This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.
Short bio: I served as Colorado’s Western Slope Poet Laureate (2015-17). My work has appeared in O Magazine, Rattle.com, TEDx, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion, and on river rocks around town. I have taught poetry for Think 360, Craig Hospital, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Camp Coca Cola, meditation retreats, 12-step recovery programs, hospice, and many other organizations. I earned my M.A. in English Language & Linguistics at University of Wisconsin-Madison. One word-mantra: Adjust.
Thoughts about mindfulness and poetry: A couple years ago, I began leading meditation/poetry retreats with dharma teacher Susie Harrington. It’s a curious pairing, the silence of meditation and engagement with words. What we discovered is that although they are very different paths, they help us arrive in the same place—a place of deeper connection with the world around us, with spirit, with our bodies and with each other.
For me, poetry is very much a practice. Writing poems changes the way I meet the world—it allows me to be more receptive, more attentive, more open. And reading poems helps me identify where I have gotten stuck in my own ways of thinking and helps me newly see the world—to find new metaphors, new lenses, new frameworks. Sometimes, after reading a poem, I have a full-body “yes!” What a gift to ourselves, reading poems that allow us to explore new possibilities for ourselves and the world.
Fun Fact: I have written a poem a day for over 10 years. The poems from the last six years or so are at my blog, A Hundred Falling Veils. I also write short poems on river rocks and leave them around town (and when I am travelling, too). I’ve left hundreds of poem rocks (and they always get picked up!). Here’s a photo for you:
Another fun fact: I did a TEDx talk on finding and changing the metaphors that frame our thinking—part poetry, part neuroscience….
Website and social media: