"Mountains cast spells on me ... " Those words begin a poem by the late Belle Turnbull. Her work focused on Colorado, especially the mountains and mining. She and her partner lived as an out lesbian couple in Breckenridge during the 1940s, long before it became a ski town.
Despite being well known during her time, Turnbull's work went out of print. Now it’s collected in a new book, "Belle Turnbull," co-edited by David Rothman, who is director of the graduate program in creative writing at Western State Colorado University, and CPR poet-in-residence.
Rothman spoke with Colorado Matters host Andrea Dukakis.
Read Three of Belle Turnbull's poems:
Mountains cast spells on me—
Why should a brown hill-trail
Timberline, and the trees
Time as a Well-Spring
I thought, said Mr. Probus, there was time,
I’ve lived some years at Stringtown, Probus said,
These Who Shorn Return
Those years there was the wind, always the wind
Boys kept blowing away, do you remember?
Poems excerpted from Belle Turnbull: On the Life and Work of an American Master edited by David J. Rothman and Jeffrey R. Villines (Pleiades Press and Gulf Coast, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by David J. Rothman and Jeffrey R. Villines . Reprinted with permission from Pleiades Press and Gulf Coast.