writing

APR Special: Slam Poets at the Wheeler

Feb 18, 2014
Myrlin Hepworth's website

For the last month two poets have been in the Roaring Fork Valley working with students in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen.  Organized by the Aspen Writer’s Foundation, they held workshops on poetry encouraging, guiding and mentoring.  And, what they were about in these sessions; was slam poetry.

The poetry sessions culminated in public poetry slams, one of then at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen last week (2-13-2014.)  We’re featuring some of the poems performed at the Wheeler and we’ve asked a local poet to guide us along as we listen.  Kim Nuzzo could rightly be called the Roaring Fork Valley’s own poet laureate.  Nuzzo is a published poet and co-founder of he Aspen Poet’s Society.

We will hear poems by the two professionals who led the student workshops; Myrlin Hepworth and Logan Phillips.   Also performing are three students;  Riley Marshall from Roaring Fork High School, Tibet Boyer from Carbondale Middle School and Karyme Lara from Basalt High School.

About Kim Nuzzo:

Kim Nuzzo is a local performance poet/actor who has appeared in many local productions with the Hudson Reed Ensemble: The Crucible, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, The Beats, Red Herring.  He also appeared recently in ACT’s 1776 as John Hancock.  He is President of the Aspen Poets’ Society and a Host/Cofounder of Live Poetry Night at Victoria’s Wine and Espresso Bar in Aspen.  He is the author of HolyFunk: Polaroids and Poems and is currently working on a new collection of poems: The Sayings of Twilight Jesus.

Mountain Edition - February 13th, 2014

Feb 13, 2014

A new report says there isn’t enough natural gas in the Thompson Divide to make it worth drilling. But the industry argues there aren’t enough facts to say if the leases would be a bust…

A new marijuana task force is meeting for the first time today. The goal is to monitor the effects of recreational pot on the Roaring Fork Valley.

The City of Aspen’s utility wants to run on 100-percent renewable energy and its enlisted the help of a government laboratory to help them get there. Aspen will inch closer to its renewable goal when it starts taking power from a new hydro plant in Ridgway later this month.

Local teenagers are getting a lesson on slam poetry. Two performance artists are visiting schools this week, teaching kids how to write and deliver “spoken word” poetry.

Finally, a Durango biathlete is competing in Sochi tomorrow. Her story is a unique one - she owes her Olympic bid to her twin sister.

Bastian Schweitzer

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her new book is called Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life.

Poem: Looking for Robert Frost

Jan 29, 2014
Jose Alcantara

The light in the desert comes on slowly

as though we need to prepare for it

or as though it is a gift given grudgingly.

At other times the edge of the world

begins in a blaze brighter than anything

we deserve. Last night I dreamt my father died

as we tried to find where Robert Frost wrote.

We were headed to a beach shack

on the other side of a concrete canal

when he jumped, trying to swim beyond

the surge that flowed toward land

as though Frost wrote with the power

Richard Dubois

Kenneth Bonert was born in South Africa and is the grandson of Lithuanian immigrants.  His fiction has appeared in McSweeney's, Grain and the Fiddlehead.  His journalism has appeared in the Globe and Mail and other publications. He lives in Toronto.

Larry D. Moore

Ben Fountain is author of a short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, which won the Pen/Hemmingway Award and most recently Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award, The LA Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award.  He is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and a Barnes and Noble Discover Award.  He has a law degree from Duke University.  He is from North Carolina and lives in Dallas, Texas.

Rebecca Zeller

Elliott Holt was born and raised in Washington, D.C. A former copywriter who worked at advertising agencies in Moscow, London, and New York, Holt attended the MFA program at Brooklyn College (where she won the Himan Brown award) at night while working full time in Manhattan during the day. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Salon, Guernica, Kenyon Review online, The Millions, Bellevue Literary Review, The Pushcart Prize XXXV (2011 anthology) and elsewhere. In addition to winning a Pushcart Prize, she was the runner-up of the 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award. Her first novel You Are One of Them was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Poem: My Mother's Things

Dec 29, 2013
Valerie Haugen

My mother's things...

in the very last of the death boxes:

umpteen beautiful crystal bottles filled

with exotic perfumes from foreign lands,

pounds of barbaric jewelry, ancient bones and stones.

A jug full of bells.

A jug full of bells...

some of them tongueless, voiceless.

Poetry...even a book of poetry- the poet being an old, dead lover

of my mother Wild Honey.

The belt she made at camp when she was fourteen.

My second grade report card...

Jamie and Andrew Shoenberger

Alice McDermott is the author of seven novels including National Book Award Winner Charming Billy and three Pulitzer Prize finalists: After This, That Night and At Weddings and Wakes. She is Johns Hopkins University's Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities. She has a BA from SUNY Oswego and an MA from University of New Hampshire. Her new novel is Someone.

Heidi Ross

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels including Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder and The Patron Saint of Liars.  She was the editor of the Best American Short Stories 2006 and has written three books of non-fiction, Truth & Beauty, What now? And This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.  She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has been the recipient of numerous awards including England’s Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.  Her books have been New York Times bestsellers and New York Times Notable Books.  She is also owns Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee.  She lives in Nashville.

Poem: Time Machine

Nov 5, 2013
Marjorie DeLuca

In the hours between dog and hyena,
they still serve lunch to a certain crowd.

He toddles in with his baggage:
a cane an oxygen tank a man-purse

an ample wife and her sister leading the way.
The machine that was the man is now

rusting, teeth rounded off the gears of time.
They take their time, as time is

all they have left, and with much animus
and screeching of sliding chairs

the women choose a table to our side.
He is not there. I am not here.

I know this man. Years of
running a business,

Peter Yoon

Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us(Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, longlisted for The Story Prize, and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Award. van den Berg's latest story collection is called The Isle of Youth. Her stories have appeared in Conjunctions, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best New American Voices, and the Pushcart Prize XXIV. www.lauravandenberg.com

Mark Helprin was published in The New Yorker for almost a quarter of a century.  His stories and essays on politics and aesthetics appear in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The New York Times, The National Review, American Heritage, Forbes ASAP, and more. Helprin has published three short story collections: A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Ellis Island and Other Stories, and The Pacific and Other Stories. He is also the author of six novels: Refiner's Fire, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir From Antproof Case, Freddy and Fredericka and, In Sunlight and In Shadows. Helprin has also penned three children's books: Swan Lake, A City in Winter, and The Veil of Snows, all illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. Helprin has been awarded the National Jewish Book Award, the Prix de Rome, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, 2006, and the 2010 Salvatori Prize in the American Founding, among other prizes. www.markhelprin.com

Emma Norman

Howard Norman is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His 1987 novel, The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, and Devotion. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Vermont with his wife and daughter.

Tom Elder is the author of It’s All About Timing. He lived in Aspen for decades but now lives in New Castle, Colorado. In addition to fiction, Elder also writes poetry and he works as a substitute teacher when he is not writing.

Poem: The Sayings of Twilight Jesus

Oct 9, 2013

THE SAYINGS OF TWILIGHT JESUS

Twilight Jesus was looking for a little home to add another notch in time. He was traveling by his soul, deep in his bones, to the wilderness of freedom. "I wait here where the band is tuning up. I love the music; it washes through me, my water. "

He had the spirit of a hummingbird, radiating or reflecting illumination. " But hey, sometimes the only joy that leaps toward me is the joy of grief. I can't get God to talk to me, not knowing has to be good enough. Praise the night, the dreams that safely cradle you."

Jessica Soffer earned her MFA in Fiction at Hunter College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue among other publications. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College and lives on Long Island. Her first novel is Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

Dina Rossi

Mary Doria Russell is author of five novels including The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day and Doc.  A Thread of Grace and Doc were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  She began her career as an academic and turned to writing when she lost her job.  She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology, an MA in Social Anthropology and a PhD in Biological Anthropology.  Her novel Doc was a One Book, One Community selection for Glenwood Springs.  www.marydoriarussell.net

Adam Haslett is the author of the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here and the novel Union Atlantic. His story collection was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. His journalism and fiction have appeared in The Financial Times, Esquire, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope All-Story, Best American Short Stories, and The O'Henry Prize Stories. A graduate of Swarthmore College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Yale Law School, he has been a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Columbia University. www.adamhaslett.net

David Schulze

Marisha Pessl is the author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Night Film. Special Topics in Calamity Physics was a New York Times bestseller, published in 30 countries, and a New York Times book of the year. Pessl attended Northwestern University and studied Film and Television, then transferred to Barnard College in New York and majored in Contemporary Literature with a minor in Playwriting. Her novel Night Film is being made into a movie. Marisha Pessl lives in New York City. www.marishapessl.com

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