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.

Caitlin Saunders

George Saunders is the author of four collections of short stories: the bestselling Pastoralia, set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape; CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, a Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, In Persuasion Nation, one of three finalists for the 2006 STORY Prize for best short story collection of the year, and Tenth of December. Pastoralia, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and Tenth of December were all New York Times Notable Books. Tenth of December was nominated for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction. The Boston Globe lauds Saunders’ ability to “construct a story of absurdist satire, then locate within it a moment of searing humanity." In 2014, Saunders' graduation speech at Syracuse University will be published as the book Congratulations, by the Way.

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.

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