Telluride Institute's Talking Gourds: 5th Generation Local To Read, 10/15!
Since Monday, October 14, is Indigenous Peoples Day, instead of a poetry reading in Norwood, the Telluride Institute has teamed up with the Wilkinson Public Library and Friends of the Library to bring Robin Wall Kimmerer to town.
Kimmerer is an indigenous author, professor of Environmental Biology, and founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. That program is part of the Telluride Library’s community read project: One Book, One Canyon. Kimmerer is leading a writing workshop from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Telluride Library, and a book-signing and talk at 6 p.m.
Marie Luna, whose mom was born in the hospital that now serves as the Telluride Historical Museum, is the featured reader for the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club gathering the next day, Tuesday October 15, 6 p.m. at the Telluride Arts HQ across the street from the Library.
Marie Luna has been writing since she was four years old. She taught herself to read with old encyclopedias while living on a ranch in the range of the Sleeping Ute Mountain, and she became obsessed with Lord Byron and E. E. Cummings by the time she was just seven. Maria Luna has been attempting to write poetry palatable for humans for over a half-century. (Her dogs seem to like her words, but then they are an easy audience.)
Marie Luna’s childhood in Western Colorado included long days on a horse, checking on cattle in deep desert canyons or steep mountainsides at high elevations in the searing sun. Her passion for the natural world’s creatures and plants was fostered by solo time in the wilderness, fishing with her grandparents in remote places or camping by herself with only a dog for company from the age of five. Marie Luna’s writing reflects that long-standing, deep love relationship she has with wilderness.
Marie Luna’s family has been blessed to live on the Western Slope of Colorado for five generations, always in remote, beautiful places. She is honored to have been able to bring up a family in places as inspiring as the San Juan Mountains. Marie Luna raised her sons in the range of Shandoka or “The Stormbringer.”
Marie Luna’s has deep gratitude for her teachers, among them, Bill Ashbaugh of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, her uncle and mentor.
Ashbaugh taught his niece horse-whispering and took her to sacred dances all over the Southwest, furthering the positive relationship her family has maintained with the original inhabitants of the lands. Knowledge of those bonds sparked further studies with mentors in many countries, as the author deepened her immersions in curanderismo. That interest evolved into a life-long vocation of creating healing events and protocols for people from all walks of life.
The theme for club members at October’s reading is “Healing.”
In November Talking Gourds Poetry Club hosts two readings. On November 5, Barbara Rockman of Santa Fe is the featured reader at the Telluride Arts Gallery. Author of “Sting and Nest: Poems,” (Sunstone Press, 2011), which won the New Mexico-Arizona book award, she teaches at the Santa Fe Community College and has a new book out: “to cleave” (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2019). The theme is “Going Home.”
On November 18 in Norwood (site to be announced) and November 19 in Telluride, local poets Suzanne Cheavens and Stephanie Osan share the spotlight. The theme is “Growing.”
And for the last reading of the year, on December 16 in Norwood (site to be announced) and December 17 in Telluride, San Miguel County Poet Laureate Emerita Elissa Dickson gives a holiday show before she leaves for a six-months sabbatical. Theme is to be “Time.”
Poetry Club readings in Norwood begin at 6:30 p.m. and in Telluride at 6 p.m. beginning with club news – readings, books, etc. Next, the featured reader shares work for 30-45 minutes. There’s a short break. And then the Gourd is passed around so that everyone gets to share their own poem – or a piece by a favorite author on the month’s theme.
Talking Gourds, more:
Inspired by San Juan Mountains climber, skier, and deep ecologist – the late 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.
The Talking Gourds program encompasses various projects for which it acts as lead agency or partner: the national Fischer Prize, the Colorado Cantor Award, the monthly Poetry Club, the occasional Guest Gourds, the biannual Western Slope Poet Laureate selection, the biannual San Miguel County Poetry Laureate recommendation, 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 and other projects.
For more info visit the Talking Gourds website.
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