Poet Laureate

Honorary Post of Poet Laureate of San Miguel County

The San Miguel County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) created the honorary position of Poet Laureate of San Miguel County in 2006 in accordance with the authority granted by Section 30-11-107 (1) (cc), C.R.S. The Poet Laureate of San Miguel County will run for two years, and the office of Poet Laureate of San Miguel County will be a way to honor a member of the local community who has demonstrated significant literary achievement.  The Poet Laureate will provide leadership in the literary community, create opportunities to expand the literary community in the county, and educate the young in the community-building powers of the arts to provide vision as well as beauty and entertainment to the people of the county.

Photo of Joanna Spindler (2022-2024) wearing a hat)

Joanna Spindler (2022-2024)

Ms. Spindler has lived in San Miguel County for many years and is an adult programming specialist with the Wilkinson Library in Telluride. She has been a long-time collaborator with Talking Gourds and is now the lead partner on the Bardic Trails Zoom virtual poet series in this time of COVID.  She is also an inspiring performer of her poetry and has appeared on stage many times in Telluride.


Fealty (PDF)

The Sneaky Thing About a Revolution (PDF)

A Sonnet on Norwood Hill (PDF)

Photo of Davia Chesonis 2019-2021 sitting outdoors with a laptop

Daiva Chesonis (2019-2021)

Ms. Chesonis has lived in San Miguel County for many decades and is the former co-owner of Between the Covers Bookstore in Telluride.  She has participated and collaborated with the Talking Gourds Poetry Club, Guest Gourds, and Traveling Gourds projects, as well as being a founding member and co-director of the Telluride Literary Arts Festival and Saturday Night at the Livery (SNL), a somewhat regular speakers series in Norwood. 


Closet Preacher (PDF)

Ping Pong (PDF)

A Place for Everyone and Everyone in Their Place (PDF)

Photo of Elissa Dickson (2016-2018) wearing a fur hat outdoors

Elissa Dickson (2016-2018)

Ms. Dickson is a very impressive poet/performer, and member of the Talking Gourds Poetry Club.  She lives and works in San Miguel County, serving as Adult Programming Director at the Wilkinson Libary, and has been a valuable partner of the Poetry Club for several years.  She assists the Poetry Club by creating local posters each month.

Photo of Peter Waldor standing on a rock with a view of Lone Cone

Peter Waldor (2014-2016)

Mr. Waldor is a member of the Talking Gourds Poetry Club.  He spends a good part of the summer in San Miguel County every year and has done so for many years.  He is a nationally recognized poet who has won numerous awards and has demonstrated his craft and his love for the San Juan Mountains.

Photo of Ellen Metrick (2011-2013) at a microphone

Ellen Marie Metrick (2011-2013)

Ms. Metrick has demonstrated leadership in the literary community - having worked as editor of the Norwood Post and with youth in the Norwood schools.  She has set up a poetry reading and gourd circles in Norwood, in conjunction with the Arts Community & Education (ACE) of Norwood. She provides literary excellence in her chapbook, and in the many poems she has published and performed for many years.

Photo of Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (2008-2010)

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (2006-2010)

Ms. Wahtola Trommer has served as head of the Telluride Writers Guild for several years. She has demonstrated literary excellence in many published books of poetry and in her many performances of poetry.  She continues to be involved with both adults and children in promoting literary arts.

Somewhere You Feel Free (PDF)

BOCC Resolution