Inspired by Silverton climber, skier, author and deep ecologist, the late Dolores LaChapelle, Talking Gourds has become a poetry program of the Telluride Institute, and is co-directed by Art Goodtimes of Wrights Mesa and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville.
Talking Gourds sponsors multiple projects, including:
The Poetry Club, which brings regional poets to Telluride for monthly performance readings at the Telluride Arts Office & Gallery across from the Wilkinson Library, followed by a Gourds Circle where club members and guests are given a chance to share a poem, song or story (Sept. through Apr.);
The Traveling Gourds Tour, where the same regional poets visit four different venues on the Western Slope -- Telluride (San Miguel County), Colona (Ouray County), Paonia (Delta County) and Fruita (Mesa County) -- four times a year (Sept./Oct. & Mar./Apr.);
The annual Fischer Prize -- a national poetry contest, commemorating artist Elaine and poet Mark Fischer, both local champions of the arts;
The poetry component of the Telluride Literary Arts Festival (third weekend in May), where the Fischer Prize is awarded and the bi-annual Western Slope Poet Laureate selection is made;
Special Guest Gourds reading parties for visiting poets at private homes around San Miguel County (at various times throughout the year);
The MycoLuscious MycoLicious MycoLogical Poetry Show at the Telluride Mushroom Festival (third weekend in August);
Every two years we select a Western Slope Poet Laureate at the Telluride Literary Arts Festival;
And occasional partnership collaborations throughout the year.
Like the recent Floor Show celebrating the 10th anniversary of the preservation of the Valley Floor through condemnation and a mammoth fundraising effort to meet the eventual $50 million price tag.
Our events and programs are funded by memberships, partner donations, and generous grants from the late Elaine Fischer and folks donating in her memory, Telluride Institute board member Audrey Marnoy of the Mountain Village, and San Miguel County Poet Laureate emeritus Peter Waldor of Telluride.
The Telluride Institute's Talking Gourds program works in collaboration with various local and regional partners -- including Telluride Arts, Between the Covers Bookstore, Wilkinson Library, Ah Haa School for the Arts, La Zona Colona Coffee, Wisehart Springs Inn, and Lithic Bookstore & Gallery.
We also honor previous collaborations with Arroyo Gallery & Wine Bar (Telluride), Cimarron Books (Ridgway), and the Montrose Regional Library.
To support poetry on the Western Slope, become a Member.
Jodie Hollander on Tour
Open Bard Poetry Series
Western Slope Poet Laureate Announced
Other Poetry Events