Talking Gourds Poetry Program
Inspired by Silverton climber, skier, author and deep ecologist, the late Dolores LaChapelle, Talking Gourds has become a poetry program sponsored by the Telluride Institute. Art Goodtimes of Wrights Mesa and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville are the co-directors.
Talking Gourds began in 1989 as a project of Dolores LaChapelle. Her book, Sacred Land Sacred Sex Rapture of the Deep (Finn Hill Arts, 1989), spoke of bardic poetry as one of seven pathways to reconnect us to the earth. She called her walk of many paths the Way of the Mountain. For almost 20 years Dolores and Art, together with the poet Judyth Hill and the sculptor John Townley of New Mexico, held numerous wanderings in and around the San Juan Mountains to put bardic poetry into practice. Dolores passed away in 2007.
In 2012 Talking Gourds became a program of the Telluride Institute. Talking Gourds continues to sponsor multiple poetry projects.
The Poetry Club brings regional poets to Telluride for monthly performance readings at the Telluride Arts Office & Gallery across from the Wilkinson Library. After the featured, there's a Gourds Circle where club members and guests are given a chance to share a poem, a song, or a few words (Sept. through Apr.)
The 21st Annual Fischer Prize -- a national poetry contest -- commemorates artist Elaine Cantor Fischer and poet Mark Fischer of Telluride. Both were 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 public venues and private homes around San Miguel County (at various times throughout the year). Like the recent Western Slope Poet Laureate David Rothman of Crested Butte reading in Norwood.
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 we sponsor 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.
The Traveling Gourds Tour is closing down after a three year run. It was a great opportunity to showcase poets on the Western Slope but it needs a grant or angel to fund the administrative logistics that such a project requires.
Our events and programs are funded by memberships, partner donations, and generous private grants from the late Elaine Fischer and from folks donating in her memory, Telluride Institute board member Audrey Marnoy of the Mountain Village, San Miguel County Poet Laureate emeritus Peter Waldor of Telluride, and poet Eduardo Brummel of Salida.
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, and Lithic Bookstore & Gallery.
We also honor previous collaborations with Arroyo Gallery & Wine Bar (Telluride), Cimarron Books (Ridgway), La Zona Colona Coffee, Wisehart Springs Inn (Paonia), and the Montrose Regional Library.
To support Talking Gourds, become a Member.
POSTERS are for sale: $25 for 24x35 or $20 for 11x17 on cardstock ($5 mailing). Email Art Goodtimes at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Image designed by Mary Joy Martin
Guest Gourds Tour with Claire Blotter
Cantor Award for best Colorado poem in Fischer Prize
2018 Fischer Prize Now Open to Contestants
2017 Fischer Prize winner Anna Scotti published in the New Yorker
Crested Butte’s Dr. David J. Rothman Named Western Slope Poet Laureate