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Her mom was born in the hospital that now serves as Telluride’s Historical Museum. Marie Luna is the featured reader for the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club gathering Tuesday Oct. 15th at 6 p.m. at the Telluride Arts Gallery across from the Wilkinson Library.

Marie Luna has been writing since she was four years old. She taught herself to read with old encyclopedias while living on a ranch in the range of the Sleeping Ute Mountain. She was obsessed with Lord Byron and E. E. Cummings by the time she was seven. She has been attempting to write poetry that’s palatable to humans for over a half century. (Her dogs seem to like it, but they’re an easy audience.)

Her childhood in western Colorado included long days on a horse, checking on cattle in deep desert canyons or steep mountainsides at high elevations in the searing sun. Her deep love of the natural world’s creatures and plants was fostered by solo time in the wilderness, fishing with her grandparents in remote places or camping by herself with only a dog for company from the age of five.  Her writing reflects the deep lover relationship she has with wilderness.

Her family has been blessed to live on the Western Slope of Colorado for five generations, in remote and beautiful places. She is honored to have been able to be a mother in such inspiring places as the San Juan Mountains. She raised her sons in the range of the mountain Shandoka, the Stormbringer.

She has deep gratitude for her teachers, such as Bill Ashbaugh of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, who was her uncle and mentor. He taught her horse-whispering and took her to sacred dances all over the Southwest, furthering the positive relations and reciprocities that her family has maintained with the original inhabitants of these lands.  This sparked her further study with mentors in many countries, as she refined her immersions in curanderismo which created a life-long vocation of creating healing events and protocols for people from all walks of life.

The theme for club members at October’s reading will be “Healing.”

Since Mon. Oct. 14th is Indigenous Peoples Day, instead of a poetry reading in Norwood, the Telluride Institute has teamed up with the Wilkinson Public Library and Friends of the Library to bring to town Robin Wall Kimmerer, indigenous author, professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. It’s part of the Library’s community read project: One Book, One Canyon. Kimmerer will lead a writing workshop from 1:30-3:30 at the Library, and a book signing and talk at 6 p.m.

In November Talking Gourds Poetry Club will have two readings. Nov. 5th Barbara Rockman of Santa Fe will be the featured reader at the Telluride Arts Gallery. Author of Sting and Nest: Poems (Sunstone Press, 2011), which won the New Mexico-Arizona book award, she teaches at the Santa Fe Community College and has a new book out: to cleave (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2019). The theme will be “Going Home.”

Nov. 18th in Norwood (site to be announced) and Nov. 19th in Telluride, local poets Suzanne Cheavens and Stephanie Osan will share the spotlight. The theme will be “Growing.”

And for our last reading of the year, on Dec. 16th in Norwood (site to be announced) and Dec. 17th in Telluride, San Miguel County Poet Laureate Emerita Elissa Dickson will give a holiday show before she leaves for a six months sabbatical. Theme will be “Time.”

Poetry Club readings in Norwood begin at 6:30 p.m. and in Telluride at 6 p.m. beginning with club news – readings, books, etc. Next the featured reader shares work for 30-45 minutes. There’s a short break. And then we pass the Gourd, and everyone gets to share their own poem — or a piece by a favorite author on the month’s theme.

The Telluride address of the Telluride Arts Gallery is 135 W. Pacific Ave. Sites in Norwood will be announced in future press releases.

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