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Poetry on a Platter

April 5, 2002

Save your appetite. The second helping of “Poetry on a Platter” will be served next week.

Last year’s first helping was a wonderful success. How did we measure success? Good poetry, satisfied audience. And packed houses. Both venues — Salida Cafe (Bongo Billy’s) and Salida Regional Library — were filled to capacity.

David Lee of Utah will return for his second appearance at the festival. He will be joined by Marilyn Taylor from Wisconsin. And this year, we’ll feature several Colorado poets, as well: Luis Lopez, Karen Chamberlain, and Carol Bell.

“Poetry on a Platter” consists of readings, workshops, open-mike sessions, and programs in the local high schools in three towns: Salida, Montrose, and Paonia.

The festival begins in Salida, Monday afternoon, April 8th, with a workshop by Carol Bell and Luis Lopez at the Salida Regional Library from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

An evening of open mike — “for seasoned and unseasoned poets” — will follow from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the library. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday night, Carol Bell and Luis Lopez will read at the Salida Regional Library from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

David Lee and Marilyn Taylor will lead a workshop at the library Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., and then will read their poetry that night at the Salida Cafe (Bongo Billy’s) from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The poets all move on from here to Montrose and Paonia. See the schedule on posters or call the library for more info.

If you’ll remember, we were able to give away copies of books by last year’s featured poets to all attendees — through the generosity of their publisher. This year, we will give away a smaller supply of books at each reading by clever methods of selection.

We’re pleased to have enlarged the platter this year with more poets, workshops, and a longer “open mike” session.

David Lee was anxious to come back — he enjoyed the first “Poetry on a Platter” so much. He carries the unlikely title of “Pig Poet” for works such as “The Porcine Canticles.” He is the first Poet Laureate of Utah and has published 13 books of poetry.

Marilyn Taylor is a nationally known poet from Wisconsin and teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has published her poetry in literary journals and anthologies, as well as in her five books.

The Colorado poets all hail from the Western Slope. Luis Lopez teaches as Mesa State College and has published two books of poetry as well as several plays. He has a passion for baseball, which informs much of his poetry. I suppose we might label him the “Fungo Poet.” He might be a “Southpawet,” but I don’t know.

Karen Chamberlain from Glenwood Springs has degrees in zoology and philosophy, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing. She wrote for the PBS series “Wild America” and co-founded “Nature Within,” a summer outdoor workshop for writers. She is completing a volume of poetry and a nonfiction book about living in the Utah desert.

Carol Bell is also from Glenwood Springs, and in addition to publishing her poetry in magazines and journals, she helped found the Glenwood Springs Art Council Writer’s Workshop.

“Poetry on a Platter” is sponsored by the American Library Association’s “Live! at the Library 2002,” Colorado Council on the Arts “Tumble Words Event,” and many generous supporters from Salida, Montrose, and Paonia.

This “feast of poems” begins Monday. Chow down!

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