Monthly Archives: May 2018

2018 LitFest, Third/Final Day

Today was the final day of this year’s LitFest. It began with a ten o’clock poetry workshop, by Peter Anderson, followed by a Gourd Circle (much like a “talking stick:” a gourd is passed around, and whomever has the gourd recited a poem of theirs or someone else’s, or told a story). The closing event was Craig Childs, giving a presentation on his just-published book, Atlas of a Lost World. I’ve known his writings for at least two decades, and even had a good friend of his as a boss for about four years; but I never met him until a couple years ago, at the first LitFest I attended.

All tote, I’ve crossed paths with Craig, maybe a full handful of times, since. He’s a prolific writer, who has a ginormous following. Too, he’s self-effacing, personable, and approachable. Even though I attended one of his workshops, earlier this year, I was okay with knowing that while he probably would recognize me as being familiar, it was unlikely he’d remember who I was. He’s been a name for at least the two decades I’ve known of him, and I’m a recent, seldom-seen addition to the bazillion folks who have entered his orbit.

Oh, me of little faith. We crossed paths at a restaurant, last evening, and he called me by name, right off the bat, and brought me in for a hug. Yeah, it was a while before my feet felt the ground.

Anyhoo, his presentation this evening was incredible and incredibly well done. He’s been on a book tour for the entire month, so he’s had practice, but still, he spent over an hour and a half, talking about his book while using his MacBook to present slides and videos, and not once did he pause for what to say next, or even have to remember what the next slide or video coming up was and what to say to lead into it. Even if I’d had two months of Mays to practice my presentation, and also had an outline or cheatsheet of some sort, I couldn’t have been anywhere as smooth and polished as Craig.

I return home, tomorrow. And I’ll be back to the assault mine, by 5:15, the next morning. It’s seeming that when I spend more than two nights in Telluride, it becomes significantly more difficult, returning to work-a-day reality. But, I’ll be back in about three weeks, staying for three nights. However, after that, I don’t have any plans to return until mid-November, when I’ll be staying for ten days or so. I might find it pretty much impossible staying away for that long, though.

I do know that I’ll be back, this time, next May, for 2019 LitFest.

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2018 LitFest, Days One and Two

Telluride is know for its festivals, and the first one of this season is the fifth annual Literary Arts Festival, which is running from May 18 – 20, and is the third one I’ve attended.

Things kicked off, Friday evening, with readings from two poets, Esther Belin and John Nizalowski, followed by an open mic. (Actually, there wasn’t any mic, but…) I uncharacteristically hadn’t brought anything to read, so I recited, “Jabberwocky.”

Yesterday, was the big day, events-wise. It began with a half-hour walk to Lower Bear Creek Falls, at the east side of Telluride’s Town Park.

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Immediately after, there was a lecture by, David J Rothman, PhD, on Belle Turnbull, a Breckenridge-base poet who was well-known during her time, but has since fallen into obscurity. At 2:00, winners and runners-up for a locally-based national poetry prize read their poems, as did the winner of the Cantor Award, for Colorado poets.

The evening brought what has become the signature event of LitFest: Literary Burlesque. Here’s a description of what last night’s performance would hold: “Witness this year’s stirring performance by the morphing troupe of eight regional women who will drop layers, both literal and literary. This year’s show is titled Uncorseted: It’s Not What It Seams and is a nod to the women of the World War I era who unbound themselves from stuffy strictures and the societal constraints of the 1914-1918 time period. In addition, regional artists will create handmade corsets for the poets. ” While this is a factual description, there is absolutely no way to describe the immersive, intimate, and visceral experience that is each year’s Literary Burlesque. The previous four years, it’s been held at one of the larger galleries in town; and it always sold out days before the show. This year, the venue was sizably larger, and it sold out, once again.  Last night’s was the third performance I’ve attended. Once again I was gobsmacked, left without the words and ability to describe what I’d seen with any justice. You can be sure I’ll once again make it a point, next year, to get my ticket soon as I can.

Three events, today, the final day: A workshop, a “poetry circle,” where everyone is allowed to read a poem they or someone else has written, and finally, at 7:30 this evening, will be a presentation by Craig Childs.

Tomorrow, I return home; and I’ll be back to work—and non-Telluride reality—early Tuesday morning.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Inspiration, re: Writing