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November 29, 2009
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Poetry comes alive at Art Center

The Art Center is beginning to add live poetry to its offerings.

"Three Winter Muses" - a poetry gathering of three award-winning Western Slope poets is scheduled to take place 4 p.m. Saturday.

"Often when people see poetry on a page, they struggle," said Rosemerry Wahtola-Trommer, one of the poets performing Saturday. "Poetry readings are opportunities to open a door, so the poetry becomes alive, and relevant and present, and ecstatic.

"That's what a poetry reading can do. That's what I'm trying to do - have a conversation with people's hearts."

Wahtola-Trommer is to be joined by Beth Paulson, of Ouray, and Sandra Dorr, of Grand Junction, each with their own new book of poetry.

Wahtola-Trommer, who lives near Telluride, posts a daily poem at her blog: - the result of her "write-a-poem-a-day practice." She may read some of those never-before-been-read poems as well as others not so new.

Wahtola-Trommer has won several awards for her poems, and is currently Poet Laureate of San Miguel County.

Paulson has also won several prizes for her poems, including nominations for the Pushcart Prize in 2007 and 2009.

"The Pushcart Prize is major in the world of poetry," said Dorr, a friend and colleague. "It means (the poet) is doing something groundbreaking, something new. It's really a great award."

Like Dorr, Paulson is a former college writing professor. All three women reading Saturday are friends, and lead writing workshops.

Paulson also writes a monthly feature column for the Ouray Plaindealer.

Paulson will read from her new book of poems, "Wild Raspberries."

On her Web site Paulson states her writings attempt to connect "observations of the natural world to the questions of the human condition and spirit."

She writes: "I try to keep my mind/ on this calling,/ the only way I know/ to save the earth."

Dorr and Wahtola-Trommer write about similar themes - the natural world, family life - each with a different voice and presentation style.

Dorr has won both national and regional awards for her poems. Her new book, "Desert Water," was nominated for the Colorado Book Award.

Dorr has been a poet-in-residence throughout the west. She's authored two books on women's health and travel, and is at work on a novel, "Girl in the Sea."

Poems in her new book, "Desert Water," won The Writer/Rosebud's New Discovery prize, a Salt Hill prize, and first prize in the Colorado Poetry Society's open contest.

Dorr said she's thankful for the Art Center for offering their books as works of art. She's looking forward to performing with the other women.

"As the winter solstice approaches, we'll all be interested in reading poems of light," Dorr said.

Reach Sharon Sullivan at

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 29, 2009 01:57PM Published Nov 29, 2009 01:57PM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.