“Things are so far away, light years and galaxies, your life and mine,” wrote poet Renee Podunovich.
“Yet this morning everything is suspended in the prehistoric darkness / the thick lagoon of the cosmos / aquatic universe, sparkling stillness, calm. hold on and let go / the chronic bubbling and drifting / of consciousness. “
The poem, “If There’s a Center, Nobody Knows Where It Begins,” is the title of Podunovich’s first book, published by Art Juice Press in 2008, Light Years (or at least it seems) it) of the pandemic.
And yet, poetry as a practice – as food for the soul, as inspiration and motivation – has supported word lovers for the past year and a half: meeting on Zoom this year has made Poetry trails bardic panels from the Telluride Group Institute to accommodate guest readers from anywhere in the world and ensure everyone’s safety at the same time. Podunovich, the 2019 Cantor Prize winner for best poem by a Coloradoan in the Fischer Prize competition, is the Tuesday night guest of the monthly Gourdes reading at 7 p.m. (register by Monday at telluridelibrary.org/events for a link if you would like to attend).
Co-founded by San Miguel County Poets Art Goodtimes and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Bardic Trails will host two more online readings in 2021. On November 2, Debbi Brody of New Mexico will be the guest, and poet Al Zolynas of California will read December 2. 7.
As for Tuesday’s reading, as the writer Cynthia West said of Podnuovich, it “comes back from journeys beyond the everyday world with medicine exploding in us” with no other limit than the filter of our hearts “.
For years, Rosemerry Trommer has written a poem about every 24 hours in “the everyday world”. She has taught this region’s many admirers – her classes usually sell out before they are offered – to read and write poetry. His new course, “Leaping: How to Wildly Advance Your Writing” starts October 13th.
“Absolutely no prior knowledge of poetry is required to take this course,” Trommer said in an email to the Daily Planet. “I will provide prompts and also responsibilities, as well as lots of ideas on how to respond to the void in a fun, non-threatening way.”
Trommer’s intention to educate others seems remarkable when you consider that she is navigating a tragedy (“I was enveloped in grief and love,” as she put it).
She said writing helped.
“I believe that the daily practice of the poem for 15 years has been a big part of what got me through this difficult time in life – being able to meet everything, feel everything, stay open to it. I have never been so convinced that a practice of poetry is one of the most valuable ways of being in the world, ”explained Trommer. “It’s so beyond the poem – the poem is just an artefact, a by-product of the real gift, which is the process, the practice of showing off.
“In fact, the surprise of practicing the poem a day is that it’s not that difficult,” continued Trommer. “That once we commit to sitting down and writing every day, that commitment carries us. I fall back on this promise I made to myself for years – it doesn’t have to be good, but it has to be true. It helps me every time I sit down in front of a blank page. All I have to do is write the next real thing, then the next, and then the next. This authenticity and curiosity is what fuels the epiphany, and the thrill of learning and unlearning is what keeps me coming back to the blank page every day.
Trommer hosts a writing and creativity podcast, “The Emerging Form,” with award-winning fellow scribe (and good friend) Christie Aschwanden, who also recently suffered a trauma. They describe their most recent episode, September 16, as the most difficult they’ve ever done.
“A little over half of this show, I bow to each of you,” one listener commented. “What a deliberate act of bravery to put up with you in your states of rawness and vulnerability. This podcast is a specific example of its topic. Papa Hemingway told us to “write clearly and clearly about what hurts,” what each of you does. Onward through the drudgery, Christie and Rosemerry. Forward through. Can I be so brave at any time in my own life.