Belle Turnbull (1881-1970) was the first strong poet to live in and write about the mountains and high mining towns of the Colorado Rockies. Well-known during her life but long out of print, Turnbull’s lyrics of sublime alpine wilderness and her narratives about the harsh and dangerous world of hard rock mining offer us a profoundly original vision of the American West that transcends the region.

“This book restores to Westerners a treasure we were foolish to misplace. In poems that are as consoling as they are unsettling, Belle Turnbull extracted and refined the meanings of mountains, miners, memory, and mortality. Now, nearly fifty years after her death, a team of gifted writers—serving as Turnbull’s latter-day friends in high places—joins together to rescue her work from our inattention, and return us to her company. “
—Patty Limerick, Faculty Director of The Center of the American West, University of Colorado, Boulder

Colorado poets, writers, and historians will discuss the relevance of Belle Turnbull’s work today and how it can help us to understand the making of the contemporary American West.


Art Goodtimes– First Western Slope Poet Laureate, San Miguel County Commissioner

Patty Limerick– Faculty Director and Chair of the Board, Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder

Uche Ogbuji– Colorado Book Award Winner, Westword 2015 Award Winner (“Best Environmental Poetry”). Host of the Poetry Voice podcast

David J. Rothman– Director of Western State Graduate Program in Creative Writing, co-editor of Belle Turnbull: On the Life & Work of an American Master

Susan Spear– Affiliate professor, English Department at Colorado Christian University, poems have appeared in Academic Questions, The Lyric, Don’t Just Sit There, and Mezzo Cammin

Jeffrey R. Villines– Ph.D. student in literature, University of Houston, co-editor of Belle Turnbull: On the Life & Work of an American Master

Sponsors: Center of the American West, Center for Humanities and Arts, Department of Writing and Rhetoric, CU History Department, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, CU English Department, the CU Women and Gender Studies Department, and the Graduate Committee on the Arts and Humanities.