TELLURIDE – The Talking Gourds Poetry Club presents St. Louis native Matt Hayes as guest poet this first Tuesday of the month, February 3 at 6 p.m. at Arroyo’s in Telluride.
Autistic from birth, Hayes has been communicating since age 5 through a process of Facilitated Communication that has led to his pioneering work with the Supported Typing movement. At age six, he wrote his first poem, “Trapped in Silence.” He’s been a member of the St. Louis Poetry Society since age 15.
Currently the subject of a PBS documentary on autism, Hayes is “eager to build bridges between artists and neurotypical individuals everywhere.” (Neurotypical is an abbreviation of neurologically typical – a term coined in the autistic community as a label for people who are not on the autism spectrum). His primary writing focus is poetry. The theme this month is “Bridges”.
Following Club announcements and Hayes’ performance, the group will take a short break, after which the gourd will be passed around the room to give Club members and attendees a chance to read poems from the monthly theme. Shared pieces may be the reader’s own or the work of a favorite writer. Next month, Erika Moss Gordon and Leigh Robertson of Ridgway will be Talking Gourds’ guest poets in Telluride and Montrose, and the theme will be “Divinely Human.”
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 District, Arroyo Telluride and the newly formed Telluride Literary Arts. Members meet monthly, on first-Tuesday evenings, at Arroyo Fine Art Gallery & Wine Bar at 220 E. Colorado Ave. beginning at 6 p.m. (next door to Ace Hardware). Except for February, the same guests will appear at the Montrose Regional Library’s Open Mic the next evening. For more info: <www.montroselibrary.org/event/open-mic-10>