Mark Fischer Poetry Prize winners at Telluride's Bean, 5/20

Mark Fischer Poetry Prize winners at Telluride's Bean, 5/20

[click “Play” to hear David Feela and Kierstin Bridger talk about poetry and the prize]


Mark Fischer prize Telluride Arts (telluride council for the arts and humanities) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Mark Fischer Poetry Prize. Join the poets for a special poetry reading and celebration. The event takes place Friday, May 20, 7 p.m., The Steaming Bean.

Started by former Telluride Arts director and Talking Gourds Grand Poobah Art Goodtimes in 1997 and sustained by Mark’s widow Elaine Fischer and the Fischer family, the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize is named in the memory of Telluride’s much-loved poet, lawyer, skier, and raconteur.

Mark Fischer was a daring experimenter, who combined a polyglot’s command of languages with a quirky sense of humor and a passion for obtuse words. In that spirit, prizes given in his name have been awarded to the entries whose work best exhibits the qualities found in Mark’s “squibbles”: originality, novelty, complex meaning, linguistic skill and wit. The wilder the better. Poet David Feela judged this year’s winners from among the 70 entries submitted from the Four Corners.

David is a Colorado poet who resides in Arriola, Colorado, a small rural community north of Cortez. Recently retired from a 27-year teaching gig, David was a former “Colorado Voice” for the Denver Post. He worked for over a decade as a contributing editor and columnist at Inside/Outside Southwest magazine and now contributes occasional pieces to High Country News and writes a monthly piece for the Four Corners Free Press. David’s words have appeared in hundreds of regional and national publications. His first full-length book of poetry, The Home Atlas, is now available.

The top prize winner of the 2011 Mark Fischer Poetry Award is Kiersten Bridger, a Telluride local. Here’s what David Feela had to say about Kiersten’s “Tinderbox Trailhead”:

“This poem surprised me with the way it kept creeping up in my standings as I read and reread the entries. It was certainly on the short list after my first reading, but it’s one of those poems that reveals itself the more a reader approaches it.  A fine piece, the images sharp and able to penetrate deep.  And I love how the linear sense of time is constantly disrupted and then re-fused (no pun intended, unless you think it’s funny) up to such a powerful closing stanza.  Impressive.”

To learn more from Elaine Fischer about her remarkable husband Mark, follow this link.

To learn more from David and Kiersten, click the “play” button and listen to their interview.

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