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Corazón de Trinidad

Poetry Festival

From the Corazón


Lineup and Participants


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Corazón de Trinidad

Poetry Festival

Third Annual Trinidad Poetry Festival

April 15-17, 2021


The Corazón de Trinidad Creative District presents “From the Corazón,” featuring a diversity of poets and writers, poet laureates, readings, writing workshops, editor’s interviews, K-12 readings, and poets in the classroom. 


Festival Schedule


6:00 PM MDT

Children's K-12 Writing Contest Awards Ceremony

Hosted by Dustin Hyman and Tom Nordgren, Trinidad State Junior College


Winners of the K-12 writing contest will read their winning poetry and prose. A publication of their writing will be available in the future.

This session is being hosted by Trinidad State Junior College.


All hours listed are in Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)

10:30-11:30 AM

Poetry in the Schools:  It Started As a Whisper—Where Does Your Inner Poet Reside?

Hosted by Jovan Mays

As a poet in the schools, I see around two hundred thousand kids a school year. I start each session by asking the students one question: Who in here calls themselves a poet? At the elementary level, almost every hand shoots to the sky. But by the time I get to a middle school, I’d be lucky to get twenty percent of hands in the room. In this workshop, we will explore the Why of this happenstance. We will investigate poetry not just as a literary genre but a life skill, a tool, and even a weapon. The intention is not to leave with just strategies that work and resources to draw from but mostly the inspiration to carry them through. Come prepared with your curiosity in the foreground and be primed to write.

9:00-10:00 AM

Poetry in the Schools: Art from Ashes
Facilitated by Sarah Lanzarotta


Please join Art from Ashes (AfA) youth from our Phoenix Rising program as they showcase their creative genius to community members through poems written in our workshops. All poems you will hear were written in 3 minutes in response to an AfA writing prompt, are unedited, and come straight from the heart. 

Poetry in the Schools

sessions are closed to the public. 


Festival organizers will be sending Zoom session links and login information directly to participating schools. If you have any questions, please contact us at 

1:00-1:45 PM

Reading with Charles Garrett and Brooke Larson
Hosted by Dustin Hyman


Brooke Larson, with a PhD in Creative Writing, does not stay in her lane. Having worked as a wilderness guide in Arizona and a teacher in New York, Larson's writing swerves from sand to city.


Charles Garrett, having competed in mixed-martial-arts and rugby, often writes about fatherhood and what it's like to raise a child, as a person of color, during an ugly chapter in US history.

2:15-3:00 PM

Writing Workshop: When the Lions Speak w/Jovan Mays

Facilitated by Jovan Mays

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” –Chinua Achebe

As a descendant of Barbadians, Underground Railroaders, Jamaicans, and Free Blacks, Jovan Mays learned the importance of being a historian of his own ancestry at a very young age. In this multi-genre workshop, work shoppers will dive into the power of using history as a tool to channel creativity, cultivate a deeper sense of identity, and most of all continue the prominence of the oral tradition. Attendees will investigate the forever undulating narratives of our antiquity that always seem to call us, the methods we can use to bring them into a modern context and ensure that they don’t get washed away like so many other tales of our ancestral past. We ask that participants prepare themselves with the expectation to do some self-exploration and writing.

3:30-4:15 PM

Reading with Anita Jepson-Gilbert, President of Colorado Columbine Poets
Hosted by Hilary DePolo


Anita Jepson Gilbert will read from her bilingual children's book, Maria and the Stars of Nazca, María y las Estrellas de Nazca, and her two chapbooks. She will also present a brief history of the Columbine Poets of Colorado.

Las Animas Grill

Las Animas Grill, 341 N. Commercial Street, Trinidad, Colorado


Literary Souls at Las Animas Grill


5:30 PM MDT

The DEBUT of the Monthly


With Featured Speaker Peter Anderson, poet, editor, teacher


$3 cover charge.

**Limited seating**

For reservations, email Hilary DePolo at

The Open Mic was livestreamed via Facebook Live.


All hours listed are in Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)

1:00-1:45 PM

A Celebration of Two Forthcoming Anthologies

Facilitated by Kate Kingston


An introduction to two new anthologies, Reading Colorado: A Literary Road Guide, edited by Peter Anderson, and The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature, co-edited by Esther Belin. The discussion will be followed by a short reading.

2:15-3:15 PM

A Workshop for Flexing Curiosity: Write What You Don't Know

Facilitated by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Art Goodtimes​

Most writing advice is meant to be dismantled, and in this workshop, we take on the adage, "write what you know." Really? If we are to serve the writing, we must let it know more than we do. Join poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer in letting curiosity and uncertainty drive our writing into fresh, resonant new regions-places we couldn't possibly predict.

4:00-5:00 PM

The Gourd Circle
Facilitated by Art Goodtimes and Rosemerry Wahtola​ Trommer


Art and Rosemerry will open the circle and pass the gourd. Each person is given a chance to read a poem, tell a story, share a heart song or talk about their takeaways from the event. Only the person with the gourd speaks and everyone else holds a respectful silence. It is in reality an exercise in listening, with a democratic opportunity for everyone to read/speak (or not) as they choose.

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6:30-7:45 PM MDT

Evening Reading with Two Western Slope Poet Laureates, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Art Goodtimes

Hosted by Tracy Wahl

8:15-9:00 PM MDT

An Evening Reading with Jessica Helen Lopez, Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, and Bobby LeFebre, Colorado Poet Laureate

Hosted by Tracy Wahl


Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson’s most recent books include Heading Home: Field Notes (Conundrum Press, 2017), a collection of flash prose and prose poems exploring rural life and the modern-day eccentricities of the American West which won the 2018 nonfiction award from the Colorado Authors League; Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon (Lithic Press, 2015), an anthology of Grand Canyon poems, which was nominated for a Colorado Book Award; and First Church of the Higher Elevations (Conundrum Press, 2015), a collection of essays on wildness, mountain places, and the life of the spirit. Peter lives with his family on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Crestone, Colorado where he helped launch the Crestone Poetry Festival, an annual gathering of southwestern poets. Visit his website at

Art From Ashes

Since its inception in 2003, Art from Ashes (AfA) has provided creative empowerment workshops to high-risk youth, facilitating expression, connection, and transformation among the most neglected and vulnerable segments of our community. Catherine O’Neill Thorn, founder and Executive Director, has been conducting transformational poetry and spoken word workshops at juvenile detention facilities, treatment centers, and schools—including post-trauma workshops for Columbine High School students—since 1992. Her method of using poetry and metaphor to encourage powerful choices is the seminal program of Art from Ashes. During her 30 years of working with youth in various treatment venues, Catherine honed the Phoenix Rising curriculum she created until it became an award-winning, nationally-known program. 

Art From Ashes presenter speaking at microphone
Esther Belin

Esther Belin

Esther Belin is a Diné scholar and artist living in the 4 corners. Belin holds degrees from UC Berkeley, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Antioch University.  In 2000, Belin won the American Book Award for her poetry book, From the Belly of My Beauty. She is one of the contributing editors to the forthcoming landmark collection, The Diné Reader: an Anthology of Navajo Literature. Belin is a faculty mentor at the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. 

Charles Garrett

Charles Garrett is a writer and father of two travelers of the ethereal plane. They keep him guessing at their past lives, with early morning risings and song from here or there. He is presently finishing up, what he considers his Holy Trinity: His novel, Mansavage in Deadhorse. His collection of poetry, Articulate: The Rise His stage play, The Lottery. Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Sunder Press. An indie journal.

Charles Garett Photo
Art Goodtimes Photo

Art Goodtimes

Poet, weekly op-ed columnist and former Green Party elected official in Colorado, Art Goodtimes served as San Miguel County Commissioner (1996- 2016) and Western Slope Poet Laureate (2011-13). Former poetry editor for Earth First! Journal, Wild Earth and the Mountain Gazette, currently he’s poetry editor for Fungi magazine and co-editor with Lito Tejada-Flores at the on-line poetry anthology His books include Looking South to Lone Cone: The Cloud Acre Poems (Western Eye Press, Sedona, 2013) and As If the World Really Mattered (La Alameda Press, Albuquerque, 2007). His latest is Dancing on Edge: The McRedeye Poems (Lithic, 2019)

Anita Jepson-Gilbert

Anita Jepson-Gilbert taught writing and ESL for various colleges in Denver for 25 years and has worked to establish Columbine Poets as a vital statewide poetry society in Colorado. She's had many poems published in journals and awarded prizes. She's a member of the Denver Woman's Press Club, where she's chaired for several years the poetry judging in their Unknown Writers Contest. She lives in Westminster, CO, where she writes and facilitates poetry activities across Colorado as President of Columbine Poets.

Anita Jepson
Desert Jeeping Brooke Larson

Brooke Larson

Brooke Larson is a writer and performer. A book of her ecological essays, Pleasing Tree, is available from Arc Pair Press, and chapbooks of her poems, Origami Drama and Daughter Particles, from Quarterly West and Dancing Girl Press. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and a PhD in English from the University of Louisiana. Brooke has lived and worked in Albania, The Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, and Spain. Currently she is honored to teach with the Second Chance Pell program in Colorado, which offers college courses to incarcerated students pursuing a degree.

Bobby LeFebre

Bobby LeFebre is an award-winning writer, performer, and cultural worker fusing a non-traditional multi-hyphenated professional identity to imagine new realities, empower communities, advance arts and culture, and serve as an agent of provocation, transformation, equity and social change. LeFebre’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Guardian, American Theater Magazine, NPR, and Poets.Org. In 2019, LeFebre was named Colorado’s 8th Poet Laureate, making him the youngest and first person of color to be appointed to the position in its 100-year history. LeFebre holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Metropolitan University of Denver and a master’s degree in Art, Literature and Culture from the University of Denver. 

Bobby LeFebre. Photo Credit-Amanda Piela
Jessica Lopez

Jessica Helen Lopez

Jessica Helen Lopez is the City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate, Emeritus (2014-2016), and a current educator at the Native American Community Academy, as well as an instructor with the UNM Chicana and Chicano Studies Department. Author of four poetry collections, her most recent publication, "Provocateur," was released in Summer 2019 by Swimming With Elephants Publications. Her forthcoming fifth book will be published by UNM Press in Fall 2021. Recipient of the Zia Book Award and the John Trudell Poetry and Activism Award presented by the San Bernadino Valley College, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee. A Chautauqua Scholar with the NM Humanities Council, Lopez is the founder of La Palabra - The Word is a Woman, an online intersectional and inclusive community with a focus on feminism and LGBTQ rights through the arts. Lopez is also the founding coach of RezSpit Youth Poetry Collective, an all-Indigenous youth performance poetry group. She was recently nominated and accepted as a Fellow for the Rural Women's Collective, an inaugural Fellowship founded by Justice for Migrant Women. 

Jovan Mays

Jovan Mays is the emeritus Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado, a National Poetry Slam Champion, and the Youth Voice Coordinator of Aurora Public Schools. As an arts educator, Mays has worked with over 1 million students throughout the Denver Metro and beyond through poetry outreach in his program, Your Writing Counts. He is the author of 3 books: Pride, The Great Box Escape and This Is Your Song. Mays’ work has been published by The Pilgrimage, Button Poetry, and Write About Now. He is a graduate of Chadron State College where he played football, wrestled, and earned a degree in Secondary History Education.

Jovan Mays
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer served as the third Colorado Western Slope Poet Laureate (2015-2017), co-hosts Emerging Form (a podcast on creative process), is the co-founder of Secret Agents of Change and co-directs Telluride’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club. Her poetry has appeared in O Magazine, on A Prairie Home Companion, in, and on river rocks. Her most recent collections are Hush, winner of the Halcyon Prize for poems of human ecology, and Naked for Tea, a finalist for the Able Muse book award. She teaches poetry for 12-step recovery programs, hospice, mindfulness retreats, women’s retreats, scientists and more. She’s been a storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival and Taos Storytelling Festival. Since 2006, she’s written a poem a day. You can find her daily poems on her blog,  One-word mantra: Adjust.

Poets & Prose Writers


Hilary DePolo

Hilary DePolo

Hilary DePolo made her commitment to the arts in front of a flickering black and white 9” Crosby TV.  She followed her passion receiving a BA and MA in Theater Arts. Upon arrival in Colorado, she migrated to the visual arts, opening AlphaGallery in Denver. As a visual arts consultant and curator, she served many corporate and private clients with the best in local contemporary painting. She has developed her writing skills and has had three books of poetry published. She has won recognition for her poetry from the Denver Woman’s Press Club and the Columbine Poets. A new resident of Trinidad, she has been the featured poet at the monthly Poets’ Open Mic. Ms. DePolo is thrilled to be a part of the art renaissance of Trinidad fulfilling the promise to that little girl to always fan the flame of creativity.

Jean Downs

Jean is the Digital Marketing and Creative Communications Specialist for the Corazón de Trinidad Creative District. Through her company Two Mountain Media, she helps small businesses amplify their presence through creative social media marketing and web design. Jean has a PhD in Education and Master's degree in Psychology.

Jean Downs
Dustin Hyman

Dustin Hyman

Dustin Hyman, despite being a dyslexic underachiever with a propensity for mischief, earned a PhD (English / Creative Writing) from the University of Louisiana. Now, Dustin finds himself teaching at a tiny college in Colorado. His first novel, Island Folks, was published in 2014 by Black Rose Writing. Dustin won the Chicago Tribune’s 2018 Nelson Algren award for literature.  

Kate Kingston

Kate Kingston has published five collections of poetry including History of Grey, a runner-up in the 2013 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and Shaking the Kaleidoscope, a finalist in the 2011 Idaho Prize for Poetry. Her manuscript The Future Wears Camouflage is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2022. She is the recipient of the Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, the Ruth Stone Prize, and the W.D Snodgrass Award for Poetic Endeavor and Excellence. Kingston has been awarded fellowships from the Colorado Council on the Arts, Harwood Museum, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Jentel, Ucross, and Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain, among others.

Kate Kingston
Marilyn Leuszler

Marilyn Leuszler

Marilyn Leuszler has been a strong arts advocate and community activist for 50 years, teaching numerous art workshops, maintaining a studio and several businesses. Leuszler has served on numerous boards, concentrating on artistic and community work. Art and travel have taken her around the world, with many amazing experiences as a result. She has lived in eleven US cities, three in Japan, Brussels, and now Trinidad. Her passion is helping Trinidad grow in a thoughtful way while celebrating its history, authenticity, and many quirky attributes. She is always searching out new and interesting hobbies.

Tracy Wahl

Tracy Wahl is a podcast producer, photographer, painter and writer. She moved to Trinidad in 2019 after spending 20 years at NPR  including as Executive Producer of Morning Edition. She was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming and has roots in rural eastern Colorado.  She has lived in Boulder, Colorado, Madison, Wisconsin, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington DC and Tokyo. Since moving to Southern, Colorado, she has written for The World Journal and reported for public radio station KRCC based in Colorado Springs. She is a member of the Corazon Gallery in Trinidad. 

Tracy Wahl






All sessions will take place via Zoom

(with the exception of the Friday night Poetry & Prose Open Mic at the Las Animas Grill in Trinidad, which will also be available to attend online)



The Corazón de Trinidad Creative District will hold its third annual Poetry Festival as an online virtual event! Like most organizations, the Creative District saw the cancellation of all its planned events in 2020, including the Poetry Festival and a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian. Nonprofits, particularly arts-based organizations, saw public and private donations slow or cease altogether. Events were canceled, galleries closed, supporting local businesses suffered, artists and the creative workforce lost jobs and income. The Creative District has brought an important annual event to the city of Trinidad by hostingPoet Laureates, published and nationally known poets, writers, educational programming for area students, and has aided local hotels, restaurants, galleries, and museums by drawing people from around the state and beyond.

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Please help us keep poetry flowing through the Corazón by donating what you can and join us at this year’s exciting Poetry Festival. All readings and workshops online are free and we hope to see you there!

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Colorado state logo next to Colorado Creative Industries logo



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