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Visiting poet and host at the Word X Word Festival, Telfer is a complex guy
I had the privilege of speaking to Robbie Q. Telfer at length before he arrived in the Berkshires for his fourth year participating in the Word X Word Festival. Due to circumstances beyond my control, that conversation did not air while the Festival was still in play. But the lateness of the hour doesn’t dull the keen observations he makes, nor will his inspired descriptions of the interactions between poetry and life be any less brilliant. Enjoy this, the first in an occasional series on the Visiting Poets.
Robbie Telfer has performed and taught in hundreds of venues and institutions around the world. A co-founder of the Encyclopedia Show, he’s been an individual finalist at the National Poetry Slam. A member of the internationally renowned teaching artist collective Project VOICE, he’s been in two documentaries (from HBO and Siskel and Jacobs) for his work at Young Chicago Authors where he organized the world’s largest teen poetry festival called Louder Than A Bomb. He’s written on two video games and his first published book of poetry, Spiking the Sucker Punch, was released in 2009 from Write Bloody Publishing. He serves on the Advisory Group of the volunteer ecological restoration organization Habitat 2030.
At the Field Museum of Natural History, he works to engage the people of the Calumet region with their surrounding natural spaces, helping to foster a sense of wonder, participation and stewardship with this regional ecological treasure. Oh, and he is a strong advocate for the Kankakee mallow to become the new state flower.