Yesterday, in part 1 of this article the talented Telluride performance poet, Rosemerry Wahtohla Trommer was introduced. Part 2 features three more poets that help make Colorado literary proud: Colorado Springs poet, Jessy Randall; Indian Hills poet, Joseph Hutchison; and Pike’s Peak Poet Laureate, Jim Ciletti, who share their love of the art of poetry through their books and readings.
Meet Jessy Randall, whose poetry depicts the little things in life that most can relate to. Her poetry is light and fun and one can feel her love for the craft in her words.
Colorado Springs librarian, Jessy Randall is both author and poet. Randall has poetry published in three poetry collections, four chapbooks and numerous ezines, as well as being featured on numerous online venues. Her latest poetry collection is in collaboration with poet Daniel Shapiro; the recently released, Interruptions. (The Southern Colorado Literature Examiner’s review of Interruptions can be viewed here: http://nextooze.com/literature-in-colorado-springs/randall-and-shapiro-reveal-our-inner-children-with-interruptions-review-2 )
When asked what it is that attracts her to poetry, Jessy Randall says,
“My friend Aaron Anstett, who is a poet, says that poetry isn’t a way to make a living but it is a way to live your life. I often think about that when people tell me that they use poetry as a kind of therapy. For me it isn’t therapy, isn’t a comforting thing to offset troubles — it’s more like a snorkel, where I need it to breathe, and because of it I can see all those exotic fish, that is, I can see the world in a different way. Poetry can make all the regular mundane parts of life interesting and beautiful. Sometimes. I’m not saying all the time. But sometimes.”
This poem first appeared in Statement, the journal of the Colorado Language Arts Society, Winter/Spring 2009. It is reprinted here by permission of the poet.
The Secret to Writing Poetry
Take something that happened
to you, once, and make it seem
to have happened to everyone,
everywhere, over and over.
Take something that happens
to everyone, everywhere,
and make it seem to have
happened to you, once.
Read the Southern Colorado Literature Examiner’s profile of Jessy Randall here: nextooze.com/literature-in-colorado-springs/the-literary-world-of-je…
Indian Hills poet Joseph Hutchison delights in the expressiveness that poetry allows him. His honor and love of the poetic tradition is obvious in his works.
A Colorado native, poet Joseph Hutchison has published more than ten poetry collections, in addition to short stories and poetry appearing in over 100 journals. His poetry collection, Bed of Coals won the 1994 Colorado Poetry Award and he was nominated for the 2003 Pushcart Prize for a poem that he published in The Nebraska Review. When asked how poetry became a part of his life, Hutchison explains,
“I was primed to be moved by the language of poetry because of an early fascination with Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, with their glooms and rank sedges and shadowy fancies. But it wasn’t until high school that poetry discovered me, through a wonderful teacher named Vernice Van Duzer and a fine anthology called Sound and Sense. The two made me realize that this kind of language could be mine—that I could express aspects of myself which I had no other way of expressing. For me, poetry still serves this need; but I try to serve it as well—to honor, in my small way, the larger tradition.”
The following selection is from Joseph Hutchison’s latest poetry collection, Thread of the Real, which is scheduled for release this month from Conundrum Press. It is printed here with the poet’s permission.
On a Used First Edition of Bronk’s
Manifest; And Furthermore
The previous reader was some kind
of savage, folding a page corner down
every time a poem pleased him—two
dozen smudged dog-ears, at least.
These verses tell how nothing lasts,
and yes—I know. But these wrinkles
hurt. I can’t seem to read until
I’ve uncreased each disfigured leaf,
dragging my chewed thumbnail
along the vein . . . knowing I’ll never
iron it out, grinding my teeth on a curse.
Colorado Springs poet Jim Ciletti shares his love of poetry through his poems and his teachings. His talent has earned him the title of Pike’s Peak Poet Laureate.
Award winning poet and film maker, Jim Ciletti, is also the 2010-2012 Pike’s Peak Poet Laureate. Jim gives readings, and teaches performance poetry and journal and writing workshops. His latest book is Sunfire,A Collection of Poems, and is available at his wife Mary’s store, Hooked on Books, which was recently named one of The Best Independent Bookstores in Colorado. When asked to share a few words on his feelings about poetry, Jim Ciletti replied,
“Poetry is the language of the heart. Poetry is how our feelings talk – and we share those words with family friends and others. Thus, poetry is our emotional knowledge of who we are in this world. The “words” may be in rhyming verse, an ode, a sonnet, free verse, blank verse, open forms, etc. and may work with imagery, metaphors, simile, assonance, alliteration etc., –but essentially speaks for the heart. When we read poetry by people from all over the world, we can learn and understand our common bond of humanity.”
Where Have I Been All My Life
Obsessed with feathers, wherever, I
pick up grey-blue feathers from pigeons,
whitish ones from doves, black silky spears
from ravens, and when lucky, scarce,
blue-white works-of-art from jays.
Priestly communion, I lift them to light and
marvel at intricate strand after strand
feathering out of the main stem. I want
to hear what was whispered to them
to make them so delicately perfect.
My prized feather, dark brown, white tipped
from the orange-shafted flicker, her spring
mating calls remind us again and again
that the garlic will sprout, peach trees
will blossom. Now these feathers
circle in a cup on my desk, beside the bone
of the lamb’s shank, which I ate. Feathers
that knew wind, sun-born compass directions,
magic of flying, telling me that by holding onto
what others lose, I can find my way home.
Read more of Jim Ciletti’s work at his poetry blog: http://plumlover.wordpress.com
Or on his book selling blog: http://arushineverybox.wordpress.com.
You may contact Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow, be sure to catch part 3 of this article, featuring Crested Butte poet, David J Rothman.