readings after the featureds performers. The March theme is “Birds,” and the April theme is “Lost.”

For info on the Colona reading, contact Craig Jackman at or 970-249-4214.

For info on the Fruita performance, contact Kyle Harvey or Danny Rosen at (970) 858-3636.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2017 Fischer Prize for poetry with its $3000 in prizes. For more info, go to

tallking gourds, art & rosemerry

For a preview of the February tour, check out the two poems below:


Wild Rose Steps in at the Circus by Rosemerry Trommer

“Wild” Rosemerry Trommer

“Wild” Rosemerry Trommer

And why shouldn’t she fill in on the trapeze?
After all, she’s no stranger to ropes and heights.

And The Great Flying Sabrina couldn’t be all that great.
She’d broken her neck in her last performance,

and that poor little ringmaster looked so cute
in his top hat and tears. Wild Rose struts

into the trailers behind the tent and finds herself a headdress
with red feathers and a red sequin leotard. Really,

how hard could it be? Climb the ladder, grab the bar,
smile and swing, gain momentum, flip three times,

hang from her ankles and spin. Sounds easier
than other things she’s supposed to do tonight.

Like make that call to apologize. Never mind what for.
She has other things to think about now,

like the audience cheering as she walks into the center ring
and lets her scarlet robe fall to the floor.


Dove Creek by Art Goodtimes

Art Goodtimes

Art Goodtimes

“Hey friend,” Ernie asks
He wants a favor

We’ve been pols in adjoining counties
& we’ve helped each other out
more than once

“Write me a poem
about odd friends”
he says

& McRedeye laughs
An odd request, but we all know
you don’t always dance
with the one you come with

“Ain’t that the truth, Ernie”
I chime in

And there’s no denying
some of the most virulent opinionated
hardcore issue opponents
I’ve tussled with

& even a few half-soused jock talk
bigmouths I’ve met at conferences
hotel bars or hospitality suites

have turned out
to be quite charming souls

Not opposed to goodness

Maybe a little twisted
Like a grain elevator
gone to seed

Or yellow tractors
chained to their rusts

So, why is it
McRedeye wonders
the people you fast friend in life
can be crazy bi-polar opposites
you never would have
expected to nod to
on the street

Let alone
trust like a sister
Like a brother
To deeply appreciate?


Additional information:

Talking Gourds programming survives through the generous support of private donors and Club members. There is a one-time fee of $25 to join and get on the cyber mailing list for regular meetings and special events. And then there is a $10 annual renewal to be a member in good standing each year. These receive half-price on Fischer Poetry Prize submissions and featured poet monthly broadsides.

Talking Gourds is a multi-part program of the Telluride Institute, in partnership with the Wilkinson Public Library, Between the Covers Bookstore, Lithic Bookstore & Gallery, La Zona Colona Coffee, Ah Haa School for the Arts, the Telluride Literary Arts Festival, Telluride Arts, and the Telluride Mushrooms Festival.

Talking Gourds is indebted to generous contributions from Audrey Marnoy, Peter Waldor, the late Elaine Fischer and her friends, Daiva Chesonis, Elissa Dickson, Jess Newens, Art Goodtimes, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Danny Rosen, Kyle Harvey, Craig Jackman, Michael Olschewsky, and Ruth Duffy.

Call 970-729-0220 or visit the Gourds website for more info.


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