by Nelson Holmes
WALSENBURG– It seems that, just like people, towns tend to get stereotyped and tucked neatly and, often undeservingly, into pigeonholes. Should I ask you to play along in a game of word association by naming a Huerfano County town after I say “poetry” my guess is that you’d say La Veta, maybe Gardner. Well, Walsenburg should not be ignored in matters lyrical because, at the Blue Rooster Tavern on the fourth Thursday of the month, the mic will be juiced and the stage cleared for anyone who wishes to read their work or perform. Electra Fowler is versifying force behind this endeavor. Ms. Fowler, a gifted poet and writer, was concerned that area word artists have a forum to share their work and discuss their art. Outside of larger metro areas poetry can become a rather repressed and insular obsession that leaves a writer feeling well, somewhat homeless. So what better place for a writer’s gathering than the “orphan” county?
Last Thursday’s inaugural evening of verse was well received, if not as densely attended as one might like. Jim Fowler started the evening with a poem from the cold war era that owed its success, in part, to a woebegone delivery that gave all a laugh. Tom Grow read a short story of his father’s that chronicled a road trip made profound by a pernicious gremlin that offered shoulder sitting insights while on the road. Electra read the night’s most touching work offering up childhood memories of her father. And, your humble journalist read some darker poems colored by the strange hues of my psyche…oops. Between the spoken words were words set to music and it seems that, though possibly having their appreciation honed by libation, even the folk at the bar enjoyed.
So, if you’re a wordsmith and you’re in search of a community, join the brave souls who bare their souls with the aid of a nudge and a drink. You are not Alone!