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Five writers who meet once a month at the Ridgway Library will be featured Jan. 22 at the monthly Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds poetry series at the Telluride Arts headquarters starting at 6 p.m.

“Six writers in the anthology, Poetica II, have confirmed,” said Ouray’s Beth Paulson, who leads the monthly Open Bard reading series at the Sherbino Theatre as well as the Poetica writing group. “They are Kate Kellogg, Shannon Williams, Greg Hunter, Carol Keeney, Samantha Tisdel Wright and Kierstin Bridger.”

Kierstin Bridger edits Ridgway Alley Poems, co-directs Open Bard Poetry Series. Her book Demimonde (Lithic Press, 2016 C.E.) won the Willa Award from Women Writing The West. All Ember (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2016 C.E.), from a Canadian press, is her first full-length collection. She’s been one of the principals in the annual Literary Burlesque show at the Telluride Literary Arts Festival.

Kierstin has won the Fischer Prize, ACC Writer’s Studio Award and the Anne LaBastille Poetry Residency. Her website is and you can listen to her new podcast, “Poetry Voice with Uche Ogbuji. Kierstin earned an MFA at Pacifica University in Oregon. She appeared as a Talking Gourds guest poet two years ago.

Another Talking Gourds alum from two years ago is Samantha Tisdel Wright. A two-time finalist for the Fischer Prize, she has won numerous awards for her writing, including the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. She also has appeared multiple times in the Literary Burlesque.

Shannon Williams is a poet and chef in Ouray Colorado. Her poetry has won awards and been published in Forces, The Texas Poetry Calendar and The Poetry Society of Texas’ Book of the Year.

Carol Keeney is a former bilingual teacher and community organizer.  She lives in Montrose, Colorado.  She loves hiking, singing, and time with friends and family.  She continues to work for social and environmental justice.

Greg Hunter grew up hanging out at the beach.  He loves spending time in nature, both the mountains and the desert, and writes poetry about his many adventures in life.

Kate Kellogg is a former journalist and publicist. She is a Ridgway Alley poet and frequent reader at Open Bard Poetry night.  She draws inspiration from Colorado’s mountains and canyons and the hardwood forests of her native Michigan.

Theme for this month’s passing of the gourd after the featured reading is Ars Poetica – the name of a poem by the Roman poet Horace and which has come to mean poets writing about the art of poetry.

The Poetry Club schedule runs like this: initial announcements are followed by the featured performance. Then, after a short break, the gourd is passed for an open reading and everyone has a chance to read a poem (their own, or one from a favorite poet).

We’re still working on the guest speakers for the rest of the winter.

Submissions for the $1000 Fischer Prize (national) and $500 Cantor Award (Colorado) are now being accepted. Poetry club members in good standing get a half-price discount on submission fees for those prizes.

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