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Crested Butte’s Dr. David J. Rothman Named Western Slope Poet Laureate.

The Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Program named David J. Rothman of Crested Butte to serve as the fourth Western Slope Poet Laureate at the Telluride Literary Arts Festival this past May.

Started at the Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival in Carbondale, the naming of a Western Slope Poet Laureate moved to LitFest in 2014. Art Goodtimes of Norwood (2011-13) served as the first Laureate, Aaron Abeyta of Antonito (2013-15) the second, and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville (2015-2017) the third.

The naming of a Western Slope Poet Laureate is a project of the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds program. It honors an outstanding poet/performer who has helped promote the practice of poetry on the Western Slope of Colorado and around the state. The TG program selects poets who have published in the region and performed widely and to acclaim. Its purpose is to support the Laureate in continuing the work of poetry in and of the Western Slope, teaching, reading, writing and building literary community across the region.

Rothman is a widely published poet, critic, scholar and educator who has lived in Crested Butte for most of the last 25 years, and edited the seminal publication The Geography of Hope: Poets of Colorado’s Western Slope, in 1998. He currently serves as Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, where he also directs the Poetry Concentration in that program, and edits the program’s journal, THINK.

His most recent volumes of poetry, both of which appeared in 2013, are The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press). A book of essays about mountains and mountain towns, Living the Life (Conundrum Press), also appeared in 2013. He most recently edited a volume about the great Colorado poet Belle Turnbull, which is just out from Pleiades Press.

His poems, essays and scholarly work have appeared widely in journals including Appalachia, Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry, and scores of other newspapers, journals and periodicals. He co-founded the Crested Butte Music Festival, was the founding Publisher and Editor of Conundrum Press (now owned by Bower Books of Denver), and currently serves as Poet-in-Residence of Colorado Public Radio.

Rothman says that he plans to visit as many public schools and libraries as he can on the Western Slope during his term, to bring poetry to students and to communities.

To schedule a reading, lecture or class with Dr. Rothman, please contact him directly:
David J. Rothman
Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Western State Colorado University
Taylor Hall 222B
600 N. Adams St.
Gunnison, CO 81231
970.943.2058 /

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