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The original item was published from 1/18/2022 11:59:37 AM to 1/25/2022 6:02:44 PM.

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San Miguel County News

Posted on: January 18, 2022

[ARCHIVED] County to name Joanna Spindler new Poet Laureate

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County to name Joanna Spindler new Poet Laureate

For immediate release … Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022 … For questions, contact Emma Youngquist at <> or Art Goodtimes at <>

TELLURIDE … Former Between the Covers Bookstore owner Daiva Chesonis of Norwood has been the San Miguel County Poet Laureate for the past three years. Now the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Program has nominated the Wilkinson Public Library’s Adult Programs Specialist Joanna Spindler of Hastings Mesa as the new County Poet Laureate.

“We’re delighted to have another wonderful bard to serve in this honorary capacity for the next several years,” explained Talking Gourds co-director Art Goodtimes of Wrights Mesa. “Joanna has inspired us with her poems, performances and her recent hosting of the Bardic Trails monthly virtual poetry nights on the first Tuesday of every month. She has many new ideas on how to use the platform of being a laureate to actively promote the literary arts in the region.”

The San Miguel County Board of Commissioners will consider a draft resolution naming Spindler to the post Wednesday January 19 at 12:24 in the afternoon. Board sessions are virtual and open to the public to attend on Zoom. Contact Chief Deputy Clerk to the Board Clerk Carmen Warfield at 970-728-3844 for more information.

At the Institute, Talking Gourds has been reorganizing after two years of Covid-curtailed activities and some personal challenges for the program directors. In addition the Talking Gourds pages on the Institute website are under construction. 

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville has stepped down as a co-director but will become the newest member of the program’s Advisory Board. Emma Youngquist of Telluride will take on the role of the Institute’s Program Director for the Talking Gourds program, while Goodtimes will continue on as Projects Director. He plans to introduce Youngquist to the Board at the Wednesday meeting and Spindler hopes to recite an original poem in her new position as County Poet Laureate.

Entries for the national Fischer Poetry Prize ($1000) and the state Cantor Poetry Prize ($500), which began January 1, 2022, are asked to email Youngquist. She will then notify those prospective contestants when the guidelines, registration and submittal pages are completed. 

Previous laureates include Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville (2006-10), Ellen Marie Metrick of Norwood (2011-13), Peter Waldor of Telluride (2014-16), Elissa Dickson of Telluride (2016-18) and Daiva Chesonis of Norwood (2019-2021).

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