A Confluence on the Western Slope

for the love of poetry

for the love of science,

for the love of learning

Sept10-12, 2021

Dear Friends,

For a full schedule of events, see below.
Because of lingering Covid concerns, all of our events will take place outdoors.
We recommend common sense social distancing measures.
In the event of inclement weather, check back to this website for venue updates.

As many of you already know, due to a family tragedy, our dear friend Rosemerry
Wahtola Trommer won't be able to join us. A healing circle for Rosemerry and her
family will be led by Sandra Dorr on Sunday morning.

We are fortunate that Craig Childs has agreed to teach a workshop during the time
Rosemerry's workshop was allocated.

WIth special thanks to our sponsors:

*The Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade
 *Lithic Bookstore in Fruita
*Talbott's Tap Room and Cider House on East Orchard Mesa
* Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor,
The GoodTimes Scholarship and two half scholarships
are available for those in need, in the name of
Norwood's own Art Goodtimes.

All access pass: $95
Individual events/classes: $33 ea.

To purchase an all-access pass, individual
classes/events, or to apply for a scholarship,
email coloradawendy@gmail.com 
with the subject header: Confluence.  


Words for the Wild, a Walking Workshop
with Rick Kempa
When: Fri., Sept 10, 8:30-10 am
Where: Riverbend Park,
451 Pendleton St, Palisade
Meet at the East Shelter,
(left of the entrance, near the picnic table
and facilities)

A conversation rich with examples and ideas of how we might bring the exactitude that is the scientist’s mind-set
(observing, detailing, naming)—to inform, enrich, and transform our own poetry and prose. Rick will bring
short excerpts to share from writers who excel in exactitude. We’ll have an open discussion of practical ways
we might aim to do the same. During this walking workshop by the river, we’ll learn to effectively take notes
from the natural world around us, so be sure and bring a notebook.


Memoir, a Writing Workshop with Rebecca Mullen
When: Fri Sept 10: 10:15-11:30 am
Where: Riverbend Park,
451 Pendleton St, Palisade
Meet at the East Shelter,
(left of the entrance, near the picnic table
and facilities)

Memoir is most fun to read when we can sense the author is discovering something previously unknown about the world. This discovery renders time more malleable and invites inquiry to blow through the body of our work.
But how can we write with this fresh approach? In this workshop, we’ll learn some simple drawing techniques and apply them to our writing. We’ll explore new ways to ground our work in the natural world and discover how to see details —and their interconnections— differently.

*****  Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr Chris Lepisto has had to cancel his lecture.  **********

What’s in The Blood?
with Kierstin Bridger
When: Fri, Sept 10, 1:00-2:15  pm
Where: Talbott's Tap Room, (patio seating)
3800 F 1/4 Rd., East Orchard Mesa
(at the top of 38 Rd, aka the Fruit and Wine
Scenic Byway) in Palisade

Let’s talk about the cauldron of medicinals: abortifacients, and balms, the chemical compounds of contraceptives and the healing art of making friends with the past. Let’s talk about Laudanum and Balm of Gilead, the chemical makeup of cosmetics and the voice of a drug- addled mind. Let’s talk about sweat dabbed with the cool white sponge of mushrooms and the weird way opium or beetle back can enter a poem, infusing it with an elemental surprise, how it can etch the very mandibles of our lyrics with a scientific truth. Sure, our senses move through a poem, but we can also use the backstory of medicine in our narratives. Our poems have addictions and ailments too. Those addictions have precise hungers built on compounds and formulas. I’ll bring examples: my own as well as the works of others and we’ll discuss ways to animate our poems with the charm of both botanical remedies and chemical compounds.We’ll tap into a fresh creative vein. Bring pen and paper -- No need to bleed on the page!

The Way of Tsukuba: Renga Party,
with Jimi Bernath
When: Fri, Sept 10, 2:45 -3:45
Where: Talbott's Tap Room, (patio seating)
3800 F 1/4 Rd, East Orchard Mesa
(at the top of 38 Rd, aka the Fruit and Wine
Scenic Byway) in Palisade

Renga, or linked verse is a genre of Japanese collaborative poetry in which alternating stanzas, or ku are linked in succession by multiple poets. Known as tsukuba no michi (筑波の道 The Way of of Tsukuba) after the famous Tsukuba Mountain in the Kantō region, this poetic form is said to have originated in a two-verse poetry exchange with Yamato Takeru and later gave birth to the genres haikai (俳諧) and haiku (俳句). Renga sequences were typically composed live during gatherings of poets. Join us as we learn the playful ways of Renga and link our verses together.

Writing Like a River, a writing workshop
with Craig Childs
When: Fri, Sept 10, 4:00 - 5:30
Where:Trickster Ridge

Writing is not just linear, not sentences, paragraphs, pages, a book. It curls, coils, and drops into rapids, then plays out into placid pools. Organic patterning is an important part of the flow. With pen and paper, or laptop if one chooses, we will practice writing frontward and backward, talking about the big picture of writing projects and the little pictures of words spilling one into the next. Come ready to write, listen, and share.


When: Fri, Sept 10, 7 pm-11 pm
Where: Trickster Ridge in Palisade
(address provided on registration)
Hosted by Wendy Videlock 

7 pm:
Invocation: Daiva Chesonis
Gongs Along the Palisades: 
with Mary Hertert and Jere Friedman

8:30 ish
Readings featuring: Erica Waters, Craig Childs,  Rachel Kellum,, Jesse Tsinajinnie Maloney

9:30 ish
Late Night Friday on the Edge:
Reaching for The Continent: a dance-party with Uche Ogbuji

Uche will be spinning music from his native Africa, ranging from the 60s to the present year. Come dance with the tumba, djembe and talking drum, while you groove with the griot, jive with the djali, find the urge in the oja, or just nod your noggin.


Rivers and Mountains Forever, a Walking Conversation
with Peter Anderson
When: Sat, Sept 11, 8:30-10 am
Where: Palisade Rim Trail, lower loop trail
(a short, moderately easy hike)
Meet at the Trail Head.
Palisade Rim Trail Information:

Spanning the centuries since its origins in the 5th Century C.E., China’s rivers-and-mountains poetry tradition, according to poet and translator David Hinton, “is the most extensive engagement with wilderness in human history.” Many of the plain-spoken voices from this tradition encounter the day-to-day details of mountain life in poems that resonate with many contemporary mountain dwellers. Under the big skies of the western slope, we’ll visit with some of the poets from this tradition, consider their approach to living a fully-realized mountain life, and carry a few of their lines into our own poetic explorations.

The Anatomy of Poetry: 'A Writing Workshop with Erica Waters
When: Sat., Sept 11, 8:30-10 am
Where: Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St., Palisade
Meet at the East Shelter, left of the entrance, near
the picnic table and facilities

How do you begin writing? Do you start with a subject? Or do you experiment with form for inspiration? Anatomy is structure; physiology is function. In this writing workshop, we will focus on anatomy as a guiding foundation by using a couple of traditional forms - like pantoum and villanelle - or perhaps you'll bring a form of your own. We will experiment with how anatomy may empower your physiology - whether within the space of a poem or in a larger context. As poet Derick Burleson suggests of the villanelle, forms can illuminate doorways to even impossible stories, and, often, the more difficult the subject, the more structure can function as a key to unlock the rooms we seek. Which doors will open when we put anatomy first?

Workers Rights and the Economic and Cultural Impact on the Navajo Nation, a conversation with 
Jesse Tsinajinnie Maloney
Where:Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St., Palisade (East shelter, left of the entrance, near the picnic tables)
When: Sat Sept 11, 10:15- 11:30 am

To understand the current economic state of the Navajo Reservation it is imperative to understand the Navajo Preference in Employment Act, (NPEA). It is law in place intended to prevent outsourcing of the Nation’s workforce similar to law in other nations with the same intention. Yet, unique to the Navajo Nation, it is often misunderstood through a racial lens in conflict with the Civil Rights Act of 1991. In this discussion, Jesse will explore Navajo Law and other misconceptions about the reservation policy that unfairly dominate discourse relating to economics and culture on the reservation. We’ll walk through relevant facets of NPEA and its practical application as it relates to similar laws elsewhere; financial and socioeconomic impact.

The One-Word Poem, with Orlando White
Where:Talbott's Tap Room, (patio seating) 3800 F 1/4 Rd, East Orchard Mesa
(at the top of 38 Rd, aka the Fruit and Wine Scenic Byway) in Palisade
When:  12:45-1:45 

The process of writing a one-word poem on the page involves playfulness, along with the willingness to take
risks with imagination—because to write means to link the brain, the eyes, the hands simultaneously: it’s that coordination of the poet’s artistic vision and creative action, which can reveal a word’s identity through its image.

The Powerful, Patient Word, a roundtable discussion on the many ways we use language, how language forms thought, and how we might deepen our understanding of language as it pertains to consciousness, with Daiva Chesonis, Pete Anderson, Brian Palmer, Craig Childs, and Wendy Videlock.
When: 2- 3:30 pm
Where:  Trickster Ridge in Palisade (address provided on registration)

“The Voice of Poetry with David J Rothman
Where: Lithic Bookstore, 138 South Park Square,(upstairs) Fruita or M Rd Retreat n Fruita
When:  Sat Sept 11, 4:15-5:30 pm

David will discuss Michael Oakeshott's famous essay ,"The Voice of Poetry in the Conversation of Mankind." In this great essay, Oakeshott argues that this conversation has essentially three components: the practical business of daily life; the disinterested pursuit of truth, (or science); and the poetic, which is the voice of delight. It is the third voice, he argues, the voice of poetry, that has been slighted and poorly understood in the modern world. This talk will not only give a summary of Oakeshott's complex argument, but also suggest how it helps us to think more clearly about pedagogy, curriculum, and most importantly, the role of art in our lives.


Where:  Circle Park in Fruita, just outside Lithic Bookstore
When: 7pm

Readings: featuring: Sandra Dorr , Orlando White, Kierstin Bridger,  and David Rothman 
Host: Danny Rosen 
Readings will be accompanied by Musical Guest: Jesse Maloney    
OPEN MIC hosted by Danny Rosen


A Walk In The Night Sky with Danny Rosen 
Where: M Road Retreat, Fruita,  (address provided on registration) 
When:9:30 ish

Poetry tumbles from the fact that we live on a small rocky planet circling a sustained nuclear fusion explosion that, along with lots of other stars, is part of the Milky Way, one of many galaxies which, along with a huge amount of empty space, makes up the Universe. As late-stage neoliberal capitalism rapidly devolves into chaos, it can be awe-inspiring, hope-inducing and comforting to contemplate the larger world. We will be viewing the night sky with the naked eye and through a telescope, making more familiar the planets, stars, constellations, and galaxies in the night sky at this time of year.

Healing Circle for Rosemerry and her family,
led by Sandra Dorr
When: Sun., Sept 12, 9 am
Where: Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St., Palisade (East Shelter, left of the entrance)

Closing Gourd Ceremony,
a unique western slope tradition, in which all participants pass the gourd and are invited to share a poem, a song, or some thoughts, with Art Goodtimes 
When: Sun Sept 12, 10 am
Where: Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St, Palisade
East Shelter, (left of the entrance)


*Proceeds from this festival will be divided between our marvelous teachers and Child and Migrant Services in Palisade.

Peter Anderson

Rivers & Mountains Forever: A Walking Discussion

Peter Anderson's books include Heading Home: Field Notes (Conundrum Press, 2017), a collection of prose and prose poems exploring rural life and the modern day eccentricities of the American West,Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon (Lithic Press, 2015), 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 where he helped launch the Crestone Poetry Festival. Visit his website at petehowardanderson.com. Email: pilgrimage@fairpoint.net

Kierstin Bridger

What's in the Blood: A Writing Workshop

Kierstin Bridger is the author of Demimonde (Lithic Press), the 2017 Women Writing the West's Willa Award, and All Ember (Urban Farmhouse Press). Winner of the Mark Fischer Prize, the ACC Writer’s Studio award, and short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Prize, Bridger also served as editor of Ridgway Alley Poems, co-directed the Open Bard series, and co-hosted Poetry Voice with Uche Ogbuji. Kierstin’s work has appeared in December, Sugar House Review, Prairie Schooner and Painted Bride Quarterly. She earned her MFA at Pacific U. To see more of her work, visit kierstinbridger.com. Email: kbbridger@me.com

Jesse Tsinajinnie Maloney

Navajo Nation Discussion/Featured Reader

Jesse grew up on the Leeward side of O’ahu. His work appears in Turtle Island Quarterly, Peach Velvet, About Place, Cutthroat and other venues. His full length work, Health Carefully was released through Cyberwit press 2019. Jesse co-hosts Midnight Transmission with Orlando White and is currently producing a spoken word/instrumental album with Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root. Jesse teaches at Dine’ College and lives with his wife and cats on the Navajo Nation. Email: jtmaloney@dinecollege.edu

Erica Waters

Workshop: The Anatomy of Poetry/Featured Reader

With a 1025-hour CMT from Rocky Mountain Institute of Healing Arts and thirteen years of diverse experiences as a massage therapist, Erica Waters celebrates bodies and embodiment. Words woven by Waters appear in Weber: The Contemporary West, The Sun, Camas, CALYX, and The Fiddlehead International Literary Journal, among others. Erica owns and operates Held Space Healing and teaches poetry and other literature courses at CSU (under her maiden name, Airica Parker). Learn more: https://www.libarts.colostate.edu/people/airicap/ Email: wings.air.poet@gmail.com

Uche Ogbuji

Workshop: Dance Party/Featured Reader

Boulder's Uche Ogbuji was born in Calabar, Nigeria. and is a computer engineer and entrepreneur whose abiding passion is poetry. His poems, fusing Igbo culture, European Classicism, U.S. Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop influences, have appeared widely. He's had a short collection of poems published, Ndewo, Colorado (Aldrich Press, 2013). Email: uche@ogbuji.net

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Workshop: Escaping into the Moment/Featured Reader

Due to a family tragedy, our beloved Rosemerry Wahtolla Trommer won't be able to join us. We are fortunate that Spirit of the West Award winner Craig Childs has agreed to teach a workshop at the time she was allocated. Please check back to this website for information on a Healing Circle for Rosemerry.

Danny Rosen

Night Sky Observations/Emcee

Danny Rosen founded and runs the Lithic Press. His second chapbook, Ghosts of Giant Kudu, was published by Kattywompus Press. His poems have appeared most recently in Pilgrimage, San Pedro River Review, Comstock Review, Fruita Pulp, Malpais Reveiw and elsewhere. He lives among dogs, the rocks, and the stars in the desert of western Colorado. Email: danny@lithicpress.com

Rebecca Mullen

Workshop: Memoir

Rebecca Mullen is a Master Certified Life Coach, a TEDx Speaker, an author, a blogger and a teacher. Currently, she’s teaching “Habits for Your Happily Ever After”, a course designed to anchor our marriages in simple, mindful habits that foster a lifetime of intimacy. To see more of Rebecca’s work visit her website at https://altaredspaces.com/ Email: rbcamullen@gmail.com

Orlando White

Musical Guest

Orlando is from Tółikan, Arizona. He is Diné of the Naaneesht’ézhi Tábaahí and born for the Naakai Diné’e. Orlando is the author of two books of poetry, Bone Light (Red Hen Press), which Kazim Ali described as a “careful excavation on language and letters and the physical body” and LETTERRS (Nightboat Books) which received the Poetry Center Book Award. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review, Salt Hill Journal, and other venues. Orlando teaches at Diné College and lives in Tsaile, Arizona. Email:

Jimi Bernath

Renga Party

Jimi Bernath is a poet, essayist, artist and singer living in Englewood. His work has appeared in newshole, frogpond, Heiwa: Peace Poetry Across the Pacific, Brussels Sprout, point judith light, Soliloquy, Modern Haiku, tangents, Alura, the Small Pond Magazine of Literature, the Mercury Reader, Stick, Sight Unseen, and Life Scribes. Email: jimi99@msn.com

Rick Kempa

Words for the Wild: A Walking Discussion

Poet and essayist Rick Kempa’s books include the anthology ON FOOT: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories, from Vishnu Temple Press in Flagstaff, and the poetry collection Ten Thousand Voices, published by Littoral Press in Richmond. Rick lives in Grand Junction, and is also the editor of Deep Wild. To learn more about Rick, please, visit rickkempa.com. Email: rickkempa.deepwildjournal@gmail.com

Wendy Videlock

Round Table DIscussion

Wendy Videlock lives on the edge of a canyon on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies. Her works appear in Poetry, Best American Poetry, Ted Kooser’s ALP, Hudson Review, The New York Times, Rattle, Hopkins Review, and elsewhere. Her books are available from Able Muse and EXOT Books. Wendy is also a visual artist, whose paintings feature in galleries throughout western Colorado. Email: coloradawendy@gmail.com

Art Goodtimes

Talking Gourds

Retired Green Party county commissioner, Art Goodtimes has won numerous awards for his political activism. His poetry books include As If the World Really Mattered (La Alameda Press, Albuquerque, 2007) and Looking South to Lone Cone (Western Eye Press, Sedona, 2013). He was co-editor of the anthology MycoEpithalamia: Mushroom Wedding Poems (Fungi Press, CA, 2016). Turn Star Press of Telluride brought out a limited edition chapbook in 2019 that he co-authored called Telluride Valley Floor. Art’s latest book is Dancing on Edge: The McRedeye Poems, Lithic Press. Email: shroompa@gmail.com

Daiva Chesonis

Key Note Speaker/Invocation

Our key-note speaker, Daiva Chesonis is the co-owner of Between the Covers Bookstore in Telluride. Daiva is the fiercely proud Baltimore-born daughter of Lithuanian immigrants, transplanted to Colorado in 1992 to build Telluride’s gondola transportation system. Daiva has been a snowboard instructor, owner/operator of Vision Design, Art Director at Telluride Magazine, founder and director of the Telluride AIDS Benefit Fashion Show, co-founder of the Telluride Literary Arts Festival, and a traveling minstrel for Mountainfilm on Tour. In 2005. She earned an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Conflict Resolution.. This mom of one amazing adult can be found writing and performing poetry, serving as the current San Miguel County Poet Laureate, and wandering local forests on the hunt for mushrooms. Email: daiva@between-the-covers.com

Alexander Pepple

Featured Reader/Round Table Discussion

Alexander Pepple is an electrical and software engineer. He founded and edits Able Muse and its related presses, and directs its related Eratosphere online literary workshop. He edited the Able Muse Anthology (Able Muse Press, 2010). He has been published widely and most recently his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Light, Autumn Sky Daily, Rosebud, and the Hopkins Review. Email: alex@ablemuse.com

Rachel Kellum

Featured Reader

Rachel Kellum lives with her family at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and teaches art to valley children and writing at Adams State University. As a community college English and art instructor for eleven years, she served as director of the MCC CACE Gallery of Fine Art and host of Open Mic Poetry Nights, and is one of the founding coordinators of the Crestone Poetry Festival. Kellum's poems have been featured in several online journals and print collections, and she leads writing workshops, performs her poetry around Colorado and blogs at wordweeds.com. Her first book, ah, published by Liquid Light Press, was released in 2012. Email: rachel.kellum@gmail.com

Mary Hertert

Gongs on the Palisades, Painting with Sound: Vibrational Landscapes

Mary has been "vibrational painting" for over two years in collaboration with her planetary gong, Nibiru, a Babylonian name that stands for the passage of time as in the equinox or solstice times. Nibiru represents the crossroads of decision-making as in taking or changing direction. Adding to the vibrational mix is the Sun and Uranus. Mary takes great delight in playing outdoors alongside rivers, in canyons and out in the wind and elements. She believe the gong gathers these sounds into itself to share with any of you who wish to stop, be still and mix your own internal paintings with the gong’s sounds. Email: colorcreek49@gmail.com

Brian Palmer

Round Table Discussion

Brian Palmer enjoys travelling, faraway, down the road, or out the door. He appreciates all poetry and himself writes mainly formal verse. But free, too. He’s the editor of the literary journal, THINK. He earned an English degree at Colorado State University long ago, and an MFA in Creative Writing at Western Colorado University more recently. In between, he happily taught high school Lit and Comp and Drama. He has spent much of his life in the various regions of the Pacific Northwest and Colorado. Email: brijamespalmer@gmail.com

Craig Childs

Writing Like a River

Explorer and storyteller Craig Childs has published more than a dozen critically acclaimed books, including his most recent, Virga and Bone: Essays from Dry Places, the current One-Read for the state of Utah. His work has appeared in the The Atlantic, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, and The Sun. He is a contributing editor for Adventure Journal Quarterly. Childs lives with his wife, the poet Daiva Chesonis, in southwest Colorado.

David J Rothman

The Voice of Poetry

David J Rothman The Voice of Poetry David has published six volumes of poetry. His work appears in Appalachia, The Atlantic, The Formalist, The Gettysburg Review, The Hudson Review, The Journal, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The Threepenny Review and others. In 2013 he published Living the Life: Tales from America’s Mountains & Ski Towns, based on his experience in the ski and ski-mountaineering world. His most recent full-length critical book (co-edited with Jeffrey Villines) is Belle Turnbull: On the Life and Work of an American Master, ( Pleiades Press, 2017). Email: rothmandavidj@msn.com

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Jere Friedman

Gongs on the Palisades

Jere Friedman is an Employee of the Universe – with full benefits! Jere is a Gongmaster, a Soul Centered Coach, Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor, Certified Breathwork Facilitator, and a practicing attorney. Playing gongs allows Jere’s “Inner Child” to come out to play and teaches him to be present and focused in the moment. To learn more about Jere visit www.jerefriedman.com and www.gong2heaven.com. Email: jere.friedman@gmail.com

Spoke & Vine Motel

Locally owned affordable lodging in Palisade

Palisade Cafe 11.0

Locally owned farm to table eatery in Palisade.

Quality Inn Grand Junction

733 Horizon Dr, Grand Junction, CO 81506 Phone: (970) 245-7200

Home Style Bakery

Locally owned baked goods shop in Palisade

Hot Tomato

Locally owned pizza shop in Fruita

Palisade Base Camp

Camping, Glamping, and Cabin Lodging at 985 N River Rd, Palisade

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Ancora Impara, I am still learning.

                         - Michelangelo, age 82
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The unexamined life contains

few birds, no moon

no slow stirred soup.