Saturday, May 19, 2018 • 2 pm • Telluride Arts HQ (Across from the library)
Telluride Lit Fest 2018 Presents:
21st Fischer Poetry Prize with Readings by Winning Poets
••• DEADLINE for submissions is MAY 1, 2018 •••
Named for Mark and Elaine Fischer—two Colorado creatives and champions of the arts—Mark was a brilliant lawyer poet who died young, and Elaine his artist widow who went on to become Mayor of Telluride and a San Miguel County Commissioner for four terms (2000-2016). She passed away in 2016. Started in 1997, the Fischer Prize began with the Telluride Writers Guild and was sustained for many years by the Telluride Council on the Arts & Humanities (which became Telluride Arts) and Elaine herself in memory of her husband. Most recently, the award was re-energized and expanded by Art Goodtimes and the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Program. What started as a $100 award for local poets moved to a statewide focus, then a regional Southwestern target audience, followed by a Western US scan and has now widened its scope, making the awards available to poets in the entire country. Over 350 submissions were uploaded in 2017. The prize comes with a cash award of $1,000 (plus a $500 travel stipend to cover the journey of the winner to Telluride to read their award-winning poem), plus five finalist awards of $200 each. In the quirky polyglot spirit of Mark, prizes are awarded to entries that best exhibit the qualities of originality, novelty, complex meaning, linguistic skill and wit. The wilder the better. And this year, thanks to a generous donation from the Cantor Family, Talking Gourds will be initiating a $500 Cantor Award for the winning poem in the Fischer Prize contest from a Colorado poet. That way, honoring the Fischers with a national prize, as well as a state prize. This annual award is open to poets of all ages living in the US. The final judge in 2018 will be former Santa Fe Poet Laureate Joan Logghe. To submit poems, visit Talking Gourds here.