The poets came from as far away as Denver and Santa Fe. The audience was mostly local. On what felt like the coldest night of the year, enough people braved the frigid air to create a standing room only crowd at the Grand Junction Center for the Arts. Every seat was taken and a couple dozen supporters stood in back. The crowd was attentive and responsive. All this for poetry.
First on the program, local veterinarian Frank Coons beguiled listeners with his reading of metered humorous accounts of daily life and an Irish character who tends to make frequent appearance in his writings.
With language that sometimes scalded the ears, passion unstoppable, and words to inspire and warm the heart, warrior poet LadySpeech churched the audience like a southern preacher. Call and response was plentiful; amens scarce. Other murmurs of affirmation and shouts of agreement and encouragement were invited and received.
Acting as Master of Ceremonies, poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Telluride laced the evening together with selected recitations of old poets intertwined with sung lyrics. The First Friday show was curated by Colorado Mesa University’s Luis Lopez and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.
A highlight of the evening was mother daughter duo; Shawnee Rayne and Wendy Videlock. Providing accompaniment with voice, violin, bar chime and sound effects, Shawnee created an ethereal soundtrack for the storytelling.
In order to present his poems Friday night, Stewart Warren made the trek from Albuquerque to Grand Junction. He stopped along the way to make a school presentation in the classroom of fellow poet Ellen Marie Metrick.
Western Colorado Poet Laureate Art Goodtimes was in attendance. Goodtimes, with over 30 years as poet and mentor, was more than pleased at the turnout saying, “Never, never have I seen a crowd like this.”
Every one of the attendees seemed particularly interested in the literary portion of the arts and yet perfectly willing to wander and enjoy other Art Center exhibits during intermission.
Continuing at the Art Center:
Clay Vessels 2012, by Terry Shepherd; Heroes, by Randy Fee; and It’s About People - It’s about Faces, works by The Outsiders; will all be on display through January 23, 2013. Images from Tibet, paintings by Christopher Z.Y. Zhang will continue until January 25, 2013.