2021 Poet Laureate Reading (Loveland, CO)

Loveland was treated to two days of poetry with performances and conversations with U.S. poet laureate, Joy Harjo, and Colorado poet laureate, Bobby LeFebre, sponsored by Aims Community College and hosted by Loveland poet laureate, Veronica Patterson, and the Rialto Theater in Loveland.

The event kicked off on Friday, April 9 with Bobby LeFebre’s energetic poetry reading where he fervently raised issues of cultural tension, conjuring the animosity of the world in word and dispelling it with compassion. His personal stories, experienced and inherited, covered his relationship to the land and the borderless relationship with culture. Bobby LeFebre gathered listeners around the table, spoke, and listened.

On Saturday, April 10, Joy Harjo spoke at a discussion moderated by Aims English Chair, Evan Oakley, at noon and read her poetry in the evening. Topics in the discussion covered her project Living Nations, Living Words, and her new album, I Pray for My Enemies. Joy Harjo spoke of her project which aims to show a living world of poetry using a map that showcases Native poets, their connections, and their influences. She also spoke of human connection and finding truth in the space beyond thought, division, and enemies. She told poet students that they should keep their expectations realistic, but also listen to themselves and their guides to find their path. That evening her poetry wove and unwove stories from a place most people recognize. Some poems honored those close to her, while all her poems honored the audience and their humanity. Her music invited her audience to share its movement, formed with her voice and others’. From her memoir, she guided the spirit of her third granddaughter, and all spirits, to take the challenge of protecting the land.

To watch and listen to the poets, please follow the links on the Rialto Theater website linked here

See the slideshow below for artwork created by community members and inspired by the poets.

*For titles of the art pieces and the names of contributors, hover over each image.