A Free, Monthly, Drop-In Group for
Poetry and Literature Lovers

Estes Park, and Lyons, Colorado
Reading and Discussion Group
Director: Kathleen Spring

The Estes Park Tea Time Readers started in March 2003, with poems and short stories. The first session (for the one-and-only-time) was limericks for St. Patrick's Day. We met in the Trumbull Fine and Used Book store in Estes Park, which was owned by Fionna. She had just had a friend set up a tea shop in the book store, which is where we met and what we drank! It was in the afternoon, around 2 p.m., so it was named "Tea Time Readers."

We next moved to her original book store location along the rapid river running through Estes, and continued to drink tea and discuss literature. When she also had to close the second book store, we moved to the "paper store" (journals, cards, paper, etc.) behind the MacDonald's Book Store. Sometimes we could sit outside on their patio and enjoy the sunshine and river. That store closed, so we moved to the Estes Park Library. We meet on the second floor in the Wasson Room. It is located on 335 E. Elkhorn, with free parking.

Currently the group is thinking of spending more time in Lyons, as there are more members who live there. We have met at the Lyons Redstone (history) Museum in the summers, and The Stone Cup coffee shop, in cooler months. We like to buy or bring a coffee, tea or beverage to enjoy during the meeting. When we met in Estes Park, it will be at the downtown paper-and-card store behind MacDonald's Book Shop.

Founder Kathleen Spring, is a creative writing teacher and a professional journalist and published author. She has been conducting creative writing and journaling workshops since 1992. She wanted to set up the group in a casual format because she didn't want to "be the teacher," critiquing everyone's work, but rather to have some fun.

She and the other members often spoke about wishing they could read more, especially poems, but never could find the time. By setting up a once-a-month deadline to read and bring in a poem or story, the group was able to fulfill their wishes. The second step was establishing a rule that the group would follow a theme each month. It is in human nature to put off pleasurable things, like reading, and when it came time to come to the meeting, they were tempted to just pull any poetry book off the shelf and read whatever they opened their page to. By having a theme each month, they are "forced" to read maybe five poems before they are able to match the poem or story to the theme.

Some of our favorite poets are Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Joan Murray and John Updike. We enjoy writers like Walden, ee cummings, and Virginia Woolf. Also, some people bring in their own poem or essay to read. Generally, the stories or poems are realistic, traditional, imaginative and well-written, often with an emphasis on nature. Some of our members have been writers/poets, or teachers.

This is not a "writer's critique" group. The group does not attempt to offer a writer information that could improve their work. The discussions are about =what touched us =what we felt were highlights in the text =the writer's background that influenced the piece =other books or pieces that it might be related to or remind us of it =the context of the period it was written in =and more.

Members can interpret the "theme" as concrete or broad of a definition as they chose. One month we had "winter" as a theme, and everyone brought in something about winter representing death and rebirth, and the word "snow" was not in any of the pieces!

Upcoming themes: (note, in the summer we do "field trips")

“One should only read books which bite and sting one. If the book we are reading does not wake us up with a blow to the head, what's the point in reading? A book must be the axe which smashes the frozen sea within us.
==Franz Kafka

"People will read stories only as long as they care about what happens to the characters; therefore, the writer's first task is to make readers like the hero...enough to want good things to happen to them, or hate and fear the villains enough to want bad things to happen to them."
==Phillip R. Craig

“Writing is complete and unbridled control over the uncontrollable: the land and its weather, people and their thoughts, feelings and actions. I could tilt the universe on a whim, its fate in my possession. Writing is a drug, a rush, a therapy.”
==Nicole Alexander

What is Poetry? Wordsworth said it was: "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings." Emily Dickinson said, "If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry." Dylan Thomas said: "Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing."

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To see a Summary of some of the Poems/Stories we have reviewed , click here.

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Spring Times
P. O. Box 512
Lyons, CO 80540-8108
(303) 823-0997 MST 10am-7pm only please
Date last modified: January 2, 2012 9:00 AM

Disclaimer – Copyright 1998-2012: All logos, photos, and original and html text are Copyright © by Kathleen Spring. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use is prohibited without written permission from owner.