Inspired by Silverton climber, skier, author and deep ecologist, the late Dolores LaChapelle, Talking Gourds has become a poetry program sponsored by the Telluride Institute since 2012. Art Goodtimes of Wrights Mesa and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville are the co-directors. Poetry events are posted on the Telluride Institute’s google calendar (subscribe to see the events on your own calendar).

Talking Gourds continues to sponsor multiple poetry projects throughout the year and also collaborates with various organizations.

Talking Gourds began in 1989 as a project of Dolores LaChapelle. Her book, Sacred Land Sacred Sex Rapture of the Deep (Finn Hill Arts, 1989), spoke of bardic poetry as one of seven pathways to reconnect us to the earth. She called her walk of many paths the Way of the Mountain. For almost 20 years Dolores and Art, together with the poet Judyth Hill and the sculptor John Townley of New Mexico, held numerous wanderings in and around the San Juan Mountains to put bardic poetry into practice. Dolores passed away in 2007.

Talking Gourds events and programming are made possible by individual memberships in the Poetry Club, partner in-kind donations and generous private grants from the late Elaine Cantor Fischer, the Cantor family, an anonymous friend of Elaine’s, Institute trustee Audrey Marnoy of the Mountain Village, San Miguel County Poet Laureate emeritus Peter Waldor, Terry Tice of Telluride and Eduardo Brummel of Salida.

The Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds program works in collaboration with various local and regional partners, including Telluride Arts, Between the Covers Bookstore, Wilkinson Library, Ah Haa School for the Arts, and Lithic Bookstore & Gallery. We also honor previous collaborations with Arroyo Gallery & Wine Bar, Cimarron Books, La Zona Colona Coffee, Wisehart Springs Inn, and the Montrose Regional Library.