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County Poet Laureate rescheduled at Lone Cone Library this month.

Stories & Poems: Norwood is held on the third Wednesday of every month, starting at 6:00 pm at the Lone Cone Library.

Back after having to cancel last month due toCovid, San Miguel County Poet Laureate Joanna Yonder will be
the featured guest at Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Stories &Poems series at the Lone Cone Library.

The free performance starts at 6 pm on the third Wednesday of this month, February 21 st . It’s followed by a passing of the gourd, where community members are encouraged to share stories and poems, their own — or others’ that they know and like.

“Joanna is a strong performer,” said Talking Gourds director Art Goodtimes. “Her poems are like favorite stories enchant. Born into a rural family, she is comfortable with country ways and resort town chic.”

Yonder lives as caretaker on a 200-acre ranch on Hastings Mesa, where she grows food, hunts, and keeps small livestock and bees. She came to this corner of the “wild west” in following a fierce love of climbing ice and rock. She stayed to work at Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library, where she has been on staff for over ten years. She is deeply interested in the future of the American West, in collective liberation, and in community
building through storytelling.

In 2022 she was recommended for the County Poet Laureate title by the Telluride Institute and appointed for a two-year term by the Board of County Commissioners. However, infused with many new ideas on how to expand the program, the Institute will be asking San Miguel County to extend her term another year in order to give her enough time to restructure the county poet laureate project. Learn more about it here:

Stories & Poems follows a simple format. There will be a performance of a featured storyteller or poet, followed by a question and answer session and then a Gourd Circle. At that point, everyone present will be invited to tell a story, perform a poem (an original or a favorite written by someone else), read a short section of prose or simply pass the gourd on to the next person.

A collaboration of the Lone Cone Library and the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds poetry program, Stories & Poems is free and open to all ages, thanks to the generosity of the library, private donors and Talking Gourds’ Fischer Cantor poetry contests. For more information, text 970-729-0220 or email Goodtimes at Or visit the website:

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