The Comic Muse, or, So This Poet Walks into a Bar.
Why don't light verse, intentional doggerel and satire get more respect? Why is unrhymed verse rarely funny? What verse forms do humorous writers use most often for their comic poems, and why? Why is comedy harder than dying? Does light verse have a short shelf life? Is tomorrow Tuesday? Where are my keys? Why are we asking all these questions? These and similar inquiries will occupy us as we do the difficult work of trying to figure out how to be funny in verse. Concerned with the nature of humor along with the future of humanity, we will consider poetry based on language play, poetry not based on language play, poetry occasionally based on language play, poetry in plays, the poetry of praise, Scottish border lays, the end of days, why none of us seems to be able to get a raise, the unclassifiable works of Ogden Nash, and the question of how librarians can therefore figure out which shelf to put them on.
And join us at 6:00 the same evening for David's talk: Belle Turnbull and the Poets of Colorado
Belle Turnbull (1881-1970) was the first strong poet to live in and write about the mountains and high mining towns of the Colorado Rockies. Well-known during her life but long out of print,Turnbull’s lyrics of sublime alpine wilderness and her narratives about the harsh and dangerous world of hard rock mining offer us a profoundly original vision of the American west that transcends the region. Join current Western Slope Poet Laureate David J. Rothman, co-editor of Belle Turnbull: On the Life & Work of an American Master, who will tell the extraordinary story of her life and read and discuss passages from her work.
“This book restores to Westerners a treasure we were foolish to misplace. In poems that are as consoling as they are unsettling, Belle Turnbull extracted and refined the meanings of mountains, miners, memory, and mortality. Now, nearly fifty years after her death, a team of gifted writers—serving as Turnbull’s latter-day friends in high places—joins together to rescue her work from our inattention, and return us to her company.” —Patty Limerick, Faculty Director of The Center of the American West, University of Colorado, Boulder
“Belle Turnbull is a genuine Colorado literary treasure, and kudos to Pleaides Press and the editors of this volume for bringing her memory back into our modern consciousness. She is a poet we need to know, and this collection demonstrates why.” —Art Goodtimes, author of As If the World Really Mattered
“To discover Belle Turnbull is to discover Colorado from the inside out. Here we have a deeply original poet braving the elements, choosing a life of wilderness and hardship, giving voice to the invisible streams, rugged peaks, and high country characters of the early 20th century.” —Wendy Videlock, author of Nevertheless