Pagosa poets will be featured at conference


By Monica Jakuc Leverett
Special to The PREVIEW

Five poets, two from Pagosa Springs, have won a poetry contest as part of an upcoming conference to be held in Durango. The winning poems celebrate the spirit of the Southwest Old Growth Forests Conference to be held at Fort Lewis College Aug. 4-5.

The Southwest Old Growth Forests Conference will feature leading scientists and naturalists who will examine a variety of old growth forest issues, including habitat values of the forests, the impact of fire and climate change, past climate history as embedded in the tree rings, the future of forests and the role of old growth in aesthetic and spiritual renewal.

The winning poems selected from 37 submissions will be read during “An Evening of Poetry and Music,” the culmination of the two-day conference.

David Feela, of Dolores, won first prize for his poem, “Recipe for the Wild;” second prize was awarded to Miriam Sagan, of Santa Fe, for “Nocturne;” Susan Foster, of Durango, was awarded third prize for “Night Meeting [at Looking Glass Rock].” First and second honorable mentions go to Haz M Saïd, of Pagosa Springs, for “Self made soul,” and to Dave McDonough, also of Pagosa Springs, for “Family Tree/Rings of Life.”

Winners will receive prizes and free admission to the conference, and read their poems during an evening in which poetry is interspersed with music.

The program will include works by composer Curt Cacioppo, who has done research on Native American music, and by composer and poet Katherine Freiberger of Durango/Dallas. Freiberger’s piece, “Winter Apples,” is a chamber music setting of the poem by Charlie Langdon, former veteran columnist and senior critic for The Durango Herald. The program also includes works by Amy Beach, Maurice Ravel and others.

Musicians from east and west will join in this gala evening. Admission is $15, $10 for students.

Registration and conference information is available online at