gourds gourds
The Telluride Writers Guild
and the
Ah Haa School of the Arts
a Western Slope tradition since 1989

April 24-27, 2008
at the historic Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, Colorado


All-event tickets

Purchase TICKETS through:

select "Talking Gourds" from the QuickTick window – "find an event"

Resort Quest
Sheridan Arts Foundation
Ah Haa School for the Arts

dancing gourddancing gourd
Catch headliners singer/songwriter/poet Vanessa Boyd of New York City and the celebrated performance poet and teacher Judyth Hill of New Mexico at this year's annual Talking Gourds poetry festival in Telluride April 24-27, 2008.

The festival coincides with National Poetry Month and follows Earth Day, and regional wordslingers of multiple genres will share their work on stage, over mochas on Telluride's box canyon sidewalks, in interactive workshops, lectures and jam sessions. Among those featured will be the Word Horde student poets of Western State College in Gunnison. Thursday noon the festival begins with a memorial hike to the Bear Creek falls in the Town Park campground for Dolores LaChapelle, whose ecological writings inspired Talking Gourds. Many regional poets from Colorado and New Mexico will be featured throughout the weekend, and Talking Gourds will be making awards for the eleventh Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, the second Tellus Award for the best poetry film of the year and its first annual Pandora Award for the best Colorado publisher of the year. Friday and Saturday are full of workshops, performances an open readings. The festival ends Sunday morning with a brunch and closing Gourds Circle in Placerville.

For more information about the Talking Gourd Festival, check the websites: www.ahhaa.org/writers_guild or contact co-director Art Goodtimes at gourds@paleohippie.com or 970.327.4767. For lodging or scholarship information, contact co-director Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, 970-728-0399 or wordwoman@mesa.net. Weekend passes and individual event tickets can be purchased at the door and in advance through the Ah Haa School for the Arts, 970-728-3886. Full festival price for the four day event is $120. Individual tickets for individual events will be available at the door (until sold out). Some scholarships are available.

Talking Gourds Festival is produced by the Telluride Writers Guild and made possible through the generosity of the Telluride Commission for Community Assistance, Arts & Special Events; the Ah Haa School for the Arts; and ResortQuest of Telluride. For more info on Guild programs, call Director Amy Cannon at 970.728.6467

Mark Fischer Poetry Prize deadline set for March 20

The Telluride Writers Guild's invites submissions to the eleventh annual Mark Fischer Poetry Prize. Started by the Guild in 1997 and sustained by Mark's widow Elaine Fischer and the Fischer family, the prize is named in the memory of Telluride's much-loved poet, lawyer, skier and raconteur.

Mark Fischer was a daring experimenter who combined a polyglot's command of numerous languages with a quirky sense of humor and a passion for obtuse words. In that spirit, prizes will be awarded to the entry that best exhibits the qualities of originality, novelty, complex meaning, linguistic skill and wit. All styles and content matter are acceptable (the wilder the better).

Winners will be selected by the 2008 judges, Wendy Videlock and Art Goodtimes. Awards of $150 first prize, $50 second prize, and $25 third prize will be presented at Talking Gourds, Telluride's annual performance poetry festival on Friday, April 25, 2008, at the Sheridan Opera House. Several runnerup $25 2009 festival discounts will also be awarded.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions are limited to one page of original work (8.5x11"), in a font no smaller that 12 points. Any poet residing in Colorado or New Mexico for at least three months of the year is eligible to enter, and multiple entries (up to 5) will be allowed. Previously published work is acceptable so long as the writer retains the copyright. Submission to the contest grants one-time use rights of publication to the Telluride Writers Guild in local papers and in any future anthology of work. But copyright is retained by the author. A reading fee of $5 per poem/page must accompany submissions, and a SASE is necessary for notifying contestants of the winners. Make checks payable to the Telluride Writers Guild.

No names on the submissions themselves. On a separate sheet, please legibly write or type your name, the title of your piece(s), your phone number, email and your address. Snail mail must include check and SASE, and may include poems (email submission of poems acceptable gourds@paleohippie.com). Send completed submission packet to Mark Fischer Contest, c/o Art Goodtimes, Cloud Acre, P.O. Box 160, Norwood, CO 81423. Deadline (postmark date) is Tuesday, March 20, 2008. No incomplete or late submissions will be accepted or considered. For Gourds info www.ahhaa.org/writers_guild.

For Lodging contact Rosemerry at wordwoman@mesa.net
phone: 970.728.0399

For Event Inquiries contact www.sheridanoperahouse.com


Gourd over the water
A look back at EVENTS in 2006


Opening Show
The Historic Sheridan Opera House / free / 4-6 p.m.
Emcee EAR


GOURDStewart Warren of Del Norte,
Bodine of Poncha Springs,
Scott Nicolay of Shiprock,
Delphine Clearwater of Paonia,
Leonard Velasquez of El Valle San Luis,
Tara Miller of Paonia,
Steven Meyers of Durango,
Kit Muldoon of Lakewood,
Debbi Brody of Santa Fe,
David Feela of Cortez,
Celeste Labadie of Boulder,
David Rozgonyi of Fort Collins,
Kit Hedman of Denver,
Elle Metrick of Norwood,
Art Goodtimes of Norwood,
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville

Word Show
Sheridan Opera House / $10 / 8-9:30 p.m. Emcee Suzan Boling

zoEy bEnally
The Invisible
(Brooke Hart, Edward Thurston & Lydia Smith)
(Day Acoli, Oracle Speaks, Bianca Mikahn)

Late Night Carouse
local bar (to be announced) / no charge / 10 p.m.-your call
with North Beach legend Jack Mueller


Interactive #1a
Sheridan Opera House / $15 / 8-9:30 a.m.
Listening to the Songs the Ancestors Sing
Kava Circle and Discussion with Scott Nicolay
Kava (aka kavakava, 'awa, yaqona) is the traditional ritual drink of much of Island Oceania, and is intimately connected with the practice of ancestor veneration that is central to all peoples of that region. In Hawai'i they say 'awa restores the umbilicus to your ancestors. In parts of Vanuatu, kava helps 'man ples' (traditional person) acquire new songs from the ancestors. Come share the drink of peace and explore a traditional connection to the muses with poet Scott Nicolay and kava from Hawai'i and Papua New Guinea.

Interactive #1b
Miramonte Building / $15 / 8-9:30 a.m.
The Limitations and Bewitchments of Language According to Wittgenstein
Doug Staton
A poet's purpose is to employ the bewitchments of language to no good use. This presentation will explore the limitations of language according to the philosophical methodology of Ludwig Wittgenstein in order to identify some of the more mysterious methods of our craft.

Interactive #2a
Sheridan Opera House / $15 / 10-11:30 a.m.
Poetic Boot Camp: Made Up Artistry
Day Acoli, Oracle Speaks & Bianca Mikahn
We will walk attendees through three crucial steps in performance poetry: 1) writing about personal experience, 2)mastering vocal inflections in your writing, 3) connecting to your spiritual self in performance.

Interactive #2b
Miramonte Building / $15 / 10-11:30 a.m.
Obsession, Intuition, and the Pleasures of Marrying Sound and Sense
Wendy Videlock
Wendy Videlock explores the sonic devices, rhythmic tensions, powers of repetition and subtle effects of pacing that allow poems to creep in through the pores, rattle through the bones, shake our rigid cores and become what every red-blooded, grave-fearing lyric longs to be -- seductive, musical, necessary, and ultimately, memorable. Bring a couple of your own poems and a couple from the shelves. She'll bring the parchment paper and inkwells.

Eat Our Words Show
Sheridan Opera House / no charge / noon-1:30 p.m. Emcee EAR
Aaron Anstett
Wendy Videlock
Danny Rosen
Ellen Holly Klaver of Tzotzollin
Katie Bulfin
Sarah Setzer

talking gourdlaughing gourd

Art, Rosemerry, and Ellen

Come all ye poets and speak your hearts!

THE HUMAN heart has ever dreamed of a fairer world than the one it knows. No man, however dark his spirit, however cramped his senses, is quite without the yearning after wider horizons and a purer air. In a happy moment earth seems to hold for all the promise of larger things. The moment passes; and the world closes in again, actual, bare, unyielding, as before. Yet among men there are some endowed with vision, an insight more penetrating and more sustained. To their liberated spirit the world unfolds a farther prospect. Earth clothes itself for them in radiant vesture, mute forms are speaking presences, the riddle of life resolves itself into a meaning. To them it is granted to arrest the moment of illumination, otherwise so fleeting; and, gifted further with a shaping power, they are able to re-create the moment in enduring forms. The men of vision are the seers and prophets; the shapers of the revelation, re-creating it, are the artists and the poets. 1 What each of us is seeking the poet has already found. Poetry is the step beyond, which we were about to take, but were not certain of the way. In our experience from year to year, we are not without glimpses of beauty in the world, a sense of meaning somewhere within the shows of things. Of this beauty and this meaning poetry is a fuller revelation. The poet gives us back the world we already know, though it is a world transfigured; he draws his material from stores to which we all have access, but with a difference. His vision, clearer and more penetrating, transfigures the facts and discloses the beauty only waiting to be thus revealed. His fresh sight of this beauty quickens in him an emotion of wonder and of joy which impels him to expression. Seeing the world in new combinations, he selects from the common store of experience certain images colored by his mood. Of these images he weaves a pattern of words, which re-create the beauty he has seen and are charged with that deeper significance he has divined within the outward manifestation. It is just because he sees farther and feels more intensely that he is a poet; and then because he is able to phrase his experience in words which have the power to create the vision and the meaning in us. So the poet fashions that fairer world of which the heart has dreamed; and by the mediation of his art it becomes ours for an enduring possession.

—Carleton Noyes, 1909

Interactive #3a
gourdtalkerSheridan Opera House / $15 / 2-3:30 p.m.
Ken Arkind & Panama Soweto

Interactive #3b
Miramonte Building / $15 / 2-3:30 p.m.
Sneak Up and Surprise Yourself
Aaron Anstett
Robert Frost wrote, "No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader." In this workshop, we will use a variety of exercises to write poems that explore the unexpected. Bring writing materials and a sense of play.

Interactive #4b
Miramonte Building / $15 / 4-5:30 p.m.
Letting a Poem Grow
Larry Goodell
Larry is a pioneering poet of performance. He's a funny poet, yet serious. There's irony, wit, and wordplay. Each poem has a moral which is the good feeling you have at the end. That's just the way he writes 'em. And there's poking fun at himself and the establishment, any establishment. Some poems are downright satirical and sometimes have the smell of Corral #5.
Larry is 70 years old and has been spoofing the whole system religiously for over forty years. He's been writing songs on his new Roland keyboard and he's been sticking his head in the clouds to try to find God. No luck so far. So he meditates on the Medicine Buddha and just simply writes poems when a new line suddenly lands in his head. He lets it grow like a seed and fosters it and this is what you get.

Interactive #4a
Sheridan Opera House / $15 / 4-5:30 p.m.
Night Skies
Danny Rosen
Come take a walk through the night sky in the groovy and portable Western Sky Planetarium. Join Danny Boy and his magic carpet and go laughing through the village with the stars raining down, gone to the globulars, through the threaded galaxies, all the way to the edge where the winds blow the mandala away. It's an astronomical romp. Bring some pillows. We'll be sitting and laying down on the floor.

Kava Ritual
To be announced / donation / 6-7:30 p.m.
Scott Nicolay
talking gourd

Mother Earth Show
Sheridan Opera House / $10 / 8-9:30 p.m.
Emcee Jeb Berrier
Jack Mueller
Larry Goodell
The Denver Slam Team All-Stars (Ken Arkind & Panama Soweto)

Late Night Open Mic
Sheridan Opera House / no charge / 10 p.m. until the last performance

Talking Gourds Circle
Trommers' Bend-in-the-River Homestead
Placerville / $25 / 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Potluck Brunch

gourd house

For Lodging Info email:
or phone her at 970.728.0399

For Event Info:
www.sheridanoperahouse.com (events)

Ah Haa School for the Arts – 970-728-3886 (Paul)


Talking Gourds Spoken Word Festival is sponsored by
Telluride Commission for Community Assistance, Arts & Special Events
Sheridan Arts Foundation
Ah Haa School of the Arts
ResortQuest Telluride
Sheridan Arts Foundation   Ah Haa School   Telluride ResortQuest  


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