Telluride Institute: 2 Literary Prizes Offered – Fischer & Colorado Cantor Awards

Telluride Institute: 2 Literary Prizes Offered – Fischer & Colorado Cantor Awards

The Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds poetry program has been hosting events, festivals, readings, workshops and contests for over 25 years.


The Telluride Institute is proud to announce its annual Fischer Prize national contest with over $3000 in awards and travel stipends. And for Colorado poets, that includes a special $500 Cantor Award for the best poem by a Colorado writer who enters the Fischer Prize contest. Deadline for the contest is May 1, 2019.

“Since Elaine Fischer was such a champion of the arts in Colorado,” said Talking Gourds co-director Art Goodtimes, “we wanted to reward Colorado poets with a special incentive to participate in the Fischer Prize.”

Last year Michelle Bitting, Poet Laureate Emerita of of Pacific Palisades (CA), took the top prize with her poem “Everything Crumbling Becomes Something New.” Jane Hilberry, who teaches as Colorado College in Colorado Springs, won the Cantor Award. She and other finalists included Jose Alcantara of Carbondale (CO), Clair Blotter and Deveroux Baker of California, and Elizabeth Jacobson of Florida.

The judge last year was Santa Fe Poet Laureate Emerita Joan Logghe of Española, New Mexico. The Judge for 2019 will be Berkeley (CA) Poet Laureate Rafael Jesús González.

The Fischer Prize includes a $1000 first prize award, plus a $500 travel stipend to attend the May 17-19 Telluride Literary Arts Festival, where the awards will be made. Five finalists receive $200 each for their winning poems, plus $100 stipend each to attend the May event. In addition, a $500 Cantor Award winner will be selected from any Colorado poet among the finalists, or one whose poem is selected as the best among the Colorado entrants.

For 22 years, Telluride has held a Fischer Prize contest in honor of attorney/poet Mark Fischer, who died in 1987. In 2016, his wife, politician/painter Elaine Cantor Fischer, passed away as well. The Fischer Prize, and now the Cantor Award, are given in memory of these two beloved members of the arts community in San Miguel County.

For contest rules visit Fischer Prize. Again, contest deadline is May 1, 2019.


Inspired by San Juan Mountains climber, skier, and deep ecologist — the late Dolores LaChapelle, Talking Gourds is a poetry program sponsored by the Telluride Institute. Art Goodtimes of Wrights Mesa and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville are co-directors.

The Talking Gourds program encompasses various projects, acting as lead agency or partner: the national Fischer Prize, the Colorado Cantor Award, the monthly Poetry Club, the occasional Guest Gourds, the biannual Western Slope Poet Laureate selection, the biannual San Miguel County Poetry Laureate recommendation, the annual MycoLuscious MycoLicious MycoLogical Poetry Show at the Telluride Mushroom Festival, and the annual Telluride Literary Arts Festival.

1 Comment
  • Noel Johnston
    Posted at 13:26h, 27 February

    I used to live in Telluride and was trying to remember that old poem about the Telluride waterfalls..has the line about “Ingram’s wild leap”. Can you give me the name?

    Thanks! I miss Telluride…

    Best thoughts,