Talking Gourds Poetry Club: Howe, Trommer, Goodtimes, Waldor, 12/19

Alya Howe of Carbondale is an amazing poet who joins locals Peter Waldor of Telluride; Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville; and Art Goodtimes of Norwood for a special group reading at the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club on Tuesday, December 19, at the Telluride Arts Gallery & HQ, 135 West Pacific, across the street from the Telluride Library. Readings begin at 6 p.m. Poetry Club announcements are followed by the featured performance. Following a short break, the gourd is passed and everyone has a chance to read a poem or two (their own, or one from a favorite poet) that speaks to the theme this holiday season, “Making Light.”

British born, Alya Howe has won awards for her dance, poetry and performance art, and performed her work solo with companies throughout the US and Europe. That includes dancing with the Kei Takei and the Jose Limon Dance Company and improvising for tabla legend Zakir Hussein.

Having relocated after teaching at the State Ballet School in Greece to join Danceteller of Philadelphia and teach at the Laban Institute in New York City, Howe eventually moved to the Roaring Fork Valley to raise her daughter and transition from a hectic performing career.

Founder of Under Alya’s Umbrella, a performing arts organization which is part of Carbondale’s Creative District, she runs three local performing arts series: Poetry Brothel, Writ Large, and the Salon of Aspen. Recently Howe has been artist-in-residence at Carbondale’s Launch Pad, where she had sell-out performances for her Dance Initiative-commissioned works, “Vacuum” and “the HEaRD”.

Alya presented dance, storytelling and poetry at the recent Colorado Creative Industries Summit and was a featured poet at local events: 5Point Film Festival, WildFest and Mountain Fair. She began a new collaboration with Thunder River Theatre Company’s director Corey Simpson to open in the early fall:“Dead Man’s Cell Phone.”

Alya’s dream is to create a small mountain town performing arts circuit giving local performers an opportunity to perform around the region. For more info, visit

Peter Waldor is a San Miguel County Poet Laureate emeritus; Trommer and Goodtimes are co-directors of Talking Gourds poetry program – and star poets in their own right.

Art & Rosemerry

Having hosted Avon’s Jodie Hollander and Luis Lopez of Grand Junction and Val Szarek of Louisville for the fall Traveling Gourds Tour in September and October, moving into the winter season Talking Gourds reverts back to its Telluride-only Poetry Club venue at the Telluride Arts Gallery. 

On line for the new year are Elissa Dickson, January 23, and Daiva Chesonis & Craig Childs on February 20. The Traveling Gourds Tour will make its final appearance in March with Jennifer Rane Hancock of Grand Junction. Then, after taking our usual summer break, the program  will continue its regular Poetry Club readings in Telluride starting in September.

Simultaneously, Gourds is exploring special guest readings throughout the year, with plans underway for a Western Slope visit from California’s Claire Blotter in April. In May, at the Telluride Literary Arts Festival, Gourds hosts the winners of the Fischer Prize poetry competition 

Submissions for the 2018 Fischer Prize are now being accepted at


Talking Gourds programming survives through the generous support of private donors and Club members. There is a one-time fee of $25 to join. That donation makes you a full member for a year and gets you on Gourds’ cyber mailchimp list for readings, festivals and contests. It also means you are one of those generous supporters who believes in the importance of the arts on the Western Slope. A $10 annual renewal fee keeps members up to date as a full member, renews a subscription to a private email newsletter, and gives everyone half-price for Fischer Prize submissions and free Poetry Club broadsides.

 Talking Gourds Poetry Club, the Traveling Gourds Tour and Gourd Guests are collaborative projects of the Telluride Institute in partnership with Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library, Between the Covers Bookstore, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Lithic Bookstore & Gallery, Paonia Public Library, the Telluride Literary Arts Festival, Telluride Arts, the Telluride Mushroom Festival, and club members.

Talking Gourds is indebted to generous contributions past and present from Audrey Marnoy, Peter Waldor, the late Elaine Fischer and her many friends, Eduardo Brummel, Daiva Chesonis, Elissa Dickson, Laura Colbert, Jess Newens, Judy Kohin, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Danny Rosen, Kyle Harvey, Craig Jackman, Kate Jones, Pepper Raper, Molly Perault, Amy Brosch, Tara Miller, Sam Brown, Elle Metrick, Craig Childs, Kyra Kopestonsky, Lee & Billi Taylor, Allyson Snyder, David Oyster, Michael Olschewsky & Ruth Duffy, and our many friends.

 Call 970-729-0220 (voice or text, but no voicemail please) or visit the Gourds website here for more info.


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