Aaron A. Abeyta is a Colorado native, professor of English,
and the Mayor of Antonito, Colorado, his hometown. He is the
author of four collections of poetry and one novel. For his book,
colcha, Abeyta received an American Book Award and the Colorado Book Award. In addition, his novel, Rise, Do Not be Afraid, was a finalist for the 2007 Colorado Book Award and El Premio Aztlan. Abeyta was awarded a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for poetry, and he is the former Poet Laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope, as named by the Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival. Abeyta is also a recipient of a Governor’s Creative Leadership Award for 2017.
Peter Anderson’s most recent books include Heading Home: Field Notes (Conundrum Press, 2017), a collection of flash prose and prose poems exploring rural life and the modern day eccentricities of the American West; Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon (Lithic Press, 2015), an anthology of Grand Canyon poems edited with Rick Kempa, which was nominated for a Colorado Book Award; and First Church of the Higher Elevations (Conundrum Press, 2015), a collection of essays on wildness, mountain places, and the life of the spirit. Peter was the Bennett Fellow Writer-in-Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy for the 2015-16 school year. He lives with his family on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in southern Colorado.
Noah Baen, a Poem Fest Featured Artist, makes paintings and environmental installations celebrating and invoking a dance with Nature and our common nature. He has lived in Crestone since 2011, happily transitioning from nearly 50 years in the New York art world to a community that prioritizes heart. See his work around town—Artisans Gallery, Elephant Cloud and the Food
Bank—and at crestoneartists.com.
Kyce Bello was born in Virginia but came of age in northern New Mexico, where she currently raises a family. Her first book, Refugia, was the inaugural winner of Interim's Test Site Poetry Series, and published in 2019 by University of Nevada Press. Her poems have been published in Boston Review, Kenyon Review Online, About Place Journal, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Sharon Corcoran received an MFA degree from the Writers' Program at Washington University in St. Louis. She has lived in Crestone for almost four years, and has a poetry collection titled Inventory.
Hilary DePolo is a poet and visual arts consultant living in Denver. She is a graduate of the University of Detroit and Wayne State University and writes both lyric and narrative poetry. She became intrigued with character as a student of theater and has observed people ever since. She has received residencies at the Ucross Foundation and the Jentel Artists Residency. Ms. DePolo has two books, Past Lives and Character Sketches, both of which combine art and poetry. Hilary is available at
Art Goodtimes is a poet, weekly op-ed columnist and former Green Party elected official in Colorado. He served as San Miguel County Commissioner (1996-2016) and Western Slope Poet Laureate (2011-13). Former poetry editor for Earth First! Journal, Wild Earth and the Mountain Gazette, currently he’s poetry editor for Fungi magazine and co-editor with Lito Tejada-Flores at the on-line poetry anthology SageGreenJournal.org. His latest book is Dancing on Edge: The McRedeye Poems (Lithic, 2019). Retired from political life, Art serves as trustee and program director for the Telluride Institute -- spearheading Telluride’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club, Guest Gourd readings, the San Miguel and Western Slope Poet Laureate program, and the national Fischer/Cantor poetry prize contest. For almost 40 summers, “Shroompa” has been poet-in-residence at the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival.
Kit Hedman is a professional photographer based in Denver. While serving as a photographer in the US Army, Kit realized his passion for capturing history in the making. Currently, Kit has a successful portrait studio and avidly works on personal projects. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Miami Herald and various Smithsonian publications. He has received grants from the California Arts Council and Colorado Council on the Arts. He freely gives his time to charitable organizations such as the Heart Gallery and Senior Support Services of Denver. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
lives with her family at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and teaches art and English to valley children and writing at Adams State University. Kellum earned a BFA in Art from Millikin University and an MA in English from Colorado State. Her career began as an English and art instructor at Morgan Community College for eleven years, during which time she served six years as director of the MCC CACE Gallery of Fine Art. A Pushcart Prize nominee and NFSPS award winning poet, her poetry has been featured in several online journals and print collections. She leads writing workshops, performs her poetry around Colorado and blogs at wordweeds.com. Her first book, ah, published by Liquid Light Press, was released in 2012.
Poet, essayist, and editor Rick Kempa is in transit from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Grand Junction. He has edited two collections of Grand Canyon writing, On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories and, with Peter Anderson, Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon. He is the founding editor of the journal Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry. His latest collection of poems is Too Vast for Sleep.
Kate Kingston has published two books of poetry, History of Grey, a runner-up in the 2013 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and Shaking the Kaleidoscope, a finalist in the 2011 Idaho Prize for Poetry. Her manuscript The Future Wears Camouflage is forthcoming from Salmon Press in 2022. She is the recipient of the Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, the Ruth Stone Prize, and the W.D Snodgrass Award for Poetic Endeavor and Excellence. Kingston has been awarded fellowships from the Colorado Council on the Arts, Harwood Museum, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Jentel, Ucross, and Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain, among others. In addition to writing her own poetry, she has translated the poetry of several Mexican authors. Kingston has served as Language Department Chairperson at Utah State University Eastern and as professor of Spanish and English at Trinidad State, Colorado. She currently lives and writes in southern Colorado.
Bobby LeFebre is an award winning writer, performer, and cultural worker from Denver who is currently the Poet Laureate of Colorado. He is a two-time Grand Slam champion, a National Poetry Slam finalist, and Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, and a two time TEDx speaker. Lefebre has performed at hundreds of cultural events, social actions, detention centers, conferences, and colleges and universities across the United States and abroad. He is co-founder of Café Cultura, an award-winning nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to utilizing poetry as a tool for youth literacy and educational and cultural development.
June Lucarotti MFA, CYT is an interdisciplinary book coach & editor who infuses yoga, meditation, recovery facilitation, & creative writing exercises into the Birth Your Book online course as well as empowering retreats, youth camps, & private editing. June has a BA in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley, an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Buddhist-inspired Naropa University & a yoga teaching certification from Soul Tree. June has facilitated writing and meditation workshops for over 14 years in Spanish & English.
Jesse Tsinajinnie Maloney grew up on the leeward side of O’ahu. He went to the same high school as Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. His work has appeared in Turtle Island Quarterly, Peach Velvet Lit Mag, About Place and other places. His debut full length work Health Carefully was released through Cyberwit press 2019. Currently, he is producing a collaborative spoken word/instrumental album featuring poets Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root to be released in early 2020. Jesse teaches at Dine’ College and lives with his wife and cats on the Navajo Nation.
David Anthony Martin works as an environmental educator with the Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center (previously the Mountain Park Environmental Center) at their two campuses in Pueblo and Beulah, Colorado. He is the author of four books of poetry: Span, Deepening the Map, Bijoux, and The Ground Nest, and is the founding editor of Middle Creek Publishing & Audio. He is a lifelong outdoorsman, writer and meditation practitioner who works to connect people to Nature, both within and without themselves.
Don McIver is a 4 time member of the ABQ slam team, an award winning host/producer of KUNM's Spoken Word Hour, the author of The Noisy Pen, and editor of A Bigger Poet: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene. He's performed all over the United States, produced poetry events big and small including being the Media Director for the Bravos Awards winning 2005 National Poetry Slam (the largest poetry slam in history). Don has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including the Harwood Anthology, Shine On You Crazy Diamond: Poems by Teens and their Mentors, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Anthology, and Poems from the Big Muddy: NPS 2004.
Tori Miner writes poetry, pours lattes, and wanders around on rocks in Fruita, Colorado.
Jessica Helen Lopez is City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate, Emeritus and the host of arts-based PBS, ¡COLORES! She has also been a featured writer for 30 Poets in their 30’s by MUZZLE and named one of the “10 Up and Coming LantinX Poets You Need to Know” by international digital publisher and agency, Remezcla. Lopez is a nationally recognized award-winning slam poet, and holds the title of 2012 and 2014 Women of the World City of ABQ Champion. She is a member of the Macondo Foundation. Founded by Sandra Cisneros, it is an association of socially engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community. Her first collection of poetry, Always Messing with Them Boys (West End Press, 2011) made the Southwest Book of the Year reading list and was also awarded the Zia Book Award presented by NM Women Press. Her second collection of radical feminist poetry, Cunt. Bomb. is published by Swimming with Elephants Publication (2014). Her third collection, The Language of Bleeding: Poems for the International Poetry Festival, Nicaragua (SWEP) is a limited release in honor of her ambassadorial visit to Granada, Nicaragua.
William Pitt Root has lived from the Everglades to the Pacific NW rain forests and from the Sonoran Desert to Manhattan and from Robert Frost's Vermont country to James Lee Burke's bayou country. He has made his living hanging dry wall, breaking
rocks in a mine half a mile underground, working as a shipyard flunky, a bouncer, and a poet in the schools in the Navajo and Hopi, Crow and northern Cheyenne nations. Along the way he's published, so far, a dozen books (most recently Strange Angels) of
poems from mags such as New Yorker, Harpers, Nation, the Atlantic, Pilgrimage and in 150 anthologies and 20 languages. Mojo, his faithful dog, resembles a werewolf impersonator.
Danny Rosen started Lithic Press in 2008 and opened Lithic Bookstore and Gallery in 2015, in Fruita, Colorado. He has worked in geology, astronomy, construction, and education. From 1995 to 2014, he gave astronomy presentations in schools throughout western Colorado in the portable Western Sky Planetarium. Part of each year between 2003 and 2008 he ran an astronomical observatory in Namibia in southern Africa. In a previous life, he was a climber. His full length collection, Primate Poems, was published in 2016.
Susan Tichy is the author of six books, most recently The Avalanche Path in Summer, a muscle-memory of a life in mountains, and Trafficke, a mixed-form investigation of family, race, and language spanning from Reformation Scotland to the abolition of slavery in Maryland. Both are from Ahsahta Press. She has written extensively about war and its human consequences, including the volumes Gallowglass (Ahsahta, 2010), Bone Pagoda (Ahsahta, 2007), and A Smell of Burning Starts the Day (Wesleyan, 1988). Her first book The Hands in Exile (Random House, 1983) was selected for the National Poetry Series. Her work has been published in the US, UK, and Australia, and been recognized by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Chad Walsh Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and numerous other awards. Recently retired from 30 years teaching in George Mason University’s MFA & BFA programs, she lives in Colorado, dividing time between the Front Range and her hand-built, solar-heated cabin near Westcliffe.
Cheryl Tischer is a recovering musician, creative inventor, jewelry engineer, yarnaholic, badge-carrying Salida artist, doodle maven, retired publisher, writer, instructor, dreamer, mother, friend who recently claims to have almost finished cleaning the entire house, an ongoing project. Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Tischer has lived in Salida since 1975. She has served on local arts councils and has participated in many galleries, shows, concerts, and seasonal art events. In 1993, she founded the local symphony, Alpine Orchestra, still thriving.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer served as the third Colorado Western Slope Poet Laureate (2015-2017), co-hosts Emerging Form (a podcast on creative process), is the co-founder of Secret Agents of Change and co-directs Telluride’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club. Her poetry has appeared in O Magazine, on A Prairie Home Companion, in Rattle.com, and on river rocks. Her forthcoming collection, This Very Here, won the Halcyon Poetry Prize (Middle Creek Press, 2020) and Naked for Tea was a finalist for the Able Muse book award in 2018. She teaches poetry for 12-step recovery programs, hospice, mindfulness retreats, women’s retreats, scientists and more. Since 2006, she’s written a poem a day. You can find them on her blog, Mantra: Adjust.
With over 15 years of experience teaching the craft of writing to high school students, college students, and older adults, Maureen Eich VanWalleghan holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry from Brooklyn College and a BA in Comparative Arts. For the last 30 years she has combined her poetry with her painting and photography to create art that engages the viewer on multiple levels.
Wendy Videlock lives in the small ag town of Palisade, on the west slope of the Colorado Rockies. Her work has appeared twice in Best American Poetry, Hudson Review, The New York Times, Poetry, Hopkins Review, Shit Creek Review, and other disparate venues. Her books are available from Able Muse Press and EXOT Books. A two-time finalist for Colorado poet laureate, Wendy is also a visual artist, whose paintings are featured in galleries throughout western Colorado.
Juan J. Morales is the author of three poetry collections,
including The Siren World and The Handyman’s Guide to End
Times (forthcoming UNM Press, 2018). His poetry has
appeared in Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Green Mountains Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pank, Pleiades, terrain.org, Zone 3, and others. He is also a CantoMundo Fellow, Editor/Publisher of Pilgrimage Press, and Department Chair of English & Foreign Languages at CSU-Pueblo.