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.
John Brandi is a native of California, whose coast, mountains, and deserts made a great impact on his early life and writing. In 1971, after work in the Andes as a Peace Corps Volunteer, he moved northern New Mexico. A recipient of an NEA Fellowship for Poetry, he is an ardent traveler, with over 30 books and chapbooks issued in the U.S. and abroad. Among his most recent publications: The World, the World (White Pine Press), At it Again (Tooth of Time Books), and Into the Dream Maze, a limited edition book of haibun poems with hand-colored drawings (Press at the Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, 2016). As a visual artist, his paintings and collages have been featured in one-person exhibits across the U.S. He and his wife, Renée Gregorio, live in El Rito, NM.
Debbi Brody is an avid attendee and leader of poetry workshops throughout the Southwest. She has been published in numerous national and regional journals, magazines and anthologies of note. She judges poetry contests around the nation and has served as the accuracy judge for the NEA's Poetry Outloud New Mexico State Finals for many years. Debbi’s strong voice ranges from narrative to lyric, short to lengthy, grief filled to joyous, inner to outer landscapes and politics. The deep influences of the surrealist, modernist and beat poets sing through her collections of clear, tough, tender and fantastical poems. She is the author of two chapbooks as well as two full length poetry collections. In Everything, Birds, is her second book published by Village Books Press, OKC, OK (2015).
Carolyn "Carolina" Brown is a dancer, yogi, writer, eco-activist and wilderness explorer living in Crestone, CO. She has an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and taught writing at UC-Berkeley. Her practice of attuning with wild nature and musing with earth, body and breath
emerged from her ongoing apprenticeship with the Wild in the west. Her primary artistic form today is site-specific improvisation with the Wild. She has performed with NatureMoves, CoreConnexion and Slipstream Dreamscape.
Nathan Brown is a songwriter, performer, and award-winning poet from Wimberley, Texas. He served as Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma in 2013/14. He holds an interdisciplinary PhD in English and Journalism (Creative and Professional Writing) from the University of Oklahoma but mostly travels now, performing readings and concerts as well as speaking and leading workshops in high schools, universities, and community organizations on creativity and creative writing. He has published nineteen books.
Tom deMers worked as an editor and writer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he taught in the writing program. He has published short stories in Rolling Stock and The Bloomsbury Review and has often plagued those closest to him with his penchant for rhyming verse. He lives in Crestone where he's at work on his second novel.
When she was nineteen, Barbara Ford encountered a poem that jumped off the page and dropped her to her knees. It was the elegy ‘for jane’ by Charles Bukowski. She never forgot the experience of discovering that poetry could have breath and life. Some years later, the death of her beloved longtime correspondent CoCo drove Barbara into the arms of poetry for good. She has been reading and writing it ever since. Her book, Once Familiar, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016.
Peggy Godfrey has been ranching in the high desert next to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado for decades. In this country "cowboy" is a verb. Since 1991 she has been performing for a wide variety of audiences. Composting disasters into poems and stories is her version of value-added agriculture.
Art Goodtimes has been a community builder for a long time, not only as a former County Commissioner for San Miguel County but as a poet and writer. Art serves as the Master of Ceremonies and poet laureate of the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Additionally, Art is the Founder and Director of Talking Gourds. In 2010, he was named the first Western Slope Poet Laureate at the first annual Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival in Carbondale. Art’s multitude of literary accomplishments also includes longtime journalist and editor for Telluride Watch and Cortez’s Four Corners Free Press, as well as poetry editor of several publications, including Fungi magazine, Mountain Gazette, Wild Earth, and more.
Renée Gregorio's poetry is informed equally by the stillness and expansiveness of northern New Mexico as it is by her wide-ranging travels to such places such as Cuba, Bali, Southeast Asia, Mexico, India, China, and the Himalayas. Among her published collections are The Skins of Possible Lives, The Storm That Tames Us, Drenched, Water Shed, and Snow Falling on Snow. In addition to the above collaborations is the book, Love and Death: Greatest Hits, winner of the New Mexico Book Award for Poetry in 2011 (with Joan Logghe and Miriam Sagan, with whom she founded Tres Chicas Books). Italian translations of her poems are included in Nuova Antologia di Poesia Americana (Edizioni Ensemble, Roma, 2015).
Jane Hilberry's collection of poems, Body Painting, was published by Red Hen Press in 2005. Her poems have appeared in The Women’s Review of Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, Hudson Review, Denver Quarterly, and many other magazines. She has also written a book of art criticism/biography titled The Erotic Art of Edgar Britton. Hilberry’s most recent work includes teaching creativity workshops for organizations and businesses. She teaches literature and creative writing at Colorado College and serves on the faculty of the Banff Centre’s Art of Executive Leadership program. Hilberry’s honors include a Colorado Council on the Arts Recognition Award for Poetry and a Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Research Award.
Joseph Hutchison Poet Laureate of Colorado (2014-2019), is the award-winning author of 17 poetry collections, including Eyes of the Cuervo/Ojos del Crow (an illustrated, bilingual collection with translations by Patricia Herminia); The World As Is: New & Selected Poems, 1972-2015; The Satire Lounge; and Marked Men. At the University of Denver’s University College, he directs two graduate level programs for working adults: Professional Creative Writing and Arts & Culture Management. He lives in the mountains southwest of the Denver with his wife, Iyengar yoga instructor Melody Madonna.
Mark Irwin's nine collections of poetry include A Passion According to Green (2017), American Urn: New & Selected Poems (1987- 2014), Tall If (2009), Bright Hunger (2004), and White City (2000). Recognition for his work includes The Nation / Discovery Award, two Colorado Book Awards, four Pushcart Prizes, the James Wright Poetry Award, and fellowships from the Fulbright, Lilly, NEA, and Wurlitzer Foundations. His collection of essays, Monster: Distortion, Abstraction, and Originality in Contemporary American Poetry, was published in 2017 by Peter Lang, New York. He is a professor in the PhD in Creative Writing & Literature Program at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles and Colorado. His poetry has been translated into several languages.
Val Killpack is a graduate of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics with an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University and a BA in English Literature from University of Colorado. He has taught writing and literature at Colorado Mountain College and Breckenridge Creative Arts. He currently lives at at Buddhist meditation center in Crestone, Colorado and is an English Professor at Adams State University. He has published in several journals, including Erasure and Caesura. His current research focus is in theories of abjection, the uncanny, the fantastic, and estrangement and in literary speculative fiction sub-genres: slipstream, interstitial fiction, new-wave fabulism, and the new weird. He teaches yoga and meditation and works as a techno DJ, and he brings these influences into the process of writing.
Poet, artist, teacher, gardener and Bonpa Rachel Kellum lives at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains with her partner and children. A Pushcart Prize nominee and NFSPS award winning poet, her poetry has been featured in several online journals and print collections. Kellum earned a BFA in Art from Millikin University and an MA in English from Colorado State University. 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.
Maria Melendez Kelson writes crime fiction, short stories, magazine features, literary essays and poetry. Her mystery novel-in-progress won the inaugural Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award from Sisters in Crime. Her poetry and prose appear in Poetry magazine, Orion, Ms. Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, and numerous anthologies. Author of two poetry collections (as Maria Melendez) published by University of Arizona Press, her books have been finalists for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Colorado Book Award, and both received Honorable Mention at the International Latino Book Awards.
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.
Anne MacNaughton is a poet, author and artist based in Northern New Mexico. Co-Founder of SOMOS. and director of the long-running Taos Poetry Circus, she teaches writing and coaches recitation and performance around the Southwest. Her easygoing voice has been described as reminiscent of Mary Oliver’s. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Notebook, Minerva Rising, The Best American Poetry, The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, Thus Spake the Corpse, and In Company: An Anthology of New Mexico Poets After 1960. Her essays on poetry are included in Spoken Word Revolution and Poetry Flash. Editor of The Nineties: The Best Poetry and Photos of the Taos Poetry Circus, 1990-1999 and Wordworks, she is also a recipient of the New Mexico Literary Association’s Gratitude Award.
A graduate of St. John's College and of the George Mason University MFA Program, Gary Worth Moody has worked as a forest fire fighter, a farrier, a cowboy, and building a town for coal miners in Siberia’s Kuzbass Region. His poems have appeared in myriad journals on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the anthologies, Cabin Fever: Poets and Joaquin Miller's Cabin, 1984-2001 (Word Works Press) and Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press). He is the author of Hazards of Grace (Red Mountain Press, 2012), Occoquan (Red Mountain Press, 2015) shortlisted for the international Rubery Book Award in poetry. Gary’s 3rd manuscript, THE BURNINGS, is forthcoming in 2019 from 3: A Taos Press. He is currently in the final assembly of a 4th manuscript entitled LOLITA, the BIRD, and the BLACK-TONGUED DOG. A falconer, Gary lives in Santa Fe with the artist and writer, Oriana Rodman, Handsome the Dachshund, Beauty, a grulla creature of uncertain genealogy, and Plague, a male red-tail hawk.
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.
Noona O'Reilly is a poet, visual artist, and fabric artist, living in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado. Her most recent book, I Meant to Tell You, was published by Western Eye Press in 2017.
William Pitt Root's poems have been translated into over 20 tongues, drawn from about 10 collections (three nominated for Pulitzer) including Strange Angels, White Boots: A Selection of Poems from the American West, Faultdancing, Reasons for Going it on Foot, Coot and Other Characters; individual poems are published in hundreds of mags including New Yorker, Nation, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Commentary, Poetry, APR, Virginia, Sewanee and Georgia Reviews etc.; also in over 100 anthologies including New Yorker Book of Poems, New Poets of the American West, The Last Best Place: Poets of Montana. Root has read widely in the U.S. and in Sweden, England, Scotland, and Italy. Along with visiting writer gigs at the likes of NYU, Amherst College, Interlochen Arts Academy and nationwide in PITS, Root has filled the gaps working as a bouncer, on factory assembly lines, in a shipyard and half a mile underground in a gold and copper mine.
Claudia Putnam has poems in dozens of literary journals and is the author of the chapbook Wild Thing in Our Known World, available from Finishing Line Press. She has received several fellowships, including a year-long residency at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Claudia lives in Glenwood Springs, where she is a craniosacral therapist.
River City Nomads
Blending pathos and humor with theatrical flourishes and fine storytelling, the poetry troupe River City Nomads presents performances that are powerful, poignant, and sometimes, hilarious.
Together since 2004, the Salida, Colorado-based River City Nomads have performed at poetry festivals, art galleries, cafes, colleges and universities, independent book stores, and numerous other venues throughout Colorado. The group’s trademark is its ability to weave the distinctive voices of its individual members—Peter Anderson, Laurie James, Lynda La Rocca, Craig Nielson, and Lawton Eddy—into a colorful tapestry of poetic takes on topics ranging from the awe-inspiring beauty of Colorado’s wilderness and the universal longing for connection to the absurdities of blind dates and close encounters of the strange and memorable kind on cross-country road trips.
Each of the River City Nomads writes from a strong sense of place, generating finely nuanced and richly imagined characters and landscapes that fit together, like pieces in a poetic jigsaw puzzle, to create performances that are truly unforgettable.
Barbara Robidoux is the author of two books of poetry, Waiting for Rain (2007) and Migrant Moon (2012). Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Her fiction has appeared in the Denver Quarterly, The Yellow Medicine Review, the Santa Fe Literary Review , Dawnland Voices 2.0 #4 and numerous anthologies. SWEETGRASS BURNING : Stories from the Rez a collection of linked short stories was released by Blue Hand Books in February 2016. Her novella The Legacy of Lucy Little Bear was released by Blue Hand Books in March 2017. A book of poetry The Storm Left No Flowers is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in fall 2018. Barbara lives in Santa Fe New Mexico where she works as faculty in the MFA creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Eastern Cherokee.
Danny Rosen founded and runs the Lithic Press. His second chapbook, Ghosts of Giant Kudu, was published in May 2013 by Kattywompus Press. His poems have appeared most recently in Pilgrimage, San Pedro River Review, Comstock Review, Fruita Pulp, Malpais Reveiw and elsewhere. He lives among dogs in the desert of western Colorado.
Adrian H. Molina is a Master of Ceremonies. He is an artist, writer, poet, professor, community facilitator, and creative consultant for a better world. As a writer, he balances grit, imagination, indigenous consciousness, dreamscapes and indignation for injustice. Adrian is an honoree of the Lalo Delgado Poetry Festival, the City of Denver, and Colorado Creative Industries. He has served as a Live Poetic Scribe for dozens of events throughout Colorado. He gives half his professional time to the next generation, including arts education work with Lighthouse Writers, Think 360 Arts and Youth on Record. Residing in Denver, Adrian is embarking on new journeys as a lover, father, creative and dreamer. Follow his musings on Instagram @MolinaWrites.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer was Colorado’s Western Slope Poet Laureate (2015-17). She also served two terms as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate (2006-2010). She has authored and edited thirteen books, including, Even Now: Poems & Drawings; Holding Three Things at Once, finalist for the Colorado Book Award, If You Listen, winner of the Colorado Independent Press Assoc. poetry award. She has appeared in many anthologies including An Elevated View: Colorado Writers on Writing, Poems of Awakening, and Red Thread, Gold Thread: The Poet’s Voice. Her work has been heard on A Prairie Home Companion, and has appeared in O Magazine, on back alley fences, on rocks she leaves around town, and in dozens of literary journals including Rattle, Clover and Spectrum.
Political activist and wilderness advocate, Pam Uschuk has howled out six books of poems, including Crazy Love, winner of a 2010 American Book Award, Finding Peaches in the Desert (Tucson/Pima Literaature Award), and her most recent, Blood Flower, one of Book List’s Notable Books in 2015. Translated into more than a dozen languages, her work appears in over three hundred journals and anthologies worldwide, including Poetry, Ploughshares, Agni Review, Parnassus Review, etc. Among her awards are the War Poetry Prize from winningwrites.com, New Millenium Poetry Prize, Best of the Web, the Struga International Poetry Prize (for a theme poem), the Dorothy Daniels Writing Award from the National League of American PEN Women, the King’s English Poetry Prize and prizes from Ascent, Iris, and Amnesty International. Editor-In-Chief of Cutthroat, a Journal of the Arts, Uschuk also edited the anthology, Truth To Power: Writers Respond To The Rhetoric Of Hate And Fear, 2017.