Colorado’s Poet Laureate Presents Readings and Workshops (Durango)

Mary Crow, Colorado’s poet laureate and English professor at Colorado State University, will present poetry readings, workshops and a public forum in Durango Feb. 17-18.

Crow, who was named Colorado’s poet laureate in October 1996, will present the two-day program, called "Words on the Wing II: Making Poetry Visible in Durango." Events are tailored to reach educational professionals, school children, community libraries and arts and humanities communities.

Crow’s presentations are designed to increase the availability of poetry to local audiences, encourage the innovative teaching of poetry in schools and demonstrate how reading and writing poetry can enhance literacy.

Program events will begin Feb. 17 with a poetry writing workshop for college students from 2:30-4 p.m. at Fort Lewis College. That evening, Crow will present a poetry reading and facilitate a discussion at 7 p.m. in Room 130 of Noble Hall at Fort Lewis College. The reading will include poetry for all ages and is open to the public.

Events will continue Feb. 18 with a poetry writing workshop for students from 2:30-4 p.m. at Durango High School. Along with students, observing teachers will be on hand to participate. The workshop will include a discussion of effective and innovative teaching of poetry, hands-on practice of exercises and a discussion of poems suitable for school use.

Events will conclude with a public forum from 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 18 in Room 130 of Noble Hall at Fort Lewis College. Crow’s talk will focus on enhancing the visibility of poetry locally. It will include discussion of needs in Durango and methods which could be used to start local poetry projects.

"One of the premises of this forum is that poetry is a basic part of our human nature and its inborn creativity," Crow said. "Poetry is an essential element of culture which should be available as part of a community’s cultural life."

Crow, who has read poetry throughout the country, was selected as Colorado’s poet laureate on the basis of artistic excellence, service in the advancement of poetry and interest in presenting poetry and literature to Colorado and the nation. Her books of poetry include "I Have Tasted the Apple" and "Borders." Her translations of poetry include "Engravings Torn from Insomnia: Poems by Olga Orozco" and "Homesickness: Selected Poems by Enrique Lihn."

The Durango program is the first part of a series which Crow is presenting in five communities around the state. Other program sites include Grand Junction, Telluride, Lafayette, and Colorado Springs. "Words on the Wing II" is a continuation last year’s "Word on the Wing" Program which included five other Colorado communities.

This program was made possible by grants from the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University.

For more information about the program, call Stephanie Owen in the English department at (970) 491-6843 or Jennie Dear, event coordinator in Durango, at (970) 247-7025.