Talking Gourds: Barbara Rockman Featured, 11/5

The Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club welcomes “Mother Poet” Barbara Rockman of Santa Fe as the featured performer for its early November club meeting. The event takes place Tuesday, November 5, starting at 6 p.m. at Telluride Arts HQ, 135 W. Pacific Avenue, across the street from the entrance to another Gourds partner, Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library. Consider ordering one of Rockman’s books from another Talking Gourds partner, Between the Covers Bookstore. 

Barbara Rockman

Barbara Rockman received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is author of “Sting and Nest: Poems,” (Sunstone Press, 2011), which won the New Mexico-Arizona book award, and she has a new project out: “to cleave,” (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2019).

Rockman’s poems appear widely in journals including Calyx, Bellingham Review, Cimarron, Louisville Review, Nimrod, Southern Humanities Review and have received four Pushcart Prize nominations, Best of the Net recognition, the Southwest Writers Prize, Baskerville Publishers Prize, MacGuffin Poetry Prize, Persimmon Tree Prize, and the New Mexico Discovery Award.

Barbara Rockman teaches poetry and leads writing workshops at Santa Fe Community College; Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families; Inside Out Arts for people living with mental illness,; and in community workshops.

A frequent collaborator with other artists, Rockman’s work has been included in numerous word-and-image installations. She is currently collaborating with Barcelona artist, Cynthia Fusillo, on an assemblage of poems and fables inspired by Fusillo’s multi-dimensional dresses.

The theme prompt for the first Gourds meeting in November is “Going Home.”

Talking Gourds has a second Poetry Club meet ing in November. That takes place November 19 in Telluride and features local poets Suzanne Cheavens and Stephanie Osan. The theme prompt for that event is “Growing.”

For the last reading of the year, on December 17, in Telluride, San Miguel County Poet Laureate Emerita Elissa Dickson plans to give a holiday show before leaving for a six-months sabbatical. The theme prompt is “Time.”

Poetry Club readings in Telluride start at 6 p.m. beginning with news and other business. The featured reader then shares work for 30-45 minutes. After a short break, the Gourd gets passed around and everyone shares a poem or a piece by a favorite author on the month’s theme.


Inspired by the late “Way of the Mountain” climber, skier, and deep ecologist Dolores LaChapelle, Talking Gourds is a poetry program sponsored by the Telluride Institute. Art Goodtimes of Wrights Mesa and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville are co-directors, and Galaxy Dancer is administrative assistant.

The Talking Gourds program includes a number of projects where it acts as lead agency or as collaborative partner:

• A national Fischer Prize and a state Cantor Award in poetry

• A seasonal monthly Poetry Club with featured guest poets from around the region

• The annual MycoLuscious MycoLicious MycoLogical Poetry Show at the Telluride Mushroom Festival

• The annual Karen Chamberlain Award for Lifetime Poetry Achievement in Colorado at the Gunnison Valley Literary Festival

• The annual Ettore Rella awards for Telluride Middle and High School students

• The biannual Western Slope Poet Laureate selection

• The biannual San Miguel County Poetry Laureate recommendation

• The occasional unscheduled Guest Gourds performances


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