Article by Central Staff
Poetry – March 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine
POETRY ON A PLATTER IS all about Poetry; it’s about reading, writing, studying, performing and enjoying poetry. PoP is rural Colorado’s yearly celebration of National Poetry Month.
Festivities include a program of presentations and workshops put together in a collaborative effort by the Salida Regional Library, the Leslie Savage Library at WSC in Gunnison, and the Montrose Library District.
The 5th annual PoP happens this April 3 through 10 in libraries, schools, cafés, and community centers. The poetry tour begins in Salida then travels on to Gunnison and Montrose. There is no charge for any of the events, and everyone is invited to participate.
Veronica Patterson and David Keplinger, the guest poets for PoP 2005, both hail from Colorado and have books of poetry to their credit.
Veronica Patterson’s studies have taken her to the halls of Cornell, the University of Michigan, the University of Northern Colorado, and Warren Wilson College. She is the author of How to Make a Terrarium, her first poetry collection, and another collection, Swan, What Shores? was a finalist for the Academy of American Poets’ 2000 James Laughlin Award. Veronica has won poetry awards from the Colorado Center for the Book and Women Writing the West, and her book, The Bones Remember: A Dialogue, features poetry and photography.
Veronica has also been awarded three residencies at Wyoming’s Ucross Foundation and one at Hedgebrook, and she has received two Individual Artist’s Fellowships from the Colorado Council on the Arts. She now lives in northern Colorado where she teaches an eight week writing class for the Hospice of Larimer County. She also presents workshops for a group of adult writers, and for the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University, and every spring she conducts a 6th grade poetry workshop in Illinois.
In addition to writing and teaching, Veronica loves hiking, reading, listening to music, theater, and bird-watching, and she studies the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
David Keplinger, the director of the Creative Writing Program at CSU-Pueblo, has a new book of poems, The Clearing, due out in March; it was the runner-up for the Green Rose Prize.
David’s first poetry collection, The Rose Inside, won the 1999 T.S. Eliot Prize. It is about the outside longing to get inside and about those trapped inside looking out.
David has traveled throughout the world to teach and to be taught. In Czechoslovakia he was challenged by the language and discovered that “language is a miracle; it’s a miracle we can say anything to each other at all.”
This epiphany led David to write, “The words I spoke and later wrote, felt more precious.” His inability to speak Czech fluently fueled his writing.
AS A GRADUATE STUDENT, David learned that, “all poetry is political, as it is inevitably a product of the time and place in which it was written.”
“Honesty and clarity are the qualities that connect your reader deeply to your experience,” David contends. “In a poem, it’s how you say it that counts.”
David has received grants and awards from the Academy of American Poets, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and a 2003 Fellowship from the NEA. His poems are widely published in many magazines and reviews, including Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares and Prairie Schooner.
In Salida, PoP begins with an Open-Mic Night at the Salida Regional Library, at 405 E St., on Sunday at 7 p.m. The guest poets host the evening’s festivities.
The next serving of poetry is also at the library. On Monday from 1-3:30 p.m. David and Veronica will conduct a workshop, and there will be platters of treats for participants.
The Salida finale to PoP 2005, will be at Bongo Billy’s Salida Café, 300 W. Sackett St., with readings by Veronica and David starting at 7 p.m., Monday.
Then the tour moves on to Gunnison and Montrose.
For more information about Salida’s portion of the festival, or for copies of the events schedules for Gunnison and Montrose call Kathy Berg at the Salida Regional Library, 719-539-4826, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.