David Mason will be hosting several sessions for students and writers in Craig
9:15 to 11:15 a.m. at Craig Middle School
1 to 2:30 p.m. at Moffat County High School
7 p.m. at CNCC (open to the public)
9:30 a.m. at Downtown Books (open to the public)
The Colorado Poet Laureate is a four-year term appointed by the governor. Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter decorated David Mason as laureate on July 1, 2010 after receiving a list of recommendations from the Colorado Center for the Books, the Colorado Arts Council and the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities.
Source, Library of Congress
Poetry and language go together like academics and speaking tours.
Hence Colorado’s poet laureate, David Mason, will be visiting Craig to meet locals and discuss the value of poetry Friday and Saturday. As poet laureate, Mason travels across Colorado to share poetry and lead workshops for up-and-coming writers.
“I’ve given up to 30 to 60 public presentations a year,” he said. “I decided I would try to get around to every county I could and do everything I could do to support public libraries and schools.”
Mason will be making presentations in Craig at Craig Middle School, Moffat County High School, Colorado Northwestern Community College and at Downtown Books.
His performances are meant to highlight the value of the arts in everyday life, he said.
Mason suggested that his work as laureate is about reminding people of the increasing need for articulateness.
“Articulateness: the skillful, accurate and flexible use of language is a universal human good. Human beings need articulateness in all kinds of situations in life,” Mason said. “We often reach for poetry when we’re looking for that, when we’re looking for something that is well said. The gist of it, really, is that well-written poetry is a human good. It’s useful to people in their lives. It serves a purpose for us.”
That’s why he works with students: to inspire that skill set and also to appeal to the hunger people feel for the arts, he said.
And that’s why David Morris, member of the long-standing Craig Poetry Group, wanted to make sure Mason made it to Craig.
Morris has been working to get Mason in town for months, largely to get students excited about poetry.
The Craig Poetry Group helped organize poetry contests at Craig Middle School for nearly a decade, and Mason’s visit coincides with this year’s contest. Morris was enthusiastic that students submitting their poetry entry would be able to discuss their work with the state’s laureate.
“It’d be a wonderful opportunity for the schools basically to work with a professional poet,” he said, adding Mason's appearance will also appeal to older students. “There are some good high school poets and it will be a great opportunity for them to work with him.”
It’s not always easy for people in the area to access these sort of literary events, but it is important, Morris said.
“It’s hard in a place like Craig because we are remote,” he said. “But I think the more of it, the better.”
Morris expressed his excitement for the upcoming event.
“Life without art is a real shame,” Morris said. “I think people who incorporate art into their life do better.”
Mason’s trip to Craig was sponsored by the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads, Elk Run Inn and CNCC.
Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.