Talking Gourd’s with Jewel & Judyth Hill
TELLURIDE – In a poetry coup, two amazing performers kick off the Talking Gourds new year with dynamic readings – the Alaska-born singer/songwriter/poet Jewel, who’s a part-time Telluride resident, and Southwestern writing teacher/editor/poet Judyth Hill, author of “Wage Peace” and a number of critically-acclaimed poetry books. The Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club invites you to hear these two outstanding performers on First Tuesday night, Jan. 5th at 6 p.m. at Arroyo Telluride. Town Mayor Sean Murphy will provide opening comments. Jewel’s life is an amazing story. And her latest book, Never Broken (New Rider Press, New York, 2015) chronicles her rise from homeless teenager to international music sensation. She’s received four Grammy Award nominations and has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.But as her memoir’s subtitle suggests, “songs are only half the story.” She’s written children’s books, founded the non-profit Project Clean Water, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller, A Night Without Armor (first published in 1998, but now out of print). While she will be performing her songs at the Sheridan Opera House earlier in the holidays, at Arroyo’s she will be reading.
Until moving to Conifer this last year, Judyth lived on a farm just outside San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Educated at Sarah Lawrence College, she studied with poet Robert Bly and deep ecologist Dolores LaChapelle. The recipient of numerous grants, Judyth conducts poetry workshops at writing conferences internationally, is an annual Poet-in-Residence at U.S. schools, offers writing classes online at www.judythhill.com. She also leads WildWriting Culinary Adventures round the world -- www.eat-write-travel.com. Her nine published books of poetry include Dazzling Wobble (2013) and the anthology Tzimzum (2013). Her newest book, Love Called Me Here, is forthcoming. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed poem, “Wage Peace,” that went viral after 9/11 and has been set to music and recorded by the Cincinnati Women’s Chorus. Judyth has been described by the St. Helena Examiner as, "Energy with skin”, and by the Denver Post as, “A tigress with a pen”.
In Telluride, following Club announcements and the featured performances by Judyth and Jewel, there will be a short intermission, after which the gourd will be passed around the room to give Club members and attendees a chance to read a poem or two. The theme for January is “Friendship.” Bring your own work or that of a favored poet to share. Supporters of the Talking Gourds Poetry Club are encouraged to join each year as members – entitling one to the broadside that is printed up with a poem from each featured poet, half-price fees for submissions to the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and email notification of special events. Membership forms will be available at each reading. Or can be obtained by contacting Art Goodtimes. Talking Gourds is proud to partner with the Montrose Regional Library in sharing our poetry performers. Judyth will appear Jan. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Library’s “Open Mic” reading series. And plans are underway to perhaps partner with Lithic Bookstore and Gallery in Fruita and have poets who appear in Telluride on the first Tuesday night of each month and Montrose the Wednesday night following to perform in Fruita on Thursdays. The Talking Gourds lineup for 2016 is still under construction. But we’re trying something new – pairing a poet guest from afar from a local poet we’d like to showcase, so we will have two guest performances each evening. So far, with some confirmations still to be made, Jared Smith of Lafayette and Samantha Tisdel Wright of Ridgway will performFeb. 2nd, a guest poet and Jean Bower of Montrose March 1st, a guest poet and Lee Taylor of Lawson Hill April 1st (no fooling!), and Ed Ward of Denver and Daiva Chesonis of Telluride May 3rd.
Submissions are now being solicited for the 19th Annual Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, another cultural program of the Telluride Institute. The contest is open to all U.S. poets west of the Mississippi and all Canadian poets from Alberta west. For more information, check out the website:talkinggourds.weebly.com/mark- Also, Talking Gourds will be part of the annual Telluride Literary Arts Festival, May 20-22. The Mark Fischer Poetry Prize will be awarded Friday, followed by an evening poetry reading; the celebrated Literary Burlesque will return Saturday night for a command performance, with a dance afterwards; and author Peter Heller will do a special Sunday night reading, as well as participate in a panel discussion on journalism.
Talking Gourds is a program of the Telluride Institute in partnership with the Wilkinson Library, the Montrose Regional Library, Between the Covers Bookstore, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Telluride Arts and Arroyo Telluride. Members meet monthly, on first-Tuesday evenings, at Arroyo’s at 220 E. Colorado Ave. beginning at 6 p.m. (next door to Ace Hardware). Talking Gourds guest poets also appear at the Montrose Regional Library’s Open Mic series the next evening (a Wednesday) at 6:30 p.m. For more info, contact Meg Nagel at <www.montroselibrary.org/event/open-mic-10> or 970-964-2548 Talking Gourds is indebted to generous donations from Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Art Goodtimes, Audrey Marnoy, Peter Waldor, Elaine Fischer and the Montrose Friends of the Library. Call 970-729-0220 or visit the Gourds website <talkinggourds.weebly.com> for more info.