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Tori Miner of Fruita will be the featured reader at the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club meeting Tuesday, Mar. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Telluride Arts Headquarters across the street from the Wilkinson Library.

Tori won third place in the adult category last November at the annual Western Colorado Writers Forum Poetry Slam competition at Colorado Mesa University.

“Tori has an upbeat, high-energy, feel-good, provocative style,” said Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, co-director of Talking Gourds. “A strong voice and a youthful presence. I’m thrilled for Telluride to hear her.”

Miner grew up in the Indiana and ventured west seeking canyon walls and cactus spines a few years back. Now, she writes, rides, and resides in Fruita. With the support of Lithic Bookstore, the Cavalcade performing arts venue, and friends who let her spout off all the time, her writing has become a much larger part of her life.

Tori also coaches youth mountain biking, leads a weekly women’s riding group, pours lattes at Bestslope Coffee, and takes care of two rats with her partner, Kenton. She has written poems for a self-love coloring book, competed in local poetry slams, participated in readings around the Grand Valley, and contributes monthly to the Fruita Zine Party.

“Working with Sue Knechtel and Mo Hanna from the Telluride Public School, we’re excited that several local students will read their own slam-style work before Tori does our featured slot in March,” explained Talking Gourds co-director Art Goodtimes.

Tori will also perform in Norwood at the Meadowlark House at 72 Greager Lane in the Norwood Gardens subdivision on Monday, March 18th, at 6:30 p.m. Call Elle Metrick for more details, 970-729-1681.

With the unexpected death of Talking Gourds regular Michael Ruterbories, we will have a short remembrance for him at the start of the evening, and encourage anyone with poems or stories to be prepared to share them.

After the student readers and the featured reader, we will take a short break and then Pass the Gourd. Everyone gets a chance to read a poem about the theme from a poet they admire, or an original piece on any topic they want. Rosemerry often brings poems on the theme, if a person forgets to bring their own. The official theme this month for the Telluride and Norwood evenings is “dreams.”

In April, during National Poetry Month, we’ll be hosting Kathleen Cain of Denver on Monday, April 29th at the Meadowlark House at 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 30th at Telluride Arts HQ at 6 p.m. The theme will be “Cottonwood Trees”.

May 17-19, Talking Gourds will co-host with Between the Covers Bookstore, the 6th annual Telluride Literary Arts Festival. With David Rothman moving to Wyoming, a new Western Slope Poet Laureate will be announced. The 2019 Fischer Prize and Cantor Award winners will also be announced, and their prizes presented, with a reading of their winning poems. Fischer Prize Judge Rafael Jesús González, Poet Laureate of Berkeley (CA), will be the featured reader at the LitFest’s Friday night LitPoets reading.

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

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