Talking Gourds Poetry Club will rhyme in the new year with a reading by Salida poet Eduardo Brummel at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Telluride Arts Headquarters, 135 W. Pacific Ave. in Telluride.
Brummel regularly makes the four-hour trek from Salida to Telluride to attend Talking Gourds events. Art Goodtimes, program director for Talking Gourds, said Brummel has been a regular club attendee for three to four years and is considered a part of their club family.
“Ed has been a real spark plug,” Goodtimes said.
Brummel said he has considered himself a writer for at least 25 years. His pieces have appeared in publications such as High Country News, Colorado Central and Desert Call. He said he was not expecting to be chosen as the featured poet for January’s meeting.
“I did not see that coming at all,” Brummel said. “(Goodtimes) emailed me and asked me if I would be interested. And once I got over the shock and kind of landed back on earth, I looked and I had what then seemed to be enough poetry to make a decent presentation.”
Brummel touches on a variety of subjects in his work.
“Inspirations are constantly out there,” he said. “It’s being open to and being perceptive to them.”
He cited Rosemerry Trommer, Mary Oliver and Jane Hirshfield as the poets who have had the most influence on his work.
Brummel has been a Salida resident for 16 years after moving from Colorado Springs in February 2003. He said he thought Colorado Springs was getting too big and he wanted to move to a smaller community.
He began traveling to Telluride about seven years ago after crossing paths with Trommer at a poetry workshop she was hosting. There he began falling in love with Telluride the same way he fell in love with Salida.
“It’s even smaller than Salida,” Brummel said. “It’s much of what Salida used to be when I moved here. It’s more intimate and everybody kind of watches out for each other. And they’re able to support the arts better than we seem to be able to here, at least the written arts. The library there is just phenomenal.”
Brummel said he watched videos of Talking Gourds meetings online before deciding to attend them in person. He said the commute does not feel as long as it seems.
Poetry club readings in Telluride begin at 6 p.m. with club news. Afterwards, Brummel will share his work for up to an hour. A gourd is then passed around where everyone in attendance can share their own poem on any topic or a piece by a favorite author that follows the month’s theme. January’s theme will be “Snow.”
Since roughly 2013, the club has met every month except during the summer months. The club was a spin-off of the Telluride Writers Guild, which was created in 1980.
Current paid members of the club are eligible for a free broadside copy of one of Brummel’s poems. The broadside features a photographic background and a brief biography of Brummel in addition to his poem. Nonmembers can purchase the broadsides at Between the Covers Bookstore in Telluride. Membership forms are available at the club meeting for $25 initially with a $10 renewal fee every year.
Earlier in the day, the first iteration of the Rella Awards ceremony for student contestants will take place at 4 p.m. at the Telluride Mountain School. One local high schooler and one local student between the grades of kindergarten and eighth grade will be selected to receive a $200 poetry award thanks to a donation from the Bardwell Donachy Family Fund. The awards will honor the literary legacy of Ettore Rella, a Telluride native who became a poet and playwright in New York City.
Both events are free and open for all to attend, especially winners and runners-up of the Rella Awards.