A poetry award named for Mark and Elaine Fischer—two Colorado creatives and champions of the arts. Mark was a brilliant lawyer poet who died young, and Elaine his artist widow who went on to become Mayor of Telluride and a four-term San Miguel County Commissioner (2000-2016). She passed away in May of 2016.
Started in 1997, the Fischer Prize began with the Telluride Writers Guild, at the instigation of Art Goodtimes, was sustained for many years by the Telluride Council on the Arts & Humanities (which became Telluride Arts) and Elaine Fischer, and most recently was re-energized and expanded by Goodtimes and the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Program.
At first a county $100 award for local poets, moved to a statewide focus, then a regional Southwestern target audience, followed by a Western U.S. scan and has now widened its scope, making the awards available to poets in the entire country.
This year the Fischer Prize is offering a $1000 First Prize, with $500 in travel money for the winner to attend the award presentations at the Festival. In addition, there are five $200 finalist prizes, with a $100 travel allowance each. And new this year, the presentation of the $500 Cantor Prize for best Colorado poem! This year’s judge is Joan Logghe, founder of the PoemHolders project and former Santa Fe Poet Laureate.
2018 WINNERS ANNOUNCED! Thank you so much for your support of the Fischer Prize and Cantor Prize. Talking Gourds is delighted to announce the winners selected by our final judge, Joan Logghe of New Mexico.
WINNER of the 2018 Fischer Prize: Michelle Bitting: “Everything Crumbling Becoming Something New” Bitting won $1000, plus a $500 travel stipend, and will be at the festival to read her poem at the awards ceremony on Saturday, May 19th, at Telluride Arts HQ, at 2 pm.
FINALISTS of the 2018 Fischer Prize: D. Baker: “Breathing Water, Swimming Air” Elizabeth Jacobson: “Birds Eating Cherries From the Very Old Tree” Claire Blotter: “Rocking” Jane Hilberry: “Poem Beginning with a Line from Paul Monette” Jose A. Alcantara: “Lady in Rags” The finalists receive $200 and an invitation to read, plus a $100 travel stipend if they come.
WINNER of the 2018 Cantor Prize: Jane Hilberry: “Poem Beginning with a Line from Paul Monette” Awarded to the best poem submitted by a poet from Colorado, this is the award’s inaugural year. The prize is made possible through the support of the Telluride Institute and generous private donations.
Thank you, poets, for sharing your work with the world! -- Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Art Goodtimes, co-directors of Talking Gourds Poetry Club
RULES OF THE CONTEST Open to any and all poets living in the United States and its Territories. Any style, any content. Three letter-size pages max per poem, with 12 pt. font size minimum. Max 10 poem submissions per poet. Follow the rules and complete the checklist. Incomplete submissions may be ruled ineligible if not remedied by the contest deadline, and fees forfeited. Previously published poems are acceptable, so long as the author retains the copyrights. Deadline for complete submissions (poems, payment and completed form) is May 1, 2018. Submission to the contest grants one-time use rights of publication of all poems on this website, in press releases, and in any future anthology of work. All other copyrights are retained by the author. Notifications of winners will be posted on the Talking Gourds website mid-May.
Fees Base fee is $9 per poem. Eventbrite charges a service fee on credit card payments. Fees are non-refundable.
Discounts for multiples of three: 1 poem =$9, 2 poems =$18, 3 poems = $20 (4=$29, 5=$38, 6=$40, and so on)
Talking Gourds Poetry Club members in good standing receive a special half-price discount. To become a member, visit here.
On-line Submission On-line submission form must be completed and submitted. Fee must be paid on line with a credit card. Follow this LINK to purchase your entry for each poem (a "ticket" on Eventbrite).
Snail-Mail Submission procedure is available HERE.
*All poems must be emailed to Olivia@TellurideInstitute.org.Each poem should have poet’s name and email address on each page. Each file should be named using the first word of the poem’s title, plus the poet’s last name. Acceptable formats to send as attachments to an email are .doc, .docx or .pdf. No multiple poem files are allowed.
Talking Gourds, a program of the Telluride Institute, hosts the Fischer Prize, in collaboration with Telluride Arts.
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