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Alya Howe of Carbondale is an amazing poet who will join locals Peter Waldor of Telluride, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville and Art Goodtimes of Norwood for a special group reading at the Talking Gourds Poetry Club this month.

The reading begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 19th at the Telluride Arts Gallery and Offices, 135 West Pacific, across the street from the Wilkinson Library entrance. Poetry Club announcements are followed by the featured performance.

Then, following a short break, the gourd is passed and everyone has a chance to read a poem or two (their own, or one from a favorite poet) that speaks to the theme this holiday season, “Making Light.”

British born, Alya Howe has won awards for her dance, poetry and performance art, and has performed her work solo and with companies throughout the US and Europe. That includes dancing with the Kei Takei and the Jose Limon Dance Company, and improvising for tabla legend Zakir Hussein.

Having relocated from teaching at the State Ballet School in Greece to join Danceteller of Philadelphia and to teach at the Laban Institute in New York City, Howe eventually moved to the Roaring Fork Valley to raise her daughter and transition from a hectic performing career.

Founder of Under Alya’s Umbrella, a performing arts organization which is part of Carbondale’s Creative District, she runs three local performing arts series: the Poetry Brothel, Writ Large, and the Salon of Aspen. Recently she has been artist residence at Carbondale’s Launch Pad, where she had sell-out performances for her Dance Initiative-commissioned works, “Vacuum” and “the HEaRD”.

Alya presented dance, storytelling and poetry at the recent Colorado Creative Industries Summit, and she was a featured poet at local events: 5Point Film Festival, WildFest and Mountain Fair. She began a new collaboration with Thunder River Theatre Company’s director Corey Simpson to open in the early fall called “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”.

Her dream is to create a small mountain town performing arts circuit giving local performers the opportunity to perform around the region. For more info, visit

Waldor is a San Miguel County Poet Laureate emeritus, and Trommer and Goodtimes are co-directors of the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds poetry program.

Having hosted Avon’s Jodie Hollander and Luis Lopez of Grand Junction and Val Szarek of Louisville for the fall Traveling Gourds Tour in Sept. and Oct., the program has reverted back to its Telluride-only Poetry Club venue at the Telluride Arts Gallery as we move into the winter season. Tracy Lindsey was our special guest before Thanksgiving, and played to a delighted audience in Telluride.

On line for the new year are Elissa Dickson Jan. 23 and Daiva Chesonis & Craig Childs Feb. 20. The Traveling Gourds Tour will have its final appearance in March with Jennifer Rane Hancock of Grand Junction. Then, after taking our usual summer break, we will continue our regular Poetry Club readings in Telluride starting in September.

Simultaneously, we will be exploring special guest readings throughout the year, with planning underway for a Western Slope visit from California’s Claire Blotter in April. In May we will host the winners of the Fischer Prize poetry competition at the Telluride Literary Arts Festival.

Submissions for the 2018 Fischer Prize are now being accepted at

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