No matter where you live on the Western Slope, chances are there’s a poet living near you who you’ve never met. And chances are you’re not in the 7 percent of US citizens who has read a poem in the last year. But that’s all about to change. Welcome to Heard of Poets, a site that highlights a poem by a different Western Slope poet each week and brings the literary landscape to life. Curated by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Western Slope Poet Laureate (2015-2017), the project is designed to bring you poems from your back yard by people who you just might bump into while walking down the street. And why is this a good idea? Well, as Juan Felipe Herrera, poet laureate of the United States, said recently, poems help us “notice things that are almost impossible to take into account if we do not stop our rush through our precious life.” And as Trommer says, “Reading poems can really shake things up—it’s an invitation to see ourselves and the world in a new way.”
Western Slope Poet Laureate Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poetry has appeared in O Magazine, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion and in her children’s lunch boxes. Her most recent collection is The Less I Hold. She’s taught poetry for dozens of institutions, including Think 360, The Aesthetic Education Institute of Colorado, Hospice, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Weehawken Arts, and Camp Coca Cola. She served as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate and directed the Telluride Writers Guild for 10 years. She performs with Telluride’s seven-woman acappella group, Heartbeat, and since 2005, she’s written a poem a day and now posts them on ahundredfallingveils.com. Her books, performance schedule, and exercises for your own writing endeavors can be found at wordwoman.com. Favorite one-word mantra: Adjust.